The Vast Talk Radio Conspiracy


The Vast Talk Radio Conspiracy.

Former WTMJ News Director Dan Shell’s article on the “Secrets” of talk radio has been making big, big noise, especially on the left-wing blogospork. According to Dan’s rather lengthy diatribe on the “Secrets of Talk Radio” in the Milwaukee Magazine, talk radio thrives because: talk hosts rely on making their listeners feel like victims, never take calls that disagree with their views, keep old sounding listeners off the air, fear criticism of any kind, etc… You know, I was hoping I would gain some insight into talk radio programming reading this article. Unfortunately, it’s mostly what Dan doesn’t like about talk radio, not really what makes successful talk radio work. It’s another one of those talk radio is a “vast right wing conspiracy” tirades. Some of what Dan say’s is right on, some

Old School WTMJ AM Postcard

Old School WTMJ AM Transmitter Postcard

of it is not. And not to denigrate a news guy, but news guy’s almost always make awful talk hosts, and even worse talk radio programmers. All of that “journalistic integrity” gets in the way of being entertaining. Wanna know what makes a successful talk show? It’s simple: Have and opinion, be entertaining, controversy doesn’t hurt, take lots of calls. Secret Illuminati handshakes and decoder rings won’t help.

Sirius XM Channel Mashing Equals Listener Gnashing

Now that the programming is congealing over at Sirius XM, quite a few listeners are getting very vocal about the disappearance of their favorite streams. At last count, at least five formats have recently vanished from XM, including Beyond Jazz, Fine Tuning, Vox, Cinemagic, and Chrome. More and more of the Sirius programming is starting to materialize on XM, despite what Mel Karmazian told USA Today media reporter Laura Petrecca last year: “I think there are plenty of opportunities for synergies to occur, even though we will still, for the next 15 years, continue to operate a Sirius service and an XM service.” Maybe it’s just splitting hairs. I will have to assume that what Mel meant by that statement was that Sirius XM would have two separate services, as

Doggie Identity Crisis

Doggie Identity Crisis

in two kinds of receivers, not that the companies would offer two kinds of “programing” services. Eh, hindsight is always 20-20. Anyway, a lot of listeners are none too happy about the changes to their “programing” services. IMHO, Sirius programming never really offered anything I couldn’t get on terrestrial radio. I don’t need 5 different hip-hop or CHR channels. Just wasn’t worth paying for. Besides, I preferred the “depth” of XM’s playlists. It’s sad that the Sirius XM merger coincides with a bad economy and the implosion of Detroit. It’s like a perfect storm or rubbernecking a bad car crash… nothing to see here, really, just move along…