Los Angeles Times, September 2nd…
AM radio, the scratchy medium that long ago aired Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fireside chats, soap operas and the day’s most popular music, is trying to avoid becoming static.
Across the country, stations are vying to hold on to listeners as AM radio’s audience slowly dwindles. The persistent technology, long dwarfed by FM, has weathered more recent threats including satellite and Internet radio. It is also contending with a new assault from smartphones.
How long before AM radio disappears, if ever, is anybody’s guess…
The tide began to turn against AM radio in 1978, when the stations accounted for more than half of the radio listening hours in the U.S. Last year its share of the national radio audience was 11.5%.
As recently as 1990, AM radio accounted for about 45% of stations licensed with the Federal Communications Commission. Now FM counts roughly 10,700 outlets, more than doubling AM’s 4,700.
Anyone notice what’s missing in there? Yes, the truth. Two very important facts have been omitted.
Redstate sums it up perfectly…
AM Radio used to be the home of static and Saturday morning recipe shows. It was the place you could hear (faintly) Elanor Rigby for the three-millionth time. You could catch your hometown high school football team if you weren’t more than five hundred yards from the transmitter.
They tried to fix AM radio with some contrivance called “AM Stereo”, as if hearing a fade from one speaker in your car to the other would fix Elanor Rigby, or the static, or the football game. It didn’t work. The only people listening to AM Radio were the ones without FM Radio.
Then, in the late 1980′s, the “Fairness Doctrine” (an oxymoron if there ever was one– how, after all, can fairness be “doctrinaire”?) was thrown on the bonfire, and Rush Limbaugh was suddenly on 600 radio stations, and AM Radio was never the same. Now the only people that listen to FM Radio are the ones that can’t get AM Radio. A single fellow, with a creative approach, salvaged an entire industry.
As Rush is fond of saying, what saved AM Radio was “content, content, content”. It wasn’t that Rush was some genius, it is rather that he was allowed to say on the radio what a huge segment of the population was already thinking. And people listened. And people continue to listen to this day, to the tune of 28 million each week.
When FM came in AM began to slowly fade out, but it was slow. I remember in the late 70s and early 80s one of the top pop stations in Tulsa was an AM station, KELI. It wasn’t until more and more people got better radios that FM actually even sounded better. By the late 80s AM’s demise was all but certain. It was the removal of the falsely-named “Fairness Doctrine” followed by the rise of Rush Limbaugh and his copiers, that revived AM.
Yes, satellite radio is now eating into AM’s profitability, but not by much. And the stats about FM are misleading. A good third of FM stations are “educational” stations, which is either the local NPR outlet or college stations, not real stations. Discounting educational, AM accounts for 43% of radio stations. (Notice how the LA Times compares number of stations in 1990 to percent of listeners last year. An oft used gimmick to cheat the stats.)
Basically the LA Times article was whining about a talk radio station going all sports, something that’s happened numerous times all over the US for the past 20 years, about as many times as sports stations going to all talk. In other words, it’s a non-story that they want to pretend is a big deal, so they can sell papers, and bad mouth their advertising competitors.
A new proposal for campaign finance reform would make Saturday Night Live’s political skits illegal, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has warned. The Senate is debating a proposal to add a constitutional amendment allowing Congress reverse a 2010 Supreme Court decision and restore limits on corporate campaign spending. Republicans say the proposal, put forward by Dems, is an attack on free speech. Cruz, however, went one step further and connected the dots to NBC’s late-night sketch comedy show, and its exec producer Lorne Michaels.
“Lorne Michaels could be put in jail under this amendment for making fun of any politician. That is extremely dangerous,” Cruz argued yesterday afternoon — tossing in a Dana Carvey impression to drive home his point. That’s because, Cruz insisted, the amendment would give congress the “constitutional authority to prohibit” corporations “from engaging in political speech” and, “NBC, which airs Saturday Night Live, is a corporation.”
“Who can forget, in 2008, Saturday Night Live’s wickedly funny characterization of the Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin?” Cruz reminisced. “Wickedly funny — and also had a profound effect of people’s assessment of Sarah Palin — who is a friend of mine.”
Read the full story at DeadLine.com.
Four suburban Chicago firefighters were suspended and sent home after it was discovered that they had placed on their lockers and helmets patriotic stickers.
The Maywood firefighters say they were ordered to go home for refusing to remove stickers of American flags after their fire chief implemented a ban on all stickers.
“I’m floored that he would even consider this two days before 9/11,” said firefighter Dan McDowell. “It’s ridiculous.”
Some said the stickers were sentimental.
“My dad served here for 26 years, an ex-Marine, ex-Vietnam vet,” said Dave Flowers, Jr. “I took his locker.”
Flowers said he was ordered to take a sticker off his locker or he would face discipline.
“We are the first African-American father and son on the Maywood Fire Department,” Flowers said. “It has sentimental value.”
Don Albanese agreed to remove several stickers, including a memorial flag from his helmet, but kept an American flag on his locker.
“I said, ‘You know what? The one thing I won’t do is I’m not going to remove the flag on my locker,'” he said. “No one sees it but us. We’re all brothers here.”
Read the full story at NBC Chicago.
Sen. Ted Cruz was booed offstage at a conference for Middle Eastern Christians Wednesday night after saying that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”
Cruz, the keynote speaker at the sold-out D.C. dinner gala for the recently-founded non-profit In Defense of Christians, began by saying that “tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings.”
“Religious bigotry is a cancer with many manifestations,” he continued. “ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East. Sometimes we are told not to loop these groups together, that we have to understand their so called nuances and differences. But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on a murderous rampage through the region. Hate is hate, and murder is murder. Our purpose here tonight is to highlight a terrible injustice, a humanitarian crisis.”
“Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” he said, at which point members of the crowd began to yell “stop it” and booed him.
“Those who hate Israel hate America,” he continued, as the boos and calls for him to leave the stage got louder. “Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”
“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews,” he said. “Then I will not stand with you. Good night, and God bless.” And with that, he walked off the stage.
Read the full article at The Daily Caller.
The director of the charity issued the following statement…
“As Cardinal Rai so eloquently put it to the attendees of the In Defense of Christians’ inaugural Summit gala dinner: ‘At every wedding, there are a few wedding crashers.’ In this case, a few politically motivated opportunists chose to divide a room that for more than 48 hours sought unity in opposing the shared threat of genocide, faced not only by our Christian brothers and sisters, but our Jewish brothers and sisters and people of other all other faiths and all people of good will.
“Tonight’s injection of politics when the focus should have been on unity and faith, momentarily played into the hands of a few who do not adhere to IDC’s principles. They were made no longer welcome.”