Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Radio sucks. At least the so-called variety there is in the Twin Cities. I did some poking around on the internet the other day and the consensus is that we are severely "under-radioed". To explain, that means that for a metropolitan area of our size, there are MANY fewer stations here than in comparable areas. To explain, San DIego, California has a rank of #17 in population size, the Twin Cities rang as #16. That ranking means that more people live here than on the coastal area of San Diego, CA. In the Arbitron ratings, the survey states that #16 Twin Cities has 17 stations serving the population. That total of 17 stations is both AM & FM stations. By comparison, San Diego has a total of 37 stations. Yes... 37! Simple math tells you that we, even with a larger population, have 20 fewer radio stations to choose from. Six of our stations are one form or another of talk radio. Although I do rarely but briefly listen to a talk station on occassion, I prefer those which play music. Oh, hell, we even have an FM talk station which is geared towards female listeners. I give them a pat on the back for being both locally owned and trying something unique, though.

In short, we need the government to relax somewhat and open up more frequencies for the Twin Cities area. The last station to enter the Twin Cities market did so only by moving in frequency and transmitter location. To explain, they moved the site of their tower and moved up the dial by two digits. It, no doubt, cost a small fortune to construct a new tower and buy a frequency. This station changed ownership, I believe, within its first few months on the air but seems to be doing fine despite the tremendous amount of cash required to enter the market. They even managed to bring back one of the greatest on-air personalities that the Twin Cities has seen in the past decade.

If you are wondering who I am talking about from the paragraph above or you are simply too... damn... lazy... to click that handy-dandy link I put there, I'll flat out tell you. It's Tone E. Fly. He had been on the air in the late 90's on the local pop station but bailed ship for warmer waters to the south. He just recently returned to "The Beat" with a great morning show this past summer.

It sure has been a long time since I have heard good radio anywhere. Thank god for the internet which I discovered a station on Monday night. They have a stream and can be easily found by clicking here. To explain, it is a sort of experiment in corporate radio. They do no work denying that they aren't corporate. The freely admit it and freely admit that they are run, in part at least, by Clear Channel. The 1,200 pound gorilla of radio. Give them a listen and enjoy. Especially if you miss hearing alternative music.

Stay tuned.

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