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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Death of AM Radio: Call 1-800-888-8888. That’s 1-800-888-8888…

The AM band now only exists to sell you things. There is precious little content compared to the never ending commercial breaks. There are commercial breaks every 4 minutes and then go on for 12 minutes at the end of each hour. Many times they’ll come back from a commercial break and go into another commercial break. The streams of 800 numbers just run together after a while and are only broken up by the dot com ads. But whatever it is, I'm not buying.
It used to be you got the 800 number twice. Now you get it 4 times per ad. Once they start it’s just a stream of 1- 800 blah blah blah numbers and it’s just so annoying that once they start, I turn the radio off and leave it off. I'm off the AM dial for the most part these days. It's not that I don't like the shows but now I have lost my tolerance for all the extra bullshit you have to go through to listen to them. No program is worth listening to all these ads over and over. The more ads, the the quicker I turn it off.

And it’s the same 4 companies advertising on these channels so for any given 3 hours of programming you’ll hear the same ad 15 or more times. I mean, you would if you were still listening by that time.

Then on the weekends most of the channels have NO CONTENT at all since the entire weekend is now thrown over to paid programing which consists solely of either money management groups or herbal supplement companies hawking their wares disguised as radio shows. Think about it; for two whole days there is nothing but advertising. Each "show" is really just a three hour commercial with commercials in them.
I don’t know what kind of person calls these AM talk shows but they always get cut off by the host and hardly get a word in edgewise since their call only serves as a foil for the host who will pontificate about whatever it is the caller starts to say before they inevitably come up against a “hard break” meaning they're getting disconnected. Why would people do this to themselves? The world will not change by you calling a radio station, AM or FM, to complain about something and then getting cut off. Think about it.  

I don’t think these AM channels are making any money. Perhaps it’s the licensing fees they pay the FCC or the taxes or whatever it is but I think the margin is so thin these days for radio stations that they have to beat listeners over the head incessantly with advertising in order to cover their nut each month. I can think of no other explanation. Would they do things this way if they had a choice? I don’t know why I had put up with this crap for so long. 
It is reminiscent of how the cable companies continue to package a land line phone “for free” with your cable TV plan so that telemarketers can still have a way into your household. Nobody needs a land line phone anymore and even grandma can use a cell phone. Really, old people ain’t that dumb. It’s still a PHONE and they still work the same way they always have, just without the wires.

I don’t care what happens to these stations anymore. They've become un-listenable. If an AM station can't make money without spewing all these 800 numbers incessantly then sell it to someone who can since they must be in the wrong line of work.

It's a shame because I grew up with AM radio and actually enjoy radio more than television since you can actually do things while listening to the radio as opposed to having to sit and watch television. So the good old days of radio are gone and my tolerance for lack of content and non-stop merchandising has gone with it. 

I really toughed it out during the election cycle but now I'm OUT. 
Thank God! 

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