I'd say people get tired of talking about politics all the time. And -- the article doesn't mention this -- the debate about Social Security was mind-numbing! Also, even though I'm especially interested in the topic, the subject of judges, religion, and the filibuster is really tiresome. What are the good topics? The other day Rush Limbaugh was going on for hours about ABC's exposé of "American Idol." He tried to tie it to all sorts of big themes about how journalism is left-wing and the left is all about character assassination, but it was a tiny topic and it seemed awfully silly to make such a big deal about it. So what if Paula slept with Corey? (Not saying she did, just that it doesn't matter.)
The New York Times has a piece about how rock music is failing on the radio:
Ratings for rock radio stations have been languishing for years. The share of the 18-to-34 age group that is tuning in to alternative stations has shrunk by more than 20 percent in the last five years, according to Arbitron, while stations playing rap and R&B or Spanish-language formats have enjoyed an expanding audience.
As a result, many rock programmers aren't sure what to play.
"The format in the last couple of years has gone through an identity crisis," said Kevin Weatherly, program director of KROQ, a closely watched alternative powerhouse in Los Angeles. "You have stations that are too cool, that move too quickly and are only playing the coolest music, which doesn't at the end of the day attract enough of the audience. Or you have the other extreme, dumb rock, red-state rock that the cool kids just flat out aren't into."
Well, this is why satellite radio is so good: you can have lots of niche rock channels.
Now, I've got to quote another paragraph:
Such scrambling to strike a balance has cost many alternative programmers large chunks of audience. Some radio executives said that they made a fateful choice in the last few years to jettison the pop-rock side of their genre to concentrate on heavier-sounding bands, and now are afraid to turn back. As part of that shift, many stations also decided to eliminate women from their audience research. These stations decided to aim at men almost exclusively because of the heavier sound. "You got yourself into a corner that you can't get out of," said Tom Calderone, senior vice president for music and talent at MTV, and a former radio programmer and consultant. "When you listen to alternative stations do their 90's flashback weekends, you can hear something as meaningful as Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden to something as silly and quirky as Harvey Danger and Presidents of the United States of America. When you become 65-75 percent guys, you're leaving a huge audience on the table."I suppose I should lambaste them for programming to men, but in fact, I like niche-programming, so I have no problem with that. It's their problem. If you satisfy some listeners, you lose others. You can't please everyone, and putting together an interesting mix is an art. I just wanted to say "something as meaningful as Stone Temple Pilots"? "Something as meaningful as Stone Temple Pilots"? If we're looking back on Stone Temple Pilots as some Golden Age of Meaning... that's just sad.
UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking and making some additional connections between the two parts of this post. First, just as I said satellite radio beats broadcast radio, he's saying blogging beats talk radio. Lots and lots of channels. And second, he takes my "you can't please everyone, and putting together an interesting mix is an art" and applies it to blogging, answering (it seems) all the people who are always (apparently) telling him what he ought to be blogging about). They want him to blog more about politics, but he admits he's also bored by the political topics I said I found boring.