Broadcast Radio

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RSteve

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I spent 59 years in the broadcast industry in many capacities, from teen DJ in 1961 to majority owner of a radio group. I sold everything in 2000 and from 2000 to 7/2020 was a consultant to a select number of radio stations. My last advice to most radio station owners was: Find a buyer, if you can. Terrestrial radio, as we know it, is coming to an ugly end. You've all probably read about the thousands of layoffs in the broadcast industry. It will continue. For music, most younger people turn to Spotify, Pandora, Slacker, Amazon, Apple, etc. They access it via computer or cellphone and use blue tooth to amplifier and speakers. To purchase a CD/album means to purchase a digital download. Today, I read about a radio station sale in Columbus, Ohio that had numerous problems. Actually, there were two stations involved. Agreements couldn't be reached and one group simply said, "Screw it, we're just going to move to streaming."

Columbus streaming radio

The cost saving is momentous, but what it also says is that anyone with knowledge of the legal nuts and bolts of radio can start a station on a shoestring. As I wrote in another thread, 5G wide band will accelerate the move. I'm guessing that once owners see how much more profitable streaming is compared to terrestrial broadcast, TV will soon follow.
 
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Carlos

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Please put your links in your message, not as a title.
 

RSteve

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Please put your links in your message, not as a title.
Will do...even these:
 

Angie

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RSteve, interesting that you were in broadcasting. Did you ever hear of Larry Kennedy that owned some stations in the Charlottesville / Crozet VA area? I knew him back in the early/mid 1970's.

And then my uncle Aaron Shelton is the one that put up the diamond antenna for WSM, and built the station from the early days until it was a big name. Also, my hubby was an announcer and station manager for some years.

Neat to see another from broadcasting background.
 

RSteve

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My years in the industry were primarily spent in the midwest, but for a misguided venture to Houston.
WSM is legendary!
The broadcast industry today is on the cusp of revolutionary change with the majority of those employed looking for career change.
It was an industry that I loved, but when I ultimately walked away last July, I felt a wave of relief come over me.
Think of this: I stream TV. As a beta, the service I use, ATT-TV, sends me 137 channels. Of that 137, I believe only five have a terrestrial broadcast presence. Radio is late to the party, but soon will follow.
 

Angie

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I agree. I seldom listen to AM/FM any longer. And Sirus in the car.
The one thing I really remember from the broadcast days is this wonderful, deep, 6'4" good body voice on the radio. And you meet the 5'8" little old man in person. It happened many times. I even had a 3rd Commercial for a bit so I could do some fill in on the board (with turntables) at a radio station or two.
And use to do the board for the remotes for Thomas Road Baptist Church with Jerry Fawell, when Liberty University was just a dream. I don't usually see anyone with any broadcast background. Interesting days back then.

Now it's all computer, etc.
 

RSteve

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The one thing I really remember from the broadcast days is this wonderful, deep, 6'4" good body voice on the radio. And you meet the 5'8" little old man in person..
As a young guy, that was me. LOL...Deep, well worked big man voice in my 5' 7" body. Truth be known, the most beautiful deep natural voice I ever heard was in the body of a man who today would be deemed, "Little Person." He was about 4'3".
A thousand years ago, I worked at Mpls' KUXL, then an AM soul, R & B station when Bob Smith (Wolfman Jack) was the station manager. We were working a remote and I was on air, of course using my on air nom de plume. Folks were watching through the window in the remote trailer. When I got off shift and exited the trailer, a woman approached me, "My God, you are so little and white as toilet paper." We both laughed hysterically.
During that period WJ was recording shifts for XERF "pirate radio" and sending them from Mpls to California for airplay. He had some "issues" that precluded him from recording many of his shows. I was his voice double and occasionally have heard tapes of his air checks and knew that it wasn't WJ, but yours truly. Impersonating WJ for those shows I credit for the vocal polyps I had to have removed in later years.

FYI...I was the one who actually coined the term Beirut Boogaloo for the after distress of eating too many tacos with shots of tequila, not Jack.

Added later: Virtually everyone who was associated with KUXL has moved on to the radio station above the clouds, but WJ, had he lived, would be about 83. All the history I've seen written about the "legendary" station gets some of the history correct, but a lot is fictional for the sake of color. And, speaking of color, while KUXL was primarily programmed for a Black audience, there wasn't one person who worked there who was Black.
 
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Angie

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That is so cool. Did you have to think to turn off your broadcast voice when you were off air. Then hubby would forget he didn't have a mike in front of him and use his broadcast voice for a bit after most shifts.
 

RSteve

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I wish I still had that voice at all times of the day. At 76, I often sound old, although the articulation is still there. If I have to make an official/business phone call, I often connect a decent quality headphone microphone to my phone and attempt to use the broadcast voice. The reality is, however, those big broadcast voices are completely out of favor in the current broadcast world. Even I find that they sound unnatural.
I used to get calls for considerable commercial production, but that has dried up. The agency that represented me was very clear, "Your style is very dated. When we need a big voice, we can just adjust the voice track." The last spot I recorded, I was somewhat surprised at the process. I recorded each line of the spot several times and the producer assemble edited, based on which recorded lines he liked. Then the composite was digitally time edited to hit exactly 30 seconds.
 

Angie

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Electronic splicing is much easier and precise than trying it with a reel to reel or a cassette. Lordy, I remember splicing tapes and usually more than once to get it "just right".

Sorry to hear your voice has faded, and it is not the standard these days. In many ways that's a shame as there was an elegance to it.
 

RSteve

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When I "hosted" my first radio talk show, there was no board operator, call screener, no digital delay line to remove inappropriate comments, etc. Each host/moderator did everything, and even logged the transmitter readings. To remove unwanted comments from being broadcast, we had two massive Ampex reel to reel tape recorders running simultaneously, one in record, the other in play. The play head went on air. If someone said something inappropriate, during the time the tape traveled to the play head, we could switch the play source. It was usually a 7 second delay. Now, a simple digital delay line, but very careful screening.

One of the funniest episodes during those days. I was talking to a woman with a lovely voice and carefully thought out comments when in the background I thought I could hear considerable flatulence. I didn't cut her off because I really wasn't sure what I was hearing. Later, I found out that the station's compressor and automatic gain control made those farts as loud as her voice.
 
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Carlos

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I was one of those kids listening to shortwave and broadcast band radio. Especially late at night. The Charlie Douglas Road Gang out of New Orleans was always a favorite. "It's King Edward cigar time." Somewhere along the line I finally got into ham radio. There are guys that are always trying to emulate those radio voices. Too much computer enhancement is not a good thing.
 

Angie

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Carlos, I'm a ham also. After Dad passed away in 2019 I did the paperwork for his call sign. I didn't want just anyone to get it as he was very proud of it.
RSteve, are you also a ham?

And I'm from the tube and early transistor type of ham, I haven't done digital hamming yet.
 

RSteve

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No, not a ham. I even try to limit all phone calls to <2 minutes.
 

RSteve

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Electronic splicing is much easier and precise than trying it with a reel to reel or a cassette. .
I'd always dub everything to 15 ips, reel to reel, and editing was pretty easy. Direct editing a cassette was virtually impossible. Much later I'd dub to a Sony video editor, designate numerically where the edits should be made and let the machine do its work.
 

RSteve

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Maybe my last comment on this nostalgic thread. Periodically, I'll stumble upon a forum frequented by current radio broadcasters. There is incredible bitterness and disappointment. Many folks who have worked for decades for iHeart (Clear Channel) and other multi-station operations are finding themselves unemployed with little chance of securing a comparable position with another broadcast entity at anywhere near what they were being paid.
 

Angie

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It would be very disappointing to have your industry fade away from you. And I would think most of them may not be spring chickens any longer.
 

Angie

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If you know any of those that are loosing their broadcast jobs, maybe they should look into being Audible narrators/readers. I know the ones I listen too mostly are booked up. And some are not so good, and others are great to listen to. Just a thought of an alternate income path.
 

Carlos

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I am a DXer and part time contester. Always trying to fill in my country/zone lists. I only need Scarborough Reef in the South China Sea to have all countries worked. I need to confirm 16 zones to have 5BWAZ. (5 band worked all zones) I have 9BDXCC. Licensed since 1980. I am mostly on FT8, a digital mode, currently. But I can operate 160 meters to 6 meters all modes to work a new one. There are a number of ham's here on the forum. And several that were in the broadcast industry.

73,
Greg/Carlos K9ZM
 

Angie

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How cool is that. Dad use to do a lot of DXing and I remember so many QSL cards. I gave some of them to my grandsons and son-in-law who have become hams, and my daughter and granddaughter in same family are now hams.
Did you ever talk with W4ZWE Boyd (Big Old Yellow Dog)? That was Dad.

For a time from about 1979 thru 1997 he lived on 23 acres and on part of it he put up a vertical pole with 360 copper wires laying on the ground around it. It was very directional. When he sold the place he did not remove the copper wires from the field and I think the new owner may have cussed him when they went to clear that field. But all my life since I was 2 months old I've been around ham radio in one way or another.
 
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