Getting Caught Up

When I turned off the web site, I did not delete the website based on the unlikely idea that civilization could fall apart, and it might be important for people to hear what’s going on in other parts of the country.

So I listened to absolutely no radio since the first of the year, and doing relatively little maintenance since getting married.  I am not optimistic that radio is an effective communication tool anymore, but I’ll give it a listen

I am poking around in this system using my highly secret technique, and trying to see what’s changed in the last year while I wasn’t paying attention.

This thread will be the place where I drop in my observations and you can say I can’t believe you didn’t know that!


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41 Responses to Getting Caught Up

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    Wor-am in New York City has dropped whatever they had in the evening and replaced it with rebroadcasts of Mark Simone. If I was to list my five most favorite people on radio, Mark Simone is definitely on that list. He is also offering podcast on his own website

  2. Fred Stiening says:

    Bill Mack, one of the original overnight trucking shows, based in WBAP-AM died July 31, 2020 at age 88. He had underlying health problems, like many who catch the Covid-19 virus

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Cumulus Radio is selling almost all of its radio towers to raise cash.

  4. Fred Stiening says:

    On the personal side, this week my divorce from Countess is final, although she continues to live in the Charlotte condo I bought for myself in 2013.

    One of the biggest disappointments of our brief marriage was the web site. Despite having reached out to me because of the web site, after a brief appearance, not only did she stop saying anything to "the guys", she refused to even read the things I was writing. It became apparent that taking her to the nursery to buy herb growing supplies was more important than keeping the web site going, which was my full time focus for 15 years.

    She was surprised that StreamingRadioGuide was just me, and I was not hopping in a car and driving to work to be in my computer room full of computers. Those of you who have been here a long time know that the entire system ran on a cheap PC in my bedroom – by the time she arrived, it was moved to the current home on linode and the only physical device I used regularly was my iPad.

    In Boy Scouts, they train you to never jump into the water to save someone who is drowning, as the most likely outcome is they will drown you also. Throw them something that floats.

    I also ignored the only piece of advice about women that my father ever gave me – don't even consider marrying a woman who smokes…

    • RebelSansClue says:

      I'm sorry (again, still) about your divorce. Even though it may be for the best, it still sucks. At least you have a place of your own now. How's it working out? You unpacked yet?

      I'm an Eagle Scout myself and I remember that advice about saving someone who's drowning. I guess it applies even when noone's swimming.

      My wife (an immigrant) is looking forward to voting in her first Presidential election..for Trump! We're in CT so it likely won't matter. The polls scare me. I hope Trump gets re-elected.

      • Fred Stiening says:

        Thanks for asking. I paid to have a mover to pack and move everything here. They unloaded but did not unpack. The hardest thing was the countertop microwave (that I don’t need) was inside a packing box on top of another box.

        Motivated because my brother was coming to visit last week, I finished up most of the “odds and ends”. I would say I am 97.62% complete.

        The President of the condo association (only 20 units) has been helpful in many ways. I suspect he would like me to help the board, which I am agreeable to.

  5. Fred Stiening says:

    I need someone to poke around on the web site. I have added a consent front-end, consistent with the 20 year old minimalist formatting.

    The data is horribly out of date but might be somewhat functional

  6. Fred Stiening says:

    Not a huge surprise, but many radio stations are officially silent.

    This is the time when Low Power FM stations could shine, providing community information. Many just gave up.

  7. Fred Stiening says:

    It looks like the affiliates of English language China Radio International have gone silent

  8. Fred Stiening says:

    Wikipedia seems to have removed the station website links for some reason

  9. Fred Stiening says:

    In a convoluted transaction, the former KFMB-AM in San Diego is now KGB-AM

    Clear channel/iheartradio acquired this station but not the naming rights because the seller operates kfmb television, so they rolled out a three character call sign that they owned, which is normally only put on very very old stations. kFMB was licensed in 1941

  10. Fred Stiening says:

    Consumer Activist Clark Howard is fading away. Clark just turned 65 years old. has become The website focuses on the subscription based podcast.

    If you look hard, you will find his affiliate list last updated in July 2020

    Clark was employed by Cox Broadcasting in Atlanta and originally syndicated by Jones, which folded into Westwood One that merged into Cumulus Media. Several years ago, his show was cut back from three hours a day to two. Westwood One is still his syndicator.

    A few years ago, he almost died because of taking two prescription medications

    • RebelSansClue says:

      Never much cared for Clark Howard. His advice seemed lacking in detail and I found his voice more suited for print.

      • RebelSansClue says:

        Just checked out Ugh. Isn't his mission to get us to "save more, spend less"? How are we going to do that with 75% of your home page covered with ads for "DEALS!!!"

      • TheChairman says:

        "… his voice more suited for print." LOL That's a good one. If I were forced to choose to listen to either Dave Ramsey or Clark Howard I'd probably choose Clark.

        They could both take some 'alpha voice' lessons from Cigar Dave.

      • Fred Stiening says:

        Back when I was running, my server suddenly went bonkers. At first, I thought it might be a denial of service. But it was odd – they were clearly real human visitors searching for dialup internet service, but not a single one had a "referring URL" telling me where they were coming from.

        An hour later, it happened again. I don't remember how I figured it out – probably someone sent me a question and I asked how they heard about it. The answer was that Clark Howard had mentioned me favorably on the air.

        So for the next 24 hours or so, each hour there was another surge in traffic. Later in the day, they added a "mentioned on the show today" link, which let me see how much was arriving later. One day, maybe a year later, the show was a best of Clark replay, so I got more visitors, although interest in dialup was starting to fade.

        Kim Komando similarly mentioned FindAnISP in her syndicated newspaper column and mentioned it on her weekend show. That generated only a fraction of the traffic – Clark Howard's audience is mostly older people looking to save money, where Kim Komando's audience were techno geeks who were looking for gadgets

  11. Fred Stiening says:

    Ed Tyll, who I remember from Chicago 30 years ago has landed in Florida

  12. Fred Stiening says:

    Being about halfway through reviewing the major markets, there is one very clear trend over the past few years.

    Religious broadcasters are picking up many failing radio stations – two in particular. EMF, the purveyor of the K-Love and Air1 Contemporary Christian music has been acquiring stations, usually paying cash. EMF now has more FM stations than Cumulus, plus having more than 400 satellite-fed FM translators.

    Relevant Radio carries the audio of EWTN, the 24 hour Catholic teaching channel. Most stations are in English, but they also have Spanish language versions. EWTN was best known for Mother Angelica, who suffered a debilitating stroke and has subsequently died. EWTN seems to acquire stations from contributions of licenses rather than purchases.

  13. Fred Stiening says:

    Alpha Male Cigar Dave is gone. His syndicated show ended abruptly in June. He is still available on a free podcast on his website

    • Parrott says:

      Well Carp ! those were the days, going to my favorite knife and gun club, listening to the Cigar Dave show live on WFNR on Saturday afternoons. Cigar dave no longer syndicated, the 1998 Jeep needs a radiator and is parked in the back yard. Sell it or let mice move in? It has a dam good set of tires on it .
      If it wasn’t for my job, I would have had a radiator in it this year. I didn’t get to change the transmission fluid in the truck this past summer. time flew by

      WFNR has been gone for over two years now. Its some sports wasteland, W Blah blah blah, I don’t even know.
      New Battery in the Dell D810 and XP SP3 is back up baby ! Symantec synced up and we’re good. Opera browser.
      I have all these cigars, oh well John B wells and Ark Midnight is getting ready to come on. Live from Dallas Texas its Ark Midnight !
      best regards

      • TheChairman says:

        Hey Parrott! Yes, I miss Cigar Dave as well… my wife also enjoyed listening to him. Not sure what happened. Covid?

        Regarding your Jeep, don’t let mice commandeer it. Fred can attest to my ‘rodent war’ this summer, which began with an incursion into my car during the winter (battle in the garage). Oddly, this was the Chinese “Year of the Rat”. Yeah, that’s for sure.

        I hear you on vehicle maintenance; there are a number of things I haven’t been able to complete on our truck & Airstream. Now I’m anxious about the trip to Arizona, from both a mechanical standpoint as well as personal safety (we’re leaving soon after the election). I’m debating how many firearms to take along.

  14. Fred Stiening says:

    A caller to the Money Pit let the cat out of the bag.

    Many shows in radio syndication are not live – they are fake live. Click and Clack was the best show at hiding this. The phone number mentioned on the phone connects you to voicemail where you leave your contact information and what you want to talk about.

    A producer then may โ€œcall outโ€ if they think your call might be interesting. The recorded call can then be edited or discarded. In the case of Click and Clack, they could research the obscure problem ahead of time to appear much more knowledgeable.

    In their case, one of the brothers died and they pretended they were still a live show for a couple more years.

    Money Pit has always been fairly clear their show is not live

  15. Fred Stiening says:

    Randi Rhodes has resurfaced after “leaving corporate America for 10 years”. The handful of stations clinging to progressive talk don’t have enough programming to fill a schedule, so they backfill with Coast to Coast, Clark Howard, Jim Bohannon, etc. One of the streams was running a Donald Trump ad.

  16. Fred Stiening says:

    The listen to a random station button on the main page actually works now.

    Initially, it just chooses one out of around 12,000 stations. You can limit it to a category like “country music” and further refine it down to “classic country”

    If you have forced the What’s on Now to a format, the random search will default to that format

  17. Fred Stiening says:

    China Radio International is gone. It was mostly an English language service similar in tone to Voice of America. They had been leasing half a dozen decrepit AM stations using a front company.

    They were one of the media outlets singled out in the spring

    Before you consider a paid subscription to The Epoch Times, be aware that the only way to cancel the auto renewal is to call a phone number and talk to a human, ala AOL in the old days. By the end of the phone call, expect to feel like you have been added to a list of possible Communist sympathizers

  18. Fred Stiening says:

    John Gibson parted ways with Fox news radio quite some time ago, but was attempting his own programming on the GCN Alex Jones conspiracy network. That is ended and he is now just doing his own podcasting

  19. Fred Stiening says:

    While doing testing, it was apparent that America in the morning and first light are sharing their programming segments.. That is not shocking since both programs are produced by Westwood One

  20. Fred Stiening says:

    Michael Medved seems to be streaming on KBKW in Washington State

  21. Fred Stiening says:

    Salem is running an ad telling listeners that Federal Law is requiring them to carry political ads, which is true

  22. Fred Stiening says:

    Roe Conn is out at WGN-AM in Chicago. They bought out his contract until the end of the year, making him completely invisible. directs you to WGN, so I guess Roe no longer owns his own name

  23. Fred Stiening says:

    If you want to see what a $20 billion bankruptcy looks like

  24. Fred Stiening says:

    Inga Barks has died. She was a Conservative radio host in Bakersfield California, in the heart of the Central Valley. She was 53 years old.

    She was on the phone with a relative (probably her son) saying that she was not feeling well, and had a cough. She lost consciousness, was taken to the hospital and died around 3:00 in the morning.

    Since her son says it wasn’t covid related and the quickness with which she died, my best guess is she passed a DVT and had a pulmonary embolism. These are the kinds of things that kill people because of the irrational rules requiring people to stay at home and wear masks.

  25. fhiggins says:

    12-15 years ago, KERN was one of my “go to” stations.
    She was young, what a shame.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      One of my complaints about “big radio” is they tend to view on-air hosts as interchangeable. Inga lived and worked in the Central valley. She knew the people and politics of managing water resources, and the reliance on seasonal immigrant labor. If she wanted to talk to a public official, they would gladly return her call.

      There are a lot of “local” hosts who could not tell you the name of their mayor and have never attended a city council meeting. They didn’t go to high school or college with anyone in their new community. They do not have a roledex of potential advertisers. In a lot of cases, they do their show from a remote studio, so they do not experience the commute or eat in nearby restaurants. In more than a few cases, they’re actually doing their “local” show from an entirely different city.

  26. Fred Stiening says:

    Journeyman radio host Mancow is leaving WLS-AM in Chicago at the end of the month

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