AM Radio used to be the home of static and Saturday morning recipe shows. It was the place you could hear (faintly) Elanor Rigby for the three-millionth time. You could catch your hometown high school football team if you weren’t more than five hundred yards from the transmitter.
They tried to fix AM radio with some contrivance called “AM Stereo”, as if hearing a fade from one speaker in your car to the other would fix Elanor Rigby, or the static, or the football game. It didn’t work. The only people listening to AM Radio were the ones without FM Radio.
Then, in the late 1980’s, the “Fairness Doctrine” (an oxymoron if there ever was one– how, after all, can fairness be “doctrinaire”?) was thrown on the bonfire, and Rush Limbaugh was suddenly on 600 radio stations, and AM Radio was never the same. Now the only people that listen to FM Radio are the ones that can’t get AM Radio. A single fellow, with a creative approach, salvaged an entire industry.
As Rush is fond of saying, what saved AM Radio was “content, content, content”. It wasn’t that Rush was some genius, it is rather that he was allowed to say on the radio what a huge segment of the population was already thinking. And people listened. And people continue to listen to this day, to the tune of 28 million each week.
So, Katie Couric is “Out” at CBS News. Big surprise, eh? Watching her deliver the news always reminded me of how mis-cast Sally Field was next to Tom Hanks in “Punchline”.
Now, if CBS was really interested in fixing its plonking, broken antique News Division, they would make Rush Limbaugh an offer he couldn’t refuse: Give him a 40-million dollar a year salary, give him editorial control of the broadcast, let him loose, and watch him absolutely crush ABC, NBC, and, in all liklihood, Fox News. I, for one, would make the CBS Evening News destination television for the first time since Dan Rather was hired over Roger Mudd, and I was still a zit-faced high school student.
Of course, the very thought of this makes CBS News soil itself, so the likelihood of it happening is microscopic. But, just a suggestion from fly-over country.