I found myself daydreaming over my cup of coffee this morning; thinking back on my roller-coaster career. What put me in this melancholy mood was a blog that I had just read, which talked about the current condition of radio and Top 40, in particular. The author had suggested that maybe Top 40 programmers should consider eliminating the announcer from the programming mix altogether, because Gen Y could care less about the human element. I found myself feeling bad for those young listeners.
He did go on to say that today's Oldies formatted stations are, for the most part, missing the boat. Instead of attempting to be contemporary in their presentation, they should offer programming that mirrors the music era, which was more personality intensive. I agree with his premise. Today's Oldies stations stink. They've minimized everything. They offer a ridiculously short music list and they bind and gag their announcers. And they'll put just about anybody in the studio. Once you had to grow you skills to advance to a bigger, better market. Today...you have to be breathing...and it goes without saying that you have to work for minimum. The suits have trashed the business.
Personality radio gave us more than music. It offered companionship. The guy on the air became your buddy and he went with you everywhere. When he left the station, you felt the loss. Today...announcers come and go and the audience never knows. Being a talent on the air back then was something to be proud off...a true career accomplishment. Today...not so much.
Unfortunately, Generation Y will never experience the great radio of the sixties and seventies. They'll never get a chance to hear the legendary sounds of WABC, WRKO, WLS, WCBS-FM, WFIL, KHJ, CKLW, WDRC, WKBW. They'll never know who the "Good Guys' were or what a "Million Dollar Weekend" was all about. They'll never enjoy fun radio...and I feel bad for them.
I need another cup of coffee.