In what might possibly be the understatement of the week (maybe year), Mel Karmazin told investors in his little satellite radio company that the “Economy Sucks.” Yep, it sucks. It sucks that Sirius lost nearly 5 billion dollars in the last quarter. It sucks that Detroit can’t sell cars and Sirius XM can’t sell satellite radios. But mostly it sucks that so many XM and Sirius folks are gonna’ be getting the axe, sooner rather than later. Still, I don’t think you can blame the economy for the grim reaper of gigs at Sirius XM. The job hatchet was going to swing at Sirius XM once the merger was finalized anyway. It’s pure economics. Cut the jobs, lower the overhead, off with their heads. Yep, it sucks. Sucks for everyone. But mostly it sucks for Sirius XM employees. So suck it.
Karel at KGO Finally Gets the Pink Slip.
According to an article in the San Fran Examiner, Charles “Karel” Bouley and his bored-op lost their gigs at KGO, and all it took was a three minute phone call and a short termination email from the KGO management to dive the nail into Karel’s on-air coffin. Brad Kava, the Examiner reporter who wrote the KGO piece, is convinced that someone will pick up Karel again, and soon. According to Kava: “I have no doubt that Karel will end up on the air somewhere, just as Savage had his biggest
success after he left KGO sister station KSFO for KNEW and syndication by Mark Masters’ Talk Radio Network.” It’s gonna’ take a programmer with some pretty big klystrons to hire Karel after his accidental open mic four-letter tirade against Joe the Plumber (And there is no one in Talk Radio with a bigger stick than KGO Programmer Jack Swanson). A talk host excusing profanity on the air because he didn’t know the mic was open, is tantamount to Dick Cheney saying I didn’t know the gun was loaded. As they say in Texas, “That dog don’t hunt.”
Does KIRO Seattle Know Something You Don’t?
Speculation is rampant that KIRO-AM is getting ready to flip to sports talk, following the migration of the talk format to FM back in August. Makes sense. But could there be more to this than meets the eye? Probably not.
Still, this reporter just can’t stop himself from a little bit of speculation and unfounded conjecture. With the Fairness Doctrine looking more and more likely with the incoming Obamocricy, Bonneville could be hedging its bets. The Fairness Doctrine will change the landscape of Talk Radio forever (or at least until the next administration takes over), and has the ability to leave the AM dial a total ratings and revenue wasteland. Smart programmers need to start thinking about their plans for their talk formats once the Fairness Doctrine switch is flipped, because the stations that have thrived with political talk will be on “management by panic mode” in the post-doctrine frenzy. Once the Obama camp gains a majority foothold in the FCC, one vote is all it will take to make the Fairness Doctrine law, and that could happen as early as the first quarter of next year. Big stick AM’s with wall-to-wall syndicated political talk need to have a plan in place now. But don’t hold your breath.