It’s a seasonal ritual as dependable as crispy leaves. Public radio employees roll up their sweater sleeves and actually sell something. Don’t knock it, you smug commercial radio guys; it’s a revenue stream you’d love to have — from people who don’t have to, but send money to you anyway, because they love you. Nevertheless, to my jaded ears, it sounds a little weird to hear people asking for money to preserve a three-hour blues show on a Saturday afternoon, a perfect day in October at that, when blues fans–who might prefer to listen to their favorite music well after dark–are presumably out raking leaves. Or catching a nap in preparation for a Saturday night of all-out boogie. What hardcore blues fan would set aside Saturday afternoons for radio, when they could download and/or listen to their own records anytime. And they could make a commitment to another kind of pay radio — either XM or Sirius offers a blues channel, 24-7. But if I think that way I get ahead of the game, and miss the point. Public radio inspires a loyal audience, and they only get stronger when they know the audience is paying a sizeable portion of their salaries. With all its warts — like what the begging does to the sound of their radio stations — public radio comes off much less commercial that public TV, which just last week seemed to spend more time on WWII than the U.S. Army did. And while I chuckle when I hear the awfully nice, educated voices of Northwest Public Radio chatting, oh so genteel-ly, about the soulfulness of the wailin’ blues track they just played, I’ll restrain my satirical side. You rock, ladies. Though NWPR’s network of locally-located FM stations have no room for hometown programming in the towns and cities they serve — just the satellite feed from Washington State University — it’s hard to argue with success: NPR’s morning and afternoon news-based shows sit on top the ARBITRON ratings in most U.S. cities. Link: Northwest Public Radio


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LISTENING: FALL PLEDGE TIME ON NORTHWEST PUBLIC RADIO.

RADIO GUY GALLERY


hertzsketch1
Heinrich Hertz's experiments proved the existence of electromagnetic radiation. Cycles-per-second, the standard measure of radio wave frequency, was named for him. He died in 1894, at 37. Wikipedia: Hertz

RADIO GUY GALLERY


STERN-3
What do you do with a problem like Howard? After decades of profits and FCC indecency fines as routine budget items, Howard Stern, king of all pottymouth radio guys, followed his enabler Mel Karmazin to Sirius Satellite Radio, leaving CBS to make up a hundred million in revenue (They sold stations) and fill the void for the half of Howard's loyal audience who didn't choose to buy a new radio and pay fifteen bucks a month for a few more, ranker epithets.
Wikipedia: Stern

RADIO GUY GALLERY


PALEY-S
CBS might have become the Cigar Broadcasting System. William S. Paley was the scion of the family business. In 1927, his cigar tycoon dad, Samuel, bought the struggling network of early radio stations from a group of poor schlumps who were trying to – would you believe: sell programming to radio stations! Every syndicator since has had to relearn that this doesn't work. Bill and his dad figured out the right business model -- you sell commercials to advertisers, and give the programs to stations. Got it?
Wikipedia: Paley
zenithfloor

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