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KNTU/Jazz Double Suicide


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I gave up decades ago. Tried to listen on short trips to the doctor, grocery, etc. but it only made me madder than ever 

Everything that I hate about jazz today was non-stop on KNTU. And vice-versa. 

But oth, my son (who sent me the tweet), said that when he tuned in, he heard Stone Temple Pilots and U2 before turning it off. This was stuff that he heard in his teens, so... is this what college students are into? 

What did that kid say in that move... I see dead people? Well yeah. And hear them too. No wonder zombies rule. 

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The one problem with that kind of programming is that it reaches a demographic that doesn't have a lot of disposable income nor do they feel inclined to give to public radio. I hope the administration is planning on lots of student activity fees to subsidize this station on its way downhill.

Take it from someone who witnessed the same switch and results at his public radio station during a 26 year career in fundraising. Underwriters wanted drive time NPR news and cared nothing about local music shows.

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KNTU is not in any way "public" . It's university owned and functions as past of the school's radio-television department. There are "underwriters"', but the last I could tell, they were local businesses, no foundation grants or anything.

It's not at all sorrowful that they've abandoned their version of jazz to all but streaming. What's really sorrowful is that they're replacing it with a genre that was abandoned by the commercial market here in 2016.

Different snore, same snooze. 

My son is 36 and has moved on to different music's, so who is their real target student demographic, kids who were born to teenage parents that have happy memories of that? 

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But jazz itself is equally to blame for producing a more than endless supply of boring records of indistinguishable masses of played who go out of their way to found like they're 50 years older than they are. I mean, an endless supply. The only way to tell who anybody was was to wait for the back-announcing, which got more clueless and unenthusiastic with every generation.

I will very much blame this "program director". Before he took over, you had a chance to here some good stuff. After he took over, things got homogenized rapidly and irreparably. I actually called the guy up once to vent about this bull shit, and he was very pleased with himself that he was keeping "unfamiliar" music off the station while giving "new names" exposure. It's a very lab-band-ish mentality, very controlled and incestuous, brand Uber called, and as with all inbreeding, eventually shit just collapses. 

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That’s better than what happened to Shaw’s radio station, which sold out to some national Christian trash, the kind that plays those radio soaps. Ugh. NC State’s 88.1 channel went to this indie alt programming decades ago, away from heavy metal (!) at the time. They still retain specialty shows on the weekend for various other genres which is cool. But their main indie alt programming is at least current and plays nothing you’d hear on any other station. All student-run as well, and the engineering students put in real work to keep all the technical aspects rolling. 

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A number of state universities have two radio stations. Typically there is a professionally run station with adults that brings in listeners and underwriting/gift donations, then there is a "student-run" station, funded by activity fees and other money (if anyone can find any), which is typically the streaming station. 

Some people seem to think a station can be successful drawing a significant audience while raising significant funding, yet relying primarily on volunteers. The problem is how do you retain volunteers long term and have them keep an audience?

Audience rating systems (Nielsen, since acquired by Arbitron) for radio leave a lot to be desired, as they rely on rather small sample sizes of  listeners who are asked to keep a week long diary of their listening. There was a competitor for Nielsen but it folded some time in the early 1990s. I remember seeing one ratings period for my weekday evening show and it said I had a 2000 AQH audience, though 80% of it was outside of the metro area (very unlikely, given the demographics of the population here several decades ago). If you've ever done it, did you really remember to keep exact track of how long you listened each day to every station and where you heard it? It's a crapshoot at best.

One thing I hate to see is the merger of a public radio station with a public television station. The TV typically treats the radio like a cash cow, milking their fundraising for their overpriced tv programming, then killing off quality shows on radio to be replaced with repeats of audio from the TV programming, much like WGBH did and also in the merger of the Cleveland stations awhile back. Radio always seems to lose in such mergers, as do jazz listeners.



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