Thursday, June 19, 2008

RIP Charlie

I Am Pissed. In Purple. Donny-and-Marie-from-the-70s Purple.

Charlie 106.3 is no more. Apparently, in 10 months, the ratings never got to the level The Suits wanted, and once again, there is a format change.

About 4 years ago, it was an oldies station and pulled in nice ratings -- nothing to ever make it Top 5 in the area, but decent. Then after a corporate merger, it became "The Walk": positive country & contemporary Christian. It was a format destined for failure here. Country stations are owned by "Sheer Panel" around here, and you can't sling a dead cat without hitting a religious station. Combining the two was less of a genius idea than The Suits planned on. I refused to listen to that station on sheer principle. After that failure (though it took The Suits 18 months, maybe 2 years to finally cave) they switched to "Women Talk" with syndicated stuff, mostly from Greenstone Media. Hey, I lean liberal on a lot of social issues of import to women, and even I was bored and occasionally ill-at-ease with the station the few times I listened in. Cooterville has a large female contingent, but this was too liberal for this area, and -- dare I say it -- rather unnecessary. The ratings proved so.

Well, actually, Greenstone went belly up and so did "Women Talk" ...... so The Suits did "Charlie" (a Jack format, re-named of course) starting last August. FINALLY! There was a station to suit me. Johnny Cash one minute and Prince the next, followed by Barry White or maybe even Barry Manilow. A lot of everything. It was fantastic. I wasn't thrilled by the lack of DJ's, but I got used to it because of the music.

And now it's gone. "We gave it 10 months!!!!" Right. 10 months is more than enough time to build a station base and help it succeed. What's replaced it? A simulcast (trimulcast, really) of the AM talk radio sister stations --- Rush, Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, the local right-wing folks. Sweet God, deliver me. I'd rather cut off a left appendage than listen to that crapfest.

The Suits have 4 other stations (not counting the gabfest tri-stations), including a couple that I used to listen to fairly regularly. No more. I will even lift my boycott of Sheer Panel if I have to. Actually, I have another option: XM or Sirius (or if things go as planned XM-Sirius)....... and as soon as I save up enough, I'm going satellite. I'm tired of music I hate. I'm especially tired of The Suits and Sheer Panel trying to tell me what music I should and shouldn't like .... because I don't fit their formats.

I'm a P1 for most adult contemporary formats -- at least according to all the demographics. I should swoon every time I hear Josh Groban, right? Is it any wonder I've been listening to SportsTalk? I don't fit any of their demographic molds -- and I'm pretty damn proud of that.

RIP, Charlie. You were good. And taken too soon.


Melissa said...

XM rocks!!!! I got it when I got my new car 2 1/2 years ago, I didn't think I wanted it but when I heard that it was commerical and talk free I was sold...I love having so many channels to channel surf while I'm sitting in traffic!

I highly recommend it.

Talmadge Gleck said...

The truth is, you - as a late 30-something female - are pigeonholed by the media buyers as the extreme upper end of the Soccer Mom demo. Meaning, you're supposed to be like all other wimmen and listen to your friendly AC station. Or, in your case, "MY" friendly AC station. Your heroes should be Delilah and John Tesh. :-p

And where is your minivan with soccer ball magnet on the back??!!

You're complicating the simple-minded agency buyers (generally 25-year-old sorority chick types) with your subversive open mind about music. Can't you hear all those vacuous blonde brains blowing their breakers at the very idea someone like you exists???

Sadly, though, with "Sheer Panel", "Exitcom", "Pox" and "Big Puffy Cotton-Like Things In The Sky", it's not about ratings anymore. It's about ad revenue and nothing else.

The ugly truth is, people our age have already been issued our bottle of Geritol and told to take a hike to Branson.

Oh well, at least you have WPCI-AM 1490, if you can pick it up. What an awesome little coffeepot. Provided it's still around.

I recommend Sirius, at least while they're still standalone. XM, while having a lot going for it (I do like their "60s on 6" channel, wish we had that), is part owned by "Sheer Panel."

It's not that much ... 13 per month. So worth it. (I especially love 118 - the Old Time Radio channel)

nettiemac said...

1490 is still around, praise be. God, if they had an internet broadcast so I could pick it up at work..... You can't pick up ANYTHING in the building.

I am leaning to Sirius anyway, since R-man already has it in his car and I'm used to their format. I need to do a little more research. Putting a nice new stereo in my car is akin to putting a rich Corinthian leather saddle on a mule. A burro.

Talmadge Gleck said...

Putting a satellite radio in your car wouldn't be that difficult. In your case, the "burro" in question has a cassette deck, right? You can easily get a bare-bones Sirius radio for a good discount at Big Box--er, Best Buy (the one in our Mazda3 was $50 marked down to $30), and easily rig the roof antenna. Use a cassette adapter and you're in business! XM radios, if you go that route, work pretty much the same way. I suspect the satcasters are subsidizing the discounts.