Last week I started a series on local radio. We stopped at FM 93.3. Let’s pick it up where we left off.
I can quickly skip through 94.1, 94.9, and 95.7, all featuring music I don’t care to listen to. Country giant KSSN, 95.7, is still the market leader playing today’s country hits, which I totally don’t understand. I hear no innovations in country music, which has become so dumbed-down and "pop-i-fied."
96.5 "The Voice," starts the day with a sleepy Alice Stewart show, followed by an ultra-right lineup of Glen Beck, Mike Huckabee, Dennis Miller and so on. It seems to be very slow to gain traction, and its signal barely reaches the edges of the county.
98.5 plays the same old stuff that about seven other stations play in the market. However, Lisa Fischer and Jeff Matthews are one of the last bastions of local personality-driven shows. They actually put some effort into it with local interest stories and personalities such as Jennifer Christman with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and other local voices.
Disney Radio at 99.5 is disappearing at the end of the month. My grandbuddies will miss it. The music wasn’t my cup of tea, but they made sure it was clean. Not sure who will get that spot on the dial, although its signal is also very weak.
My friend, Bob Steel, has an enjoyable morning news talk show at 102. 9 with some emphasis on news with former TV news guy, Andy Pearson. It falls off pretty quickly after his show, with offerings such as Rush Limbaugh and the Dave Elswick show. Spare me.
103.7, "The Buzz" features a whole host of big personalities vying for microphone time and talking over each other. The best show on the station is Bill Vickery’s Sunday morning talk show featuring mainly him and a few guests. Check it out at 9 a.m. till noon. It is also home of "Drive Time Sports" with Randy Rainwater and Rick Schaeffer. This is where the callers drive the show. They do have a high football savant in Barry Grooms, who is on during the high school football season giving an incredibly insightful overview of each week’s match-ups, team info, school history, rivalries and more.
Stopping at 105.1, "The Wolf" features "country classics." The classics are few and far between. It is owned by the same company as KSSN.
"Alice" 107.7 plays today’s unbearable popular music. There’s just no reason to listen, although the Heather and DC show in the morning is pretty well done and personable.
I didn’t stop at "Power 92," the Christian and gospel stations or the Hispanic stations. I don’t listen to them, so I won’t comment.
The AM dial, has been all but abandoned by both radio ownership and audiences across the land. The only bright star on the dial here is the Dan Patrick Show from 8 to 11 a.m. followed by the Jim Rome Show on KARN 920. Patrick’s show is brilliant and is not to be missed during football and basketball seasons. The rest of AM is relegated to Christian programming including the once "Mighty 1090," KAAY.
I predict that we will always have free radio because it’s too easy for the listener. I push a button and I can usually find a station that has something I want to listen to either talk or music, if you like pop or country. As an advertising guy, I love radio because it’s cheaper than any other medium (except sandwich signs) and it allows a creative person to produce a national-quality spot inexpensively.
There are several other aspects to radio that are changing the way we listen. My phone has an app called "TuneIn Radio" that allows me to listen to virtually any station in the country. And of course, there is satellite radio in your car and/or as part of your cable or satellite TV package. Plus, there are tons of choices you can stream on your computer as well.
America is all about over-indulgence and we certainly have that option in radio. Unfortunately, free radio doesn’t have a lot of choices when you boil it all down. But one thing is certain, there are plenty of choices when it comes to talking about the Razorbacks.
See you on the Boulevard. And keep listening to your favorite station.
Neal Moore owns a creative consulting firm, Neal Moore Creative. He has lived in Maumelle over 10 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook or on Twitter, @kneelmore.