The Curious Case of Don Orsillo

orsillo

It is one thing to begin this by saying that all was well in Red Sox Nation when New Englanders were stunned at the Don Orsillo news—except all was not well in Red Sox Nation.

The Boston Red Sox were mired in last place—a team that was going nowhere in 2015.

After winning their first World Series title at home since 1918 (in 2013—the year of the Boston Marathon bombings), it has been all downhill ever since then.

It was bad enough Red Sox fans had to suffer through losing games. It is another thing when you lose a beloved announcer—which is about to happen.

In late August, Red Sox Nation was rocked when NESN (a network which the Red Sox have an 80-percent ownership stake in) announced that beloved play-by-play voice Don Orsillo would not be returning to the broadcast booth at Fenway Park to call games.

Orsillo has been at the mic for the Red Sox since 2001, which means he and the Remdawg (Jerry Remy) witnessed the Red Sox “break the curse” when Boston won its first World Series since 1918 in a 4-0 sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals (after a miraculous 3-0 comeback of the Yankees in the ALCS).

It also means they saw the Sox win titles in 2007 and 2013.

From a business standpoint, Orsillo and Remy also were the Sox announcers when NESN took over the over-the-air broadcasts of Red Sox games that used to go to WSBK-TV and WBZ-TV (the latter of which is a CBS O&O affiliate for Boston).

It also means New Englanders have been treated over the past decade and a half to one of baseball’s most recognizable (also most relatable) voices. One of the things that made New Englanders fall in love with Orsillo and Remy was the bond they hand on air. Also, the stories they would tell to make sure Red Sox games were as entertaining in the booth as they were on the field.

In short, summers in New England over the past decade and a half have been synonymous with Orsillo and the Remdawg.

Personally, I have never lived in Boston. I have never even visited Boston, unfortunately but would like to one day. Maybe I’ll even work in Boston one day—who knows what life has in store.

But, I do remember ordering the MLB Extra Innings package in my younger years. I would tune in to the Red Sox broadcasts featured on MLB Extra Innings just to see if they would pick up the NESN feed—meaning Orsillo and Remy would be at the mic.

At the time I ordered MLB Extra Innings, it was also at a time when NESN’s sound quality was questionable to say the least—based on first-hand experience. Even with the shoddy sound quality, I still wanted to hear Orsillo and Remy call games because of the chemistry they had on air as well as them being two of the best on-air voices in all of professional sports, not just baseball.

It is needless to say that given the rapport Red Sox Nation has developed with Orsillo over the past decade and a half that when NESN and the Red Sox announced the decision, the backlash they received was swift and immediate.

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That immediately prompted someone to create a petition on change.org imploring NESN and the team to reverse their decision and bring back Orsillo.

As of this writing, that petition has obtained over 60,000 signatures.

https://www.change.org/p/john-henry-nesn-petition-to-keep-don-orsillo-at-nesn

The Red Sox later named their replacement—Dave O’Brien who is already the voice of the Red Sox on radio at the WEEI Radio Network. Given now that this leaves the WEEI Network with a void on the radio side, it led some to believe they were shifting Orsillo to radio.

Ever since, Red Sox Nation has simply asked why did NESN make such a decision to can Orsillo—a name that has become synonymous with Red Sox baseball and summers in New England.

According to a Boston Globe report, the source of what is going on seems to be Joseph Maar—the recently hired vice president of programming and production as well as executive producer of NESN. Maar, which has little to no Boston ties, worked previously at ESPN as well as with Fox Sports North in Minneapolis.

Maar, shortly after the outrage for the Orsillo ouster became public, he changed his Twitter profile to private. Way to be transparent with your viewers.

It was suggested Maar was never a fan of Orsillo’s and preferred O’Brien more—probably a connection to when Maar was at ESPN. It was also suggested the Red Sox were merely blaming Orsillo for the low ratings of Red Sox broadcasts this season.

Uh…yeah, right.

If anyone wants to know the real reason why Red Sox television (NESN) and radio (WEEI Network) ratings are down—it is because the Red Sox (as of this writing) are in last place in the American League East with a 64-72 record and 14 games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays.

If announcers for any sport had any effect on ratings, there would be a lot of announcers in all sports today that would not be calling games.

There was a report out of the Chicago Tribune that mentioned that Cubs ratings in Chicago for radio (WBBM 780/105.9) and television (Comcast SportsNet Chicago, WGN, WLS, etc.) are up this season. There’s one simple reason why the Cubbies’ ratings are high this year—THE TEAM IS WINNING FOR A CHANGE!

The Red Sox wanted to go in a different direction for the team? Have fun with getting rid of one of the only things with the team that was worth anything in 2015. Brilliant public relations, isn’t it?

After the announcement of the upcoming departure from NESN and the Sox, it was later revealed that the network was supposed to keep the thing on the down-low until January. Thankfully, sources got to the WEEI Network’s Dennis & Callahan, putting a monkey wrench in NESN and the Sox’ master plan to skewer Orsillo.

He didn’t talk to the media much after the announcement and hasn’t talked much to the media since—keeping the focus on doing his job as professionally as possible even if the Sox have a target on his back. The same couldn’t be said for Remy, who was noticeably fighting back tears when talking to reporters about the NESN decision.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/08/26/jerry-remy-chokes-up-talking-about-don-orsillo/

“For the last 15 years, it’s been a pleasure to work with Don. I can remember him sitting in the booth when the job became available. He was asking me if there was any chance he could get it. I said a few things to a few people. He’s been an outstanding partner for 15 years, and I’m truly going to miss him on on a work-related side and I’m also going to miss him on a personal side because he has also become a very, very close friend of mine.” –Jerry Remy per ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes

The shame of it is O’Brien is not a bad announcer, but he’ll be seen in some circles as part of the problem because Maar prefers him to Orsillo—per the reports coming out of Boston.

It appears Bostonians and New Englanders are more opposed to this decision than they were with the NFL’s handling of the DeflateGate controversy or the idea of hosting the 2024 Olympics in Boston!

Also after the news was announced, the obvious question asked was if Orsillo would be hired for a national gig. Of course he would be hired for a national gig because he’s that good of an announcer. He has done work in the past for TBS, so it is only right if he were to be tapped for a national announcing job at TBS, ESPN, or MLB Network.

Plus, Orsillo is only in his 40’s—so he’ll be a signature voice of sports telecasts for probably the next 30 or so years.

When the Red Sox returned home (they were on the road when the reports were confirmed of Orsillo’s impending departure), they were returning home to an angry Dontourage. Fans were protesting outside Fenway Park on Yawkey Way with signs in support of their soon-to-be-silenced voice.

Only one problem—those fans when trying to enter Fenway Park had their pro-Orsillo signs confiscated by Fenway security at the behest of the Red Sox.

Tom Werner, Red Sox chairman, was also involved along with Maar and Sox fans immediately reminded everyone that this was the same guy who gave us Bill Cosby. And if you have been reading the headlines lately, that is not a name you want to be associated with in 2015. Maybe in 1985, but not 2015.

Mediawise, it also comes at an interesting for the Red Sox in terms of who will broadcast their games. The WEEI Network has encountered intense competition from CBS’s 98.5 The Sports Hub ever since the station first debuted in 2009.

They’ve been praised for being more about sports talk than non-sports talk (i.e. that not-so-Boston-like political ramblings of D&C), they’ve inherited some of the audience that was with former legendary Rock station WBCN 104.1 when they moved its morning show of Toucher & Rich to the Sports Hub, and have become the flagship station for New England Revolution soccer, Boston Celtics basketball, Boston Bruins hockey, and New England Patriots football.

All the WEEI Network has is the Red Sox—whose contract with the team expires after next season. The Hub may not have enough room for the Red Sox and the team may not be worth bidding on since it is likely going to be a bad team next year again. So the team may stay with the WEEI Network.

Or they may move. Crazier things have happened in the realm of sports media. Just ask the White Sox who signed a multi-year deal to move to Cumulus Chicago News/Talker WLS 89 (a station with little to no sports history) beginning next year after a long time on CBS Sports talker WSCR 670 the Score (subsequently moving the Cubs to the Score for next year).

So this isn’t the first bit of media business the Sox will be engaged in over the next 16 or so months and if the team eventually signs for a less-than-desirable deal (which they won’t because the WEEI Network has to keep the team somehow, some way), then Red Sox Nation will immediately let the team know how it and the network handled this Orsillo sitch.

How badly was it handled? So horribly the WEEI Network reported NESN asked Orsillo to tweet the decision for him to part was “mutual” when it really wasn’t. It was a decision made entirely by NESN and the Red Sox.

Going back to how much backlash the Red Sox have encountered since the reports first came out, I immediately honed in on this tweet courtesy of Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThe first thought that entered into my big head was 2003.

What happened in 2003? Oh, Atlanta Braves fans remember vividly what happened in 2003.

In the heyday of the Braves, they had a national following on TBS, including its announce team of Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, and Ernie Johnson, Sr. Caray and Van Wieren, later on, as Braves broadcasters were paired in the booth with Joe Simpson and Don Sutton, respectively for TBS on the TV side and News/Talk 750 WSB on the radio end.

This was the case—until a brief period of 2003 that turned things upside down.

In 2003, TBS began experimenting with a concept that made a lot of Braves fans puke—the idea of announcers calling Braves games with a neutral outlook on the baseball without being so explicitly Braves-centric.

The broadcasts were rebranded as “MLB on TBS.” They also figured that Don Sutton and Joe Simpson were the men for the job, so they were at the microphone for the Braves…er…I mean “MLB on TBS” telecasts. Nevermind that Sutton and Simpson were still doing radio work for their flagship radio station, they were the men for the job.

It was also the surest sign that after America Online (AOL, for those keeping score at home) merged with Time Warner that this was no longer the TBS that was the brainchild of Ted Turner—the Braves’ former owner and that TBS was looking into its future sans the Bravos.

They planned to ditch the Braves altogether for a national MLB package that would likely include lots and lots of Yankees and Red Sox games. What happened to Skip and Pete? They were shifted to the radio side at News/Talk 750 WSB—but not entirely. Why? Because Braves games were also being aired on a network called Turner South, a southern sister station to TBS.

What was Turner South? This YouTube video it showed in its five-year anniversary in 2004 explains better than I could…but I’ll try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AknjSXEF-EA

It essentially was a Southern-lifestyle kind of channel that showcased all aspects of living in the South—music, food, heritage, outdoors, history, radio (it simulcasted The Rick & Bubba Show out of Country 104.7 WZZK in Birmingham), and even sports as it aired Atlanta Braves baseball, Atlanta Hawks basketball, and Atlanta Thrashers hockey.

Well, in 2003, Turner South’s baseball broadcasts were still branded as “Braves on Turner South” with guess who calling the games? Ding, ding, ding if you said Skip Caray and Pete Van Wieren.

Braves fans were ticked about this given that most games at the time were still on TBS and that Turner South was not a national network like The Superstation was. Turner South was a channel that was only available in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and the western half of North Carolina. It wasn’t even available in Florida which drew the ire of fans there because Floridians that wanted the channel (probably only for the Braves if anything) felt their state was just as “South” as Georgia or South Carolina.

Baseball’s territorial restrictions re: the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays and Miami (Florida) Marlins may have had something to do with those as well in addition to the perception that Central and South Florida aren’t really “South” so a South-centric network may not sell well in that part of the state. I digress, though.

So unless you were in the South, you likely were not getting you Skip and Pete fix.

Braves fans for two to three months let TBS and the Braves hear it. I remember frequenting the TBS message boards a lot that year. I could find almost no one on those boards that gave TBS praise for the Skip and Pete debacle. Everyone in those boards wanted them back on TBS and for the station to ditch its “MLB on TBS” branding. They lambasted also how out of touch Simpson and Sutton seemed to be with the average fan as opposed to the passion of Skip and Pete.

The backlash was so great that neither the team nor the network could ignore it any longer. Caray and Van Wieren were back with TBS by the midpoint of the 2003 season and in 2004, the “MLB on TBS” branding was dropped in favor of “Braves TBS Baseball.” This included the debuting of new, more interactive elements to TBS/Braves telecasts, including Friday broadcasts which were called “Braves TBS Xtra.”

Of course, TBS only remained with the Braves until 2007 with the number of Braves games on TBS gradually decreasing year by year until the beginning of their new MLB contract. Both Caray and Van Wieren, have since passed away.

So, yes, there have been instances where announcers were returned to a team’s telecasts because of public pressure except in that instance, Caray and Van Wieren’s role was lessened without being entirely jettisoned. Orsillo is being jettisoned by the Red Sox/NESN entirely and all of Red Sox Nation is in a tizzy.

And as you read this, the change.org petition probably just gained another 100 or so signatures.

The Braves scenario may not necessarily have to play out in this case because of a report suggesting Orsillo has an offer from the Angels to join its broadcast team, potentially meaning Victor Rojas (who was once at MLB Network) may be pushed out in favor of the soon-to-be-ex Boston broadcaster.

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2015/09/04/nesn-reportedly-asked-don-orsillo-to-lie-bout-his-firing-to-red-sox-fans-he-declined/

The backlash to the Orsillo in Boston isn’t going any time soon because ask any New Englander they would describe his broadcasting skills. They are likely to respond with two words—Wicked Pissah.

Whereas Werner, Maar and the rest of NESN are simply Massho… who they wish they could throw into the Hahbor.

Fox’s Touchdown Play By The Bay; Are St. Louis and Seattle Next?

ktvu

Fox has called an audible at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. It looks like they caught the defense napping and are about to convert on an 80 yard touchdown bomb.

In a power-play type move from Fox, they have announced a deal to purchase television stations KTVU-TV Channel 2 and KICU-TV Channel 36 from Cox Media Group in exchange for WFXT-TV Channel 25 in Boston and WHBQ-TV Channel 13 in Memphis.

KTVU is already a Fox affiliate, and is well-known by sports fans in the Bay Area as once being the longtime local home (in addition to the old SportsChannel Bay Area) of San Francisco Giants baseball.

Brass at KTVU are already saying that the acquisition by Fox will have no impact on its delivery of news—ignoring, of course, a redesigning of the logo to match the other Fox O&Os, a redesigning of the KTVU studios, and the changing of the graphics to, once again, match those of the other Fox O&Os.

In addition to being a Fox station, KTVU blows the other local television stations in the San Francisco Bay Area away in terms of ratings. KGO-TV (an ABC O&O), KNTV-TV (an NBC O&O) and KPIX-TV (a CBS O&O) play second fiddle to the KTVU calls by the Bay.

That’s one big reason why this is such a big deal. It definitely opens up Cox to new markets in Boston and Memphis—two markets where they have never been before and now may have the opportunity to expand in terms of both TV and radio.

The big deal, of course, is on the Fox side with KTVU. This deal will mean that five of the six English-network affiliated stations in the Bay Area will be owned & operateds. The outlier will be KRON-TV Channel 4, a MyNetwork TV affiliate and one whom according to Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media Blog, Fox initially had its eye on before pursuing KTVU.

It’s also huge news for a television network that recently went through an embarrassing journalistic escapade with its coverage of the Asiana Airlines story and the fake names associated with it. Instead, it’s deals like this that make media observers like yours truly say, “Ho Lee Fuk”.

That’s said to be one reason for why Cox wanted to offload KTVU in addition to some moving and shuffling amongst many of the news staff. But, when it comes down to it, this deal can be summed in with three things.

N.

F.

L.

The power that the NFL has in local television arrangements cannot be ignored. In the mid-1990s when television stations across the country were changing affiliations to Fox (primarily because of its wresting of NFC football from CBS), it caused the other “Big Three” networks scrambling for new stations to carry its programs. Fox was doomed to be a failure as a broadcast network without the NFL.

Oh, and that yellow family from Springfield better known as The Simpsons.

CBS had to air AFC football in response. Fox’s strategy has been to establish owned & operated stations in every single market with an NFC team so they could rake in both the local and national dough that those NFL deals offer. And as we know, there’s no money like football money.

Here’s the list of O&Os Fox currently has in NFC cities:

WNYW-TV Fox 5 New York (Giants)

WTXF-TV Fox 29 Philadelphia (Eagles)

WTTG-TV Fox 5 Washington, D.C. (Redskins)

KDFW-TV Fox 4 Dallas (Cowboys)

WFLD-TV Fox 32 Chicago (Bears)

KMSP-TV Fox 9 Twin Cities (Vikings)

WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit (Lions)

WAGA-TV Fox 5 Atlanta (Falcons)

WJZY-TV Fox 46 Charlotte (Panthers) (Deal done last year)

WTVT-TV Fox 13 Tampa/St. Petersburg (Buccaneers)

KSAZ-TV Fox 10 Phoenix (Cardinals)

Stations jumped to Fox after the NFC rights buy. Fox moved in and assumed not only their affiliation, but also locking them up as owned & operateds later on.

Fox is doing this deal because it allows them to have an O&O in another NFC market: the Bay Area with—the San Francisco 49ers who right now are probably the best team in the NFC not named the Seattle Seahawks. Also, having an O&O in market #4 is not something you want to pass up if you are a smart girl or guy in charge of a network.

Fox may not be done either. Variety reported last year that Fox was planning on making buys in Seattle and St. Louis in addition to the San Francisco purchase. The St. Louis Fox affiliate is KTVI-TV, a Tribune station. Tribune, based in Chicago, primarily runs CW affiliates, including the three flagship CW stations in New York City (WPIX-TV 11), Los Angeles (KTLA-TV 5), and Chicago (WGN-TV 9).

The Seattle situation is actually rather intriguing. The station that Fox is said to have its collective eyes on is not KCPQ-TV Q13 Fox, another Fox Tribune station. It’s KIRO-TV Channel 7, another Cox station, but is affiliated with CBS.

I’ve had numerous conversations with SeaTac Media’s Jason Remington about this issue and we both have thrown around ideas. I suggested that if Fox buys KIRO and changes it into a Fox O&O, then it turns the entire Seattle market upside down.

Seattle has already seen a change in its media landscape with Sinclair acquiring locally-based Fisher Communications, owners of stations such as KOMO-TV 4 (ABC), KUNS-TV 51 (Univision), and KATU-TV 2 (ABC) in Portland, Oregon. In addition, the purchase of Belo Broadcasting by Gannett has put the market’s NBC affiliate, KING-TV (and independent station KONG-TV) (get the King Kong reference?) under new management as well.

The idea I suggested to Remington was that Fox will make the buys in St. Louis and Seattle because those are two cities with NFC teams. Fox wants O&Os in both. If KIRO changes, then it raises the possibility that KCPQ and KSTW-TV CW 11 also change network affiliation. KCPQ, being a Tribune station could jump to the CW, and KSTW could become CBS considering that it’s already a CBS-owned station.

That market could see a “Big Switch” similar to what Denver, Phoenix, and Philadelphia all notably experienced in the mid-1990s during the days of the mass realignment of the local affiliations with the networks.

One cannot ignore said ramifications of a deal if it goes through in all three cities. Assuming Fox gets its coveted O&Os in San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis, Fox will have O&Os in every NFC market outside of New Orleans (Saints) and Green Bay/Milwaukee (Packers).

New Orleans’ Fox affiliate, WVUE-TV Channel 8 is owned by Tom Benson’s (Saints owner) Louisiana Media Company in conjunction with Raycom. Green Bay’s Fox station, WLUK-TV Channel 11, is owned by LIN Media while Milwaukee’s at WITI-TV Channel 6 is a Tribune station.

It’s even possible that Cox may have considered exchanging either their San Francisco station or their Seattle station in exchange for the Boston and Memphis stations. But Fox wasn’t getting both on one shot. So, if that’s what Cox was offering, then it was a slam dunk for Fox. A heritage station plus an indie in the largest NFC (and NFL, for that matter) market west of the Mississippi.

And, this could only be the beginning. If the trajectory as to where Fox is going with these deals is any indication, it may not be long before Fox says hello on an O&O basis to the Space Needle & the Gateway Arch as they have just done so to the Golden Gate Bridge on the city by the Bay.

Boston’s Evolution Ends at a High Point for EDM

evolution

My ears began noticing something circa 2010 that was happening to Top 40/CHR radio.

I began noticing that the BPM of the songs that are played on Top 40 CHR radio began to increase…and increase…and increase.
And increase.

I have always been an advocate of Dance music on American radio. This is partly because I am such a huge fan of the dance music that came out of the 90’s before it Finding such Dance stations on the radio in other countries is not hard—especially European countries. In Europe, Dance is one of the most popular musical genres there is on the radio.

Usually, because of the corporate structure of many radio stations, dance has made inroads into radio only to see those inroads reach dead ends. Whether it’s the “Energy 92.7 and 101.1” in Phoenix, “Energy 92.7 & 5” in Chicago, “Energy 92.7” in San Francisco, “Groove 103.1” in Los Angeles, “Party 93.1” in Miami, “Hot 107.1” in Denver, or “Pulse 87” in New York City, Dance has tried mightily to find permanent places on the radio only to see them either sold or flip to other formats.

The same fate that has befallen other Dance/EDM outlets recently happened to another. Add WEDX-FM “Evolution 101.7” in Boston to that long list. Clear Channel Communications flipped the EDM’er to Country “101.7 the Bull” with the moving of Pete Tong’s Evolution format (which already is available with a national feed on iHeartRadio) to the 107.9 HD-2 of WXKS-FM CHR “Kiss 108”.

There is one motivation behind the move and one motivation only—Clear Channel wants to prop up Kiss. They want to slice numbers off Greater Media’s market-leading Country 102.5 WKLB in order to move Kiss to the top place on the Boston PPM’s.

Except one can make the argument that Kiss’s sister in crime at WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” is already doing a very good job of that on its own—along with two CBS Radio stations in Hot AC WBMX “Mix 104.1” and WODS “103.3 Amp Radio”.

Evolution may have done it as well.

Typical Clear Channel move if you ask me where the PPM charts are the sole motivation for a move. In a city where there has been no Oldies/Classic Hits station since 2012 when WODS flipped from its longtime heritage Classic Hits format to Top 40. This in a city where there has been no (legitimate) Urban AC (sorry, you don’t count, Touch 106.1!) station since Radio One sold off their cluster in the City of Beans to Entercom. And in a city where, despite its huge Country audience, probably doesn’t need a second Country outlet.

But that’s beside the point…at least for now.

Just a few short years ago, most mainstream radio listeners probably wouldn’t be able to name one EDM artist.

Now, North American radio listeners know who Avicii, Armin Van Buuren, Deadmau5, Skrillex, Diplo, David Guetta, Zedd, Benny Benassi, Fedde Le Grand, Calvin Harris, Martin Garrix, DJ Tiesto, Afrojack, and countless other EDM DJ’s are. Dance music hasn’t been this popular and received this much radio airplay since the mid-1990s.

The difference between the mid-1990s and today is that radio was not as concentrated in the hands of a few owners as it is today. The difference between the mid 90’s and today is that the business climate for dance stations was much rosier than it is today, unfortunately.

These artists are getting a mountain of airtime on CHR radio stations, but why hasn’t it translated into EDM formats springing up all over the country like leaves in the springtime?

Alternative music is also experiencing a renaissance with musicians such as Lorde, Lana del Rey, and Imagine Dragons lighting up the Billboard charts. The difference is that there are already plenty of Alternative and Indie formats on the radio, even those that happen to be to the left of 92.1.

Wherefore, art thou, EDM?

I can’t quite put my finger on this one except for the obvious answer that something about full time EDM formats just doesn’t seem to fit a model for mainstream corporate radio. After all, it took Pete Tong just to twist arms enough in San Antonio for them to even do a 24-hour channel on iHeartRadio.

Also, the 93.5 in Miami doesn’t count just because of the fact that it’s near the former home of Party 93.1. 93.5 is a translator.
Other than Sirius XM Satellite Radio and a bevy of internet radio stations (like what Pulse 87 is now), there are not that many places where EDM fans can get their consistent fix of music with abnormally high BPMs. This is other than weekend “Party” mixshows at “Club CoCo” which already are basically all EDM, all the time. Now, any random daypart on your local Top 40 station sounds like a weekend mixer.

Just imagine if your favorite musical genre started to become very popular and began to receive a lot of radio airplay. Wouldn’t you want that genre to not have to rely on Top 40 stations to get airplay and would rather see it stand on its own with its own radio stations?

Because, sometimes, radio stations aren’t simply media outlets. They can (when done right) also be outlets that can exude musical culture. That’s the marketing strategy behind the Nash FM stations.

For radio conglomerates to say that EDM mixers and artists are good enough to have their music played on CHR outlets (which have gone heavily Rhythmic thanks to EDM’s rise to mainstream prominence lately) but not on their own radio stations like Evolution in Boston sounds like a subtle slap in the face. It’s like saying to a sports reporter at a radio station that she’s good enough to cover major events like basketball games, but they’ll wait to promote her to being in charge of the department simply because she’s a woman.

Look, one should not complain if you’re an EDM fan. When you’re in the position that dance has been over the past couple of decades, you have to take what you can get. And, perhaps, this could be part of the thinking of radio conglomerates that if they were to give EDM their on stations that it would take away from CHRs. After all, EDM and Alternative’s stock are both up while that of Hip-Hop is down.

But it wasn’t part of the thinking by these same radio bigwigs when people had forgot what dance was and Hip-Hop was going through a radio renaissance like it was for a good portion of the 2000’s.

Every time this back-and-forth on EDM is referenced, we cannot forget about one artist in particular—Mother Monster herself, Lady Gaga.

How did Lady Gaga get her big break into the superstar she is today? This little thingy in New York called…Pulse 87.

Exactly. Z-100 wasn’t the radio station that discovered Gaga. Pulse 87 did. In fact, prior to Joel Salkowitz going bankrupt on Pulse, he had a master plan to beam in multiple “Pulse 87”’s into Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Chicago.

Again, I would not complain one bit if I am one of the millions of EDM fans in the USA. Those who probably never even knew what BPM stood for are embracing the genre. Pop culture is embracing the genre. Rappers, as evidenced by Snoop Dogg, are embracing the genre. Alternative artists like Coldplay are embracing the genre as evidenced by their work with Avicii. There’s even a such thing as EDM artists producing COUNTRY songs!

What’s next, a genre that fuses together EDM with Smooth Jazz? Oh wait—there already is a genre for that—it’s called Chill. WQCD CD 101.9 in New York once tried the Chill experiment for a while before eventually reverting to Smooth Jazz.

If everyone else is on board EDM’s bandwagon which seems to get bigger and bigger by the day, why can’t radio in the form of full time formats? After all, Zedd recently signed an endorsement deal with Bud Light.

There’s one advertiser. And we know how much you lurrrrve those, radio.