Monday, December 24, 2012

WXNT Re-Arranges The Deck Chairs

WXNT, 1420-am in Indianapolis had been a radio station of interest upon my arrival in Indianapolis back in 2002, because they carried the Neal Boortz show. That satisfied my desire for bias confirmation, and from there I began listening to Jim Burrows and Trapper John in the morning on the station, then Indianapolis Indians baseball and Butler Bulldogs basketball, and quickly began feeling like I knew a little more of the lay of the land.

Not long thereafter, Abdul Hakim Shabazz replaced Jim & Trapper, and I was really hooked. Sure it was a bonus that Abdul would have me as a guest as I ran for office. But even if he did not, I would have been tuned in for the politics- from him, his guests and his callers. He was the only guy on the radio who was chasing down the newsmakers.

As I just pointed out earlier today with my Newsweek post, originate some content and you'll have my attention. So, what does WXNT do? First, they chopped Abdul as a budget cut and replace him with the worthless Wall Street Journal Report. At least they had Michael Smerconish, who wasn't the predictable righteous right-wing blowhard that most of AM talk is.

Until now. Word is out that WXNT is going... wait for it...


Local sports maybe? Can a guy hope? Might they originate some content? From Radio Insight:
Entercom Talk 1430 WXNT Indianapolis will shift to Sports on January 2 as the local CBS Sports Radio affiliate.

WXNT will shift from being one of three Talk stations in the market to one of three Sports stations joining Emmis’ “1070 The Fan” WFNI and Clear Channel’s 1260 WNDE. The latter of whom will be losing Jim Rome to WXNT as he joins CBS. WXNT is the local affiliate for Notre Dame football and basketball.

Among the syndicated hosts losing their affiliate in the Indianpolis market are Glenn Beck, Michael Smerconish, Dennis Miller, Alan Colmes, and Phil Hendrie.

I might have understood if there wasn't a sports station in Indy, or if there was only one. But there are already two. No word there on local talent being hired. A look at WXNT's website gives no clue- not a word about the format change.

I can't remember the last time I checked out sports talk. I think it was at night, trying to find a Reds game as I was driving. Alas.

It must be the cheapest way to run a radio station and make a few bucks without particular effort, just to run syndicated content via satellite. It's the only explanation that makes sense, because exciting radio doesn't enter into the picture.

Adios, Newsweek!

Another of the journalistic dinosaurs is fading into oblivion this week, and really it should have happened some time ago. See ya, Newsweek! You had nothing unique to offer anymore, and failed to evolve. From former Newsweek Editor Mark Whitaker, via CNN:

For decades, the cover was also how the fierce competition between Newsweek and Time was defined. In the 1960s, Newsweek became a "hot book" after three decades as a distant also-ran, thanks largely to its forward-looking covers on civil rights, Vietnam and the women's movement (not to mention Twiggy and LSD). In the 1970s, it was the cleverness of its cover designs as well as the depth of its reporting that wowed everyone who followed Newsweek's coverage of Watergate.

When both magazines put a young Bruce Springsteen on the cover in the same week in 1975, it became conventional wisdom that we tried to copy each other. But the opposite was true: We were always looking to win the cover war, and we exulted when we did.

Images are so easy to come by online now, so original content matters more than ever. There was a fat clue in the quote above, about having a particular take on the news so as to make your publication stand out. Mother Jones and Reason carry on. Nobody buys those mags for the covers. Newsweek? Into the ash bin.

More and more old media is dying off, failing to evolve, refusing to understand what makes people want to pay for their content- or if people want to pay to view their content. Those that get it will survive and thrive, because there is no shortage of demand for news and opinion that is unique.

KHF #2 In The Can

Just finished recording the second edition of the Kole Hard Facts show for Indiana Talks. It will probably air on Wednesday, as the first is still in a rotation.

Topics? Gun control, Piers Morgan deportation petition, importing Coca-Cola from Mexico, the fiscal cliff, the Colts make the playoffs, holiday sports TV viewing, sports gambling, NHL's cancelled Winter Classic, and holiday traditions.

A lot for one hour? You bet. It's chock full!