Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"In a crisis - grow! That's the only creative possibility...take a risk and expand" Lew Hill

The father of listener-supported radio, Hill was down to his last few bucks when he wrote those words. He went on to lead significant innovation heading his Pacifica radio group. John Leonard's Nightsounds and Bob Fass' Radio Unnameable are but two examples of the exceptional works produced during Pacifica's better days. The tragedy is the spirit of Lew Hill's original intent was lost long ago. The muse that inspired Lorenzo Milam has left the building. Pacifica, once a well spring of fresh and original programming, has become a joke, a total mess, a vision lost, an echo chamber influenced by stupid internal politics. Lost in this process... intellectual honesty and free, open expression...good audio gone bad...sad. Some very fine work continues at many excellent community radio stations including KBOO (once a part of Lorenzo's KRAB Nebula, and a place I have worked) and WORT.

Ed Christian says it like it is..."Let's not be boring to the listeners. We need to reinvent creativity and not be afraid to take chances...if we do compelling radio, then we can sell ads. It's pretty simple, but we forgot the model...let's be bold, be creative and take some chances." (From Inside Radio). Bravo Ed!

Live 8 has been instructive on many levels. The Sir Paul and U2 version of Sgt Pepper's LHCB was up for sale and download less than one hour after his performance, it's holding in the top ten at the itunes store - game changing, you bet. Staci over at paidcontent provides this recap:

AOL drew roughly 5 million unique visitors during 12 hours of Live 8 live July 2, with peak simultaneous viewing of 175,000 -- and, according to the BBC, peak delivery of 50 gigabits a second. Numbers we're still waiting for: the number of plays Saturday (ie how many times were live concerts actually viewed) and the initial post-concert on-demand use. An AOL spokeswoman told me the usual rule of thumb for video on demand is 10X live usage, which should bode well for AOL during its six-week on-demand window.By comparison, ABC drew 2.9 million viewers and a 1.1 rating/5 share for its two-hour primetime highlights show. No ratings from MTV until later this week but, as we noted earlier, the brand clearly took a hit from many viewers for its VJ commentary, heavy use of commercials and and cutaways from performances of The Who and Pink Floyd in progress. Read more, via paidcontent, here

Said it before, will say it again. All that is important is what's on the tube or what comes out of the speakers, everything else is a footnote.