Thursday, December 18, 2014

KION's Mark Carbonaro Has a Question For Broadcasters

Mark Carbonaro is a respected broadcaster in the Central Coast --has a question addressed to those who are in broadcasting via e-mail to 415 Media...

 Are you proud to be in this industry?  I ask this as I remember how radio was when I got in the business over 30 years ago. As a young jock I remember visiting KSFO in the Fairmont Hotel and seeing how classy the operation was. I also saw (and worked) in Bill Weaver's KLOK AM in it's heyday in the 70's. KSFO & KLOK were the kinds of places that were first-class operations and made you proud to be working in radio and made you want to aspire to greatness.

Today, I don't know what a young person feels when they walk into the typical radio station. What kind of feel they get. Just not the same.


  1. Why would anybody walk into a radio station?

  2. I don't think young people walk into radio stations these days and they haven't for a few years. They've got computers and smartphones and can do everything with them. Walk into a radio station? They think those towers are relics of an earlier age. Radio towers are as useful as lighthouses with todays modern navigation. It's over.

  3. Mark misses the point. It's not just radio stations that are no longer classy. It's anything American. We've become a nation of shrill money-grubbers and get-rich-quickers. i'm trying to think of a profession one could go into today (and make a decent living) with their head held high. Coming up blank. Seriously.

  4. Radio is still the only one electronic medium that is FREE. All you need is a transistor, or a car radio if you want to listen to over 70 FM and AM radio stations in the bay area. There are still a lot of good, solid radio broadcasters in the area, despite what Rich may say. And he knows this, because he gives some of them their just deserts, although he's more critical of the ones he doesn't like. That's okay, but radio is still viable, makes money, and has some creative people working in it. It's not dead, but it is on life-support, thanks mainly to deregulation and ugly companies such as Cumulus and Infinity, which insist on diluting and downsizing the product. That's counter productive to having a successful business model, so I don't quite understand these yahoos that are now running radio. I guess they just don't they. The good broadcasters who are still around soldier on, but their work is mainly unappreciated and also sometimes unrewarded by these unimaginative fools who operate out of corporate offices, sometimes on the other side of the country.

  5. With radio program syndication, voice-tracking, automated playlists, program networking, etc. there really aren't that many radio stations that have real people in them these days compared to what it was like in the 1950's and 1960's. Radio stations are now usually virtual, just a number on a dial that gets used for reference in their internet feed.

  6. To Anonymous 4:41, I get what you're saying and I agree. While I specifically mentioned radio (it's what I'm most familiar with), I would agree in general and in principle, that most of what is American today is quite diminished from what I grew up with and what many remember. That said the rest of the world doesn't get a pass. Talk with people from other places around the globe and they will echo much the same sentiment. Real pride (not chest-pounding) doesn't exist, too much emphasis on what's fleeting, no respect for permanence. It's an issue much larger than radio, and broadcasting is just a microcosm of it.

    I can remember the great pride I had when I got a job at a radio station that was a market leader that had great equipment and studios. A workplace that was a showpiece and the great pride the broadcasters who worked there had. I can also remember how dismissive we were of competitors who worked in stations that were shitpiles. It didn't matter if that station was profitable, if they refused to put dollars back into their business, many of us thought that was the sign of a truly unprofessional operation and a bad broadcasting outfit. Today I don't think people coming into the business think about any of that. Those kinds of things don't seem to matter much anymore.

    I liked to joke that radio is in my blood because I was given a shot of radio serum with a phonograph needle!

    To me radio was a calling. I don't think it or much of anything anymore can be described that way. Sorry to sound like the old curmudgeon, I can get this way this time of year.

    In closing, I'll sign-off with a Merry Christmas and seasons greetings to all of Rich's readers and posters. I always enjoy the information published here along with the back-and-forth debate about our business.

    Best, Mark