Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Radio Vignette

The other day something happened to me that made a major media trend personal. I had to shuttle my daughter to a place only about 6 minutes away by car. We hopped in, and she turned on our local Top 40 station, Hot 101.9 FM.

During the trip, we heard a commercial for a car dealer, a commercial for a furniture store, a promo for a weekend show, a station bumper (a short ID), a commercial for a fast food chain, and a commercial for something else. We arrived at our destination without having heard a single note of music (save the music beds for the commercials).

After dropping her off, I headed home. I turned off the radio and turned on my iPod. It picked up the "This Week in Media" (TWIM) podcast that I had started listening to the earlier right where I had left off. I listened to six minutes of in-depth conversation about new media business models before arriving home.

And lest you think this is a totally unfair comparison of commercial vs. non-commercial programming, be aware that TWIM also has advertising. That particular episode was sponsored by and Both commercials were embedded in the program. Rather than used pre-produced spots, the ad copy was read by the show host and commented on by the panel. In essence, the ads became a continuation of the panel's conversation.

Theoretically, I could have fast-forwarded through the commercials, but since the conversation flowed in and out of them it would have been kind of a pain -- and the panel made the spots interesting enough to listen to anyway.

One media delivered -- the other didn't. My experience was not unique. And neither was my inclination to turn off the radio.

- Ralph

Day 82 of the WJMA Web Watch.


  1. We've got to get together to discuss this stuff!

  2. Absolutely. What's your schedule look like next week?

  3. I won't know more until after my staff meeting tomorrow, but Thursday could be good.