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Top Radio Stories of 2010

The Hosts, the Industry, the Innovation, Comings, Goings, and Transitions


Dr. Demento, Syndicated Radio Personality

Dr. Demento, Syndicated Radio Personality

Screenshot: drdemento.com
119 Words You Can't Say on the Radio, at Least WGN Chicago - 3/12/10 Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels has issued a list of 119 words and phrases which should never be spoken on WGN-AM/Chicago by anchors or reporters. Included on the list: "Alleged", area residents", "campaign trail", "diva", "incarcerated", "perfect storm", "reportedly", "untimely death", and "you folks".

Significance: Michaels - and his influence - had a tough year ending in his resignation. WGN-AM (A legendary powerhouse station) continued to make on-air changes that infuriated and dismayed listeners. It was like watching your favorite radio station contracting Alzheimers and forgetting how to be itself.

CBS Radio Unveils Radio App for iPad - 4/3/10

CBS Radio offered a customized audio application for the new iPad, the day it was released. This new Radio.com app offers programming from CBS Radio and streaming partners like Yahoo! Music in addition to Last.fm's scrobbling* technology and more.

Significance: Traditional radio thinking "out of the box" or in this case "into the tablet".

Dr. Demento Announces Final Broadcast - 6/11/10

Barret Hansen, the radio personality known as Dr. Demento, wrapped up just about 40 years on-the-air. Demento wrote at his website his long-running show was losing money and only airing on a "handful" of radio stations.

Significance: Some syndicated radio deserves to be shared and Demento's unique program of novelty songs was quite popular at one time. But, nothing lasts forever.

Don Weeks Announces Retirement from 810 WGY - 6/18/10

The man's been doing the WGY morning show for 30 years and had been broadcasting in the Schenectady, New York region for 50 years. That's not shabby. Weeks announced he would end his broadcast career when his current contract ended.

Significance: You can say what you want about syndicated radio personalities and programs but in the end, it's the local personalities who make the biggest difference of all.

Bill Cunningham Opts to Stay at WLW-AM in Cincinnati - 6/15/10

The controversial Cunningham was being lured to WGN-AM/Chicago but said a new deal was being worked out which would keep him on WLW-AM/Cincinnati where he has been heard since 1983.

Significance: Same as above.

Dueling Rallies: Glenn Beck and Al Sharpton in Washington, D.C. - 8/28/10

Glenn Beck, the conservative radio and TV host, greeted a crowd today from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial numbering in the hundreds of thousands who came from across the country to take part in Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally.

Meanwhile, radio host and activist, Al Sharpton held a "Reclaim the Dream" rally at another location in Washington, D.C.

Significance: The real story here was really Beck and the number of people he drew to D.C. Another demonstration of the power of both Radio and TV and how it can amplify a charismatic personality.

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