Beancounters Rule Radio:
Ignore/underserve markets they do not value
and/or are antagonistic to:
"Despite their numbers
[24% of the U.S. population] ,
Creatives tend to believe that few people
This is partly
because their views are rarely
in the mainstream media,
mostly owned and operated according to
world view. Little of what they read
any evidence of their huge numbers."
"It's not too far off to
say that Moderns see the
world through the
same filters as Time magazine."
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes
me to tremble
for the safety of my country. . . .
have been enthroned
and an era
of corruption in high places will follow, and the
of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working
prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few
the Republic is destroyed."
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
"Stewardship of our free press is a public service and a heavy responsibility.
It should not be treated
the same as the manufacture of bobby pins or of
Susan Ness 10/11/96
"Adam Smith, as a philosopher, had a somewhat bleak view of the nature
of businessmen, who,
regard to the pernicious effects of their
gains … neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind".
He despised the Netherlands
(then a global superpower), a nation ruled
by big business interests,
believing their model of economic development
monopolistic and unsustainable."
" ... history of advertising
-- from the simple handmaiden task selling
"Our representative government
is perhaps more representative than it has ever
to its present role of creating industries
and redesigning a
world's folkways to meet the needs of commerce."
been before in history.
It is not necessarily representative per capita, but it most
surely is ad
If you like philosophical
problems, here is one for you:
should each human being's
vote register alike, as the lawbooks pretend and as
some say the founders
of our nation desired? Or should a vote be weighed
according to the wisdom,
the power, and the influence--that is, the money--
of the voter?
That is a philosophical problem
for you, you understand; not for me.
I am a pragmatist, and a
on the payroll of Fowler
Schocken [Advertising Agency]"
AMMO: What to say when
someone says "What's the problem?"
Introduction ... basic
problem is in the "culture war", the old guard are busily closing off the
channels of communication ...
Actual Arguments in the debate
... (aka "the dirt")
The bottom line is that in a democracy,
you have a right to matter to those who's decisions affect your
ability to become who you want to be.
It does not matter whether those decisions are your neighbors, an elected
official, a bureaucrat or an officer of a private corporation.
||"The Media is the Lifeblood of a Free Society"
Media, and especially radio (because it is so accessible
to so many people) serves as that vital feedback link between those who
make policy and those who suffer from policy. When that link
becomes tainted by overly concentrated control, it is tinted by that ownership's
agenda. The policymaking then gets further and further out of touch with
reality as the decisionmakers are divorced from the consequences of their
decisions. This is what happened to the King of England that lead to the
Democracy is run by those who show up.
If your story, your values and your needs are not heard, not acknowledged
by those in power, you are going to get stomped!
||"Freedom of speech does not exist in the
abstract. On the contrary, the right to speak can
flourish only if it is allowed to operate in an
effective forum -- whether it be a public park
or a radio frequency. For in the absence of an
effective means of communications, the right to
speak would ring hollow indeed. And, in
recognition of these principles, we have consistently
held that the First Amendment embodies,
not only the abstract right to be free from censorship,
but also the right of the individual to
utilize an appropriate and effective medium for
the expression of his views."
Justice of the Supreme Court William Brennan
The basic problem is that radio programming matters.
Those who $pend million$ on commercial$ would not wa$te their money if
they did not have re$earch $howing that you are influenced by what you
hear on the radio!
So why do the owners of radio so often claim that they are not responsible
for the influence on behavior alleged to their programming, that their
programming is inert, has no effect on society?
this two-faced claim because they want to make money without being responsible
for the consequences of their decisions.
Big Business bought Big Brother via the campaign
financing disaster of the late 20th century.
Due to the preposterous prices of a run for elected office, the circle
of people who run for office or have influence on those who run for office
has continually narrowed to the 2% of America that controls over 40% of
Furthermore, with "public-private-partnerships" and such, this 2% of
America leverages public decisions in their favor. Regulatory bodies commonly
regulate more in the interests of those they regulate than the public interest.
The FCC is normally no different.
Even worse, media is encouraged to do a bad job covering election
campaigns: The worse coverage a candidate gets, the more the candidate
is encouraged to purchase ads to make up for the bad coverage!
You may find yourself wondering either:
a) Why does most media leave me feeling like a "Stranger
In A Strange Land" and/or ...
b) why are there any unserved people at all? Why has not
the market system reached out to these people? Why are 13,000 people going
to the considerable trouble of asking the FCC for a frequency to
start their own radio stations?
Many people assume that if "the market" has not produced
programming for someone, it is because that person belongs to a group that
is not worth programming for.
NOTE: This is an expansion
upon the topic covered on the home page ...
There's more on other subjects below ...
the February 1997 American Demographics article "The Emerging Culture",
Paul H. Ray argues that one of the reasons that media in general and especially
radio ignores so many Americans is that those who make the programming
decisions are ignorant or downright antagonistic of our desires and needs.
Do you find yourself both "liberal" and
"conservative ... or reject the binary choices as worthless?
This research has found three major groupings of values in America,
the two that are commonly thought of as "liberal" and "conservative" ...
and a third emerging culture referred to as "Cultural Creatives"
combines aspects of both.
"Cultural Creatives" are generally well educated, well paid and hungry
for news and culture ... yet have very few radio or TV programs designed
for them ... because the Cultural Creatives are not making the
decisions and are not acknowledged as a market to be served.
Click on chart to see it full-sized.
for the full story.
|"Despite their numbers [24% of U.S.] , Cultural Creatives
tend to believe that few people share their values. This is partly because
their views are rarely represented in the mainstream media,
which is mostly owned and operated according to the
Modern world view. Little of what they read gives them any evidence
of their huge numbers."
"It's not too far off to say that Moderns see the world
through the same filters as Time magazine."
Paul H. Ray...
"A major change has been growing in American culture. It is a comprehensive
shift in values, world views, and ways of life. It appeals to nearly one-fourth
of American adults, or 44 million persons.
People who follow this new path are on the leading edge of several
kinds of cultural change. They are interested in new kinds of products
and services, and they often respond to advertising and marketing in unexpected
This emerging group has been labeled Cultural Creatives by American
LIVES of San Francisco. In numerous surveys and focus groups, we have seen
that Americans live in three different worlds of meaning and valuing. Each
world creates distinctive contexts for a wide array of consumer purchases,
political convictions, and civic behavior. And within each world are class
divisions that create different subgroups that share the same broader views.
The first world view is Traditionalism. It is the belief system for
about 29 percent of Americans (56 million adults) who might also be called
Heartlanders. In America, traditionalism often takes the form of country
folks rebelling against big-city slickers. Heartlanders believe in a nostalgic
image of small towns and strong churches that defines the Good Old American
Ways. That image may owe as much to John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies
as to any historical reality, but for them it is a powerful reminder of
how things ought to be.
The second world view is Modernism. It holds sway over about 47 percent
of Americans, or 88 million adults. Modernism emerged 450 years ago as
the governing world view of the urban merchant classes and other creators
of the modern economy. It defines modern politicians, military leaders,
scientists, and intellectuals. Modernists place high value on personal
success, consumerism, materialism, and technological rationality. It's
not too far off to say that Moderns see the world through the same filters
as Time magazine.
The third and newest world view goes beyond Modernism. Its current adherents
are the Cultural Creatives, who claim 24 percent of U.S. adults (44 million).
Trans-Modernism began with esoteric spiritual movements such as 19th-century
American Transcendentalism. It gained strength as Western intellectuals
discovered the diversity and coherence of other religions and philosophies.
It caught fire in the 1960s, as millions of young people joined "movements"
for human potential, civil rights, peace, jobs, social justice, ecology,
and equal rights for women.
Conservative commentators often believe that each of the social movements
listed above exists in isolation and is important only to a few. But from
women's issues to environmentalism, the emblematic values of the 1960s
are being embraced by more and more Americans. Few in the media recognize
it, but these ideas are coalescing into a new and coherent world view.
When Cultural Creatives look at Modernism, they see an antique system that
is noisily shaking itself to pieces."
The majority of radio programming decisions are carried
out by Modernist oriented stockholder corporate beancounters, or by the
Heartlanders that populate the Christian Coalition etc. etc. The Modernists
and Heartlanders are either uninterested in serving the Cultural Creative
market, or outright hostile.
Patrick Buchanan was often referring to Cultural Creatives
when he said that America was "in a cultural war."
Ironically, much of Buchanan's distaste for NAFTA and
GATT's corporate takeover of the world's resources finds a sympathetic
audience in Cultural Creatives. Either way, there is little programming
to cover the convergence of these cultures.
This is the source of
with the condition of American
Argument: There is no relationship
between ownership (diversity of decision-makers) and programming (decisions).
to the Low Power Radio Service (that would open thousands of new slots
on America's FM dial) say that "you'll have to prove there's a relationship
between diversity of ownership and diversity of viewpoints."
PROOF: ITEM: It's
a White, White World on Network TV , Washington
Post, July 13, 1999; Page A1.
Excerpt: "Here's one thing you won't be seeing much of
when the big TV networks
roll out their new sitcoms and drama series this fall: black people.
In what is likely to be the whitest television season in a generation,
not one of the 26 new shows set to debut on ABC, CBS, NBC
and Fox will star an African American. Blacks, along with
Hispanics and Asian Americans,
will occupy few secondary roles as well."
Argument: The Market will solve all
spite of a more diverse US population, the electronic media
and programming has become continually less representative since the
1996 Telecommunications Act that was a keystone to the Republican "Contract
For example; many
African-Americans have lactose intolerance, but where are the stories
about cow milk not being good for you (a human)? The stories
that would counter the milk mustache commercials are censored! Since
most media owners are white, they lack the personal experience and motivation
to reveal news about such a profitable advertiser, the diary industry.
Gloria Tristani has noted that, "less than 3% of radio stations are
minority-owned, and that number is dropping. On the more desirable FM band,
black-owned stations dropped 26% and Hispanic-owned stations dropped 9%
between 1995 and 1997. Those numbers mean that existing minority broadcasters
are selling out and they're not being replaced."
Larry Irving at the U.S. Department of Commerce noted, "The loss of minority
owners is particularly alarming because of its ramifications for programming.
decline in minority ownership means a decline in diverse voices and viewpoints.
Such diversity is essential to a rich culture and a vibrant democracy.
When I was in Memphis, for example, I was told that the
Black-owned radio station called upon listeners to go to the polls, which
helped get an African-American mayor elected. That radio station is now
majority-owned and no longer makes such appeals."
And those minority owned and/or programmed radio stations left from
the rush to consolidation are suffering from advertising
blacklisting that reduces their average revenues by 63% thus pushing
minority owned or stations programming for minorities to sell even
more stations to majoritarian owners/programmers. Blacks are not the only
minority culture suffering, many whites without
a huge voting stock portfolio and a cozy relationship with management
have also been pushed out.
The June 3rd. 1999 PR Newswire reports that "BIA
Companies estimates radio station revenues at $13.8 billion for 1998,
up 12.6% from $12.3 billion for 1997. ... At the end of 1998, the number
of unique radio station owners had dropped from 5,222 controlling 10,246
stations, to 4,241 controlling 10,636 commercial stations. Consolidation
has led to more efficient revenue generation and cost cutting measures,
thus increasing cash flow margins to the 35%-45% range for public groups.
BIA estimates that more than half, or about 54%, of the estimated $13.8
billion of radio advertising dollars generated in 1998 were attributed
to the 25 largest radio owners. The top three billers alone (Chancellor
Media/Capstar, CBS Radio/Infinity Broadcasting and Clear Channel/Jacor
Communications combined) accounted for almost 35% of total industry revenues."
has been no refuge as of late. Public confidence is being undermined
by increased reliance on large sugar daddies like Pfizer
Inc. etc. that are beginning to have a visible
effect of self-censorship and whitewashing
stock market dangers for children and ignoring
the interests of the majority of Americans that do not have significant
Subtle lies result, such as:
can become rich, all you need to do is 'play by the rules.'"
Whose rules, written for who? Two-thirds of the members of the Fortune
400 inherited it.
is invested in stocks these days! Well, one third anyway.
And they are the one third that "count"! When are you going to jump on?
If the price of gas, college education or cereal goes up ... its called
the price of a mortgage or rent goes up, that increase is called a "Real
Estate 'Boom'" Boom for whom? Who gains if everyone's
house goes up 30%? If your house went from $100,000 to $130,000 ... and
so did your neighbors and then you sell yours and try to buy your neighbors,
have earned NO net gain but you do pay more in property taxes
and more in capitol gains taxes. The only one's who profit are the people
who restore slums and those who own lots of property they don't live in.
Public PBS radio stations have pioneered double standards in allowing corporate
backed stories on issues
of interest to them, but rejecting
a documentary called "Out at Work" funded by the Unions. PBS
stations are in violation
of the founding reasons for the taxpayer funded Corporation for Public
Broadcasting, "to create forums for voices that would otherwise be
TV stations are now starting to go out of their way to censor democratic
debate between candidates on the ballot; They now are only allowing
what they feel are "viable" candidates debate each other on the air they
have been given voter supported (FCC) protected use of.
And unfortunately the for-profit
media is encouraged to gut democracy as well. The worse
job they do covering political campaigns, the more advertising the
candidates have to buy to get their ideas out to the voters. This costs
so much that the auction
of the candidate's soul begins immediately and never ends
The Free Press must
be free of any undue concentrated control ... from Government
but also from overly
concentrated private power as well. The Free Press is designed to serve
as that feedback loop between those who create policy and those who suffer
from policy. Since the radio/TV stations use of the
public resource (the airwaves) is protected at taxpayer expense (the FCC)
... unrepresentative media that misrepresents subcultures and interest
groups or simply
edits them out of existence ... is literally taxation without representation!
A stable society is an inclusive and just society.
As a result, Americans are losing
confidence in public life.
participation rates keep dropping . As this proceeds, it becomes harder
to form a consensus of opinion of what constitutes the American Dream ...
soon people do not have respect for authority, only fear. When the pain
of ignorant exploitative policies is more
than what the authorities provide ... scofflawlessness develops and
grows into total contempt and then anarchy.
Market is incapable of serving some markets. Example:
WPBR 1340AM had a very popular liberal talk show host, Elliott Maartens.
WPBR had conservative talk show hosts, but they were not as popular.
Not because there were not conservatives in Florida, but because there
were already several other conservative radio stations that had
There was only ONE other station with a devout self-labelled liberal
(Jack Cole), and that was later
in the day.
Maartens, however, was not fiscally viable; we could not get advertisers
to purchase airtime on his show with enough volume to convince management
to replace him with another liberal when he left.
This is why moderate to liberal views are almost
always heard on donation-stations and rarely on commercial stations;
those who have enough money to buy advertising often will not support a
"liberal" talk show!
But when a community radio station goes straight to its listeners for donations,
the listeners become the primary constituents for the station's
management ... cutting out the middlemen as topic and ideology filters
Market" is aggressively underserving certain markets (like Techno
Radio is more than just a business ... it is a vital part of a vibrant
"Blacklisting" is destroying the economic viability of radio owned
by or programmed for minority Americans. The NTIA study showed that "The
dictates that no time be bought on Urban [black] or Spanish stations and
the lower rates paid to these stations when buys were made, reduced
their revenues by an average of 63 percent."
Another study quoted
a NY Times article, "'Your listeners don't buy our cars,'' a Chicago radio
executive recalled being
told by an official of a luxury-car maker who had just rebuffed an
advertising sales pitch. 'They steal them.'''
Now that there are no real restrictions to corporate concentrated ownership
of multiple radio stations "we
all are the other guy" [that you used to switch to]!!
Argument: Public Radio is
here to serve anyone not served by commercial or religious radio.
If only that were so! (See links in narrative above).
Public Radio pushing out minority third-party candidates from their debates.
Public Radio double standards (will air shows sponsored by large corporations,
but not by a Union).
Public Radio stations violating the founding documents of the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting (goal, diversity, not duplication of commercially
viable classical music services).
here for a table showing commercial viability of existing commercial
classical radio stations]
Public Radio sponsoring near-worship of Wall Street culture with little
in the way of warning of its downsides.
Reading the Dow Jones Average instead of Consumer Price Index on the radio.
Most serious investors do not buy or sell based on one
day's rise or fall in a stock. They research the company, then buy and
hold, perhaps rolling the dividend over into more stock from the same company.
Since the stock report serves no real purpose for investors, this suggests
that it is a subtle way to suggest that the fortunes of the Fortune 500
are more important than your fortunes, the "Doug
Average" (what it costs to live).
Argument: If you don't like
it, turn off the radio, get on the Internet.
Radio station's use of the public resources, the airwaves, is protected
at taxpayer expense (The Federal Communication Commission, the Federal
Internet is not real competition ... yet.
Not available to all as is radio.
And if you like waiting for the RealAudio player to "buffer", you'll love
the coming digital radio farce called "IBOC". Click
here for the full horror!
Argument: The media is already
too beholden to special interests, they should be objective.
to Radio 4 "The Rest Of U.S."
"Objectivity" as a standard for media is a Public Relations move from the
early 20th century and is a myth.
In the 19th century, newspapers were more like magazines are now.
The "Penny Press" and the lack of any real competitive alternate technology
for news delivery meant that newspapers were openly and honestly partisan
After radio became a competitor, newspapers began dying off.
The ones that were left realized that they needed to create the appearance
of being something for everyone and alienate no-one, and so the idea
of an "objective" press was invented as a sales ploy.
America is NOT a "melting pot", rather America is a "Brunswick Stew" where
all the components retain their individual identity and characteristic
culture, values, interests and stories.
Taxation without Representation:
Broadcasters use taxpayer funded agencies (FCC)
to protect their use of the public resource (the airwaves).
If they misrepresent or completely
delete entire cultures, news and views of Americans that pay taxes
Then an unrepresentative radio dial is
LITERALLY TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!
You have the right to matter to those whose vote affects your
life. If your story is not heard by those who vote, whether your fellow
citizens, or the board of directors or bureaucrats or legislators, then
your needs are likely ignored.