Monday, June 29, 2009


Last July I posted "Radio in Virginia -- just how old is old media, anyway?". A friend had alerted me that WJMA FM had won some news awards from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters -- but there was no way to confirm that through the Internet; the VAB's website was several weeks out of date, and WJMA's website was still under construction.

Today I got another e-mail from the same friend -- with the same info. Through a second-hand source, they had heard that Phil Goodwin, news director for WJMA-FM had "won something."

Well, it's been a full year since the last awards. During that time people citing the Internet as their primary news source has grown from 40% to 50%. WJMA finally got their website up and running, and according to their blog,

Creative broadcasters, and we hope we’re in that class, are working to create targeted online promotions and features that leverage cause and event marketing, social networking, and other tools in order to provide real value to existing and potential customers.

Cool. So let's see how much things have changed.

I first visited the Virginia Association of Broadcaster's website, to check out the posting of the VAB Award winners of 2009. Nope, sorry. As you can see from the screenshot below, their most recent post is the banner for the conference that's already over.

Surely, though, WJMA -- rightfully proud of their award-winning news director -- as a "creative broadcaster," would let everyone know about this singular honor.

As you can see from this screenshot, there's nothing on the WJMA home page. According to my friend, Phil Goodwin mentioned the awards in one of his newscasts this morning. But it's not in the podcast for today, nor on the news page.

I checked the general manager's blog -- the last post was May 4, 2009. OK, what about the Piedmont Communications Weblog? Last post, June 17, 2009.

Cue the crickets.

So what's changed from last year? From audience makeup, quite a bit. From radio's apparent understanding of new media -- not much at all. Chances are they don't even understand the headline reference.

Epic FAIL, indeed.

- Ralph

Day 84 of the WJMA Podwatch.

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