Wow, it has been a LONG time since I’ve written on this blog. Maybe I’m lame. Maybe I’m lazy. Well, I’m both of those things, but that isn’t the reason. I’ve been busy, damnit, and who are YOU to question me?
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. Let’s move on amicably. Ok, great.
So, anyhoo, I wrote a cover story for the Houston Press this week. Kinda cool, right? The story is on KGOW, 1560 the Game, a small, independent sports radio station in Houston. I took the photos for the story as well.
Writing like 5000 words is not easy, but since my mouth is big enough to utter that many words in the span of mere minutes, it makes sense that I could type them too.
Plus, I’m not going to lie. It was fun and, quite frankly, a HUGE honor to be able to do this. I read guys like John Nova Lomax and Craig Malisow, who write feature stories with the kind of regularity I change my cat’s cat box litter, and I’m in awe. I can’t imagine doing this all the time, but it was a blast doing this one and I hope I can try my hand at something else in the future.
Until then, you can read this one:
While I do maintain my blog, Broken Record, over at Chron.com and have posted there on this subject, I thought I might put some of my personal feelings on my own blog. Honestly, I’m somewhat torn and I’ll try to cover the angles here as best I can.
First, it should be said that I really never cared for the programming on KTRU. To say that most of their programming was extreme would be a considerable understatement. Pitchfork Media, the purveyors of all that is cool in alternative and underground music, would check their playlist and think, “Wow, dude, that’s freaking weird.” I have honestly tuned in to KTRU in the middle of the day and heard guitar feedback for 3 minutes.
Having said that, I understand and appreciate the contribution KTRU has made to the community, particularly for local musicians. While its narrowly focused demographic didn’t make room for most local artists on the airwaves, KTRU did play local music and the new station, I’m fairly sure we can safely assume, will not leaving only KPFT’s limited music programming and KACC’s weak transmitter to fill the void.
Additionally, consolidating one of Houston’s four major players in the independent radio market can’t be good for consumers on the whole.
On the other hand, I am a fan of NPR. For too long, Houston has missed out on its in-depth programming and news. I am hopeful that vibrant music shows like World Cafe and great news programming like This American Life and Fresh Air will have their place in the new format for KUHF. If we don’t get World Cafe, I’ll admit that I will be sorely disappointed.
Being the fourth largest city in America means we should have good choices for news. Since KTRH left its news programming in the dust in favor of conservative talk shows, it will be nice to have a station that covers news for most the day, particularly one featuring NPR.
What has been interesting for me to watch since this news hit the internet is the disdain from those who consider KTRU “vital to the community” or should I say, more vital than classical music. There is this sense that, somehow, what KTRU provided in programming is so important it cannot be simply lost in this way.
As one of the commenters on Broken Record pointed out to me, most kids don’t listen to radio anyway. That fact really cannot be underscored enough in this situation. I cannot imagine that KTRU’s listenership demographic skews on the old or technologically feeble side. My guess is that many of them would be more than happy to continue to listen to KTRU online.
And this notion that classical music is so much more mainstream than the alt that KTRU provided is just preposterous. There have been a few instances of classical music stations trying to survive in Houston and they have all failed. Much like the alternative music of KTRU, classical and fine arts programming is a tough sell and very much a niche market. But, more importantly, classical music fans do tend to be in the older and less tech savvy demographic, making them far more likely to tune in to a radio station than seek it out online.
Bottom line is that I’m sorry to see a true college radio station go. I’ve long wondered why Houston didn’t have a legitimate college station with alternative and more mainstream programming. Even with KTRU’s broadly eclectic palette, it still served a purpose and I hate to see it turn to static. Some of that disappointment will, fortunately, be tempered by access to a full-time NPR station, something our city has needed for years.
It would have been easier for many of us had KUHF just bought a defunct station or some commercial radio station that programs the same 50 songs ever day. But, if this is what it takes, I guess that’s just how it goes.
I’m on vacation, bitches, so suck it! HA HA HA!!! Ahem.
But, seriously, I’m blogging for you, my people! That’s how much I love and care for each and every one of you, except for you – you know who you are.
So, I saw this and had to post it. Apparently, in Wellington, New Zealand, a homeless man was found dead after a showing of Twilight: Eclipse. The authorities don’t consider the death suspicious, other than the fact that they found punctures on his neck and HIS BLOOD WAS MISSING!!! Kidding, but that would be crazy though, right?
What I want to highlight (literally) is the way the story was reported by Stuff.co.nz, which doesn’t appear to be affiliated with the half-naked girl magazine Stuff here in the US. Please note the sections in yellow below.
I’ll give you a moment to allow that to sink in. *whistles theme to Andy Griffith*
Ok, got it?
In a story about a man who DIED, there are plot synopses and box office statistics for the movie. I guess I could ALMOST get the reporting of box office numbers at the very end of the story (although those numbers preceded information about an 18-year-old man found dead on the same weekend), but to put the plot of the film right smack dab in the middle of a story about someone who died is really repulsive.
C’mon, Stuff.co.nz, you’re better than that. Or maybe you aren’t? I really don’t know as I don’t live there or read the stories and the only real connection I have to your
island country is the Lord of the Rings movies, and that kind of makes it worse given how you allowed Mordor to exist and all and didn’t like even tell anyone.
Which reminds me, elves and trolls and dwarfs and wizards? Really, New Zealand? When were you going to tell the rest of the world about this stuff? I guess with all the death from the battle for middle earth, you feel the need to lighten up your news, hence the plot synopsis in the middle of a dead homeless guy story?
I’m sure you guys all find the whole vampire and werewolf thing silly anyway. I mean, even if they did exist, they’re no match for Gandalf.
You know I don’t ask you guys for much. Sure, there was that time when I kept shouting, “BOOBS! I WANT TO SEE YOUR BOOBS!” at that church social, but in my defense, there were some pretty awesome boobs there and you know you want to see them too, so pipe down already.
But, this isn’t about boobs – not directly anyway. This is about Paste Magazine.
I love music and Paste is probably the only magazine I care to read on that particular subject. But, they are struggling and need some help.
The global recession has taken its toll on Paste as advertisers have slashed their spending. We are turning to our readers to help bridge the gap. Even a small contribution can make a big difference.
Join 75+ of our favorite artists in the campaign to save Paste and get rare & exclusive tracks as a thank you.
Artists include The Decemberists, Neko Case, She & Him, Cowboy Junkies, Of Montreal, Indigo Girls, Jayhawks, String Cheese Incident, G. Love, Josh Rouse, The Hives, Matthew Sweet, The Avett Brothers, Joe Henry, John Roderick of The Long Winters, Over the Rhine, Bob Mould, Arrested Development, Brandi Carlile, John Doe, Josh Ritter, Marc Broussard and more. We also have a number of goodies (such as signed R.E.M. and Band of Horses posters, an ocean-view cabin on next year’s Cayamo cruise, and more) to give to donors in random drawings.
Some things are worth saving while others you need to just let die – I’m looking at you, Dokken reunion tour. Paste is most definitely worth saving, so help out if you can.
There was a lot of craziness on Twitter yesterday and the internet in general with regard to the dreaded swine flu outbreak of 2009. I read that the swine flu literally turns people into human/pig hybrids that allow them to hoof across the globe looking for slop…and love.
I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do know that the news networks ran just about any bit of information they could 24/7 because inquiring minds want to
know freak out.
So, today, I see this story on CNN.com about how Twitter is apparently incubating the craziness like the hot hot heat of your luscious blood stream incubates the swine virus.
“This is a good example of why [Twitter is] headed in that wrong direction, because it’s just propagating fear amongst people as opposed to seeking actual solutions or key information,” said Brennon Slattery, a contributing writer for PC World. “The swine flu thing came really at the crux of a media revolution.”
Of course, there were six stories on CNN’s Twitter feed about the virus in the last 24 hours – six times more than any other story including hard hitters like how the First Lady’s arms or dresses or whatever look fabulous.
But, yes, Twitter is certainly the source of all the problems in media today. Sigh.
The best part was this:
That information needs to be put in context by journalists, especially given the fact that so many deaths from the common flu occur each year and go underreported by the news media, said Al Tompkins, who teaches broadcast and online news at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists. Follow CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta on Twitter
About 36,000 people die from flu-related symptoms each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The fast pace of new swine flu cases and their relevance to global public health policy makes the situation newsworthy, Tompkins said.
Tompkins said there is a tendency for television stations to hype health emergencies to boost their ratings, but so far coverage of the swine flu outbreak has been responsible. Coverage of the story is just ramping up, though, he said.
Oh, CNN reporting on…CNN. Of course they would find someone to say that there hasn’t been any hype and the coverage has been responsible.
Fortunately, there’s Jon Stewart to soldier us on through the…whatever, just watch.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|Snoutbreak ’09 – The Last 100 Days|