Conflict of Interest

So John Mainelli used to write a radio column for the NY Post AND consult radio stations at the same time. He keeps writing things about Howard Stern, saying he has slipped or lost traction all in an attempt to convince the general public that satellitte radio is a pointless venture that won’t go anywhere. His negative press is really designed to keep the public in the dark listening to crappy FM. His quotes in this article really illustrate this:

http://www.radioandrecords.com/radiomonitor/news/format/talk/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003520921

The man is afraid, as are all terrestrial radio execs, and they should be. I can only speak from the perspective of a Sirius subscriber, but I have to say that in my two years of subscribing I have not once listed to FM. Why? The reasons are so simple:

1) Choice – I have so much more choice. Raleigh now has THREE country stations and no alternative rock station. We also have two pretty crappy rock stations, one that plays a mix of classic rock and newer stuff for 20 somethings and another that plays softer rock for 40/50 something women. They BOTH suck. On Sirius, I have THREE classic rock choices alone. This doesn’t take into account Left of Center (college rock), Alt Nation (alternative), the Underground Garage (just good rock), etc. The choice available is staggering and the programming is so much better than terrestrial radio.

2) Signal – I can listen wherever and whenever I like. If I drive to DC for the weekend, the stations go with me. If I want to stream over the Internet at the office I can. Some people will tell you that the signal and sound quality suck, don’t believe them. It’s as good as FM.

3) Howard Stern – For those fans who say “I miss him,” too bad. Go buy Sirius. He has been funnier and more creative without the FCC breathing down his neck. Don’t buy the stories that say he’s losts guests, cache, creativity, etc. He is funnier than ever. His guest roster is as good as it’s ever been (a mix of A and B level celebs who are entertaining and promoting everything from books to hit movies to hit TV shows). For the life of me, I don’t get why people won’t subscribe, it’s no different than cable TV.

4) FM Sucks – Just to kick FM again, I know a little bit about how programming is picked for you, the listener. It is not, as many people romanticize, local management listening to music, picking what they think their listeners would like and then playing it. It is researched, surveyed, tracked, compiled, and programmed using computer algorithms. Sure there is local research, but the music all becomes a number as weekly, monthly, or quarterly market research is compiled. The process is so sterile now and often removed from the local market. It’s depressing.

I know I sound like a commercial, but this John Mainelli guy really pissed me off today. Traditional radio is afraid of Sirius and XM. They’re afraid of no commercials, better programming, no FCC control, etc. Go to http://www.sirius.com and get the three-day free trail, it’s worth it. Buy it as a Christmas present for friends and family. Together we can kill the vapid wasteland of FM radio and make radio something cool and fun again!

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