Date   
Passion and Value in a Ticky Tacky World

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

In the airline business one CEO said, "Seats are a commodity, one being
just like the next. That's why it is impossible to price our carrier's
seats differently from another airline." To which I replied: "Coffee
is a commodity, too. And, guess what? Starbucks charges $3 a cup. We
need to determine how to add value to the commodity."

It sounds, Ralph, like you're saying "this is the only way radio is now
and nothing anyone does will change it." While I agree that people
really can't tell you what they want, they will recognize quality and
value if they see it, experience it or hear it. The biggest problem I
see is that too much American business is being run by Carpetbaggers and
Robber Barons interested in the quickest route to the biggest pot of
gold (one does well to remember The Tortoise and the Hare at this
point).

Let's go back to the airline business. By and large the industry is
being steered by money men, bean counters. They don't care whether they
are running Acme Shoes or United Airlines. Since the so called "Golden
Age of Air Travel" there hasn't been one CEO I can recall who got into
the airline business because he loved airlines; except for Herb
Kelleher.

In this age of "airlines are in the business of making money" (a novel
concept that has yet to be proven), Herb Kelleher, until his recent
retirement, ran his airline out of love. He loved the business and the
employees in the airline. He approached the whole thing from a creative
angle. He strove to give his passengers a novel product. Of course he
watched the money; one important part of the bigger equation. In the
process of pursuing his passion he built an airline that, as of last
year, had a market capitalization greater than the top ten U.S. airlines
combined. It is the only airline to show a continued profit since 2001.
It is a little outfit called Southwest Airlines.

Herb Kelleher and the guy in Louisville with the minor league baseball
team I wrote about last night are people with the qualities I am talking
about. Another one was Sam Walton (who had he not had a passion for his
little mercantile would probably have been a piranha farmer).

So I am not buying the idea that someone who loves radio would not be
able to run a station, a group of stations or a network, with a passion
for all aspects of the business and make money in the process!

Drama on the radio, Lithuanian mating music and any other weird idea we
might trot out are worthy ideas in that they are part of the creative
process. The best thing these ideas can do is provide brain fuel for
BRAND NEW CONCEPTS; let's eventually wind up with a unique business plan
that pays off for us in buckets of gold, makes our heart sing, and
everybody else is afraid to try (until it is too late, i.e. Southwest
Airlines).

I despair when I read that people are a bunch of buffoons who should
never be offered a glass of wine above the class of Ripple. For cripe's
sake!

For years the only wine rank and file Americans drank was cheap and
disgusting. They didn't know better. Then some creative, smart
American vintners slowly and surely marketed and educated the people to
the point where now there is a profitable, thriving, quality wine
business here in the states (with some very fine wineries right in our
back yard!).

You write: "The things we anguish over in this list simply do not matter
to most people. The majority of people don't really care about radio.
They have a vague idea about what they like, or don't like, but that's
it. Same goes with almost any aspect of life you care to name."

If that is true then you'd better hope to God that there are some
passionate people rising to run at least some of the businesses that
serve the indiscriminate rabble, people who dearly love the business, or
else we are headed on a most unfortunate course.


Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 9:19 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

I'd like to jump in here. And please keep in mind I have devoted most of
my
professional career working with public radio. In fact most of our
company's
clients are public radio stations and networks.


<<Couldn't a commercial station program to the "cognitive elite" and

survive?
- In a word, no. I commend you to the rapidly shrinking world of
commercial
classical radio. There's only so many Mercedes Benz dealerships in an
area
that can by ads on such a station. At one time there were over 100 such
stations.
Now there are less then 20. Economics.

<<Is a corporation's profit margin the reason a commercial

station cannot broadcast on a par with public radio's quality?
- At the heart of it, commercial radio is a business. The
responsibility of
the folks running the business is to make it as successful as possible.
If
they don't, then the stockholders will put in a management team that
will.


<<it only Public Radio stations that broadcast programming with
"content"

rather than, what I will generalize as, "crap?"
- Commercial radio's job is to deliver as big an audience as possible
to its
advertisers. The things we anguish over in this list simply do not
matter to
most people. The majority of people don't really care about radio. They
have a
vague idea about what they like, or don't like, but that's it. Same goes
with
almost any aspect of life you care to name. Do you clean your car engine
till
it shines every weekend? I don't, but I know car enthusiasts who do, and

despair that others haven't seen the light. Ditto with bibliophiles,
nature
lovers, Civil War buffs, long distance runners, etc. Think of your own
passion
(other than radio). Think about how important it is to most other
people.


<<If my comment about Public Radio "doing it with little money"
offended,

if even a little bit, I apologize. No doubt it is WVTF's reach that

allows it to generate the funds required to provide excellent

programming. You guys obviously chose to produce quality programming

and found a way to do it.
- I don't want to take anything away from Seth and WVTF, but I noticed
you're mixing locally and nationally produced programming together. They
have
different goals, different resources, and are paid for slightly
differently. How
can "Fresh Air" do what it does? Well, some of the money comes from the
carriage
fees NPR charges the local stations (that's the part Seth's listeners
have to
pay for). Some comes from NPR itself, as well as the Corporation for
Public
Broadcasting (a funding agency that gets money from the gov'ment). The
program
has national underwriters, as does NPR. Yeah, "Morning Edition" can do
cool
news stories with sound effects and stuff, because they're a national
agency
with all the resources that go with it.


<<I continue to argue, however, that commercial stations also have the

ability to produce whatever funds are required to produce interesting

programs
- Interesting to who? Remember, the commercial station's goal is to
maximize
their listenership. What's interesting to the greatest number of people?

<<AND make a profit.
- See above. It's not enough just to make a profit. The goal of any
business
is to make the maximum amount of profit possible.

<<In the case of at least Clear Channel's stations, a lot of money is
produced. I find Clear Channel's

programming to be boring and predictable.
- That's actually its strength. Every single tune has been market
tested
with focus groups before being added. Clear Channel leaves nothing to
chance,
which is why its so successful.

<<I can say the same about most small market, independent commercial
stations
I listen to around the

country, too.
- The public has spoken. They only what to hear songs they've heard
before.
Without the staff or the resources to institute dramatic changes (and
justify
to the investors solidly researched reasons for doing so), they have to
deliver what the general public expects.

Perhaps the obsession with and the love of money, IS the deciding factor

- Now you're getting it...

All that being said, don't think public radio has it made. The audience
exerts as much pressure on public stations, pushing them in a certain
direction
just as much as the general public pushes the direction Clear Channel
goes. For
some time now a debate has been raging in the public radio community.
NPR used
to be equally committed to both arts coverage and programming, and news
coverage and programming. Audiences said (through their pledge dollars
and various
surveys) that they didn't really care much about arts coverage - and
last year
it disappeared. "Performance Today," a daily magazine documenting
classical
music performance across America was gutted. Jazz and classical music
programs
disappeared in a heartbeat. "Morning Edition" used to devote twenty
minutes to
arts coverage. Not any more - and that coverage nowadays is just as
likely to
be a rock group as it is a jazz artist. NPR has established a bureau in
LA
specifically to do more coverage of movie and TV celebrities. The
reality is that
NPR doesn't cover certain subjects because it doesn't play well with
their
target audience.

And let's talk about that wonderful creative music programming. Seth can
tell
you that there's a lot of pressure to keep things light - keep it to
music
that can double for Muzak. If you listen to a Clear Channel Oldies
station, you
would think the only tune the Beatles recorded was "Twist and Shout."
You
won't hear "Strawberry Fields" and you sure as hell won't hear
"Revolution Number
Nine." Now let's go over to the classical programming on public radio
(and I
am not dissing Seth here at all - he does wonders within the constraints
he has
to work under). Listen carefully, and you'll think that Vivaldi was the
first
classical composer, and that Brahms was the last - in other words, all
the
classical composers are comfortably dead, and have been for a century.
You'll
also think no one every wrote anything for the human voice, and very
little for
anything but orchestras. Of course Seth can't play Stockhausen in the
middle
of the day - his audience wouldn't stand for it. They also wouldn't
stand for a
short opera during that time, either. So - Seth can't be completely
creative.
He, like his counterpart in commercial radio has an audience to answer
to, as
well as superiors telling him what THEY think should be played.

Finally, since I've given my comments on everything else, let me give my
two
cents about radio drama. In the 1930's everyone listened to radio drama.
They
sat around the radio quietly, and listened. That doesn't happen today.
That's
the reality. People use radio differently. I've already outlined the
financial
issues with grand rights that would prevent airing plays.

Next time you go to a play, try enjoying it with your eyes closed.
Different
experience. Radio drama requires sound effects, a narrator and a general

re-writing to clue the audience into the action, or the whole thing
doesn't make a
whole lot of sense.

For example:
JOHN (looking at Frank coming through the door): Hello.

- has to become

JOHN: (speaking to himself) That looks like Frank coming through the
door.
SOUND EFFECT: Door opening
JOHN: Hello.

Now - who's going to volunteer to do a complete rewrite of a play for
radio?
Not I!
BTW - that wonderful bit you heard on NPR was produced with a staff of
at
least three different people - who also worked on some, but not all of
the other
segments you heard (there were other staff members who took care of
that).

Clear Channel gives the average person the programming they say they
want -
or will put up with.


Ralph Graves
1983-1990


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Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

Seth,

P.S.

Public Radio does "do it" with relatively "little money" compared to
Clear Channel and your programming is superior.

Also, rather than being "shielded from the howling blast of the free
market," Public Radio might be the very essence of it; you "sell" a
great deal of your "product" directly to the user, thereby efficiently
cutting out the expensive "middle men."

RR

-----Original Message-----
From: Seth Williamson [mailto:seth@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 7:18 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: RE: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Thanks for the good words. It is a pleasure to work at such a station,
especially in our new digs, which require me to pinch myself every
morning in the pre-dawn darkness to remind myself I'm not dreaming.

In a word, public radio doesn't do it with "little money." This is just
a guess, but I would imagine our budget is hugely larger than that of
WJMA at its biggest. I believe I can honestly say that we don't waste
money, but quality takes a lot of money, and we spend it to get
quality. And the corollary of our program content is engineering: we
cover a huge stretch of ground over three states, one of the biggest
coverage areas of a single public radio station in the entire nation,
with listeners and contributors from Richmond nearly to Bristol and down
to Greensboro, Winston-Salem and even in Boone. To maintain the huge
network of repeaters is, all by itself, a formidable and expensive
technical challenge.

The other relevant point is that we focus on a particular demographic,
roughly speaking the so-called "cognitive elite," which appreciates the
particular kind of quality we offer. If we had a more general audience,
we might be in trouble. (But even then, you will probably have noticed
that radio drama is thin on the ground in public radio, and most
especially locally produced radio drama.)

We are shielded to a degree from the howling blasts of the free market,
so we don't face the pressures of a local affiliate of a huge chain like
Clear Channel, where corporate phones at 5 to get the daily sales
numbers. This degree of insulation permits us to do things that can't
be done in commercial radio.

And Bud Robertson, by the way, is a very real guy. Used to go to church
with him, he baptised my two girls--a scholar of narrow focus but
amazing depth. He has finally had enough of the Civil War module and
this season will be his last, alas. Best...

Seth Williamson

On Sun, 2003-07-27 at 18:30, R Roberts wrote:
This afternoon I've listened to WVTF, Roanoke. The programs were
"Mountain Stage" in which Dar Williams played, "Back to the Blue
Ridge"
(I loved those great Red Clay Ramblers tunes!), "All Things
Considered"
had an interesting story about the current Broadway run of "Man of La
Mancha" (a full seven minutes!) and now, as I write, "Fresh Air:
Weekend" in which Teri is interviewing the son and nephew of the
authors
of "Casablanca." Thank you, Seth & Co. This is good radio.

And this was just Sunday afternoon. What about the rest of the
schedule; "Car Talk," "Morning Edition," "Piano Jazz," "Music From the
Hearts of Space," Michael Tom's program, "Star Date," the Va. Tech
professor's Civil War series (he sounds like a real guy), all the
music
and &c?

I'd like to read your comments on why WVTF and NPR can produce good
radio with little money and Clear Channel won't with lots.

Russ Roberts



-----Original Message-----
From: Leri [mailto:msleri@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 1:06 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Pardon me for butting in, but I grew up on radio ( and I'm young
enough
to
be Bill Little's daughter - perish the thought) I have thoroughly
enjoyed
your conversation about the seeds of a business plan. There is a lot
of
expertise here. My generation is hooked on revival, and many of them
are
anti-tv because they think it hurts their children. It does. Do you
know
that teachers are taught to pick up their pace and be entertaining
because
their students are conditioned to that format by TV? Who's defining
thinking
here?

Baseball is a great draw, but so are the little things. There is no
reason
why learning can't be entertaining, but every teacher is not an
entertainer,
and they shouldn't place that as a priority. They have too many
otherthings
to do.

I still remember the radio that sat on the tank in the bathroom.
Don't
tell
anyone, but I literally rode the stool to the Lone Ranger when I was a
tot.
In my teens, I was glued to the Joy Boys - Willard Scott and Ed
Walker,
and
the Show tunes. I recovered from a deadly marriage by the radio and
Priarie
Home Companion, and I have taught 7th and 8th graders how to design by
LISTENING to stories instead of reading them. My daughter cut her
public
speaking teeth creating a couple of commercials at WJMA. It gave her
confidence and recognition at the ripe old age of 8 or 9. She went on
to
win
Declamations at Grymes, and was 2nd in State competitions in
Forensics.
She
taught in a universtiy with a Bachelor's degree. With a Master's she
teaches
ESL now. Reading is the thing in the schools, and that could be
greatly
enhanced by radio. Especially if there were materials that accompanied
the
programing.

I'm not saying turn the medium into a school room. I've bee
brainstorming
and my point is that radio is unigue because is spurs the imagination
and
enhances creative thought. It is more interactive than TV ever will be
and
it is not exploited as much as it could be. AND it is attractive to
all
ages.

Leri Thomas, Ph. D.


----- Original Message -----
From: "R Roberts" <russroberts@...>
To: <WJMA@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:58 PM
Subject: RE: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.


Ralph, Seth, et al,

When listening to commercial radio I am little amused and most often
bored. The commercial "waste-band" is why the first six buttons on
my
car radio are assigned to NPR affiliates and "non-coms". My
interest
lies a few degrees beyond the idle complaining of a worn out, washed
up
vet; I like to think my musings and your thoughts might be the seed
of
a
business plan.

Reading the posts tonight I remembered hearing a radio story a few
years
back about a Louisville, KY minor league baseball team/stadium
owner.
When the fellow bought the operation, attendance was at low ebb,
community interest was nil and profits nonexistent. The future of
minor
league baseball? As far as he could see by the numbers, there
wasn't
one.

What did he do? Taking a page from Persig, he turned to quality.
He
spiffed up the park, priced the tickets fairly and started various
programs to encourage families to attend (like a carousel and play
park). He offered great quality ball-park food at a good price,
tried
to attract the best players he could afford, generated a bit of
drama
through showmanship and purposely traded upon what he perceived to
be
the best traditions from baseball's past tuned to a modern chord.
According to the NPR story, the team/stadium became the most
profitable
minor league baseball operation in the nation.

Baseball, like radio, is a business.

Russ Roberts





-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:37 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually
exclusive.

<< The melancholy fact is that, whatever the programming element is,
it
has
to be something people want enough to listen to it in significant
numbers.>>
- Seth's right. Broadcasting plays and obituaries won't do it. I do
believe,
though, that in depth local news coverage will bring in the numbers.

<< As the PRPD has noted in the last year or two, good local
programming, such as a locally produced newsmagazine show, is darned
expensive. >>
- Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking
about
an
expanded newsteam to cover the area in depth. No fancy production
values, just
called in reports taped and folded into the five o'clock and noon
news.
The
extra news staff is part time (less expensive than full time, you
know),
and their
modest salaries ($50 a week? $75?) are split between the radio
station
and
the paper. Plus, each report is an additional segment of programming
that can be
sold for advertising - ad opportunities that should be of interest
to
businesses that have not really considered advertising before.

Will the station make a huge profit on such a setup? No. That's why
the
Clear
Channel stations won't touch it. But properly structured and sold,
the
stringers should not only be an income stream for the station, but
help
build
listener loyalty and audience size. And that can translate into
higher
profits as it
allows the station's overall ad rates to rise.

Ralph Graves
1983-1990


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Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

Seth;

Couldn't a commercial station program to the "cognitive elite" and
survive? Is a corporation's profit margin the reason a commercial
station cannot broadcast on a par with public radio's quality? Why is
it only Public Radio stations that broadcast programming with "content"
rather than, what I will generalize as, "crap?"

If my comment about Public Radio "doing it with little money" offended,
if even a little bit, I apologize. No doubt it is WVTF's reach that
allows it to generate the funds required to provide excellent
programming. You guys obviously chose to produce quality programming
and found a way to do it.

I continue to argue, however, that commercial stations also have the
ability to produce whatever funds are required to produce interesting
programs AND make a profit. In the case of at least Clear Channel's
stations, a lot of money is produced. I find Clear Channel's
programming to be boring and predictable. I can say the same about most
small market, independent commercial stations I listen to around the
country, too. So, it stands to reason that the actual quantity of money
or cash flow is not necessarily THE deciding factor in whether a station
is "good" (and not just a profit producer) and its staff "creative."
Perhaps the obsession with and the love of money, IS the deciding factor
(as

You alluded to this in your comment "[At WVTF] we are shielded to a
degree from the howling blasts of the free market, so we don't face the
pressures of a local affiliate of a huge chain like Clear Channel, where
corporate phones at 5 to get the daily sales numbers."

Regarding the continuing "drama on the radio" discussion: This
afternoon's All Things Considered story on Broadway's "The Man From La
Mancha" illustrates much of what I consider to be important vis-à-vis
radio and the performing arts: The story contained enough recorded
material from the production to make me want to see it. It brought to
mind that stage productions do continue even while the "Hunt for Saddam
(or Does Anyone Remember Bin Ladn?)" plays out in the news. The story
promoted the show AND made for interesting radio. It's also interesting
that this story ran, albeit on a Sunday afternoon, at 5PM; it wasn't
buried at 2 in the morning.

The same kind of story could be aired on NPR (Broadway), WVTF (Lime
Kiln) or WJMA (Four County Players).

I am sorry to hear that Prof. Robertson is going to hang up his sword;
his Civil War series made me feel we had our own Shelby Foote.

Regards,

Russ Roberts

Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Seth Williamson <seth@...>
 

Thanks for the good words. It is a pleasure to work at such a station,
especially in our new digs, which require me to pinch myself every
morning in the pre-dawn darkness to remind myself I'm not dreaming.

In a word, public radio doesn't do it with "little money." This is just
a guess, but I would imagine our budget is hugely larger than that of
WJMA at its biggest. I believe I can honestly say that we don't waste
money, but quality takes a lot of money, and we spend it to get
quality. And the corollary of our program content is engineering: we
cover a huge stretch of ground over three states, one of the biggest
coverage areas of a single public radio station in the entire nation,
with listeners and contributors from Richmond nearly to Bristol and down
to Greensboro, Winston-Salem and even in Boone. To maintain the huge
network of repeaters is, all by itself, a formidable and expensive
technical challenge.

The other relevant point is that we focus on a particular demographic,
roughly speaking the so-called "cognitive elite," which appreciates the
particular kind of quality we offer. If we had a more general audience,
we might be in trouble. (But even then, you will probably have noticed
that radio drama is thin on the ground in public radio, and most
especially locally produced radio drama.)

We are shielded to a degree from the howling blasts of the free market,
so we don't face the pressures of a local affiliate of a huge chain like
Clear Channel, where corporate phones at 5 to get the daily sales
numbers. This degree of insulation permits us to do things that can't
be done in commercial radio.

And Bud Robertson, by the way, is a very real guy. Used to go to church
with him, he baptised my two girls--a scholar of narrow focus but
amazing depth. He has finally had enough of the Civil War module and
this season will be his last, alas. Best...

Seth Williamson

On Sun, 2003-07-27 at 18:30, R Roberts wrote:
This afternoon I've listened to WVTF, Roanoke. The programs were
"Mountain Stage" in which Dar Williams played, "Back to the Blue Ridge"
(I loved those great Red Clay Ramblers tunes!), "All Things Considered"
had an interesting story about the current Broadway run of "Man of La
Mancha" (a full seven minutes!) and now, as I write, "Fresh Air:
Weekend" in which Teri is interviewing the son and nephew of the authors
of "Casablanca." Thank you, Seth & Co. This is good radio.

And this was just Sunday afternoon. What about the rest of the
schedule; "Car Talk," "Morning Edition," "Piano Jazz," "Music From the
Hearts of Space," Michael Tom's program, "Star Date," the Va. Tech
professor's Civil War series (he sounds like a real guy), all the music
and &c?

I'd like to read your comments on why WVTF and NPR can produce good
radio with little money and Clear Channel won't with lots.

Russ Roberts



-----Original Message-----
From: Leri [mailto:msleri@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 1:06 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Pardon me for butting in, but I grew up on radio ( and I'm young enough
to
be Bill Little's daughter - perish the thought) I have thoroughly
enjoyed
your conversation about the seeds of a business plan. There is a lot of
expertise here. My generation is hooked on revival, and many of them are
anti-tv because they think it hurts their children. It does. Do you know
that teachers are taught to pick up their pace and be entertaining
because
their students are conditioned to that format by TV? Who's defining
thinking
here?

Baseball is a great draw, but so are the little things. There is no
reason
why learning can't be entertaining, but every teacher is not an
entertainer,
and they shouldn't place that as a priority. They have too many
otherthings
to do.

I still remember the radio that sat on the tank in the bathroom. Don't
tell
anyone, but I literally rode the stool to the Lone Ranger when I was a
tot.
In my teens, I was glued to the Joy Boys - Willard Scott and Ed Walker,
and
the Show tunes. I recovered from a deadly marriage by the radio and
Priarie
Home Companion, and I have taught 7th and 8th graders how to design by
LISTENING to stories instead of reading them. My daughter cut her public
speaking teeth creating a couple of commercials at WJMA. It gave her
confidence and recognition at the ripe old age of 8 or 9. She went on to
win
Declamations at Grymes, and was 2nd in State competitions in Forensics.
She
taught in a universtiy with a Bachelor's degree. With a Master's she
teaches
ESL now. Reading is the thing in the schools, and that could be greatly
enhanced by radio. Especially if there were materials that accompanied
the
programing.

I'm not saying turn the medium into a school room. I've bee
brainstorming
and my point is that radio is unigue because is spurs the imagination
and
enhances creative thought. It is more interactive than TV ever will be
and
it is not exploited as much as it could be. AND it is attractive to all
ages.

Leri Thomas, Ph. D.


----- Original Message -----
From: "R Roberts" <russroberts@...>
To: <WJMA@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:58 PM
Subject: RE: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.


Ralph, Seth, et al,

When listening to commercial radio I am little amused and most often
bored. The commercial "waste-band" is why the first six buttons on my
car radio are assigned to NPR affiliates and "non-coms". My interest
lies a few degrees beyond the idle complaining of a worn out, washed
up
vet; I like to think my musings and your thoughts might be the seed of
a
business plan.

Reading the posts tonight I remembered hearing a radio story a few
years
back about a Louisville, KY minor league baseball team/stadium owner.
When the fellow bought the operation, attendance was at low ebb,
community interest was nil and profits nonexistent. The future of
minor
league baseball? As far as he could see by the numbers, there wasn't
one.

What did he do? Taking a page from Persig, he turned to quality. He
spiffed up the park, priced the tickets fairly and started various
programs to encourage families to attend (like a carousel and play
park). He offered great quality ball-park food at a good price, tried
to attract the best players he could afford, generated a bit of drama
through showmanship and purposely traded upon what he perceived to be
the best traditions from baseball's past tuned to a modern chord.
According to the NPR story, the team/stadium became the most
profitable
minor league baseball operation in the nation.

Baseball, like radio, is a business.

Russ Roberts





-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:37 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

<< The melancholy fact is that, whatever the programming element is,
it
has
to be something people want enough to listen to it in significant
numbers.>>
- Seth's right. Broadcasting plays and obituaries won't do it. I do
believe,
though, that in depth local news coverage will bring in the numbers.

<< As the PRPD has noted in the last year or two, good local
programming, such as a locally produced newsmagazine show, is darned
expensive. >>
- Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about
an
expanded newsteam to cover the area in depth. No fancy production
values, just
called in reports taped and folded into the five o'clock and noon
news.
The
extra news staff is part time (less expensive than full time, you
know),
and their
modest salaries ($50 a week? $75?) are split between the radio station
and
the paper. Plus, each report is an additional segment of programming
that can be
sold for advertising - ad opportunities that should be of interest to
businesses that have not really considered advertising before.

Will the station make a huge profit on such a setup? No. That's why
the
Clear
Channel stations won't touch it. But properly structured and sold, the
stringers should not only be an income stream for the station, but
help
build
listener loyalty and audience size. And that can translate into higher
profits as it
allows the station's overall ad rates to rise.

Ralph Graves
1983-1990


........................................................................
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http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/lst
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Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

This afternoon I've listened to WVTF, Roanoke. The programs were
"Mountain Stage" in which Dar Williams played, "Back to the Blue Ridge"
(I loved those great Red Clay Ramblers tunes!), "All Things Considered"
had an interesting story about the current Broadway run of "Man of La
Mancha" (a full seven minutes!) and now, as I write, "Fresh Air:
Weekend" in which Teri is interviewing the son and nephew of the authors
of "Casablanca." Thank you, Seth & Co. This is good radio.

And this was just Sunday afternoon. What about the rest of the
schedule; "Car Talk," "Morning Edition," "Piano Jazz," "Music From the
Hearts of Space," Michael Tom's program, "Star Date," the Va. Tech
professor's Civil War series (he sounds like a real guy), all the music
and &c?

I'd like to read your comments on why WVTF and NPR can produce good
radio with little money and Clear Channel won't with lots.

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Leri [mailto:msleri@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 1:06 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Pardon me for butting in, but I grew up on radio ( and I'm young enough
to
be Bill Little's daughter - perish the thought) I have thoroughly
enjoyed
your conversation about the seeds of a business plan. There is a lot of
expertise here. My generation is hooked on revival, and many of them are
anti-tv because they think it hurts their children. It does. Do you know
that teachers are taught to pick up their pace and be entertaining
because
their students are conditioned to that format by TV? Who's defining
thinking
here?

Baseball is a great draw, but so are the little things. There is no
reason
why learning can't be entertaining, but every teacher is not an
entertainer,
and they shouldn't place that as a priority. They have too many
otherthings
to do.

I still remember the radio that sat on the tank in the bathroom. Don't
tell
anyone, but I literally rode the stool to the Lone Ranger when I was a
tot.
In my teens, I was glued to the Joy Boys - Willard Scott and Ed Walker,
and
the Show tunes. I recovered from a deadly marriage by the radio and
Priarie
Home Companion, and I have taught 7th and 8th graders how to design by
LISTENING to stories instead of reading them. My daughter cut her public
speaking teeth creating a couple of commercials at WJMA. It gave her
confidence and recognition at the ripe old age of 8 or 9. She went on to
win
Declamations at Grymes, and was 2nd in State competitions in Forensics.
She
taught in a universtiy with a Bachelor's degree. With a Master's she
teaches
ESL now. Reading is the thing in the schools, and that could be greatly
enhanced by radio. Especially if there were materials that accompanied
the
programing.

I'm not saying turn the medium into a school room. I've bee
brainstorming
and my point is that radio is unigue because is spurs the imagination
and
enhances creative thought. It is more interactive than TV ever will be
and
it is not exploited as much as it could be. AND it is attractive to all
ages.

Leri Thomas, Ph. D.


----- Original Message -----
From: "R Roberts" <russroberts@...>
To: <WJMA@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:58 PM
Subject: RE: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.


Ralph, Seth, et al,

When listening to commercial radio I am little amused and most often
bored. The commercial "waste-band" is why the first six buttons on my
car radio are assigned to NPR affiliates and "non-coms". My interest
lies a few degrees beyond the idle complaining of a worn out, washed
up
vet; I like to think my musings and your thoughts might be the seed of
a
business plan.

Reading the posts tonight I remembered hearing a radio story a few
years
back about a Louisville, KY minor league baseball team/stadium owner.
When the fellow bought the operation, attendance was at low ebb,
community interest was nil and profits nonexistent. The future of
minor
league baseball? As far as he could see by the numbers, there wasn't
one.

What did he do? Taking a page from Persig, he turned to quality. He
spiffed up the park, priced the tickets fairly and started various
programs to encourage families to attend (like a carousel and play
park). He offered great quality ball-park food at a good price, tried
to attract the best players he could afford, generated a bit of drama
through showmanship and purposely traded upon what he perceived to be
the best traditions from baseball's past tuned to a modern chord.
According to the NPR story, the team/stadium became the most
profitable
minor league baseball operation in the nation.

Baseball, like radio, is a business.

Russ Roberts





-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:37 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

<< The melancholy fact is that, whatever the programming element is,
it
has
to be something people want enough to listen to it in significant
numbers.>>
- Seth's right. Broadcasting plays and obituaries won't do it. I do
believe,
though, that in depth local news coverage will bring in the numbers.

<< As the PRPD has noted in the last year or two, good local
programming, such as a locally produced newsmagazine show, is darned
expensive. >>
- Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about
an
expanded newsteam to cover the area in depth. No fancy production
values, just
called in reports taped and folded into the five o'clock and noon
news.
The
extra news staff is part time (less expensive than full time, you
know),
and their
modest salaries ($50 a week? $75?) are split between the radio station
and
the paper. Plus, each report is an additional segment of programming
that can be
sold for advertising - ad opportunities that should be of interest to
businesses that have not really considered advertising before.

Will the station make a huge profit on such a setup? No. That's why
the
Clear
Channel stations won't touch it. But properly structured and sold, the
stringers should not only be an income stream for the station, but
help
build
listener loyalty and audience size. And that can translate into higher
profits as it
allows the station's overall ad rates to rise.

Ralph Graves
1983-1990


........................................................................
WJMA image files are here:
http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/lst
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Archive of past messages: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/messages
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Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

I agree ... audio lies right in there between the written word and the
visual media. Whether through a book on tape in the car or a good,
interesting program on the radio, the ear paints on the mind's canvas.

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: Leri [mailto:msleri@...]
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 1:06 PM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Pardon me for butting in, but I grew up on radio ( and I'm young enough
to
be Bill Little's daughter - perish the thought) I have thoroughly
enjoyed
your conversation about the seeds of a business plan. There is a lot of
expertise here. My generation is hooked on revival, and many of them are
anti-tv because they think it hurts their children. It does. Do you know
that teachers are taught to pick up their pace and be entertaining
because
their students are conditioned to that format by TV? Who's defining
thinking
here?

Baseball is a great draw, but so are the little things. There is no
reason
why learning can't be entertaining, but every teacher is not an
entertainer,
and they shouldn't place that as a priority. They have too many
otherthings
to do.

I still remember the radio that sat on the tank in the bathroom. Don't
tell
anyone, but I literally rode the stool to the Lone Ranger when I was a
tot.
In my teens, I was glued to the Joy Boys - Willard Scott and Ed Walker,
and
the Show tunes. I recovered from a deadly marriage by the radio and
Priarie
Home Companion, and I have taught 7th and 8th graders how to design by
LISTENING to stories instead of reading them. My daughter cut her public
speaking teeth creating a couple of commercials at WJMA. It gave her
confidence and recognition at the ripe old age of 8 or 9. She went on to
win
Declamations at Grymes, and was 2nd in State competitions in Forensics.
She
taught in a universtiy with a Bachelor's degree. With a Master's she
teaches
ESL now. Reading is the thing in the schools, and that could be greatly
enhanced by radio. Especially if there were materials that accompanied
the
programing.

I'm not saying turn the medium into a school room. I've bee
brainstorming
and my point is that radio is unigue because is spurs the imagination
and
enhances creative thought. It is more interactive than TV ever will be
and
it is not exploited as much as it could be. AND it is attractive to all
ages.

Leri Thomas, Ph. D.


----- Original Message -----
From: "R Roberts" <russroberts@...>
To: <WJMA@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:58 PM
Subject: RE: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.


Ralph, Seth, et al,

When listening to commercial radio I am little amused and most often
bored. The commercial "waste-band" is why the first six buttons on my
car radio are assigned to NPR affiliates and "non-coms". My interest
lies a few degrees beyond the idle complaining of a worn out, washed
up
vet; I like to think my musings and your thoughts might be the seed of
a
business plan.

Reading the posts tonight I remembered hearing a radio story a few
years
back about a Louisville, KY minor league baseball team/stadium owner.
When the fellow bought the operation, attendance was at low ebb,
community interest was nil and profits nonexistent. The future of
minor
league baseball? As far as he could see by the numbers, there wasn't
one.

What did he do? Taking a page from Persig, he turned to quality. He
spiffed up the park, priced the tickets fairly and started various
programs to encourage families to attend (like a carousel and play
park). He offered great quality ball-park food at a good price, tried
to attract the best players he could afford, generated a bit of drama
through showmanship and purposely traded upon what he perceived to be
the best traditions from baseball's past tuned to a modern chord.
According to the NPR story, the team/stadium became the most
profitable
minor league baseball operation in the nation.

Baseball, like radio, is a business.

Russ Roberts





-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:37 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

<< The melancholy fact is that, whatever the programming element is,
it
has
to be something people want enough to listen to it in significant
numbers.>>
- Seth's right. Broadcasting plays and obituaries won't do it. I do
believe,
though, that in depth local news coverage will bring in the numbers.

<< As the PRPD has noted in the last year or two, good local
programming, such as a locally produced newsmagazine show, is darned
expensive. >>
- Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about
an
expanded newsteam to cover the area in depth. No fancy production
values, just
called in reports taped and folded into the five o'clock and noon
news.
The
extra news staff is part time (less expensive than full time, you
know),
and their
modest salaries ($50 a week? $75?) are split between the radio station
and
the paper. Plus, each report is an additional segment of programming
that can be
sold for advertising - ad opportunities that should be of interest to
businesses that have not really considered advertising before.

Will the station make a huge profit on such a setup? No. That's why
the
Clear
Channel stations won't touch it. But properly structured and sold, the
stringers should not only be an income stream for the station, but
help
build
listener loyalty and audience size. And that can translate into higher
profits as it
allows the station's overall ad rates to rise.

Ralph Graves
1983-1990


........................................................................
WJMA image files are here:
http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/lst
WJMA other files are here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/files/
Archive of past messages: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/messages
To unsubscribe, send an email to: WJMA-unsubscribe@...



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Archive of past messages: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/messages
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Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Ralph Graves
 

I'd like to jump in here. And please keep in mind I have devoted most of my
professional career working with public radio. In fact most of our company's
clients are public radio stations and networks.


<<Couldn't a commercial station program to the "cognitive elite" and

survive?
- In a word, no. I commend you to the rapidly shrinking world of commercial
classical radio. There's only so many Mercedes Benz dealerships in an area
that can by ads on such a station. At one time there were over 100 such stations.
Now there are less then 20. Economics.

<<Is a corporation's profit margin the reason a commercial

station cannot broadcast on a par with public radio's quality?
- At the heart of it, commercial radio is a business. The responsibility of
the folks running the business is to make it as successful as possible. If
they don't, then the stockholders will put in a management team that will.


<<it only Public Radio stations that broadcast programming with "content"

rather than, what I will generalize as, "crap?"
- Commercial radio's job is to deliver as big an audience as possible to its
advertisers. The things we anguish over in this list simply do not matter to
most people. The majority of people don't really care about radio. They have a
vague idea about what they like, or don't like, but that's it. Same goes with
almost any aspect of life you care to name. Do you clean your car engine till
it shines every weekend? I don't, but I know car enthusiasts who do, and
despair that others haven't seen the light. Ditto with bibliophiles, nature
lovers, Civil War buffs, long distance runners, etc. Think of your own passion
(other than radio). Think about how important it is to most other people.


<<If my comment about Public Radio "doing it with little money" offended,

if even a little bit, I apologize. No doubt it is WVTF's reach that

allows it to generate the funds required to provide excellent

programming. You guys obviously chose to produce quality programming

and found a way to do it.
- I don't want to take anything away from Seth and WVTF, but I noticed
you're mixing locally and nationally produced programming together. They have
different goals, different resources, and are paid for slightly differently. How
can "Fresh Air" do what it does? Well, some of the money comes from the carriage
fees NPR charges the local stations (that's the part Seth's listeners have to
pay for). Some comes from NPR itself, as well as the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting (a funding agency that gets money from the gov'ment). The program
has national underwriters, as does NPR. Yeah, "Morning Edition" can do cool
news stories with sound effects and stuff, because they're a national agency
with all the resources that go with it.


<<I continue to argue, however, that commercial stations also have the

ability to produce whatever funds are required to produce interesting

programs
- Interesting to who? Remember, the commercial station's goal is to maximize
their listenership. What's interesting to the greatest number of people?

<<AND make a profit.
- See above. It's not enough just to make a profit. The goal of any business
is to make the maximum amount of profit possible.

<<In the case of at least Clear Channel's stations, a lot of money is
produced. I find Clear Channel's

programming to be boring and predictable.
- That's actually its strength. Every single tune has been market tested
with focus groups before being added. Clear Channel leaves nothing to chance,
which is why its so successful.

<<I can say the same about most small market, independent commercial stations
I listen to around the

country, too.
- The public has spoken. They only what to hear songs they've heard before.
Without the staff or the resources to institute dramatic changes (and justify
to the investors solidly researched reasons for doing so), they have to
deliver what the general public expects.

Perhaps the obsession with and the love of money, IS the deciding factor

- Now you're getting it...

All that being said, don't think public radio has it made. The audience
exerts as much pressure on public stations, pushing them in a certain direction
just as much as the general public pushes the direction Clear Channel goes. For
some time now a debate has been raging in the public radio community. NPR used
to be equally committed to both arts coverage and programming, and news
coverage and programming. Audiences said (through their pledge dollars and various
surveys) that they didn't really care much about arts coverage - and last year
it disappeared. "Performance Today," a daily magazine documenting classical
music performance across America was gutted. Jazz and classical music programs
disappeared in a heartbeat. "Morning Edition" used to devote twenty minutes to
arts coverage. Not any more - and that coverage nowadays is just as likely to
be a rock group as it is a jazz artist. NPR has established a bureau in LA
specifically to do more coverage of movie and TV celebrities. The reality is that
NPR doesn't cover certain subjects because it doesn't play well with their
target audience.

And let's talk about that wonderful creative music programming. Seth can tell
you that there's a lot of pressure to keep things light - keep it to music
that can double for Muzak. If you listen to a Clear Channel Oldies station, you
would think the only tune the Beatles recorded was "Twist and Shout." You
won't hear "Strawberry Fields" and you sure as hell won't hear "Revolution Number
Nine." Now let's go over to the classical programming on public radio (and I
am not dissing Seth here at all - he does wonders within the constraints he has
to work under). Listen carefully, and you'll think that Vivaldi was the first
classical composer, and that Brahms was the last - in other words, all the
classical composers are comfortably dead, and have been for a century. You'll
also think no one every wrote anything for the human voice, and very little for
anything but orchestras. Of course Seth can't play Stockhausen in the middle
of the day - his audience wouldn't stand for it. They also wouldn't stand for a
short opera during that time, either. So - Seth can't be completely creative.
He, like his counterpart in commercial radio has an audience to answer to, as
well as superiors telling him what THEY think should be played.

Finally, since I've given my comments on everything else, let me give my two
cents about radio drama. In the 1930's everyone listened to radio drama. They
sat around the radio quietly, and listened. That doesn't happen today. That's
the reality. People use radio differently. I've already outlined the financial
issues with grand rights that would prevent airing plays.

Next time you go to a play, try enjoying it with your eyes closed. Different
experience. Radio drama requires sound effects, a narrator and a general
re-writing to clue the audience into the action, or the whole thing doesn't make a
whole lot of sense.

For example:
JOHN (looking at Frank coming through the door): Hello.

- has to become

JOHN: (speaking to himself) That looks like Frank coming through the door.
SOUND EFFECT: Door opening
JOHN: Hello.

Now - who's going to volunteer to do a complete rewrite of a play for radio?
Not I!
BTW - that wonderful bit you heard on NPR was produced with a staff of at
least three different people - who also worked on some, but not all of the other
segments you heard (there were other staff members who took care of that).

Clear Channel gives the average person the programming they say they want -
or will put up with.


Ralph Graves
1983-1990

Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

Leri <msleri@...>
 

Pardon me for butting in, but I grew up on radio ( and I'm young enough to
be Bill Little's daughter - perish the thought) I have thoroughly enjoyed
your conversation about the seeds of a business plan. There is a lot of
expertise here. My generation is hooked on revival, and many of them are
anti-tv because they think it hurts their children. It does. Do you know
that teachers are taught to pick up their pace and be entertaining because
their students are conditioned to that format by TV? Who's defining thinking
here?

Baseball is a great draw, but so are the little things. There is no reason
why learning can't be entertaining, but every teacher is not an entertainer,
and they shouldn't place that as a priority. They have too many otherthings
to do.

I still remember the radio that sat on the tank in the bathroom. Don't tell
anyone, but I literally rode the stool to the Lone Ranger when I was a tot.
In my teens, I was glued to the Joy Boys - Willard Scott and Ed Walker, and
the Show tunes. I recovered from a deadly marriage by the radio and Priarie
Home Companion, and I have taught 7th and 8th graders how to design by
LISTENING to stories instead of reading them. My daughter cut her public
speaking teeth creating a couple of commercials at WJMA. It gave her
confidence and recognition at the ripe old age of 8 or 9. She went on to win
Declamations at Grymes, and was 2nd in State competitions in Forensics. She
taught in a universtiy with a Bachelor's degree. With a Master's she teaches
ESL now. Reading is the thing in the schools, and that could be greatly
enhanced by radio. Especially if there were materials that accompanied the
programing.

I'm not saying turn the medium into a school room. I've bee brainstorming
and my point is that radio is unigue because is spurs the imagination and
enhances creative thought. It is more interactive than TV ever will be and
it is not exploited as much as it could be. AND it is attractive to all
ages.

Leri Thomas, Ph. D.

----- Original Message -----
From: "R Roberts" <russroberts@...>
To: <WJMA@...>
Sent: Saturday, July 26, 2003 7:58 PM
Subject: RE: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.


Ralph, Seth, et al,

When listening to commercial radio I am little amused and most often
bored. The commercial "waste-band" is why the first six buttons on my
car radio are assigned to NPR affiliates and "non-coms". My interest
lies a few degrees beyond the idle complaining of a worn out, washed up
vet; I like to think my musings and your thoughts might be the seed of a
business plan.

Reading the posts tonight I remembered hearing a radio story a few years
back about a Louisville, KY minor league baseball team/stadium owner.
When the fellow bought the operation, attendance was at low ebb,
community interest was nil and profits nonexistent. The future of minor
league baseball? As far as he could see by the numbers, there wasn't
one.

What did he do? Taking a page from Persig, he turned to quality. He
spiffed up the park, priced the tickets fairly and started various
programs to encourage families to attend (like a carousel and play
park). He offered great quality ball-park food at a good price, tried
to attract the best players he could afford, generated a bit of drama
through showmanship and purposely traded upon what he perceived to be
the best traditions from baseball's past tuned to a modern chord.
According to the NPR story, the team/stadium became the most profitable
minor league baseball operation in the nation.

Baseball, like radio, is a business.

Russ Roberts





-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:37 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

<< The melancholy fact is that, whatever the programming element is, it
has
to be something people want enough to listen to it in significant
numbers.>>
- Seth's right. Broadcasting plays and obituaries won't do it. I do
believe,
though, that in depth local news coverage will bring in the numbers.

<< As the PRPD has noted in the last year or two, good local
programming, such as a locally produced newsmagazine show, is darned
expensive. >>
- Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about
an
expanded newsteam to cover the area in depth. No fancy production
values, just
called in reports taped and folded into the five o'clock and noon news.
The
extra news staff is part time (less expensive than full time, you know),
and their
modest salaries ($50 a week? $75?) are split between the radio station
and
the paper. Plus, each report is an additional segment of programming
that can be
sold for advertising - ad opportunities that should be of interest to
businesses that have not really considered advertising before.

Will the station make a huge profit on such a setup? No. That's why the
Clear
Channel stations won't touch it. But properly structured and sold, the
stringers should not only be an income stream for the station, but help
build
listener loyalty and audience size. And that can translate into higher
profits as it
allows the station's overall ad rates to rise.

Ralph Graves
1983-1990


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Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Clint Estes
 

Yon O'Connor never worked a game to my knowledge during his two stints with
WJMA though I asked him to travel with us sometimes. Will Gregg was Bob
Gregg's son that had Gregg's pharmacy on main street.

Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Clint Estes
 

You are right it was Rev. George Fletcher.

Re: Fletcher By George!

Clint Estes
 

Mark,
How could I have forgotten you at Courtland! Did I have to twist your arm
or promise you a bonus??? At that time it was not the most friendly place to
travel to!
Clint

Fletcher By George!

Mark Johnson
 

Finally it came to me.

Rev. George Fletcher was the ace sideline reporter for several years
in the late 70's/early 80's.

For one awful night he was the color commentator in place of an
absent Tom Graves.

George did fine, it was HIS replacement on the sidelines that night
at Courtland High School, who really reeked.

I've tried for over 20 years to suppress the memory.

Mark "Sideline" Johnson
81-84

Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

R Roberts <russroberts@...>
 

Ralph, Seth, et al,

When listening to commercial radio I am little amused and most often
bored. The commercial "waste-band" is why the first six buttons on my
car radio are assigned to NPR affiliates and "non-coms". My interest
lies a few degrees beyond the idle complaining of a worn out, washed up
vet; I like to think my musings and your thoughts might be the seed of a
business plan.

Reading the posts tonight I remembered hearing a radio story a few years
back about a Louisville, KY minor league baseball team/stadium owner.
When the fellow bought the operation, attendance was at low ebb,
community interest was nil and profits nonexistent. The future of minor
league baseball? As far as he could see by the numbers, there wasn't
one.

What did he do? Taking a page from Persig, he turned to quality. He
spiffed up the park, priced the tickets fairly and started various
programs to encourage families to attend (like a carousel and play
park). He offered great quality ball-park food at a good price, tried
to attract the best players he could afford, generated a bit of drama
through showmanship and purposely traded upon what he perceived to be
the best traditions from baseball's past tuned to a modern chord.
According to the NPR story, the team/stadium became the most profitable
minor league baseball operation in the nation.

Baseball, like radio, is a business.

Russ Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: @rgraves321 [mailto:@rgraves321]
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 5:37 AM
To: WJMA@...
Subject: Re: [WJMA] Re: Quality and Profit are not mutually exclusive.

<< The melancholy fact is that, whatever the programming element is, it
has
to be something people want enough to listen to it in significant
numbers.>>
- Seth's right. Broadcasting plays and obituaries won't do it. I do
believe,
though, that in depth local news coverage will bring in the numbers.

<< As the PRPD has noted in the last year or two, good local
programming, such as a locally produced newsmagazine show, is darned
expensive. >>
- Sure, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm just talking about
an
expanded newsteam to cover the area in depth. No fancy production
values, just
called in reports taped and folded into the five o'clock and noon news.
The
extra news staff is part time (less expensive than full time, you know),
and their
modest salaries ($50 a week? $75?) are split between the radio station
and
the paper. Plus, each report is an additional segment of programming
that can be
sold for advertising - ad opportunities that should be of interest to
businesses that have not really considered advertising before.

Will the station make a huge profit on such a setup? No. That's why the
Clear
Channel stations won't touch it. But properly structured and sold, the
stringers should not only be an income stream for the station, but help
build
listener loyalty and audience size. And that can translate into higher
profits as it
allows the station's overall ad rates to rise.

Ralph Graves
1983-1990


........................................................................
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WJMA other files are here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/files/
Archive of past messages: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WJMA/messages
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Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Mark Johnson
 

--- In WJMA@..., Clestes@a... wrote:

Some other names that have worked football:

Rev. George Frazier
This just does not sound right. I remember Rev George, but "Frazier"
does not ring a bell.

Mark Johnson
81-84

Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Mark Johnson
 

--- In WJMA@..., Clestes@a... wrote:
Mark,
Thanks for the reminder! Since 1977 I have missed 3 seasons
for various
reasons. During one of those seasons Eric St. James worked with
Will Gregg.

Ok, now was Will Gregg also known as Yon O'Conner or something like
that? I feel real dumb asking that but in the back of my mind......

Mark Johnson
81-84

Re: film at 11

Les <grandmananer@...>
 

Let's hear (or see) it for T&V News. Rah.

On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 12:03:25 -0400, "Dominion Market Research"
<Ross@...> said:

Channel 29 came by today for some comments on the WJMA FM move to
Midlothian. I'm told it should be on tonight at 6 and maybe 11. Flame
me if you don't like the comments. The reporter was fishing for
derogatory comments, but I don't think I made any. We'll see what
they choose to air.

Ross
71-86
--
Dominion Market Research
309 Madison Road
PO Box 791
Orange VA 22960-0464
800-328-2588 540-672-2327 fax: 540-672-0296
_/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/


........................................................................
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Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Mark Johnson
 

--- In WJMA@..., Dominion Market Research staff
-------------------------------------------------------------------
-------------
A start for a sports broadcaster list. Please make corrections and
additions. At times there have been sideline reporters, too.

1953-???? station manager
????-???? Bill & Don Little, Red Hager
????-???? Bill Little & Ted Carroll
????-???? Bill Little & David Taylor
????-???? Bill Little & Clint Estes
????-???? Clint Estes & Tom Graves
????-???? Clint Estes & Eric St James
????-???? Clint Estes & Red Shipley
....................................
/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ _/

Wasn't Clint paired with another fellow whose last name was Gregg,
unusual first name, maybe 6-8 years ago?

Mark Johnson
81-84

Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Mark Johnson
 

Well the whole idea just won't work unless you can unearth a post-
game interview with Paul Sizemore.

Mark Johnson
81-84

Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Clint Estes
 

Mark,
Thanks for the reminder! Since 1977 I have missed 3 seasons for various
reasons. During one of those seasons Eric St. James worked with Will Gregg. I
never worked with Will. I thought it was Davis Kube, but I now believe David
Kube only worked basketball games.
Clint

Re: 50th year of OCHS football

Clint Estes
 

Ross,
Please let me know the best day and time for you and Bill.
When I came in 1977 it was Bill and Ted and in 1978 I worked
with Bill and next was Tom Graves. I never worked with David Taylor (though I
have heard his great voice and style) so he must have been between 1973 and
1977. Is that possible?
Some other names that have worked football:
Phil Goodwin
Ken Pratt (KP)
Rev. George Frazier
David Kube
Mike Cartalaro
Mike Howes

There are many others that worked basketball including Mary
Thompson.

Clint Estes