John DePetro Back

As news came today about the dismissal of Dean Blundell, one other shock jock got better news.

Rhode Island talk show host, John DePetro was back on the air today after he was taken off air in mid-November due to some crude comments (to be exact he called some protesters, “union hags” and “whores”). He was back despite union chiefs, state representatives on both sides of the floor and even the governor himself petitioning to get rid of DePetro…meaning DePetro must be bringing in crazy good ratings.

As for the man, and his thoughts, he saw this as “nothing more than politicians and unions trying to interfere and silence public opinion.”

Some people, I tell you.

-The Copy Writer-

A Brief Look At Freedom Of Speech And The Media

Unless your current mailing address is under rock, than you’ve probably heard about the whole “Duck Dynasty” fiasco. To sum it up, main character, Phil Robertson, said in a magazine interview that he doesn’t understand where gay people are coming from and what they do is sinful. He also mentioned that black people were much happier in a time period when they had heavily restricted rights. Hmmmmm. Naturally, the network his TV show is on, A&E suspended Phil Robertson because they wanted the world to know that’s not where they stand.

Where the story gets more interesting is that many fans actually stuck up for their favourite redneck, and now news is coming in that his suspension has been lifted. Begging the questions to be asked, should he have been suspended in the first place? What is the role of the network? What does this mean for radio?

Should he have been suspended? What is the role of the network? In my opinion, that should be completely up to the network. It’s their investment, their name on the line so who would be better to make that desision? Whether it’s right or wrong, they will be the ones who will have to live with the consequences…positive or negative.

What does this mean for radio? Ahhh I’m glad you’ve asked, because I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Quite frankly, turn on any AM talk station, or edgy morning host and you will be able to hear something just as offensive. Guaranteed. So why don’t people care about that? Well this is how I see it: people listen to what they want to hear on the radio. I doubt you will find many liberals listening to Rush Limbaugh, and as a result, many won’t protest the crap that comes out of his mouth. What happened in Robertson’s case was that the story went viral, crossing almost every platform and it hit everyone, not just the viewers of his show or the readers of the magazine. The story was unavoidable, and because of that, he was screwed from the start. With that being said, with the ability to share things easily over the internet, I wouldn’t be surprised if in the near future, the same thing happens on a similar scale with a syndicated shock jock. With such things as podcasts, anyone can access and share potential offensive views at any time, meaning every announcer could be potentially one slip up away from being hunted.

As it turns out, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was just some big marketing ploy, and it will likely work, as these things usually do. Of course, not everyone is so lucky when it comes to saying controversial things….just ask Dean Blundell.

-The Copy Writer-

Radio Vs. Artist

Back in college I was at a hip-hop station. And I have to say, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that we “didn’t support local hip-hop”, I would have never had to find a job. Really. Now what those people would usually overlook is that their music simply was not radio friendly…poorly produced, bad language and far too underground sounding.

As you can imagine, the bigger the station, the more shots it gets taken at it, and since Hot 97 is the top of the top in the hip-hop world, it gets shots taken at it often.

This latest round comes compliments of Talib Kweli, who started on twitter, calling out PD Old Man Ebro for not supporting NY hip-hop. Now what Ebro did in return, was genius in my opinion. He invited Talib in.

 

Not only did he take the issue face on, but due to the amount of build up this had, he was able to pump up some major social media numbers. There is a reason why Hot 97 is still the power house it is. They are the best at social media and they are the best in their genre.

Definitely a good watch for all of you interested in the music.

-The Copy Writer-

Jock Announces Addiction To Pot and Pain Medication On Air

Chicago talk host, Dan McNeil, has announced his return to WSCR-AM after a 7 week absence due to an addiction to marijuana (wait a second…) and pain medications.

While we here at Records in Milk Crates wish him only the best, this is not the first instance of an absence/comeback for McNeil and we genuinely hope he has taken the time to actually get himself better.

If you want to hear his comeback episode, be sure to check this out.

-The Copy Writer-

Radio Praised For Helping To Build A Nation

In the creation of any nation, there are things that are credited with “building,” said country. In my home and native land, Canada, the building of a nationwide railway, the re-capture of Vimy Ridge in World War One are just some of the things credited with the building of this nation.

Today, the Pakistani Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid credited Radio Pakistan with being a vibrant media which had been playing an effective role in nation-building. Also saying, “generations would come and go but the Radio Pakistan will remain alive.”

Too often, it seems that radio is being slagged for being archaic, out of touch and soon to be extinct. Our national broadcaster is seen as all of that and a “waste of money”, according to the attitudes of the latest government.  It’s time that national broadcasters be seen for what they are, national treasures, ways to communicate ideas nationwide.

A few other cool facts about Radio Pakistan: It offers programming in 21 languages, and covers 97% of the country, and if your familiar with the country, that’s pretty darn impressive.

-The Copy Writer-

Media Researcher Predicts The Demise Of Radio… Again

Well, its not the first time, that’s for sure. First it was TV that was supposed to kill radio, more recently satellite radio was to act as the grim reaper to terrestrial radio. Now, according to IBISWorld, an industry research publisher, it will be streaming services and mp3s as well as competing mediums in combination, in combination with lack of interest and a slumping economy that will do the industry.

Taken right from the report, ““Radio’s role will not be eliminated overnight, but will instead diminish slowly as companies dedicate more resources to reaching consumers online.” Now I don’t claim to be any sort of industry expert, but a few things are amiss.

1) I tune in to the radio for companionship on my drives, it offers interesting opinions and banter that I don’t get from an mp3 player.

2)Other people agree, as currently the most popular format of radio is talk radio, pulling in ten percent of radio listeners.

3) Despite predictions in the report that revenue will fall annually by 2.5% over the next 5 years, radio posted 1% growth this year…otherwise seen as a very tough economic year.

As my radio profs often told me, what radio has going for it is the “local”  factor, and as long as we keep that, we will always have something our competition.

-The Copy Writer-

A Note About Controversy And Popular Music

Believe or not, I don’t always listen to the radio. In fact a lot of my favourite music apparently doesn’t have space on the ever shrinking radio playlists, but that’s a topic for a different time. Any who, one of those artists who I like to listen to is Bob Dylan.

It’s funny because the song “Masters of War” came across my playlist and I couldn’t help but think that even 50 years late, that song is still shocking, even by today’s standards.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand o’er your grave
’Til I’m sure that you’re dead-Bob Dylan

Quite honestly I can’t think of any artists who sing such pointed lyrics, let alone sing that about the powerful war machine that seems to run America. That is dangerous and shocking stuff, and the delivery makes it even more so.

So I thought about it, is there any artists who stir up such emotions of love and hate like Bob Dylan? Sure tonnes of new artists evoke that sort of love and hate, Bieber, Gaga, Cyrus..but it seems like something has changed.

While Bob Dylan’s lyrics used to paint a picture of a society that was broken, the new pop stars evoke emotion by dressing a certain way or acting a certain way, without really making any big statements. In fact the biggest statement that they are making is, my music isn’t enough to stay relevant, and that’s pretty damn sad. While song used to be a way to challenged the people in charge, it is now just a hollow money making machine. We are being distracted away from the mediocre non-offensive music by sexed-up doll-humans promoted by the record labels , who tell us everything is all right, when they couldn’t be more wrong. Looking around, I’d say we need a Bob Dylan more than ever. So bring back the controversy.

Music is so much more than a money maker for suits, here’s to bringing back music to challenge the system (like good old Mr. Strummer, below).

-The Copy Writer-

 

The Top 100 Most Played Songs On Aussy Radio

Aircheck, a radio monitoring system in the land down under, put a list of the top 100 most played songs in the land down under for 2013, and the top 10 looks something like this:

1-Birds Of Tokyo, Lanterns (17,419 plays)

2-Passenger, Let Her Go (17,376)

3-Pink feat. Nate Ruess, Just Give Me A Reason (16,131)

4-Bastille, Pompeii (15,664)

5-The Lumineers, Hey Ho (14,786)

6-Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams, Get Lucky (14,697)

7-Avicii, Wake Me Up (14,639)

8-Robin Thicke feat. TI & Pharrell, Blurred Lines (14,631)

9-Bruno Mars, When I Was Your Man (13,582)

10-Vance Joy, Riptide (13,417)

While most are to be suspected (Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars), I have to say that it appears the Aussies have taken a lot more of a likening to the quiet indie sound of late. Case in point, The Lumineers, Passenger and Birds of Tokyo all did well on the list.

Something else I thought was encouraging was that a homegrown talent topped the list. It can only be good when domestic culture is accepted by it’s nation.

-The Copy Writer-

The Songs That Changed Radio? 2013

All sorts of year end lists are coming out about now, and Sean Ross, Billboard’s radio expert offered his list of songs that changed radio in 2013. They include:

Swedish House Mafia, “Don’t You Worry Child”

Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines”

Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”

Anna Kendrick, “Cups (Pitch Perfect’s ‘When I’m Gone)”

Sage the Gemini, “Red Nose”

Lorde, “Royals,” “Team”

Jay-Z, “Holy Grail” (featuring Justin Timberlake), “Tom Ford”

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love,” “Can’t Hold Us”

Overall, he picked ’em right for the most part. Lorde is coming at us with a new attitude for pop music, Macklemore brought conscience hip-hop back to the top 40, and I have a secret likening for that cups song.

As a side note though, I think country music was grossly under-represented, with people like Eric Church pushing serious boundaries, maybe that’s just me though.

-The Copy Writer-

Radio’s Social Media: The UK vs. The US

In Canada, radio’s social media is a real smorgis board of tactics, with little direction, in short it is still in it’s wild west days. I imagine that will change over time, but you don’t have to look too hard to find ineffective use of social media in a radio environment.

An interesting study has come out though to compare how radio stations are reacting to social media on each side of the pond, and the differential between the two is interesting to say the least.

Some cool take away facts:

-On average, only 0.4% of radio listeners tweet about a radio station in the UK and even though the proportion might seem extremely low, it is still 10 times more frequent than the ratio in the US.
-With respect to negativity, the percentages were very close: 2% for UK and 1% for US. The main negative topics of discussion debated by Brits were show content, song choice and presenter criticism, while the Americans mostly complained about content and presenters.
-UK radio stations primarily use Twitter as a broadcasting platform, not for engagement. However, just 40% of the messages sent by the US radio stations were broadcast tweets.

Tonnes of really cool facts in the report, and worth checking out if you are in radio.

-The Copy Writer-