Archive for February, 2013

Riddle me this

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Secretary of State John F’ing Kerry, who fought in the Vietnam war, is wanting to provide $60 million in assistance to the Syrian “opposition”. On February 21st, the Syrian “opposition” exploded a car bomb in Damascus on a busy public street near the Russian Embassy and Ba’ath party headquarters, killing 53 and injuring 200, mostly civilians and some children.

How do we rationalize that the US isn’t providing support to terrorists, beyond the “us” and “them” argument?

Is the Nobel Peace Prize Committee having second thoughts yet?

No Joke

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

WXKS-AM in Boston is the former Mexican Accordion music station owner by Clear Channel. They tried to move Rush Limbaugh to the station, which failed miserably. For the past few months they’ve been running 24 hr/day “comedy”, which is hard to do with a black Democrat as President. The station will be switching to Bloomberg’s all biz talk, a first for Clear Channel. Now the bankers on State Street can get lectured by Mayor Bloomberg on their consumption of unhealthy sugary drinks.

WBAI-AM may be down for the count

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

WBAI is the New York City outlet of Pacifica Radio, a far left political movement founded by pacifists following World War Two. Their stations have become a magnet for every fringe group that hates the United States.

The last few years, there has been infighting over who gets what part of the money coming in (the local stations or the Mother Ship producing the network programs).

Super storm Sandy may be the last straw. WBAI had its studios on Wall Street to be close to the enemy, and the flooding of the area affected them. Their insurance company turned down their claim of loss of income and the station management was counting on insurance money to keep them from drowning in red ink.

Be sure to catch Amy Goodman as she covers this story.

TRN and Dial Global part ways

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Talk Radio Networks is run by the son of Roy Masters, the somewhat unconventional man who shows up on radio late at night giving his rather unconventional explanations about human behavior. He runs the Foundation for Human Understanding, which seems to sell courses in meditation and self hypnosis.

As Laura Ingraham and Michael Savage were trying to leave, Masters lashed out at Dial Gobal who had been their “rep firm”, handling the business relationship with the affiliates. A lawsuit was threatened – I’m not sure if it was ever filed.

TRN just ended its relationship with Dial Global. Even with the threats and the accusations that Dial Global was steering stations to its own products, Dial Global had a fiduciary responsibility to TRN. That no longer exists. Dial Global can now aggressively push their own products like Dennis Miller.

Today is the deadline day the banks may drop the hammer on Dial Global.

FCC looking to relax foreign ownership rules

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Today, in theory, a radio or TV station can have no more than 20% of it owned by non citizens and a radio holding company can be no more than 25% owned by foreigners. In no case can a foreign government own or provide programming. (Unless it is the BBC on Public Radio or Current TV on cable)

The rule itself is becoming fairly pointless as more and more radio stations are funded by debt funneled through private equity firms and the stock is just a formality. Who really “owns” Clear Channel? At least when it went private, Deutsche Bank and two other European banks were in the 5 bank syndicate.

Back in the Reagan area, they did actually enforce this rule. Univision was determined to be defacto owned by Mexicans, and the owners had to sell it – to of all people the Hallmark Greeting Card company, which shortly thereafter declared bankruptcy.

All that may be interesting history, but the connection is the FCC chairman’s reason for putting this topic in play is he thinks relaxing the rule would promote more minority ownership. Let’s see… Who might he be referring to? Russians? Chinese? Kenyans? Mexicans?

Carlos Slim is smiling today. All those AM radio towers will work great for his Tracfone cell phone customers. Don’t look for a story about this in the New York Times, which is now owned 12.5% by the richest man in the world.

Spencer Hughes says “Adios”

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

I predicted that if Fox talk radio was actually dropped by SiriusXM, its viability was unlikely – the network has very few terrestrial affiliates and to some degree irritates them by constantly reminding people the shows are on satellite.

Alan Colmes is by far the Fox Talk station with the most affiliates. His show currently airs from 10 PM to 1 AM ET. Fox just announced he’ll be moving to 6 to 9 PM, the time currently occupied by Spencer Hughes. They’ll refeed the show at its current time, but it will no longer be live, similar to how TRN decided to refeed Rusty Humphries’ show in the late evening when he moved to afternoon – to avoid hiring a replacement. Non-live syndicated talk radio has no purpose.

Unless News Corp wants to just pour money down a rat hole, I can’t see them keeping this going much longer – and right now News Corp is more interested in acquiring the newspapers owned by Chicago based Tribune Company.

Another so-called “black radio” station pulls the plug

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

WMCS in Milwaukee won’t be carrying Al Sharpton (and indicted attorney Warren Ballentine) any more. The station is currently stunting with Elvis music. The station owner says the station has been losing money for years.

Just as the prices of radio stations started to crumble, the FCC went way outside its mandate and made a rule that a company can’t advertise on radio using an agency and tell them “I don’t want my ads running on so-called black and/or Spanish language radio”. One of the two national rep firms immediately declared bankruptcy – the other is owned by Clear Channel which operates a number of Spanish language and black music formatted stations.

The FCC rule is based on the assumption that black format = black owners, and the rule would force evil racist white corporations to advertise on Al Sharpton’s stations. What it has done is chased national advertisers away from all radio.

Partly in response, radio advertisers put pressure to make radio ratings more reliable. The PPM device from Arbitron listen to what the person is listening to, not the station they want to “vote” for and claim they listen to 16 hours a day. With accurate ratings, the ad rates so called “black radio” could charge vaporized.

Damn that Rush Limbaugh for destroying radio!

Turning Mecca into Disneyland

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Islam is big business. Mecca is the holy city were every Muslim is required to make a pilgrimage during their life. The city is part of the country today called Saudi Arabia. Prior to the discoery of oil, the pilgrims were the main economic activity. In the early 1800s, the Ottomans (basically today’s Turkey) seized control of the cities in a war with the Saudis

Mecca’s removal of Muslim history

This al Jazeera story is definitely worth paying attention to. Al Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar. The story is critical that the Saudi Government has just started bulldozing parts of the mosque complex, especially those from the Ottoman era. Saudi Arabia has put much money into building a rail line across the desert and constructing luxury hotels in Mecca.

The slide show includes a video of the new second level walkway which will allow 9000 additional people an hour to complete their walk around the sacred stone that is the objective of the pilgrimage. That construction project is being undertaken by the bin Ladin construction company.

Turkey seems poised to reassert its place in the Middle East and this action seems like a direct provocation using the holiest of holy sites. I don’t know enough of the history to understand what Qatar’s motivation is. My suspicion is the “Arab Spring” may be on its way toward Saudi Arabia

Food Hubs – the future of food distribution

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Corporations making profits are just so inefficient

USDA on Food Hubs

President Obama has more flexibility now

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

To those who voted for Barack Obama thinking he meant anything when he talked about protecting so-called “American Jobs”, just installed Secretary of State John Kerry is over in Germany to arrange for a US – EU free trade pact

“Can you imagine there’s no countries, nothing to kill or die for, no possessions, all the people sharing all the world?  Imagine all the people living for today?”.   John Lennon

Give “peace” a chance.