Alpha Media files Chapter 11

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  • #49535
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    Alpha Media, the privately held company that owns more than 200 radio stations, filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday. The Portland, OR-based company filed a prepackaged plan to overcome what it called COVID-19 “headwinds” and recapitalize $267 million in debt, according to Law360.com.
    http://www.insideradio.com/free/alpha-media-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy-protection/article_77ded9de-5f2c-11eb-b94a-cf09c1a2e2e6.html

    #49541
    paulwalker
    Participant

    Looks like the late Paul Allen got out of pdx radio at the right time, though he apparently took a significant loss in 2009.

    #49544
    nosignalallnoise
    Participant

    So the company that ruined KINK is ruined. Karma’s a bitch.

    #49545
    semoochie
    Participant

    KINK is still there. It might not be otherwise. Hardly any other AAA stations are!

    #49550
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    KINK, the one you speak of, is no longer “there.”

    What’s left doesn’t resemble the KINK of old in any way, shape, or form. It’s hardly an AAA anymore. It can never be like it was back in the day, but it could still be AAA if it wanted to. It doesn’t want to. It wants ratings, not quality.

    #49551
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    The format at KINK today sounds quite different from that on the station when I moved to this area in 1998. A benefit of the old KINK format was that they played some music that I never thought I would hear on a commercial radio station, such as The Specials. On the downside, I sometimes thought that they were “all over the place.” In that era, I thought that their short-lived rival, KXL-FM 95.5 did a better execution of the format.

    In that era, I also learned that KINK could not be played at a male-dominated workplace. This was because they would occasionally throw in a “soft rock” artist that some young macho-wannabe desk jockey would angrily characterize as “shit.”

    #49553
    semoochie
    Participant

    My point was, “Be thankful for what you’ve got.”. Almost nowhere else has ANYTHING!

    #49555
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    “A benefit of the old KINK format”

    Alfredo, the “old” KINK format was not in place in 1998. The old KINK format ran from the late 60’s when they got started through about the late 70s. Then, while still under the same (original) ownership, they shifted somewhat through the 80s as they watched their market share dwindle. The 80s also ushered the beginning of the destruction of ownership limits and the proliferation of Class A FMs as a result of Docket 80-90. Portland added 94.7 and 107.5. They weren’t threats fiscally to any full power station at that time, but the landscape was only in the beginning of upheaval. KINK floundered in the early 90s not knowing which way to go, and was sold in the mid 90s and then again in the late 90s. As a result, they had such a huge turnover in people that “format” became somewhat irrelevant. So whatever you heard in 1998 was not the “old” format. KINK hasn’t been a AAA since the 80s.

    KINK’s mission in the beginning was to emulate the progressive sound of the Metromedia FMs which ruled the big metropolitan FMs from the 60s through the mid 80s. Disco and dance music did not knock them out. It was the rise of CHR that really gave them a competitor. The pie was split largely between CHR, country and AOR. AAA faded quickly. Then when the grunge period began in the 90s, the “alternative” label really blossomed. Stations like KINK did nothing. They didn’t embrace Nirvana or Pearl Jam or Alice in Chains, etc. They continued to play Jackson Browne and the tired old music they had been playing since the 70s. By the time 1998 rolled around, the entire business model for music and radio were turned upside down. Artists didn’t need a record contract anymore, and the birth of streaming and file sharing didn’t help any. Radio stations in Portland ignored the internet in the beginning, to their own peril and eventual demise. There was so much music becoming available, it took a lot of man hours to properly review and parse the crap from the good stuff, and payroll was already in the hot seat since in the mid 90s when the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act removed all ownership restrictions and consolidation began.

    Nowadays we are suffering as consumers because of the failure of management of large corporations that own too many stations and can’t run them like they thought they could.

    No one is surprised. Many are still in denial of what happened. It’s not going to get fixed anytime soon, and KINK is not alone in its floundering. Truth is, if you scan the dial the only format that really sounds unique is country and even that format has had to change, absorbing much of what is really straight forward rock and roll and splitting off the classic country artist that the older demo wants to hear. Other than country, there is religion and talk for the mindless audience and various rock formats that overlap so much its not even funny. And so much automation, it’s no wonder satellite radio can compete with a different channel for every super artist.

    Yeah, peoples tastes change. Its inevitable. Corporate radio is addicted to the ratings game to make money, and they will do anything to get those ratings.

    Nothing changes in radio until they do away with one company holding unlimited licenses. As those groups slowly fail, you’d think a lightbulb in somebody’s head would start blinking, but that’s unlikely. It’s al about corporate greed, period.

    #49556
    saveit
    Participant

    Chapter 11 is a method of “Socialism” to help out corporations that have Financial Problems.

    So does this make Lars Larson a Socialist now?

    #49561
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I have embarrassed myself a bit with my choice of words. I did not realize that the format at KINK had changed so much since the 1970s and when I first heard the station in 1998. However, I have also been largely oblivious to the history of the AAA format for much of my adult life. The first radio station that I heard identified as such (in industry discussions, never on the air) was WMAX in the Rochester, NY area in 1993. I was 19 at the time. In the markets where I lived previously, this format was simply not offered, so what I heard on WMAX was my only point of reference.

    #49564
    semoochie
    Participant

    The programmer of KXL-FM 95.5 came from KINK, having programed the latter for several years, when the station took on more of an instrumental gentler tone.

    #49567
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    “embarrassed”

    Don’t feel that way. It’s ancient history, but there is value to looking at the whole timeline when evaluating formats and format changes.

    Also AAA was, in its infancy, referred to as “progressive rock radio.” It varied in content depending on the market and the personnel, but had many commonalities. It differed from what was happening on the left end of the dial where free form radio was referred to as “eclectic.” Led by WBAI, there were many progressively produced shows on the left end of the dial across genres other than rock. It vastly differed from Top 40, which no longer had any exclusivity for rock and roll which really grew in the late 60s and 70s. Kind of like KBOO tries to be but falls short. Top 40 in the 50s was driven by payola. After that got shut down by the courts, Top 40 began to wander in the desert as the 50s gave way to the 60s. Then the first wave of the British invasion came to our shores. Top 40 clung to short Yardbirds, Beatles and Rolling Stone songs that were not controversial while the progressive FMs were playing the deeper, longer more artistic and political tracks from those two groups as well as Pink floyd, Chicago, Steve Miller, Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead . . . groups that never appeared on a Top 40 playlist until the mid 70s. Top 40 utilized DJs who acted like goofy children in a sandbox instantly making the prog FM low key delivery “cool” to the teenagers and young adults of the time that had any real interest in the music, world affairs, national politics and so on. Top 40 played to the teenagers and the non musical grown ups. If you want to hear how silly Top 40 was back then, just listen to KISN. The announcers are old and gray nowadays, but they play the same silly music mixed in with some shortened versions of rock and roll classics. There were plenty of listeners for Top 40 60 years ago. Many are now dead. The rest that would still listen just aren’t into the art of music at the same level as musicians and artists. They don’t want to hear songs with a political, social or world view or whose musical structure doesn’t fit the tap your foot and dance to it mantra.

    Radio as an industry has largely failed and the reasons are numerous, and it’s their own fault.

    #49571
    semoochie
    Participant

    I would say that Progressive split off between AOR and AAA.

    #49573
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    I have a collection of 1960s Portland radio airchecks that were compiled by Ernie Hopseker. While the “mechanics” (for the lack of a better word) of the DJs’ presentation style has the feel of an acrobatic or high-wire act that I really enjoy on one level, this happy-go-lucky presentation is too frivolous for songs about dark subjects.

    When I was doing college radio, I was attempting to develop my skills with running a tight board, really precise timing, and avoiding the long-sets-of-segued-songs style preferred by many college DJs in favor of a presentation involving more personality, forward momentum, and a more fast-paced feel (which I believed to be the hallmarks of “skilled DJs”). Unfortunately, this was the 1990s, and there were songs with really dark lyrics in that era, particularly on college radio stations. One song was about a young woman named Melanie suffering from PTSD after being date raped. Another was about the residents of Love Canal being poisoned by toxic waste. In retrospect, it was an absolute train wreck to try to pair-up songs like these with a peppy-sounding DJ.

    #49574
    QPatrickEdwards
    Participant

    This wouldn’t be a KINK thread without me mentioning “Tree Top Flyer,” lol. 🙂

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