Thanks for the laughs
I want to thank Bill Ramsey for his cover story on 4/11/02 ["Spinning Trouble: Clear Channel Gets Spanked By the FCC"].
It was a laughably ignorant account of the Charlottesville radio scene. From one who was (but thankfully, no longer is) in the thick of the local Clear Channel situation, I have a few comments:
1) What makes Hal Abrams a spokesman of any consequence for WUMX, Mix 107.5? Having hired Hal, I am uniquely qualified to answer that question. Hal and his partner, in two consecutive ratings periods, brought Mix its worst morning ratings ever. All signs pointed to further decline, not to mention further advertiser defections due to the show’s questionable content. Despite being coached against this type of show, and being asked repeatedly to take a more family and community-minded approach to Morning Drive, he instead gave us shows such as “Tell us the most sadistic thing you’ve ever done.”
2) Hal’s paranoia about the “blue cables” (which were for a higher-speed network connection to give him faster internet access in the studio, by the way) was just one more nightmarish reason his contract was not renewed; it was not for budget reasons, or any other ulterior motive, as he implies. And yet, you quote Abrams as some sort of Mix 107.5 authority. I can’t wait to read about Hal’s magic bullet conspiracy theory in next week’s Hook!
3) Why wasn’t David Mitchell, still the current owner of WUMX, even mentioned and/or quoted? Why wasn’t any past or present Mix 107.5 or Clear Channel programming staffer quoted for this ludicrously slanted story?
4) And as interesting as Dann Miller’s theory is about “most Clear Channel DJs doing shifts on two stations,” and “at least three shifts coming via email,” it simply is not true. I, for one, did only one shift for Clear Channel— on Mix 107.5 in Afternoon Drive. Mix had no e-mailed shifts coming from anywhere else; it was (and still is) staffed every day by honest-to-goodness real local DJs. Why Dann-— a genuinely nice fellow, but not a Clear Channel employee— would be quoted about how his competition does business is beyond me.
5) But the coup de grace for me was how an article about commercial radio yet again degenerated into a WNRN promotional piece. How much does [station general manager] Mike Friend pay you guys for this much unabashed adoration week after week? You’d think a majority of people actually do listen to 91.9.
I am grateful to no longer be a part of the Charlottesville/Clear Channel drama. It’s been an interesting ride, but I’ll take where I am now by a long shot.
Thanks again for the laughs.
Formerly: WUMX and Clear Channel/Charlottesville Operations Manager
Now: WBQB/WFVA Fredericksburg Operations Manager