Atlanta radio musings

So how long has 96.7 The BuzZ been around without my noticing? And who looked at the Atlanta radio market and decided that what it really needed was a station like 99X but without the “’90s alternative” part?

If someone had asked me, I would’ve begged for an all-’80s station, which is why nobody asked me, since 105.7 bombed (with a tiny little playlist, it should be noted — I never want to hear “Dance Hall Days” again) and Star 94 dropped its “Friday Night ’80s” special soon after.

Meanwhile, Rodney Ho’s AJC radio news blog continues to be a worthy addition to the AJC blog empire. Check out this early February entry where he details how often local for-profit stations play “unique” songs. Stations should use this in their advertising: after reading the numbers he presents I want to pay more attention to Eagle 106.7.

Ho also mentions, a left-wing-minded blog that monitors the political opinions expressed on the Toucher, Jimmy & Leslie show. I’ll go Ho one up and call really interesting (and how long before there’s a conservative blog keeping a similarly critical eye on the Bert Show?). Although I’m a little surprised that the blog puts a specific date — mid-2004 — on the 99X swing to the right; while I interviewed Leslie Fram once and found her a real sweetheart, I was tuning out the Morning X four years ago in response to Jimmy Baron’s homophobia.

Now there’s an interesting question: is 99X swinging right as a response to the much more liberal/libertarian (from what I can gather) Bert Show? The Atlanta Magazine Bert Show profile didn’t go into that (disclaimer #1: I used to work for Atlanta Magazine), though it did, obviously, talk about Melissa Carter’s being openly out (disclaimer #2: I have a big crush on Melissa Carter). But I would like to see the demographics and political leanings of the two audiences compared: maybe the Bert Show attracts more young women and Democratic-leaning men, whereas The-Morning-X-minus-Barnes-Plus-Some-Other-Guy gets more young Republicans. Mr. Ho?

8 Comments so far

  1. Cap'n Ken (unregistered) on March 17th, 2005 @ 11:33 am

    Question in my mind is why would anybody actually care about commercial radio? If you want a good variety of interesting music you may not have heard, get Sirius. If you really like your own music, get an iPod. If you want to be entertained, watch The Daily Show.

    Commercial broadcast radio is over.

  2. Jessica (unregistered) on March 17th, 2005 @ 11:48 am

    Commercial broadcast radio is also, in case you haven’t noticed, FREE, as opposed to Sirius’s $12.95 per month, plus whatever it takes to get the player. Also as opposed to an iPod. Also as opposed to cable.

    I agree there are plenty of choices outside of commercial radio; I encourage anyone to check out and support WABE, WRAS, WREK, WCLK, and WRFG. But one can make such a point without the condescension or the showing off of the disposable income.

  3. Nikki (unregistered) on March 17th, 2005 @ 4:08 pm

    We stopped listening to 99X a while back and just deal with the slight static on the clock radio so that we can hear NPR. I’m less concerned with their conservatism and more tired of hearing about their poor life choices. You married a money-mongering, annoying woman? Fine. Lay in that bed, kiddo, but stop talking about it like it’s some form of entertainment. When you look at it all laid out like that though, you can see they’re pretty skewed.

  4. Daniel (unregistered) on March 17th, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

    Hmm… that would be an interesting to know about (the political leanings of audiences), Jessica. I’d like to think that it didn’t matter in the morning shows (because, really, who wants politics right out of bed? That’s almost as bad as a shot of tequilla early in the morning… shudder), but I guess if there is a blog watching out for bias on one of them then some people get offended.

    I don’t listen to the morning shows. I get in too early for them to be interesting; my drive time is only about 3-5 minutes so I never know what they are talking about; and music can be a much better pick me up for me (secret here – Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” will wake anyone up, whether they want to be or not).

  5. Jen (unregistered) on March 17th, 2005 @ 6:23 pm

    Well, now that my radio is stuck on 92.9, it’s either that or my iPod. But back before it was stuck, I’d listen to either Boortz, V103 or The Bert Show. I never listened to 99X because fart jokes aren’t really my thing.

  6. Unxmaal (unregistered) on March 17th, 2005 @ 11:26 pm

    What we’re seeing now is the continued twitchings of the rotting corpse that is Broadcast Radio. The Beast was live in the 70s, tumorous in the 80s, and died in the 90s. Once the FCC allowed single corporate entities to own more than a small number of radio stations, the way was made clear for the ethnic cleansing of the radio waves by ClearChannel and other media orporations. By the mid-70s radio stations had fully adapted to — and expected — payola. Radio’s financial system moved from one that centered on locating its market’s interests and catering to them to a financial system that located more and more creative ways to obtain payola from the record companies. By the 90s, radio stations were almost entirely playing ‘hits’ handed to them by record company shills, ‘hits’ created by pre-fab boybands and failed heavymetal dudes turned grunge-gig. The big media companies — by this time they had extended into every media format — created the bands, paid the radio stations to make the bands famous, and made profit. At the same time, the public grew less and less attached to and focused around radio. In 2005, as a previous commenter noted, nobody cares about radio. It is completely and irrevocably irrelevant to anyone, anywhere, except for the few poor souls caught up in its collapsing flesh. The only small twitches of life in the vast, inward-looking desolation that is 2005’s broadcast radio are personaly-driven shows like Boortz, Limbaugh, Stern, etc. I can assure you that these sparks will soon be extinguished, once the middle-edgers catch wind from their cutting-edge friends about podcasts: there are far more interesting and powerful personalities out there on the Internet than any radio station would dare unleash on FCC-controlled wavespace. The final hammerblow will come when the middle masses realize that whereas they have enormous amounts of unheard-of personalization in every other facet in their life, from custom Nikes to personalized Amazon pages to the 10,000 possible options for their new car, they have absolutely no choice when it comes to broadcast radio. In fact, the junk that’s playing wasn’t even meant for them. It was meant to put more of Sony’s money into ClearChannel’s pocket. Once Joe Middle realizes he’s been cut out of the loop, he’ll go shell out $100 for a used iPod, and sync up with the rest of the edge, and drop out of the broadcast market for good. And good for him.

  7. nesukemaru (unregistered) on October 16th, 2005 @ 1:51 am

    is there any anime radio station in GA? or in Atlanta?

  8. Carri (unregistered) on January 6th, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

    I don’t listen to the radio to listen to talk….I want to hear music!! I want to hear music that I like to listen to….like 105.3 The Buzz. They play hardly NO commercials!! I LOVE everyone on there & the music is KICK ASS!!! 105.3 The Buzz RULZ!!!! Commercials: “BOOO!!!” Music: “YEA!!!!”

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