Monday, April 4, 2016


Every year, the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) recommends historic sound recordings for inclusion in the National Recording Registry, part of the Library of Congress.  Harry Cole of CommLawBlog last week {link] reported that one of this year’s recommendations is causing an ironic stir at the Library: George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” from his album Class Clown.

Carlin’s comedy routine was broadcast on WBAI, New York, in 1973. Due to a listener complaint, the FCC Enforcement Bureau penalized WBAI for broadcasting an “indecent” message. The action led to the 1978 Supreme Court decision FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, in which the Court decided that the FCC could penalize broadcasters for airing “indecent” material.

The Court’s decision still stands today and the FCC continues to use its authority to determine what constitutes “punishable indecency.” The exact rules have never been clear. With a few exceptions, Carlin’s “seven dirty words” cannot be broadcast today.

But, according to the NRPB, the recording is a national treasure because it is “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The Library of Congress has yet to decide if Carlin’s “seven dirty words” will be included on the list with George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Rumble” by Link Wray.



Wende Persons

Classical music radio continues to invest in its leadership. Last week the Station Resource Group (SRG) announced [link] it has chosen Wende Persons to be the managing editor of Classical Music Rising, SRG’S initiative to craft the future of the format. Persons looks like a wonderful choice.

Now USC Radio Group, the parent organization of KUSC in Los Angeles and KDFC in the Bay Area, is looking for a Content Director. USC is calling the new position the top programming job in classical radio! Both KUSC and KDFC are major noncom Classical giants that serve an estimated 1.3 million listeners each week. USC Radio Group is also a founding partner in SRG’s Classical Music Rising.
The gig includes overseeing content on all platforms including radio, online and in social media.  The job is based in Los Angeles, with lots of travel to San Francisco. More information and application material can be found at {link].  

The position will be based in Los Angeles, with regular travel to San Francisco. Key responsibilities include:

• Oversee station music philosophy for target audience, and management of the Music department. This includes playlist analysis to create strategies and tactics to meet stations goals.

• Create and implement station on air promotions coordinated with web content and social media, etc. This will include managing the Assistant Program Directors in LA and SF.

• Direct the creating, implementation and scheduling of special programming.

• Analyze ratings and other programming and web metrics to measure success and opportunities.


BizWest, a prominent Colorado business journal, recently published a lengthy and fascinating inside look at KUNC and other noncom stations on the Colorado Front Range [link].   

Neil Best, CEO and General Manager of KUNC and KJAC (call letters for The Colorado Sound), said in the article:

“We are doing this on a very tight budget, but we saved by management working on both stations, and on a lot of the startup costs for KJAC because the station already existed.”

Purchasing the 105.5 signal was made possible thanks in large part to a major gift from the Paul and Amy Hach Charitable Foundation, as well as reserve funds from KUNC.

Best described the financial commitment: 

“We have reserves to allow us to get up and get running. I’ll have a much better forecast about what this will cost in three to five months. We want to grow income by at least 5 percent, and our operating expenses will be somewhere in the same range.”

Best said one of the station’s greatest challenges is ever-increasing competition, more podcasts, more streaming services, websites. The competition for eardrums and eyeballs gets more intense every day.

From Left, Ron Bostwick, morning host with the Colorado Sound, Benji McPhail, music director with KUNC, Keefer Fulgham, afternoon music host with KUNC, and Mike Henry, with Paragon Media, cheer in celebration as The Colorado Sound official hits the air waves Feb. 29. – Photo: Joel Blocker / For BizWest

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