Friday, October 10, 2014

RETRO FRIDAY: SCOOP NISKER 1970 KSAN


NOTE: An eagle-eyed reader pointed out to me that the events of this story occurred in 1970, not 1971.  Please let me know if you see any factual errors in future posts.  Thank you.

In May 1970, Wesley “Scoop” Nisker was the News Director at KSAN-FM, a remarkable “underground” station in San Francisco. Scoop was a nerdy kid from a small town in Nebraska who arrived in the Bay Area searching for spiritual bliss and world peace.  At KSAN he produced on-air sound collages combining hot music and voices in the news. This approach was new – a combination of Hunter S. Thompson, Firesign Theater and Tony Schwartz – gonzo journalism with a real sense of purpose.

His catch-phrase was: If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.

One of his most memorable stories was Seven Days in May. It chronicled Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the subsequent shooting of students at Kent State University. This slightly abridged clip provides an amazing mirror of times:

video


Scoop’s work was created using two reel-to-reel tape decks and a couple of newsroom cart machines.  His techniques influenced a generation of audio journalists, editors and storytellers including many public radio folks.








Scoop Nisker 1970
Scoop Nisker 2014

After KSAN, Scoop was a news and traffic reporter at KFOG-FM where he once ended a report saying: People are driving to work to earn the money to pay for the cars they're driving to work in. Back to you.

Scoop is now a Buddhist meditation instructor, teacher and author.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

LATEST TRIPLE A NONCOM RATINGS

COURTESY RADIO RESEARCH CONSORTIUM 
http://www.rrconline.org/

TRIPLE A MUSIC STATIONS – PPM MARKETS

NIELSEN AUDIO PPM AUGUST 2014 TOP-LINE ESTIMATES
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 6+
© Nielsen Audio
These data are provided for use by Nielsen Audio subscribers ONLY, in accordance with RRC's limited license with Nielsen Audio.
CALLS
MARKET
METRO
MARKET RANK
METRO
AQH SHARE
WFUV
New York
1
0.6
KKXT
Dallas
5
0.8
WXPN
Philadelphia
8
1.1
WERS
Boston
10
0.8
WUMB
Boston
10
0.2
KEXP
Seattle/Tacoma
13
1.1
KCMP
Minneapolis/St. Paul
16
4.2
KCMP stream
Minneapolis/St. Paul
16
0.2
WTMD
Baltimore
21
0.6
WSGE
Charlotte
24
0.2
WYEP
Pittsburgh
25
0.9
KRCL
Salt Lake City
29
0.8
WNKU
Cincinnati
30
0.5
KTBG
Kansas City
34
0.5
KUTX
Austin
35
1.4
WCBE*
Columbus
37
1.4
WYMS
Milwaukee
38
0.8
* Station carries Morning Edition & All Things Considered

TRIPLE A MUSIC STATIONS – DIARY MARKETS

NIELSEN AUDIO SPRING 2014 TOP-LINE ESTIMATES
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 12+
© Nielsen Audio
These data are provided for use by Nielsen Audio subscribers ONLY, in accordance with RRC's limited license with Nielsen Audio.
CALLS
MARKET
METRO
MARKET RANK
METRO
AQH SHARE
WFPK
Louisville
54
2.4
WRUR
Rochester (NY)
58
1.1
WEXT
Albany
65
0.7
KRCC*
Colorado Springs
90
3.9
WUKY*
Lexington
102
2.0
WFIT*
Melbourne
103
0.9
KUNC*
Fort Collins/Greeley
117
4.9
KNBA
Anchorage
169
1.5
WGCS
South Bend
181
0.4
KUMD
Duluth/Superior
205
2.2
* Station carries Morning Edition & All Things Considered

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WUNC SEEKS REPORTER & EDITOR FOR MILITARY COVERAGE


Sometimes I see a job posting and think wow that is a great idea.  That is certainly true of two new gigs recently posted by WUNC-FM, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  The goal is increased coverage of military and veteran’s issues.

The new initiative is joint project of WUNC, KPCC-FM, Pasadena and KUOW Seattle. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is providing the lead funding.

According to Brent Wolfe, News Director at WUNC, the reporter will be based in Fayetteville, the home of Fort Bragg.  The editor will be based at WUNC’s Durham studios.  Reporter positions will also be created at KPCC and KUOW.  The reporters and editor will work in tandem on stories.

 Brent Wolfe, WUNC

Wolfe says of the new initiative: We think veterans and active duty military are often praised but also easily misunderstood. We hope to reflect their experiences and stories to our audiences during this critical time for the military and the country.

Domestic coverage of the military and veterans have always been important but recent developments have increased the urgency of the work.  These jobs are tremendous opportunities to expand public radio’s coverage and provide vital information for listeners.

If you want to know the importance of Defense in North Carolina consider the this map of military installations in the state:



Please join me in urging qualified folks to apply. More information is at: http://wunc.org/wunc-jobs

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

THREE GREAT OVERLOOKED BOOKS ABOUT RADIO’S IMPACT ON AMERICAN LIFE & CULTURE



Here are three worthy books from my library that are still available, often for pennies. They provide important background for any radio scholar. Please suggest other titles I should add to my library.





WHEELIN’ ON BEALE: How WDIA-Memphis Became the Nation’s First All-Black Radio Station and Created the Sound That Changed America
By Louis Cantor

This is the definitive source about the beginning of Black Radio in the US.  It is a first-hand account of WDIA, a pioneer of R&B music and a gathering place for urban politics, black teens, religious leaders and so much more. It vividly recalls an era when Black stations were fire bombed, suppressed and intimidated.





HAVE I GOT A SONG FOR YOU: The Bobby Dale Story
By Lou Waters

The title of this book should be Meet the Real Dr. Johnny Fever because Bobby Dale was the inspiration for Howard Hessman’s WKRP character.  Hessman and Dale worked together in San Francisco radio during the 1970s.

Author Lou Waters, once an anchor & reporter at CNN, worked with Bobby Dale in Top 40 radio in the 1960s.  Waters uses Dale’s story to chronicle the changes in music and society during an era when it seemed to change almost daily. This fascinating biography is perhaps the finest “DJ book" ever written.








AIR OF SALVATION: The Story of Christian Broadcasting
By Mark Ward

I estimate over 90% of the religious noncom radio stations in the US have Evangelical Christian programming.  It wasn’t always like this. Evangelical radio began as movement against Big Churches and Big Broadcasting – an inspiring American story.

Ward’s straight-ahead, impeccably researched narrative tells the inside story of Evangelical broadcasting’s rise.  Published in 1994, AIR OF SALVATION is about Christian Radio before fanatics and zealots took it over.



Monday, October 6, 2014

AMAZING PUBLIC RADIO SCAM: PAYOLA, FRAUD & GREED


I became General Manager at KCSN-FM, Northridge – in LA’s San Fernando Valley – in July 1989.  Several KCSN folks told me told there was a major scam at the station in previous years.  One day I heard an underwriting credit on the air for “West Valley Mini Storage.”

I thought I knew every underwriter on the station but I’d never heard of “West Valley Mini Storage.”  I asked a station old-timer and learned the station traded announcements for a storage locker for “old files.”

I visited the storage locker and it contained dozens of banker boxes filled with receipts and documents – all the paperwork from an audit by CPB detailing the scam. Here is the story:

video