The Local Responsibility problem

Beginning tomorrow, my local radio station 92q (92.3 WERQ FM) plans to start playing the Ricky Smiley radio show in the morning after letting go our local morning team. Now Baltimore is a top 30 market which means we deserve to have our own programming and stations. The biggest problem is our proximity to Washington DC which further fragments the selection because we can get DC stations which are all better than our own 92Q. This i think is because there is competition and pride at stake as they try to assert their dominance over the DC turf. This has always been a problem since the V103 days ended. Anytime you get a town with a single voice things get bad because that one controlling group leaves little to no opportunity for others. I'll get to more on that in a minute.

The heads over at Radio One claim the economy is the reason blah blah blah. But to me that is an excuse. One of the ways you get to be a broadcaster is because of a commitment to also share some of your space and time with the community which is one of the stations hallmark sayings. By eliminating the forum during the morning drive time, the company has done a serious disservice to the Baltimore "Q-munity" as they call it. Marc Clarke, the main host, is one of the more insightful radio personalities in Baltimore radio and maybe the only one in the urban radio demographic. He has managed to keep it real yet hosting an entertaining show and being informative about things going on. We will miss that. There isn't going to be time taken out of the day to talk about the specific needs of the Baltimore area on the Rickey Smiley show. That hurts a community when there is no one to speak to their problems, needs, desires, and emotions.

This seems to be extending towards the entire station and most likely the industry as a whole. As corporations look at maximizing the most they can make at all times, they sacrifice the entire identity of the station or newspaper that the community has come to know and expect. This especially evident in Baltimore after the fall of 105.7. The Dj's at 92Q don't break or attempt to get exposure from new artists unless they're getting a cut by either managing the artist, doing the production for the artist, or plain outright taking the cash offered to them (albeit under the table). It's a new age of highway robbery since the biggest way to gain some type of exposure is still through the radio. (Let's be real how many myspace friends actually listen to the songs you keep posting in your bulletins?) It's ridiculous to see how many southern artists have moved on to national heights due to their stations showing them support and then looking to see your local station acts as if they don't want local artists to know where they even are. Yet established artists get coddled and butt kissed until someone says something to them and then the stand up DJ has to apologize and/or get axed. ( I believe that WERQ didn't like how real Marc was at times and it didnt help his cause. I do appreciate him speaking out to Keyshia Cole and telling Jamie Foxx that The Dream cannot sing).

The problem is homogenization-trying to make everything the same in every place. Corporations love it because they want to make things cheap and micromanage every aspect of a business. Consumers eventually take it because it seems as if they can do nothing. Maybe having Obama in office will change that idea. I myself have never been a fan of the aforementioned 92Q although I have occasionally tuned in to the morning show. Now, I am officially removing them from my radio presets so that I don't accidentally tune in ever again. I am through with Radio One abandoning the community for which it supposedly exists to represent. We have but one urban station in Baltimore and every week it sounds more and more like we have none so I shall treat it as such.

and by the way Rickey Smiley is one of the least funny people I have ever seen before.


Popular Posts