Another Response to James Potter
Yes James, unfortunately you are 100 % correct.
But that’s not only the case with the AM stations – also FM’s.
We all know that when listening to the alleged “live and local” stations be it AM or FM, the voice tracked weather from 3 days ago is still running and the voice-tracked out-of-date comments are still running. Yes, 10 stations in one building with a total of 3 on-air employees who do nothing but voice-track is what made local radio sound as bad as satellite radio and the rest of the streaming crud.
Fortunately there are still some one-owner AM stations (the big guys don’t know what AM is because most of them are fresh out of college) that still believe in live, real people on the air at least for most of the day – and they serve their community. Their loyalty shows in, like you said, listeners stopping in with pies, sold out commercial inventory, and a dedicated staff.
The hope is that the destined to fail groups with 50 stations in one building will sell off their AM holdings to local people who want to own a radio station and things will get better.
Remember back in the 60’s, FM was a toy. The guys who owned stand-alone FM’s experimented because they didn’t know what else to do, AM was the big business. Now that has reversed, FM is the big business (in this case, though, run by investors not broadcasters as AM used to be) and AM is becoming the innovative band.
I worked in radio as many did through the era of 24/7 live jocks, a News Department of a few people, maybe a record librarian, at least one First Class Radiotelephone operator, plus the myriad of support people, traffic, billing ,sales. The stations made money and were great.
It can still work, it’s just greedy investors that are the problem.
Like any physical product you buy, make more with fewer people, cheaper components and make a big profit. In 1960 you could buy a television made in the US and if you turned it on today, it would still work because the tops of the electrolytics wouldn’t have blown out like the televisions you but today do after a year.
Money, Money, Money – make as much as you can, quality be damned!!
Contract Engineer – Northcentral Iowa and Southcentral, MN