June knows heat

Longer days mean more Hannity

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You are worth $67 per year to radio

I had recently read that the most valuable cities are worth $84 per year from radio commercials, or $0.23 a day

This study goes into a lot more detail


This might explain why religious networks who are getting $10 a month from listeners. are drowning in cash. Their operating expenses are much less than commercial stations. I wonder if clear channel ever considered the possibility of converting to a religious non-profit 😁

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The FX explosion

No, not foreign exchange trading – FM Xlators [translators]

Originally, a translator was a lower power transmitter whose intent was to distribute programming in a small area from a primary station, either in an area with bad signals like in the middle of mountains, or programming for non-commercial radio – like statewide NPR networks and satellite fed religious broadcasters. One key requirement for FM translators is that they may not originate their own programming, other than the provision for non-commercial stations to have brief sponsorship messages that are specific to each translator.

Then a very important thing happened – the FCC decided that it was appropriate for an FM translator to retransmit the signal from an AM radio station. This is particularly useful for legacy AM stations in small markets, which previously had to turn off their transmitter when the sun set, or at least lower the power to not interfere with the clear channel AM stations in distant markets.

The results must have been so good that FCC chairman Ajit Pai decided to make this a really big thing – strongly encouraging AM stations to apply. It was believed that adding an FM translator would “save AM radio” stations they were teetering on the brink of going under financially.

Initially, the rules were relaxed to allow existing FX translators (mostly owned by satellite delivered religious broadcasters) to move a significant distance if they were sold between owners. It became apparent that there was much more demand for this than there were available translators, so there was a series of opportunities for AM radio stations to apply for a new license. If granted, the FX license would be married to the AM station for 3 years to prevent a lucrative resale market.

They started with the small-market stations and then worked their way up. Major markets were more difficult, because you had potential to interfere with the full power stations already there. In response, the interference rules were relaxed, and when station owners started filing fallacious complaints from people not even in their protected contour, the FCC largely shut down the complaint process.

In the United States, as of June 2019, there are 4,609 licensed AM stations. There are currently 2,524 FX translators whose programming is coming from an AM station, which is a staggering revolution.

The Call Sign of an FX license is a K or W, followed by a 3 digit channel number, followed by two letters – for example K235AG. Nobody is going to remember that, so many AM stations rebrand themselves as FM 103.5, without mentioning the AM or FX callsign, except during the legal station ID just before the top of the hour. Much of the world already doesn’t use call signs.

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No mas! ESPN Deportes closing

The spanish-language sports Network ESPN Deportes is closing down according to this story


Eventually people in American radio will catch on that Spanish language speaking immigrants have no money to spend, and what they do have they send back home to Mexico.


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How to make a small fortune in radio…

Start with a big fortune!

Jeff Smulyan, the CEO of Emmis Communications, fancies himself to be the pied Piper of radio. He was the guy who tried to force Apple to turn on the hidden chip that would allow your iPhone to listen to over the air radio (and report usage back to Emmis!). Nextradio died in 2017.

Emmis bought 50.1% of an 8 station cluster of stations in Austin, TX for $105 million in 2003. He is unloading them for $24 million, which will pay down debt. The buyer is the minority share owner who was a minority owner before Emmis bought control. You might recognize the call sign of KLBJ…

His remaining handful of stations are big urban stations targeted at Urban audiences, and stations in his home town of Indianapolis. He previously unloaded stations in L.A. and St. Louis.


The company is publicly traded, so if you’re interested in buying a stock certificate to hang on your wall, now would be the time to buy. (Not literally true)


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The death of America’s rural radio, according to the Guardian(.UK)

This sponsored “news” story profiles KHIL-AM in Willcox Arizona as typical of the decline of America’s rural radio, which the story blamed primarily on the 1996 Telecom Reform Act (without mentioning that Bill Clinton pushed for it).

Willcox is on I-10 and the Southern Pacific railroad, about 80 miles NE of Tucson. Its population is around 3,500 and declining. About 40% of the residents responding to the census self-identity as Hispanic.

The station was created by singing cowboy Rex Allen, who died in 1999 (probably more important than deregulation in 1996). The station is class D (the smallest type), clustered with 3 other stations. Not mentioned is the AM station now has a “Saving AM radio” FM translator.

On the tower are classic country KHIL-AM, its FM translator, a regional non-commercial FM, a satelite delivered religious station, and a new Classic Hits station started in 2017. Pretty impressive for a town of 3,500.

The story ignores the reason why the man working there has to sleep at the station (which types of people might steal stuff an hour from the Mexican border?). The man running the station clearly doesn’t like classic country music.

Give it a read and let me know your opinion.

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Breaking up is hard to do

People may not remember what it was that popped the NASDAQ tech bubble. I was there – I remember.

Attorney General Janet Reno announced that she was going to initiate antitrust action against the evil Microsoft in November 1999 following a victory in court. I warned my boss that we needed to expect extremely high trading volume the next day. My boss ignored ,,the advice – we had a tested fix all ready to put into production to deal with an unexpected surge in volume, but the powers-that-be decided not to install it.

I just happened to be scheduled to go to a rare meeting in New York City the next day, along with a man named Tim Vincent, who was two levels higher than me in NASDAQ management. I’m sitting there with Mr. Vincent in New York helpless, knowing that our most important trading system (SelectNet) IS going to crash. There is no way around it.

The only alternative was to warn the entire stock market that NASDAQ is going to have to shut down in the middle of the day, while we implement a completely untested workaround. By taking this system offline for perhaps half an hour, we will at least be able to limp through to the closing at 4 p.m. the NASDAQ bubble cratered starting on that day. The big drop would occur on April 3, 2000 when Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson concluded the case against Microsoft.

For reasons that I don’t totally understand, the Democrats are playing right into President Trump’s hand. The US House is moving forward with proposing antitrust actions against the big players in the internet today – Google, Facebook, Amazon, et al. Democrats have a long history of using government power to dismember the rich. Things could get ugly very fast. It will be curious to see how the Washington Post (owned by Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos) covers this.

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¿Hablas Cumulus?

According to insightradio.com, Cumulus media has applied to the FCC to allow “up to 100%” foreign ownership. I remember thinking at the time of the Cumulus bankruptcy that for Carlos Slim, coughing up a billion dollars to take over Cumulus Media would be a very good investment. Taking over Westwood One and 458 radio stations would go a long way towards ending the culture that we call the United States.


In a week, WPLJ-FM in New York City will start playing “I love Jesus” music and it’s not a big stretch to suggest the WABC might start playing Mexican accordion music shortly. Ajit Pai and the NAB want more foreign ownership of radio.

“I’m a singing Bye, Bye Miss American Pie…”

Once the Mexican drug cartels officially take over, I wonder what will happen to the South Side of Chicago…?

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Mother, MAY I?

The month for everyone with a mother.

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The Problem with Flint, Michigan

I lived in Flint Township in the mid 1980s working for EDS (contractor) at Buick City, and returned to Grand Blanc, on the South side of Flint in the mid 1990s, to retire at age 40. I frequently spent time in Flint, although less after I stopped doing work inside the city. EDS moved us to an office building outside the city limits to avoid the Flint City Income tax. Nowhere in Roger & Me did Michael Moore discuss the inept city government sucking the life out of GM and its employees.

25 years later, Buick City is nothing more than a fence guarding concrete slabs growing over with weeds. Former Rep Dale Kildee proposed bulldozing large sections of the city and letting it return to nature. His nephew Dan Kildee runs a land trust taking title to all the abandoned and stripped houses.

So what would it take to turn Flint around? Not Eric Mays…

Daily Caller

Maybe there is something in the water. (the North Side of Flint was where the economy was dominated by prostitution and drugs).

Unfortunately, each day Charlotte is inching closer to becoming Flint. If they try fleece Bank of America to solve the city’s “affordable housing crisis”, and BofA were to leave the city, the collapse could happen very quickly. Too big to leave? Boeing moved its HQ from Seattle to Chicago and quickly Transformed a liberal paradise into a city of outdoor defecation and heroin junkies.

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