The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 2, 2001 · Page 31
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 31

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, May 2, 2001
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Page 31
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THE SAUNA JOURNAL APPLAUSE WEDNESDAY, K/IAY 2, 2001 3 Radio on the Web — truer than ever — no static at all By FRED SHUSTER Los Angeles Daily News Whether it comes through the dashboard speaker, a laptop computer, your Pahn Pilot or even the kitchen toaster, radio will never go away. But it is changing - rapidly Thanks to megamergers, corporate consolidatioh and an ever-shrinking number of format choices, resentment at the grass-foots level has set the stage for the fast growth of Web rjidio. On the Internet, where thousands of broadcasters are redefining the concept of what constitutes a radio station, even the idea of a dial seems like an antiquated notion. The lingo has changed, too. Those in the know refer to two types of broadcasting: terrestrial (or traditional radio) and cyber. But sexy as the Net may be, the landlocked stations are still the proven moneymakers since they sel| commercials by dehv- ering listeners to advertisers, "t In a multibillion-dollar industry that runs on fractions of ratings points with analysts pinpointing listeners according to what model car they drive, terrestrial radio works by identifying a broad target audience and aiming straight at its core, within the limited geographic range of the station's signal. The Internet, on the other hand, can bring together like-minded listeners from aroimd the world. It provides niche stations online that would never succeed on traditional radio because they are either too arcane or, in the case of rap and some types of rock and talk formats, the content too offensive to pass broadcast standards. But traditional radio will never go away, says Randy Michaels, chief executive of Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio conglomerate, adding that regardless of the system of deUv- ery, listeners will always seek out compelling talent. "It's the talent and product you have on the air that make the difference," he said. "YoU cannot stop change; it's coming whether you like it or not." Essential to Internet radio's spread is the component thett allows listeners instant access to all sorts of programming and purchasing information. This interactive element allows communities of listeners to form and engage in e-mail give-and-take with each other and the Web programmers. And then there's sound quality, generally far superior on the Web to terrestrial FM, peirticularly when broadband delivery services are in play But most importantly, there's infinite choice on your home coinputer. Take a look at the countless stations listed at iM Networks, the Internet Radio List or Web Radio, where powerful search engines pull up multiple radio sites in whatever format you might be interested in sampling. Even in msuor cities, traditional radio offers little variety. Channels are limited and playlists increasingly narrow, ff you Uve in the Valley, for example, and prefer swing and big band to Ertunem and Aaron Carter, your best and potentially only bet is Chuck Southcott's 24-hour "Music of Your life" stream on the Web. "The beauty of the Net is I can reach the world where commercial radio cannot," said Kathy Cappetta, co- producer of "Music Spotlight," a weekly program focusing on new music carried locally on KCLA-FM, Adelphia Cable and the Net. "We've got John Q. Public listening in Finland, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, Australia — anywhere in the world where folks have an Internet connection. We have people listening in China every week. Web destinations Want to listen on the Web? Here are the Web addresses of Internet radio stations, shows and search engines mentioned in this article.. Comedy World Radio Network: radio.broadcast. com/radio/embed- ded/enterta itunent/comedy KNAC: www.knac.com Groove Radio: www.world- classrock.com Radio Free Virgin: www.ra- diofreevirgin.com Music Spotlight: www.mu- sicspotlight.com Music of Your Life: www.musi- cofyourlife.com iM (cq) Networks: www.imnet- works.com Internet Radio List: www.inter- netradiolist.com WebRadio: www.webradio.com Cortmiercial radio has only this limited area the radio wave will cover. The Internet doesn't have that. There are no barriers." AM and FM have become two sides to the same overly researched, commercial-choked coin. Which is clearly the reason for the revolution brewing online. "It had to happen," said Rob Jones, founder and general manager of heavy-metal flagship KNAC, the first terrestrial station to end its over- the-air broadcasts and cast its fate to the Web. "It's like flowers bursting through concrete. There had to be a way to give people what they want. And if terrestrial radio isn't interested or (is) too worried about appealing to the broadest possible demographic, thank goodness for computers." The growth of Internet broadcasting mirrors the history of land reidio, where AM's longtime domination of the dial was superseded in the late '60s by all-powerful FM, which was technically preferable for music programmers and listeners. But as FM became increasingly formatted and consumed by advertising, it left niche programmers no choice but to move toward the next frontier: the World Wide Web. "We have the ability to let people chat with the show," said Jody Sherman, a founder of the biu-geoning Comedy World Network, which syndicates 24-hour comedy programming, such as a daily talk show hosted by Frank Zappa's son, Ahmet, to 50 markets and over the Net. "Although we're also programming traditional radio statioi\s, the Internet allows us to instantly gauge reaction." Originally, streaming Uve radio over the Net was a dream come true for ambitious progi-ammers of Web- only outlets as weU as traditional radio stations hoping to develop online audiences aU over the world for local shows and personalities. Lately, though, those rivers have begun drying up as mzyor radio com- pames, including giants Clear Channel and Emmis, have halted simulcast transmission of their terrestrial sta- tior\s due to issues of fees owed from the online broadcast of uruon-prp- duced commercials. Talker KFI-AM, for example, recently disabled its live Webcast. The dilemma could be resolved with the implementation of ad-insertion technology that aUows stations to mask union-produced spots with other material. But that's only a problem for land radio. Cybercasters are looking at farther horizons. "Digital radio will eventually move off the PC and into wireless technologies," said Zack Zalon, general manager of Radio Free Vfrgin, which offers 40 music channels to nearly 2 million listeners orUine. "It will take over where commercial rac- dio left off. People are sick and tired of commercial radio. There's so much advertising that it just isn't compelling anymore. Radio needs to return to where it's an adventure in creativity. That's what radio did so well in the early days of FM." First, however, more people need better wiring. According to a recent study of online users, broadband access is crucial in the widespread acceptance of streaming media like In- temet radio. Currently, jxist 7 percent of U.S. homes have broadband access, although that figure is expected to double by the end of the year, the Arbi- tron/Edison Media Research study revealed. Streaming media has a long way to go before it's considered a mass medium. Orly 3.4 percent of Internet users surveyed aged 12 and above said they listened to online radio in the past week. That figure extrapolat ed represents 8 million people, minuscule in relation to TV and traditional radio syndication audiences. Among the most successful Web stations are KNAC, album alternative World Class Rock, and dance/techno Groove Radio. All three, owned and funded by broadcast giant Clear Channel, started life as terrestrial outlets in Los Angeles.. "Cutting-edge underground dance music doesn't work full-time on advertiser-driven ground radio - yet," said Egil Aalvik (Swedish EgU), the ex-KROQ-FM DJ and present Groove Radio head, referring to now-defimct dance/techno station MARS-FM. "But we've got 300,000 streams (listeners) a month. I know this music is popular worldwide." ''Frazier'^ stays on track during move back to Tuesday nights By Kevin D. Thompson Cox News Service PALM BEACH, Fla — Last summer, no one would've invited Kekey Grammer and NBC programmeirs to the same cocktail party. The "Frasier" star was quite miffed — and rightfully so — when the network bumped his hit sitcom from its hallowed Thursday time slot to Tuesdays in favor of "Will & Grace," NBC's new comedy darling. Just a few years earlier, after months of heated discussions, Frasier inherited the cherished 8 p.m. time period from "Seinfeld." If NBC was a restless married man and "Frasier" and "Will & Grace" were two women vying for his affection, you could safely say NBC dumped an aging wife for a younger, prettier one. "It. certainly looked Uke somebody was trying to kiU us," Grammer was quoted in the Los Angeles Times last December. You could certainly understand Crammer's anger. Despite a painfully inconsistent season last year, "Frasier," the only TV series to win five consecutive Best Comedy Emmy awards, remained one of NBC's top-rated shows and averaged ' What The Jim Natct Scls" GOLF buy one get one FREE Through Memorial Day nearly 20 million viewers each week. And, despite being on the air since 1993, the wonderfully precise comic timing between Grammer and David Hyde Pierce, who plays NUes, Frasier's snooty brother, was as sharp as ever But the overwhehning feeling at NBC was "Frasier" was a show in decline and "WiR & Grace" was one on-the-rise. Most industry insiders be- Ueved moving "Frasier" to Tuesdays, where it would face such formidable competition from "Dark Angel," "Dharma & Greg" and "60 Minutes n," would doom the series. SodidL Son;ietimes, though, viewers are smarter than I think they are. Most of them actually followed "Fraiser" to its new night. Not only does the series attract an impressive 17 million viewers each week, it's also the night's No. 1 rated show. "Dharma & Greg" comes in second with 12 million viewers. NBC certainly realized "Frasier's" value. Last month the network and Paramount Television Group, the show's production company, reached a deal to keep "Frasier" on the afr for three more seasons. That means the series will be on for 11 years — just as long as "Cheers," the show from which "Frasier" was spun off. SHELTER l^SllnA^ct snaacsnMMMnMnMVMVMVMMMi Your Mend for Life... And Home and Auto. Call us for insurance protection review. 91 We 'll lUwnys bo there for you. 2737 BelmOflt • 823*5129 SasaSSMMnMMMMnMSVnMMMMBMM E. Crawford street Bistro & Cafe Sweet & $P750 Sour Chicken f Sunday Buffet 11 -i Fried $ -1 /\50 Shrimp XU ? Customized Catering! Tues.-Sat. 11-2. 5-9 • Sunday 11-2 1200 E. Crawford • 827-2728 f • iavin... 1 New Museum Logo Mugs & ^ T-Shirts 211 West Iron Open Tuesday-Friday 12-5, Saturday 10-5 & Sunday 1-5 Wdter V/eW Drilling Services •Residential Supply •Lawn & Garden •Livestock •Punap Sales & Installation -Geothermal Heat Pump Wells -Professional Geological Services 785-826-1616 Sailna.kS Friday Night ;Wrisfbaiid '7 p.m. -10 p.m. $10.00 Unlimited Play* *Doei not Include arcade Simllnui PHARMACY & OPTICAL Yes... We're Still Here!!! In the same location for 30 years! Speciali/ing in (Aistom Prescription Compounding, Nebulizers & Respiratory Medication Medicare Provider • Medicaid • Commercial Insurance Locally Owned and Operated, Dan Daley, RPH 321 S. Broadway • In the Ace Home Center Salina, KS 67401 • 785-825-0524 • 785-825-6540 (fax) Lt tlie whole story... ist a two second lieadline. ina Journal for complete coverage Kional news, weather, and sports. !23-6363 or 1-800-827-6363 to subscribe today to ^ Salina Journal M let an expert eep the peace. Inside: Jackie Kennedy— Fashion icon, find out tiie dangers of excess salt New YorlcKnids'star Latrell Sprewell... ''^Salina Journal |#USA Qjiuicrthtg (wmminities with information •WEEKEND

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