Saturday, December 24, 2005


In an attempt to capitalize on Infinity/CBS Radio's new Howard Stern void, the ABC Radio flagship station, WABC, will go commercial free between the hours of 5 AM to 7 AM. During this time they will air the conservative vs. liberal Curtis and Kuby show, a Hannity and Colmes knock off that seems to be drawing bigger numbers in the conservative news/talk arena.

According to Radio & Records the show is already popular. Popular, that is, for a show that few people have ever heard of.

It's unclear whether this move will grab listeners who were inclined to tune into Stern. The average Stern listener was there for entertainment and laughter, not so much for the news. They certainly don't tune in to stuffed suits who only know how to talk about politics and play partisan games over the airwaves.

So the big gimmick is that there will be no commercials. I can only assume that part of this is also to appeal to satellite radio listeners, but let's face it...they're gone already.

And lest you think it's a permanent change, WABC President Tim McCarthy assures us that it will probably last no longer than the end of the Arbitron winter ratings period. (Sweeps week, in TV speak.) So come March, it's back to the same old thing.

Folks, I love radio. I would work in radio for free. But if these are the best ideas that top brass can come up with to breathe some life into this dying medium, radio is in dire straits.

Let's cut the gimmickry guys and find a way to make radio great again permanently.


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