1,000 Miles of Radio Listening
I recently moved 1,000 miles from Seattle, WA to Atascadero, CA. The trip south allowed me to listen to radio of all shapes and sizes. I recorded some of it for the Radio Stuff podcast (Episode 55 here). From KIRO-FM and KINK-FM to Medford Public Radio, Northern California’s Super Station, college radio, sports talk and more I was put back into the position of being a radio listener. I was searching for information on breaking stories, companionship, and entertainment. I got some of it some of the time, but mostly I was disappointed.
Shocker, I know. I try to keep positive though. I love radio and I want radio to thrive. But folks, we’re doing a pretty crappy job much of the time.
The trip was full of stations filling time with rambling monologues, jabbering support players, concert calendars racing through bands and venues so fast you can’t keep track, uninteresting guests, screaming sports anchors, and an automated station offering me “today’s low temperature” as the first thing in the weather forecast at 10am, 11am and Noon. It was one of four recorded breaks on a network of stations. Ugh.
The most memorable and rather enjoyable moment of listening for me came from a show called “Fudge Packers.” It was a late, weekend night show featuring two gay guys discussing current events and taking phone calls. It was unpredictable, entertaining, original, and shocking at times – in a good way.
Sadly, from my travels and listening, the listener experience is flagrantly being ignored or at the very least forgotten.