Dave Speaks Out!
passion is missing in radio programming. It's controlled by the output
of the four major record labels, which have their own very narrow agenda
- to sell music to teenagers."
quote from "O Radio, Where Art Thou?"/ Toronto Star
is my chance to vent and provide some answers to your questions.....
other words, it's an easy way for me to share ideas, views, opinions, links
and whatever else comes to mind)
before I do that, here's a playlist from a recent Cutting Edge Countdown
(Saturdays, 6-7 pm):
- One Long Saturday Night / www.br549.com
Junger and the Whistling Mules/One for the Crow - Just Can't Wait / www.markjungers.com
Boland and the Stragglers/Somewhere in the Middle - "Hank" / www.thestragglers.com
Cannon/Melonie Cannon - Tennessee Roads / www.meloniecannon.com
Grimm/Names - Johnny 99 / www.timgrimm.com
Davis/Moot Davis - Nothin' / www.mootdavis.com
Angus Thing/Political Pop - Folsom Prison / www.mattangusthing.com
Kings - Some Kind of Sign / www.domionokings.net
Williams/Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - I Can't Let Go / www.lucindawilliams.com
Cutting Edge Countdown this Saturday - featuring your chance to win a a
new cutting edge cd or free Pennsylvania Lottery tickets!
here's the deal - I have been working with the Bear since mid-1994. Through
my company, dk associates, I sell, write, create and voice commercials;
select the "cutting edge" music you hear; and work with the president of
the corporation (my incredible wife, Karyn) to present the Bear as our
contribution to the community.
many listeners have called to ask why they hear different music on WQBR,
and want to know why we sound the way we do. The answer is - because we
want to. Part of that is pragmatic - our transmitter is located in Clinton
County, 30 miles from both Williamsport to the east and State College to
the west. Every other country radio station in this area is owned by a
huge conglomerate (Backyard Broadcasting, Forever Broadcasting and Clear
Channel). We're the little guy, and we have to catch your ear.
radio is awful - it lacks creativity, it's predictable and boring. Why?
- because large corporations have to worry about their stock price; have
to deliver value to their shareholders. The easiest way to do that
is to play the top hits and avoid any controversy.
of people like that kind of radio. I don't.
up in Northern New Jersey during the sixties and early seventies, a great
time for radio. Click the dial and I could hear legends - Dan Ingram and
Cousin Brucie on WABC; Don Imus on WNBC; William B. Williams on WNEW; Dave
Herman, Jonathon Schwartz and Allison Steele (the Night Bird) on WNEW-FM.
Baseball play-by-play by Mel Allen and Red Barber for the Yankees; Lindsey
Nelson, Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy for the Mets. Giants football with Marty
Glickman. Knicks basketball with Marv Albert (he could have been wearing
panties, I don't know). Howard Cosell, Speaking of Sports. And Jean
Shepherd on WOR, the greatest story-teller of them all.
one of them geniuses in communicating emotion - they could make you sad,
excited, happy or mad - often all within a minute. That's what makes radio
the most intimate of all media - it sparks your imagination, paints pictures
in your mind.
radio has none of the magic that radio can, and should, provide. Jocks
(I'm sorry - "air personalities") hype the latest "no way in heck you're
gonna win" station contest, their next personal appearance, give you the
time and weather ad nauseum, and try hard to be funny without offending
anyone - all in thirty to forty-five seconds. And don't forget the station
slogan/call letters - repeated every time a song ends and before a commercial
more from a radio station - and at the Bear, we try to provide it.
depended upon radio to pay my bills for a long time - it was thirty-five
years this past September. Karyn has been on-air all over New Jersey, in
Allentown and in Philadelphia. We've both worked for more idiots than we
can count. So when we looked at what we had to offer the community, it
was really easy to eliminate anything that ever bugged us about the radio
business - the pretentious attitudes, egos and power trips.
line - anyone that spends too much time sitting in a small room by themselves
talking to unseen people is liable to have trouble communicating face-to-face
with real humans.
company that forces their salespeople to attend two meetings a day (in
the morning and in the evening), and judges their value to the business
simply by how much money they bring in on a day-to-day basis instead of
how much they are helping their clients is not a company I want to be associated
at WQBR/BearCountry, we've thrown all of the things you're "supposed to
do" out the window. The experts would say we're nuts, but it sounds good
to us - and we hope you like it, too.
starts with the music. Radio started depending on audience research in
the mid-70's, basically to allow lazy schmucks to keep their jobs by protecting
their own posteriors. Program directors (the guys who choose the music)
want to depend on research because they don't trust their own "gut" feeling
about the music they play. Further, radio is now rife with "arrangements
with independent record promoters" that in many cases dictate what songs
are heard and when.
say a lot of us - listen to SiriusXM! Wow, it's exciting to hear different
songs, and no commercials! Sure...for now. If you're looking for the newly
merged SiriusXM satellite radio to be our saviour, I'm sorry - with this
unholy union, expect fewer channels and less variety - no matter what they
say. And with Howard Stern's move to satellite, the "experts" predicted
the death of commercial radio. Hardly - only ten percent of Howard's 12
million person audience followed him when he moved, and those venture capitalists
who have spent well over 10 BILLION dollars on sat radio are looking for
a return on their investment - good luck with that!
ol' commercial radio has already weathered the coming of black and white
television, wide-screen movies, color television, vcrs, cable television
(remember "music choice"?), home computers, dvds, cell phones, broadband
internet service and internet radio. We'll still be here - just like always.
With more competition, of course. So we have to be smarter to keep your
radio is already running commercials on some of their channels, and they're
in the process of raising rates (again). Congress wants to impose decency
standards, and they may have the votes to do it. With the money guys screaming
and politicians getting involved, satellite radio will revert to its' corporate
nature. The new SiriusXM has already streamlined the programming, eliminating
dual channels and stifling creativity, and will eventually add commercials
to most of their programming (becasue subscription rates alone won't cover
the costs). Without any competition, they won't take any more chances.
So much for the promise of satelite radio.
let's talk about us - what makes the Bear special? For one thing, we actually
listen to the music we choose, and play what we think is the best of what
we find. These songs aren't necessarily the latest hits, and you may have
never heard of the artists. But there is a revolution going on in the music
industry right now, and WQBR is on the cutting edge of that battle. The
fight is over integrity - the value of the music to you.
me explain. Along with the consolidation in the radio industry (where large
companies own huge blocks of stations), there has also been a consolidation
in the record industry, leaving just four major companies left. These labels
are out to make huge stars and to sell millions of records, not to take
the time to nurture new artists or support those musicians whose work sells
moderately. Once again, to return value to the stockholders and allow the
company to get even bigger.
what happens to all of the artists who still make great music but can't
get record label support? Often, they travel all over the country and sell
their work out of the trunk of their cars. They play anywhere, anytime,
to anybody who wants to hear them. They use the internet to communicate
with their fans, many of whom they know personally. And they are always
thankful that radio stations like WQBR/BearCountry give them exposure.
don't think that great music should be ignored. So we play it, and we list
it on this website (under cutting edge artists)
and give you a link to learn more about them and possibly, buy their discs.
hear comedy on the Bear - anytime, when you least expect it. Why? Because
radio is supposed to catch your ear - that's supposed to be part of radio's
hear opinion and satire on the Bear with Earl Pitts, Uhmerikan (every day
@ 7:40 am and 5:15 pm), Joy Grdnic in the Studio (daily @ 6:50 am and 4:40
pm) and The Onion Radio News (every day @ 6:15 am; 9:15 am and 6:15 pm).
Get the most up-to-date NASCAR news, too - The Final Lap with Kerry Murphey,
weekdays @ 10:40 am and 7:40 pm).
hear the latest cutting edge songs on the Bear throughout the week (plus
a full five hours of them every weeknight from midnite - 5
am and six hours weekends from midnite - 6 am - we call it Americana Overnight);
plus the Cutting Edge Countdown, Saturdays 6 - 7 pm, Altville with Buzz
Brainard every Sunday from 11 am 'til 1 pm, and then again from 11 pm -
1 am. You'll remember the pop and country hits of the past (Fred Plankenhorn's
Jukebox, Saturdays 7 - 10 pm; Classic Country Great with Jim Ed Brown,
Sundays 6 - 8 pm; the Country Oldies Show with Steve Warren Sundays 8 pm
- 10 pm). And you'll hear the latest hits from your favorites like - well,
you know -
etc. etc. etc.
Bear brings you AP Network News at the start of every hour. Other stations
won't, because they believe that playing more music will lead to higher
ratings. Karyn and I believe that after the horror of September 11, 2001,
the ongoing fight against terror all over the world and the quest to save
our nation from bankruptcy you want to know what's happening, up-to-the-minute,
ratings be damned.
we try to help those less fortunate, with the annual Christmas Wish and
Toy Drive in November/December, and the Bear Bash, our free, listener-appreciation
party Labor Day weekend.
line - we haven't forgotten that we are a small business, just like thousands
of others throughout this area. We want to join together with all of them,
and help them grow; because as they succeed, we succeed.
now, after waiting three long years, The Bear can now be heard all over
our allowable coverage area - the most populated parts of Clinton, Centre
and Lycoming counties. Our original broadcast tower was destroyed by fire
in November, 1999, and it took until late October 2002 to find a suitable
replacement. We finally did, and you can now hear WQBR everywhere from
Boalsburg to Milton (yes, the signal will be scratchy in some areas - blame
the freakin' mountains that surround our beautiful valleys!)
fact, we are actually creating a new shopping/living area of dominant influence
(ADI), as WQBR is the first and only station to cover this particular section
of real estate (we just call it "BearCountry"). So tell your friends about
us - and keep listening for more of what you should expect out of
a radio station.
as I think of it.....