Archive for November, 2018

NBC Sports radio to end most daytime syndication

Friday, November 30th, 2018

When Cumulus Media acquired Westwood One in 2013, they acquired the NBC Radio trademark.    NBC (operated by RCA) had dominated radio for the first two decades of network radio.  WNBC and the Talknet network were abandoned when GE acquired the TV network.    The NBC Radio intellectual property was sold to Westwood One, where the trademark was kept alive by pretending that Dirk Van’s First Light syndicated morning show was a production of NBC News.  Dirk retired in 2015

In 2012, Westwood One decided that there was not enough sports talk radio so they started NBC Sports radio, competing against ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports and the brand new CBS Sports Radio, which was syndicated by Cumulus Media.

When Cumulus acquired Westwood One in 2013, it left them syndicating two competing sports talk networks.  CBS Radio was not happy that the sports talk shows they produced had a direct conflict within their syndicator.  Few affiliates adopted NBC Sports radio, and no major stations.

In 2018, with Cumulus through bankruptcy and CBS out of the radio business, it was logical for Cumulus to wind down NBC sports radio. Probably only to protect the trademark, Westwood One will continue to do a three hour show from 6-9 AM and refeed those recorded three hours to the West Coast.   Morning drive is the time of day radio stations are least likely to want syndicated programming.   

The new shortened lineup will appear January 1, 2019.   Most syndication contracts require 30 days notice if the syndicator plans to change programming, as stations have already sold advertising.   So several spork talk hosts will be having a sad holiday season.

Miami Herald unloads on Jeffrey Epstein

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Alex Jones has made the same accusations for years that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein ran a pedophile sex ring that procured underage girls for leaders in the Democratic Party, including flying Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private plane to Epstein’s private sex island.

However, it appears that their motivation for publication is they found a very indirect way to work Donald Trump into their headline.

Censoring critics of censorship

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Most of you probably know that Apple kicked Alex Jones from the iTunes podcast platform despite it being one of the most popular podcasts.

I clicked on a link on the Infowars podcast to subscribe to see what happens (using an old iPad with a dying battery that is not being replaced).   It wanted to reinstall Apple News and Podcasts, both of which I deleted following the Alex Jones action.

Since his podcast is still gone, I was motivated to submit a rating for both apps, only to find out that both apps are no longer allowing reviews.  It appears that Apple is prepared to kill its entire podcast platform rather than counter the Alex Jones audience, who I guess Apple believes are just Russian trolls employed by Putin.

On the Infowars web site, they have a button that points to a conventional RSS feed.  Interestingly the audio files are still being stored on Apple’s servers and downloaded from there .   Apple is just blocking your ability to find them.

If you click on an RSS feed, it may or may not do anything, depending on whether your computer (or mobile device) has an RSS player app or program.

Looking over the RSS players, most of them rely on third parties to curate and organize available podcasts, meaning the player will also be subject to pressure to limit what you are allowed to listen to.

A few RSS readers still will allow you to enter a raw RSS URL that isn’t found in a search engine, bypassing the censorship. One that worked easily on Android is called Podcast Go

It might be possible to create an RSS parser on a web page so that no RSS software is required at all. First, I will see if someone built this before reinventing the wheel.

Laura Ingraham and Medved leaving talk radio

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Both plan to go the podcast route to achieve Fame and fortune

Michael Medved will be replaced on the Salem Network by Countess’s favorite opinion guy, Sebastian Gorka

Who are the fascists?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

While looking over my Google selected news, I stumbled on this story in Charlotte

The Charlotte Business Journal had published a picture of a random man attending the Trump rally holding up a “finish the wall” sign.

Well  the social justice warriors went to work, possibly because he exhudes a little immigrant karma or reminded them of the guy from Florida.

The call went out to identify the guilty party, and it was discovered that he owns a restaurant called Krazy Fish.   The call for boycott was immediate, with the flood of out of state “reviews” from people who have never been within 1,000 miles of Charlotte.

It is located in a somewhat sketchy part of Charlotte called Plaza Midwood.   As we were getting ready to go to vote, I told Countess the story and could see right away we had a dinner date.

Plaza Midwood is for lack of a better term – bohemian.  It is an old neigborhood fighting off bulldozing by developers.   It exhudes hippy, left wing, dope smoking, massage parlor, drinking until 2 AM culture – not exactly where we spend a lot of time.   But Countess’s face said we were going there.

With my “I Voted” sticker on my forehead, we walked in their door, and without blinking an eye Countess announced “We are here because of the Boycott”.  The owner immediately perked up and was effusive with gratitude.  He explained what I already knew – that his online presence was being hammered.  He felt necessary to say he isn’t a racist – his manager is black and he has an openly gay worker.

He explained that it was one of his regular customers who identified him to the online Lynch mob, and told him that she would never eat there again.

Mr Prisco is the son of Italian immigrants and clearly agitated by what happened to him.  He may well have heard stories from his parents about the black shirts that terrorized Italy under Mussolini.

In a bit of irony, Countess noticed a news stand by the door handing out the free Creative Loafing magazine.  Every big city has one – alternative news and entertainment with personal ads in the back along with escort services, massage parlors and specialty glass vendors.  Creative Loafing ceased publication this week due to the lack of a viable business model.