In this week’s issue… Western Mass. loses a legend – Saluting the competition – Cumulus enters the Buffalo fray – Townsquare rearranges Jersey Shore – Beasley cuts in Philly – New signals north of Montreal?
By SCOTT FYBUSH
Editor’s Note: In the years since this column got its start back in 1994, we’ve watched so many colleagues and competing publications come and go. The news that broke suddenly on Friday afternoon was especially sad, though: after 28 years, our friend and colleague Joel Denver will be closing AllAccess.com on August 15. It’s no exaggeration to say that for most of that time, AllAccess was mandatory daily reading for so many of us in the business; if you had anything to do with music radio or the record industry, Joel and his staff were right there with all of the comings and goings, moving at the speed of the internet when most of the industry (aside for, ahem, us) was still on weekly print deadlines. We’re not at all ashamed to say that it has always been a daily – OK, several times daily – must-read destination here.
As Joel explained in his farewell message, the industry has changed and the revenues that kept his site afloat for so many years just aren’t there anymore, making it impossible to sustain a site like AllAccess with all the staffing it required. We wish Joel and his staff all the best as they wind things down after their long run, and we look forward to working with our content partner Lance Venta and RadioInsight to try to fill at least some of the big void being left behind by its disappearance.
One more thing, if we may? As the news of AllAccess’ closure spread over the weekend, we’ve been deeply moved by reading all the stories of how much it meant to all our radio friends. The time will come, no doubt, when it’s our turn to hang things up and move on, especially as we approach our own 30-year mark next year – but we’re not there yet, and we’d like to remain sustainable for a while to come with our business model of subscribers and an extremely small mom-and-pop staff.
If you find what you read here even a fraction as valuable as everything that AllAccess did over the decades, we’d be grateful for your subscription, and even more so if you’d help us out by spreading the word about NERW to your friends and colleagues. We don’t expect a lot of growth in the remaining years of this column, given the trends of the industry, but just holding even is a kind of victory these days, and we don’t ever take your support for granted.
*If you didn’t grow up in western MASSACHUSETTS, it’s likely you never heard of Phil Drumheller. But if you did, “Phil D” was an important part of radio life in the Pioneer Valley for more than six decades.
At WHYN, Drumheller did everything – playing music on WHYN radio, where he once drew an amazing 70 share; hosting Springfield’s version of “American Bandstand” on WHYN-TV (Channel 40, now WGGB); and eventually rising to PD and general manager.
In later years, Drumheller moved up the valley to Greenfield, where he managed WHAI (1240/98.3) – and then, in his late sixties, finally became a station owner, buying the former WGAM (1520) and relaunching it as WIZZ, playing the oldies he loved and hosting shows from a studio in his own basement on a hill above Shelburne Falls.
Drumheller ran WIZZ for almost 20 years as a mostly one-man labor of love, right up until poor health led him to sell the station to Saga last year.
He was 85 when he died on Friday, survived by five children and a dozen grandchildren – and a community of listeners who were part of his life for almost 70 years.
FEBRUARY IS ALMOST GONE
We are down to our final copies and they won’t be reprinted.
This is the 23rd edition of our popular wall calendar, featuring gorgeous full-color photos of tower and transmitter sites from around the country, and sometimes the world. Our photos capture the sites throughout the day and throughout the year.
This makes a great gift for the tower enthusiast in your life — or a special treat for yourself!
Don’t miss out — order yours today!