Curtis Media Monopoly

Twenty five years ago, one of my first clients in the market research business was a man named Don Curtis. I used to drive my 1960 Valiant to Raleigh every day to help him figure out the marketing angles for two of the best radio stations in North Carolina: WQDR and WPTF. We got along pretty well.

Then one day Don decided to switch QDR from classic rock to country. It was a good business decision, but the loss of a legendary station hit me hard. We went our separate ways. The next time I became aware of Curtis Media was many years later when I heard that a flaming right-wing asshole named Rush Limbaugh was being carried on WPTF. WPTF once stood for "We Protect The Family." Yeah, right.

Don Curtis was (may still be) on the Board of Visitors at the J-School in Chapel Hill where my wife works. I used to run into him from time to time. We were always cordial because we're both such nice guys, and we remembered working together fondly.

So tonight I read that Curtis Media is extending its reach in North Carolina by acquiring three Greensboro radio stations. Before you know it, we'll have one or two companies monopolizing all the radio news in the state. One of them run by a multi-millionaire who believes airing Rush Limbaugh serves the common good.

Sadly, the FCC, which is supposed to ensure that the public airwaves are used in the public interest, will do nothing to stop this gross consolidation of power.

Sorry Don, but this deal stinks to high heaven.

PS Be sure to click on the Curtis Media website, and notice the slogan under their logo. "Serving the Public Interest Since 1968." Maybe they should rewrite that slogan so it says: "We Used To Serve the Public Interest Back in 1968." That was probably true.


The Cone heads

Media Consolidation

Seems to be a trend: The McClatchy purchases and Clear Channel to name a couple of big businesses taking over local NC outlets.

They'll give us a lot of rhetoric about local this and that

but the truth is, the only value these deals have is around economies of scale. Whether it's backroom operations, sales integration, programming leverage, web consolidation, or what . . . the name of the game is merge-then-cut.

We're already seeing the N&O and the Charlotte paper relying on the same stories and same reporters.

Thank god for blogs.

I've often wondered

how much it would cost to buy a series of really small radio stations throughout the state and simulcast Air America. Even if it was AM.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I suppose this is one of the reasons

that conservatives are trying to control the internet. They control every other form of the media but have not been able to control citizen journalism.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Liberal Talk Radio

Cool blog on liberal talk radio at:

Raleigh needs a Nova M affiliate so we can here Mike Malloy.