I dumped commercial radio several years ago, and this week I was reminded why. It’s the ads, the copycat “artists,” and the wacky morning deejays.
I like news for the drive into work and music on the way home. The former informs me, while the latter helps me unwind. The past couple weeks my usual morning radio station has been holding its fall fundraiser, which interrupts regular programming. Thursday morning, for the morning commute I switched back to commercial radio.
I have concluded that I would rather keep my mp3 player loaded with plenty of music and NPR podcasts than listen to one more minute of morning commercial radio broadcasts.
The station with the music format I like the most, 102.1 KDGE (The Edge), plays the occasional tune by an independent artist. For the most part, however, they play bands that the recording companies try to make sound like Nickelback or some other wildly successful act. When they aren’t playing that new “music,” they’re typically playing decent songs I already have memorized. That isn’t bad as a rule, but when I finally tune back to commercial radio for a while, I hope to hear something new.
I suspect the dissatisfaction with the music is largely a factor of my age. Sadly, I think I’m to the point that nothing sounds new anymore, and I thrive on fresh content.
Then there are the antics of the morning deejay. On Thursday morning, host Billy Madison called and antagonized a man after a listener called in to give her side of a story. Disguising his voice, Madison yelled at the man, peppered his speech with expletives, and demanded to know why he was not doing what he should. The man got agitated and threatened to call the police. Unlike when I listen to NPR, I was glad I had arrived at work so that I was forced to stop listening to the train wreck of a morning program.
Are there people who really enjoy starting their day with this drivel? An occasional cookie-cutter song accompanied by mindless banter and tasteless, baseless gags? Is it my age or my mind that makes it worthless to me? Both?
For my 23-minute commute home, the lame attempts at entertainment are gone, but I’m lucky if I hear two or three songs among all the ads.
Do you still listen to traditional commercial radio? If not, then what has taken its place?