Breaking the promise
KROQ (106.7 FM) has ended its “two minute promise” of short commercial breaks, under the direction of owner Audacy, which discontinued the idea on all of its owned and operated alternative music stations. According to AllAccess.com, the move was made due to higher demand for commercial time.
Doubtful, but we’ll pretend it’s true, at least for now.
Unfortunately, this brings back the long commercial breaks that have been the bane of radio for a long time, and one of the reasons listeners search out other entertainment sources such as Spotify and Apple Music. In reality, the idea was sound: fewer commercials per break makes each spot worth more to an advertiser, due to the fact that the message isn’t buried among so many others, and the obvious tune-out that long breaks almost force on listeners.
Once again, stations miss the message that was sent by KHJ (930 AM) during the Boss Radio days of the late 1960s: shorter commercial sets and shorter commercials — especially interesting ads or those read by the personalities themselves — create a situation where listeners stay tuned in, they gain marketing information, and the advertiser gets a new customer. Long blocks destroy all that.
Mornings on the Beach, an award-winning show airing on Cal State Long Beach’s student-run 22-West Media Radio (formerly K-Beach, www.22westmedia.com and 88.1 HD3)
Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Essentially, the current “non-student” hosts — Danny Lemos, Charley Sharp, and Michael Stark — fired themselves. The last new show aired on December 3rd, and “best of” programs will air through December and likely until at least the end of the university’s winter break.
But the show is not going away. Lemos, who also acts as the station’s advisor, explained that the decision was made to turn the show over completely to students. In that spirit, the station has launched an all-out search for the next hosts, involving CSULB’s Associated Students organization, the Daily 49er campus newspaper, on-air announcements and more. Current students who are part of the roundtable, including news reporter Nick James, are expected to return. Lemos will stay on as the show’s producer.
“Us leaving is not important,” said Stark. “The search for some new personalities who will carry on the show’s tradition is the real story.” The show will feature all student-hosts when it returns.
Needing a Doctor
While they originally said the 1:00 p.m. Doctor Hour — primarily starring Dr. Kelly Victory — would return to KABC’s (790 AM) John Phillips program, it appears that it will not be happening. Now at 1:00 on Phillips’ show is the Saving California Hour, and Victory says that neither Phillips nor station manager Drew Hayes have seriously discussed her return.
It was an all-volunteer position for Victory and the other doctors involved, so it’s not a true loss for her or them, but it is a huge loss for listeners. The Hour was the best hour on KABC, and was a calming, informative hour giving not just advice on all things Covid, but any medical issues important to callers.
Hopefully another station will take the initiative and bring it back. In the meantime, Victory still makes appearances on various radio and television stations across the country, as well as podcasts.
Is the future of radio here? Will AM and FM merge to become IP Radio? Or perhaps IM Radio for Internet Modulation? Regardless, it’s an intriguing question that many observers believe will indeed happen. The idea is that the new protocols can make the internet a viable medium for radio content, paving the way for an entirely new version of radio.
In a future column, I’ll present some opinions from trendsetters who are on the forefront of what could possible be a radio revolution. In the meantime, would you be willing to transition to a new type of radio if the content you want was available?