[JPL] Where has the passion gone?

Tom Mallison tomthejazzman at earthlink.net
Sat Aug 12 20:40:10 EDT 2006


Jae makes some valid points and every market is different and their is 
not "a one size fits all" for us in Jazz Radio.  I suggest that when you 
share your experiences and success stories as well as learning 
experiences that you include the power of your station and if PUBLIC 
what your are Fund Drive GOALS.  These two items help put things in 
perspective very quickly.  
*
WTEB-FM  100,000 Watts with $500,000.00 in Fund Drive Goals per year
broken down into two $250,000 drives in the Spring and Fall. *

ALOHA  Tom

Jae Sinnett wrote:

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>John, I understand your note but I would like to comment on the "boring" statement and your post from a few weeks ago. I've heard this from a few when asked about jazz radio and to me it's always interesting who it's coming from. I ask them (the few) what they would rather hear? "Something different." Well what? I've heard everything from Boney James to the Bad Plus to Soulive to "Trane Live In Seattle." 
>   
>  The point is that there isn't any clear majority consensus from this group. It's all over the spectrum and the views of the public - in the numbers "we" would need for our goals success are too myopic for creating a consistent creative jazz presentation. Now if you present an "Anything Goes" show - who knows but I've seen most of those tank over a short time as well. The actual only clear definitive view I get here are from the "jazz" listeners because they've come to terms with the sound that is associated with the name. This group makes up the largest core from our jazz perspective and believe me there is a specific sound. That is what creates our success. When you listen to rock radio there is a specific sound. Even smooth or the earlier contemporary jazz Ricky "S" talked about. Consistency. 
>   
>  Now as a programmer I can easily enlarge my audience by doing a number of things such as playing lets say...smooth jazz or something that is proclaimed to have jazz in it but really has little to do with it on a musical, technical, conceptual, spiritual and esthetical level. If I played smooth the numbers by public radio standards would go through the roof but are we abiding by the mission?  With all the talk here about what's happening in radio and such I've never heard anyone talk about this. Why is that? Is it not important anymore? Are we now taking this wonderful outlet for granted? 
>   
>  See, I'm one that truly believes in that initial purpose of this public outlet. That's now been altered because of funding cuts, folk that never knew what the mission was in the first place or care to know and worse yet....having someone deciding that if we put "this" on public radio it would be innovative. Hmmmm...."this" in many cases was why public radio was created in the first place.....to present the alternative to it. The debate comes in as to what constitutes superior art  vs what's popular now more than ever and if it's not being played somewhere else it should be on public radio....for that reason alone. I don't agree with that.
>   
>  Your market is different than ours but interestingly enough about the same size. The fundamental difference is your college connection - which of course can be significant for you on the Friday show you mentioned. We are not connected with a university. One of the few public outlets in the country that's not. So conceptually our programming has to be structured differently. All in all these debates are healthy and if anything else perhaps they can initiate new thinking which can lead to new ideas. 
>   
>  Jae Sinnett
>  WHRV FM
>  Norfolk VA 
>
>"Bouille, John" <JBouille at SHAWU.EDU> wrote:
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>"Where has the Passion Gone"
>
>Do you remember when you first started listening to jazz? We all have that story the first time it made sense to us and we felt like we were on the inside. Then you did everything you could to find out what was new, what was hot and keep you finger on the pulse and study up on the old that you did not know much about. Do you remember when you weren't afraid to ask questions or say that you didn't't know something without fear that it would tarnish your jazz IQ? In programming, where has the passion gone?
>
>Think about it, this is the greatest music in the world right? Do we program it with that statement in mind or the excitement that comes with being the best something in the world? The answer is simply no. With all these charts telling you what time to take a break, what song to play, and when you can use the bathroom the normal response to a younger listener when asked " Do you listen to jazz radio" and the number one response is " No it's boring" How can it be that when you talk to a friend or musical colleague about jazz the fire is there but, when you talk to your audience it's this is the way jazz is supposed to sound radio.
>
>The reason is your air-staff looks at their board shift like a job they are sick of and know how to do just enough to make it sound good. Why should your listeners settle for mediocrity just because you're bored? If you're bored do something to excite yourself and your show. Yes, I know it is our job to play the new music but, just playing something without giving the listener something else is boring. Where have the interviews gone? What happened to actually prepping for the interview before you go on the air with the musician?
>
>Today's host does his/her work in the studio goes home and forgets about tomorrow's show until they are in the studio again. Now I know you are creative but how creative can you be every morning without any prep. Say you have an interview scheduled and don't mention it until the day before to you listeners. Well most listeners won't even retain the information. If someone asked you what does your show offer consistently besides music and voice breaks, would you be able to add anything else to the list?
>
>Now some people are saying well I am the best host at my station and always bring in the most money during fundraising. That is all well and good unless everyone else at your station sucks!
>
>What if everyone at your station did a great show? Would it put you on your toes more and force you to take this a little more seriously? The key to a radio success is the best on-air staff you can find that doesn't't need to be told what to play or how to sound. Let them be creative. After all isn't that spurned your passion for this music in the first place? That's right it was creativity. 
>
>I know many programmers that this does not pertain too but, that is not enough.
>
>
>
>John Bouille 
>WSHA Program Director
>118 East South Street
>Raleigh, NC 27601
>1-800-241-0421 ~ 919-546-8433
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com
>[mailto:jazzproglist-bounces at jazzweek.com]On Behalf Of Jae Sinnett
>Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 11:40 AM
>To: jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
>Subject: [JPL] Fundraisers
>
>
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>-------------------------------------------
>Bob, thanks for your interest with this. I'll share some of my thoughts as to how I approach fundraisers in this post from one or two "technical" standpoints. I have a few other methods that I use but we'll leave it with these for now because of the length. 
>
>Someone just posted something about jazz being relegated to non friendly listener hours. Indeed in most cases and I knew - particularly during the weeknights - my audience would be fairly small considering the time frame. My program runs Monday through Thursday from 9pm-1am and Sunday afternoons from 12-5pm. We have jazz on Saturday evenings but I don't host the shows. Over the years I started paying attention to how other locally produced programs on our station fared during the drives. One of the things I zeroed in on was the average pledge dollar amount of these shows and most were in the $35-$65 range. I wondered why that was considering that our research tells us that our listener base have the highest income and educational levels. Then it hit me......the reason they average that is simply because that's what they "ask" for - 90 percent of the time. 
>
>Basic marketing tells us that folk have to hear something at least three times before folk react - remember that headache medicine commercial? I think it's called "Heads On" or something like that. They say it three times. The other part and most importantly for us during the drives.......is we get what we ask for. Too often this is underestimated during the drives. There's a lot of truth in this. That was the first change I made during my air time. I mentioned this to someone and they said....."well Jae, that's good but you'll lose in your numbers of folk pledging." I focused on our "mid" level pledge amount which is $120. I use that dollar amount as my "base" now so over the past six years my average pledge dollar amount for my show is $125. The highest of any show we air. The other part is the credit card incentive......
>
>I constantly ask for the credit card and my credit card pledges are at 98 percent. Again, the highest of any program. Plus, it's instant money....if the credit card goes through of course. I also give them reasons for using the credit card like better thank you gifts or that it cuts down on "us" having to send them thank you reminders and monthly billing statements. 
>
>Now did it cut down on my numbers of folk pledging? Yes, to a degree but here's how I look at it..... The alternative/rock show that preceeds my jazz program weeknights has about 50 times more the audience I have - understandably. When that show first started it averaged about $1000-2000 for a two hour program from 7pm-9pm - prime time night hours I will add. The average pledge amount was about $$50. The average number of pledges for that show would run about 10-20 more per night than jazz. Jazz averages about $1500-$4000 weeknights (not my Sundays) - with less pledges than his show but my average dollar amount is considerably higher. His Saturday afternoon show of four hours averaged about $3000-4000. My average for my Sunday show is now at about $10,000 for five hours. He averages about 20-40 more pledges than me on his Saturday show but again look at the dollar amount average.
>
>He and I talked about this and I said to him you'll get your dollar amounts up if you focus on a larger amount for your pledge base. He did and now his pledge totals are at about where mine are for weeknight jazz and his Saturday totals are at about $5000-6000 average. Jazz came in at the top for the past two fundraisers with his show second now and then ME and ATC and our morning classical show on our other station in fourth. 
>
>Since no one responded to my initial post with this a few months ago I'll stop here. If folk seem to be interested I'll continue. These are just a few areas but then there is the music and other uses of incentives like our Leadership Circle level challenge. 
>
>Jae Sinnett
>WHRV FM
>Norfolk VA 
>
>Bob Rogers wrote: 
>Jae,
>
>I'm responding to your gracious feedback on my comments in today's JPL. Yes, 
>I am somewhat familiar with your core views re: jazz radio and I share them.
>
>I've been thinking lately about a post you made several months ago regarding 
>the fact that during a fundraiser your jazz program actually bested the NPR 
>news programming on your station. I'd like to follow up on that because, as 
>you know, we've been exposed to very few jazz radio success stories recently 
>and when there are success stories such as yours, they need to be followed 
>up on, studied and amplified among us. I was a little surprised that no one 
>had pursued the subject with you, but I probably should have done so at the 
>time myself.
>
>Perhaps you could elaborate a little about what you did that resulted in 
>your success in out-pulling NPR for pledges. Not just what you did, but the 
>way you did it. After all, it ain't what you do, it's the way 
>that....well, you know.
>
>Best regards,
>
>Bob Rogers
>
>
>Bob Rogers
>2816 Barmettler Street
>Raleigh, NC 27607
>WSHA - www.wshafm.org
>Bouille & Rogers Consultants
>email: rwsfin at hotmail.com
>phone: (919) 413-4126
>
>
>
>
>
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>
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>
>Radio Contact: GROOV Marketing
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>
>This week's sponsor: Anton Schwartz ''RADIANT BLUE''
>
>-------------------------------------------
>
>Anton Schwartz ''RADIANT BLUE''
>
>The tenor saxophonist and composer's strongest release to date ... at radio now.
>
>Featuring
>Anton Schwartz (tenor sax)
>Peter Bernstein (guitar)
>Taylor Eigsti (piano)
>John Shifflett (bass)
>Tim Bulkley (drums)
>
>''Sharp arrangements and crisp straight ahead playing that seems to hit
>all the right notes.''
>-- Tad Hendrickson, JazzWeek
>
>''Vibrant jazz... dreamy interplay... relaxed and warm... a welcome addition.''
>-- George Harris, All About Jazz: Los Angeles
>
>''This is the kind of young jazz the majors keep saying they are looking for
>but not delivering.''
>-- Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap
>
>Radio Contact: GROOV Marketing
>Mark Rini - (877) 476-6832 x1 - mark at groovmarketing.com -or-
>Josh Ellman - (877) 476-6832 x2 - josh at groovmarketing.com
>
>Interviews and Station IDs available upon request.
>
>visit http://antonjazz.com
>
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>
>Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
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>
>This week's sponsor: Anton Schwartz ''RADIANT BLUE''
>
>-------------------------------------------
>
>Anton Schwartz ''RADIANT BLUE''
>
>The tenor saxophonist and composer's strongest release to date ... at radio now.
>
>Featuring
>       Anton Schwartz  (tenor sax)
>       Peter Bernstein  (guitar)
>       Taylor Eigsti  (piano)
>       John Shifflett  (bass)
>       Tim Bulkley  (drums)
>
>''Sharp arrangements and crisp straight ahead playing that seems to hit
>all the right notes.''
>                     -- Tad Hendrickson, JazzWeek
>
>''Vibrant jazz... dreamy interplay...  relaxed and warm... a welcome addition.''
>                     -- George Harris, All About Jazz: Los Angeles
>
>''This is the kind of young jazz the majors keep saying they are looking for
>but not delivering.''
>                     -- Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap
>
>Radio Contact: GROOV Marketing
>Mark Rini - (877) 476-6832 x1 - mark at groovmarketing.com  -or-
>Josh Ellman - (877) 476-6832 x2 - josh at groovmarketing.com
>
>Interviews and Station IDs available upon request.
>
>visit http://antonjazz.com
>
>+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
>Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
>	jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
>
>To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
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>or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
>	jazzproglist-request at jazzweek.com
>
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