BBC In Hot Water Over Extremist Interview

While the definition may vary from person to person, proper journalism is to take a story and present it to the world with all the facts. That is what BBC claims they were doing by bringing radical cleric Anjem Choudary to its flagship morning show on Radio 4.

Now of course, being the radical cleric he is, he refused to condemn the killing of a British solider with a meat cleaver and dropped a few other bombs too.

That, is what now has politicians and listeners up in arms, with more and more responses coming in. Was it too much? I’m sure there is more to develop from this.

-The Copy Writer-



Striking Radio Employees Close to 18 Months On The Picket Lines

As all of my broadcast school teachers told me, “you don’t make money in radio unless you’re in a major market,” and from what I’ve witnessed, they’re right. With that, some radio hosts decided to do something about it 18 monthes ago, and now they have the record for longest federal sector strike in Canada.

So what are they asking for? A living wage, but so far their employer MBS Radio has only tabled one deal, according to the strikers.

Working in the media can be a tough gig, with little pay, but I hope these guys get the wages they deserve.

-The Copy Writer-

How Beyonce Tricked Clear Channel Into Helping Her Selling A Gazillion Records

Beyonce’s new self titled album surprised us all, from the casual fan, to apparently, even the biggest radio network in America. Clear Channel(said network)’s president, John Sykes recently sat down with Billboard magazine to talk about the new album, and he makes it clear that he had no idea the album was going to drop, just like the rest of us. What made things even more difficult was that the Queen Bey didn’t pick a single, so how’d the massive monster known as Clear Channel react?

“Tom Poleman [Clear Channel president of national programming] and his team run such a well-oiled machine that within minutes, five “Beyonce” tracks were playing on our stations across the country…”

Five Beyonce tracks at once? No wonder the album has sold so well. By doing things the way she did, Beyonce was able to show the world more of her album all at once, more so than if she had taken the traditional route, of one single at a time. As mentioned in the article, its similar to what the Beatles, Stones and Who did before her, and it worked big time, already scoring an overwhelming #1 on the Billboard album charts. The way she did it, it forced Clear Channel to make a rash decision, and in the end, the gamble worked in her favour.

So what does John think about what this will do to radio’s role in promoting music?

“At the end of the day, you still need radio for people to really hear an album, for them to keep going out and buying it online or in record stores. If you look at Nielsen research, the No. 1 platform for discovering new music is still radio.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

-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-


Another Shock Jock Taken Down: Australian Ray Hadley Loses Defamation Suit

I’ve listened to my fair share of shock jocks, and I’ve heard them say their share of asshole-y things,and sometimes I’ve wondered how they never get sued for defamation of character.

Well, on Austrailian shock jock did get a defamation suit put on him, and it is now costing him 280k in damages. So what did he say?

Well this story began after the wife of a convicted sex offender was called a grub by Ray Hadley on his radio show. After that he went on another tirade and called her a “silly, silly woman” and “If we send you and your husband broke, I’ll be absolutely delighted.” Well to make matters worse for Hadley, he didn’t know when to drop the shock jock act and generally just acted like an armpit of a human being. Things were so bad, even the justice ended up weighing in on Hadley’s conduct, saying:  “lay this broadcast to rest in the gutter from which it came”. OUCH.

You know I have heard jocks say a lot worse, and you have to wonder how long it will be before similar suits find themselves in North America. But at the end of the day, these jocks really have to realize that they have the power to ruin people’s lives.

As for the defendant? Her first words after leaving the courtroom were apparently: “Hopefully it sends a clear message to not only [Ray Hadley] but other presenters: you need to tell the truth.”

Amen Sister.

-The COpy Writer-

News Flash: If You’re Entertaining, You’re Employable (No Matter How Tasteless You Are)

Good news for John DePetro and Dean Blundell, even if they do get fired over their offensive bits, radio will still have a place for them. Case in point, it has been confirmed that 2 out of the 3 hosts behind the sketch below, heard on an Atlanta sports radio station (The Zone 790) in June, have new jobs…in the same market.

Making fun of someone with ALS (former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason) is so tasteless, and while they were rightly banished for a few months, it looks like they’re back on air.

According to reports, 2 of the hosts are on their former competitors, AM 680, just 5 months after being fired. One will be on the morning show starting in January, and due to a non compete clause on the other one, we won’t know what his role is until March.

Was it a mistake to hire these guys in the same market so quickly? We shall see when the next book comes out.

-The Copy Writer-

DAB Goes Mobile-Digital Radio Is A Chip Away From Your Cell

After a disappointing week in the UK for digital radio fans, here is a bit of news to cheer you up: industry experts predict that the next wave of smart phones will have DAB chips built in.

Quiet frankly it’s fantastic news, in my opinion the radio has mostly been left behind in the world of mobile technology. I mean sure you can stream online radio, but that costs serious data usage. With DAB chips added in, it will provide radio to cell users without draining their data, making it that much easier to take the radio with them. In the UK,  DAB chips in phones means more people will have access to the technology, which has been a huge road block for moving forward with the technology. Who knows, this could also force North American radio to start innovating in that regard again, which could only be a good thing. Digital is the future and we can’t afford to be left behind.

With all that good there is a downside, that means I’m going to have to buy a new phone, and on a radio salary…..well…

-The Copy Writer-

The Age Old Question: Who Played The Beatles In America First?

When you sell over a billion records, your every move and milestone is the stuff of legends. This point is proven over and over by the Beatles, the subject of many bar room music arguments by self professed music nerds and enthusiasts.

Well add this one to your library of musical trivia, they’ve finally come up with the very first station to play the Beatles in the United States. While the long circulated information involved a host in Washington DC playing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on WWDC, that just isn’t so. The Hit’s Keep On Coming blog decided to clear that up today, and the results show….drum roll….. it was WLS in Chicago, playing Please Please Me. According to blog author, J. Bartlett:

“WLS in Chicago charted it for the weeks of March 8 and March 15, 1963 (peaking at #35), before dropping it off. Some fairly exhaustive research at Kent Kotal’s Forgotten Hits establishes pretty clearly that WLS was the first station in America to play the Beatles, in late February 1963, nearly a year before the outbreak of Beatlemania across the country.”

Be sure to read the full post here, and keep that bit of music history in the back of your mind.

-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-

Radio Host, Andrew Lawton, Turns Up The Heat

Right wing talk show host from London, Ontario’s AM980, Andrew Lawton, will be trying to show he’s no one trick pony in the upcoming season of “Master Chef Canada.” While he doesn’t have any culinary training, to make it as far as the round of 50, you have to have some serious chops (pun intended). Taken from the London Community News:

“I like to try new things, arrangements or combinations that people may not have thought of before,” he said. “I like putting two things that don’t belong together on a plate, like me: the hard-hitting commentator and the foodie that I am.”

-Andrew Lawton

Let’s hope his cooking repertoire is as big as his ego appears to be.

-The Copy Writer-