Thursday, May 26, 2005

 

The return of Lydon! .....ready?

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Chris Lydon, who wowed many with role as the original host of "The Connection" at WBUR. (And who wowed people with a very public exit!)

He has been working on a show called "Open Source" that will be produced as part of an affiliation with WUML, The radio station at the University of Lowell.

The show is scheduled to air weeknights on 89.7 WGBH, at 7PM.
('GBH is pushing back the start time of Eric Jackson's jazz program.)

The show is being distributed by PRI and appears to have 3 affiliates that have been announced.
(I understand that WUML in Lowell, will air the program the next morning at 9AM.)

Chris explains the show here. I am not sure I get the idea of a web/blog/radio show. In his first pilot program, I think the show took too much time trying to descibe the synergy he hopes to create....and too little time being a radio program.

After all, in the end, that's what it is....and that's how most people will use it.

Will the 'tech talk' be a distraction from plain old good radio?

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Comments:
lydon is a fool
 
I'm not crazy about him either and don't like that WUML's been further grabbed away from the students who are supposed to run it.
 
>>lydon is a fool

And why is that?
 
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>>don't like that WUML's been further grabbed away from the students who are supposed to run it. <<

Well, just like WBUR, right?

And, who said that the students are "supposed to run it"?
 
***And, who said that the students are "supposed to run it"?***

http://www.wuml.org/history.php
 
***And, who said that the students are "supposed to run it"?***

>> http://www.wuml.org/history.php

Ok, that's the answer. A website put up BY the students...say that students are supposed to run it.
 
Well, you can't argue with the facts from the WUML history: "The radio station started in the spring of 1952. The school at this time was Lowell Textile Institute and its principle studies included leather, chemical, plastics, and textile technology. There were no communications programs or any electrical engineering courses being offered by the institute. The station was not begun by the school, but by a student who didn't even realize he was broadcasting music live on-air. The student, Ed Bonacci, was a sophomore in 1952, majoring in textile engineering, and living in the dorms. And as Ed remembers, "I had a home-built audio-amplifier that had an oscillation, that was being nicely modulated by the audio output of the amplifier." To simplify, Ed's amplifier was sending a signal that was being picked up on some of the students' AM radios and was therefore being broadcast over the air. "
 
+

You can't argue with the fact that it is part of the College/Univ now. And therefore, it is there to serve the college in whatever way they see fit. The school is the FCC licensee, and responsible for it....and they techinally "own" it.)

Never mind the fact that it is funded by the University.
 
So from your point of view, the administration making more money for themselves is more important than the students education? Even though it is funded through the student activity fees? I'm not sure where the money is coming from to pay Lydon, or where the money brought in is going, but I do know not a cent is going into the WUML budget, even though the students have run and maintained it for over 50 years.
 
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The administration is not "making money for itself", as much as they are making money for the school.

Not that I know if they are "making" *any* money on this situation at all.

However, it is like a college football team, which may indeed be a student activity, however, it serves a much bigger purpose, publicity, reputation, fundraing, and serving the community and college at large.

Secondly, is a student playing punk rock for an hour every week the education that you are referring to?

The football team helps bring in donations.

The radio station may be re-tooled to serve the community at large, bring a higher stature to the college.

Again, the administration has every right to use every resource they can to enhance the University as a whole. If the Football team helps bring in donations that help build a new science center....then the football team has served it's purpose on campus.

I can't say that WUML has been doing much to serve the Greater Lowell area, outside of providing entertainment for it's staff.


+
 
Those are very short sighted comments. I will suggest to the current students to perhaps create the LONG list of people who went onto careers in engineering, management, music business, etc. (Ever listen to a Patriots broadcast in the late 80s, ever listen to the River, ever listen to "The World" on WGBH, etc, etc, etc?) based on their time at WLTI/WJUL/WUML. Sorry to say, but anyone who cannot see how WUML is benefiting the Lowell community as well as being a starting point to many many careers in many many fields is simply out of touch.
 
Anyone who favors less student independence on a heritage signal like WUML/WJUL/WLTI has a dog in the hunt. Period. With dwindling or zero control by talent on professional radio, dwindling or zero listener input, the last bastion of free radio is college radio.

This Lydon deal smell worse than an old mic screen back in the smoking days. If a 100 kW WGBH airing follows a 1.6 kW delayed airing doesn't smell bad, then consider Nasonex.
 
>>Sorry to say, but anyone who cannot see how WUML is benefiting the Lowell community as well as being a starting point to many many careers in many many fields is simply out of touch. <<

How does someone living in Lowell benefit from the fact that people have gone on to work at The River, 'GBH, Patriots, etc?

>>Anyone who favors less student independence on a heritage signal like WUML/WJUL/WLTI has a dog in the hunt.<<

Nope. no dog in the hunt.

I just don't see how giving kids an hour to play independent rock helps the University as a whole...or Lowell as a community.
 
The students traditionally ran the station, making all the decisions - some of which include having locally produced shows showcasing Lowell's diversity, and live broadcasting the annual fiddle and banjo festival.

College students throughout the state benefit from developing responsible leadership through radio management, but uml is one of the few public colleges in Ma. where a student can get that experience.
 
I just finished listing to NPR's On The Media, Lydon was on promoting his new show. He did not mention UMass Lowell at all, so how is this helping promote the university?
 
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My guess...? Take the 'big check' from ULowell for the first year or two...using the extra dough as start-up or seed money for his show/venture.

Hopefully the show will establish itself a year or so later that it can stand on it's own, without needing any outside "propping up"....then he can make some serious money without having to be a 'consultant' to UML.

Remember, WBUR was going to pay him $400,000 a year to do a show....and even with THAT number, WBUR was STILL going to do be in the black and doing well with syndicating Lydon. (So, how much DO you think 'BUR was making off of the Lydon show if the could offer him $400,000 to continue it?)

My guess is that Lydon want to be in the drivers seat and get the show to the point where HE is directing the revenue.
 
WBUR was going to pay Lydon $250K a year, not $400K. Lydon walked away from it over the issue of who "owned" The Connection.

It is my understanding that Lydon "owns" this show and any underwriting revenue goes to him and PRI, not to UMass Lowell.

UMass Lowell would be much wiser to spend the $500K they are dropping on this show in developing curriculum for students instead of feeding Lydon's ego.
 
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No, the last offer to him was $400,000...which he declined....because WBUR would still "own" the show.

WBUR's offer to him got to that ridiculous number because they wanted him to sign, but would not reliquish their ownership of the program.

But, $400k was the last offer.

-
 
The offer was $400K ONLY if you combine the offer to Lydon ($250K) and McGrath ($150K).

So if you want to say the offer was $400K fine, but that was not for Lydon.

Bottom line, no students are involved in this new show (so much for the "learning" experience for the students).

UMass Lowell would be better served pumping the money into making UMass Lowell a better school.
 
Unless your name is Jane Christo, you are jjust an another anonymous voice...so, your numbers don't mean shit.

Second, I'm sure the administration thinks they are doing just that.....pumping money into making UL a better schhol.
 
Which is why Lydon mentioned them so many times when he had his chance on NPRs "On The Media", oh, I forgot, he didn't mention the university and its partnership at all!

So what makes you think I'm not Jane?
 
**Which is why Lydon mentioned them so many times when he had his chance on NPRs "On The Media", oh, I forgot, he didn't mention the university and its partnership at all! **

Listeners to "On the Media" are not going to help UL be a better University.

**So what makes you think I'm not Jane?**

Then I stand corrected. Nice to have you here Queen Jane! ;-)
 
"Listeners to "On the Media" are not going to help UL be a better University".
****
Actually it hasn't been UL in years, it is UMass Lowell, and OTM listeners are exactly the kind of people UML is trying to attract. Affluent white suburbanites.

That aside, I guess the facade of the program being a "learning experience" for the students at WUML has finally been stripped away and people recognize the show for what it is, Lydon finding a patsy to let him back on the air.

Glad to be here, now bow before your sovereign, peasant! LOL
 
**Actually it hasn't been UL in years, it is UMass Lowell...**

OK, so I got the initials wrong....

**and OTM listeners are exactly the kind of people UML is trying to attract**

OTM is a national show...listeners in Omaha don't care.

**That aside, I guess the facade of the program being a "learning experience" for the students at WUML has finally been stripped away and people recognize the show for what it is, Lydon finding a patsy to let him back on the air.**

Oh, I don't doubt that is Lydon's motivations for sure.

However, I think Lydon brings more to the table than letting 4 hours (thats all it is!) go to sudents to play independednt or underground (otherwise obscure) rock.
 
"However, I think Lydon brings more to the table than letting 4 hours (thats all it is!) go to sudents to play independednt or underground (otherwise obscure) rock".

If that is what you think this is all about you have obviously never been in a position of learning things like managing people, bugets, capital improvements etc. All of which the STUDENTS at WLTI/WJUL/WUML have been doing for 50+ years, and have produced a fairly impressive list of people who have gone on to successful careers in various parts of the industry, all without a formal program at the school.

As for playing obscure rock, college radio is one of the last places on the dial where an independent artist can get his/her music played. I don't see Clear Channel/Infinity et al doing anything but putting more homogenized programming out there.

It's not JUST 4 hours. In Lowell Lydon is on 5 days a week.
There are the hours the Lowell Sun took from students (25 hours) to help boost the profits of that corporation.
And now it appears even more time will be taken to broadcast a privately owned professional baseball team, at the expense of ethnic programs that serve people ignored by commercial stations.

See a trend here?

All in the name of a "learning experince" for students. No student involvement in any of the above projects BTW.

As for OTM, last time I looked colleges and universities market themselves not only nationally, but internationally. So just because you think it might be too far to travel to go to school cross country, many others don't. So OTM would be a perfect vehicle to use but Lydon did not use it.
 
>>If that is what you think this is all about you have obviously never been in a position of learning things like managing people, bugets, capital improvements etc. All of which the STUDENTS at WLTI/WJUL/WUML have been doing for 50+ years...<<

And they can continue to do them. Lydon isn't stopping them from doing any of the above things you mentioned.

>> and have produced a fairly impressive list of people who have gone on to successful careers in various parts of the industry, all without a formal program at the school.<<

And who know, they might even produce more, with a more professional run station....and if they suceed in putting a formal program there.

>>As for playing obscure rock, college radio is one of the last places on the dial where an independent artist can get his/her music played. I don't see Clear Channel/Infinity et al doing anything but putting more homogenized programming out there.>>

Your opinion on what they play (or mine doesn't count. Just like the fact that I don't think spanish language stations are doing more than wasting a frequency. (But that's my opinion). The licensee's of the stations can program what they see fit. Who is the licensee of WUML?

>> It's not JUST 4 hours. In Lowell Lydon is on 5 days a week.
There are the hours the Lowell Sun took from students (25 hours) to help boost the profits of that corporation. <<

Educational institutions do not post "profits".

However, if they can bring in capital, to be used for the institutions mission, then that's the job of the administartion....that's what they get paid for.

Much like a college football team. If a school runs their program well, it helps bring in donation, notariety, talent, etc......all the whilst giving some students the opportunity to play a silly game with a funny shaped ball.

>> And now it appears even more time will be taken to broadcast a privately owned professional baseball team, at the expense of ethnic programs that serve people ignored by commercial stations.
See a trend here?<<

Sure, the same trend that happenned at WBUR when they kicked out all the students there many moons ago.

Most would agree that WBUR and the public is better served.

>> All in the name of a "learning experince" for students. No student involvement in any of the above projects BTW.<<

Remember, the radio station is a "school activity"....not an academic program. (Again, much like the football team.)

>> As for OTM, last time I looked colleges and universities market themselves not only nationally, but internationally. So just because you think it might be too far to travel to go to school cross country, many others don't. So OTM would be a perfect vehicle to use but Lydon did not use it.
<<

a.) Listeners to OTM don't care about Lydon and his UML connection.

b.) The OTM show was about the idea of "open sourcing" of ideas, in blogs, podcasts, radio shows etc.

It was not about Lydon, his situation, his salary, or any instituion he was involved with.

That said, I agree that Lydon's motivations are suspect.
 
Well the students got one win. According to the Lowell Sun the Spinners will NOT be on WUML but will be back on WCAP after the university pulled out of the deal.

BTW, you missed the point of my comment:
" There are the hours the Lowell Sun took from students (25 hours) to help boost the profits of that corporation."

Your response was
"Educational institutions do not post "profits"."

You are correct, but the profits I am talking about went to the Sun, not a dime went to the university or the radio station.

I am guessing that you are one of those new broadcasters that believe the airwaves are there for profit, otherwise you would see the value of Spanish language programming in this area as well as independent music.

As for the school going to churn out even more professionals, they're off to a great start since there is no student involvement in either the former Sun endeavour called Sunrise or the new Lydon show.

Another wise investment in the future of the students.

There is that "s" word again, those annoying students, the reason why a university exists in the first place!

As for the comparison with WBUR that was a little different, from what I have heard BU cut the purse strings to WBUR when it was a student run station, so it was go big or go dark. WUML has been funded entirely through student activity fees and was established by a student, not the school. The school was granted the license because the founding students understood that some entity had to hold it, but it was a trust granted by students to then Lowell Tech.

Add to that the fact that BU does have a student run station in addition to WBUR and this is a much different situation.

So, shelling out a half million a year for Lydon to produce a show in Boston for rebroadcast the following day in Lowell, now that is investment in good eductational curriculum!

Thats my last word, I am tired of this and since you and I are the only people participating, no one else appears to care about the situation or Lydon!
 
+

**the profits I am talking about went to the Sun, not a dime went to the university or the radio station.**

It is my understanding that the Lowell Sun made an underwriting contribution of some kind to the University.

So, if the Lowell Sun PAID UML $X amount of cash, (with whatever programming agreement it entailed)....where is the profit?

Sound like a net loss for the Lowell Sun!

**I am guessing that you are one of those new broadcasters that believe the airwaves are there for profit, otherwise you would see the value of Spanish language programming in this area as well as independent music.**

Actually, I'm an "old" broadcaster, who participated and enjoy college radio from time to time. I had heard Lydon was undertaking a new program/blog...and an internet search for Lydon+Blog led me here.

More than being a 'new' or 'old' broadcaster...I am more of a realist. More than profit, I believe the airwaves are there to serve the public....and, are editorial mouthpeice for the license holder.

As far as spanish programming....thats a subject for another day...and simply my opinion. I bleive that "Mass Communication" and BROADCASTING should be just that.....broadcasting to the masses. When we start using broadcasting stations as glorifies intercoms and PA systems...for small little niche audiences...it ceases to be BROADcasting. Again, that's just an opinion, many people feel differently.

**As for the school going to churn out even more professionals, they're off to a great start since there is no student involvement in either the former Sun endeavour called Sunrise or the new Lydon show.***

However, the thigns you mentioned (managing people, bugets, capital improvements etc.) all can still be done by students. There is nothing changing that. Students do not have to be responsible for every second of airtime. Like in the bigger markets....just think of it as time we give back to the network! When bigger market stations carry network programming...local personal are not necessarily involved.

**Another wise investment in the future of the students.***

If the station is run more professionally....it will indeed be a good investment for the students.

**There is that "s" word again, those annoying students, the reason why a university exists in the first place!**

However, it's the administartins job to follow the stated mission and use the resources available to them in an effecient mannor towards that goal.

Besides entertainement for the DJ's....I don't think the radio station is aprt of it's mission.

"WUML has been funded entirely through student activity fees and was established by a student, not the school.**

Hwever, the school IS the licensee AND the owner of the station.

WBUR is funded thru "You Our Listeners" and CPB. HOwever, they don't run the station do they?

**The school was granted the license because the founding students understood that some entity had to hold it, but it was a trust granted by students to then Lowell Tech.**

But the facts remain!

Also, some student stations like WHRB and WMBR, while affiliated with the schools...are not owned or licensed to the schools. So, it didn't have to be done that way...but that's the way it is now.

**Add to that the fact that BU does have a student run station in addition to WBUR and this is a much different situation.**

Well, set up WUML-AM 640AM like BU did. The situation is not all that different, except for scope.


**So, shelling out a half million a year for Lydon to produce a show in Boston for rebroadcast the following day in Lowell, now that is investment in good eductational curriculum!**

Good or bad...it's their decision to make!
 
"It is my understanding that the Lowell Sun made an underwriting contribution of some kind to the University.

So, if the Lowell Sun PAID UML $X amount of cash, (with whatever programming agreement it entailed)....where is the profit?

Sound like a net loss for the Lowell Sun!"
**********
Just to correct your fuzzy math.
The Sun paid the university $40K for the first year's broadcast rights. The university then hired a "professional" announcer with the money and gave him to the Sun for free. In addition the university hired several other people and a tech at additional costs.

The Sun then sold underwriting, best estimate is about $300K for the 15 months they were on the year and kept the money. The Sun did not contibute to capital costs at the station, the "news" content consisted of interviews with Sun reporters and reading local content from the paper.

So, even with "W's" fuzzy math, that is not a loss for the Sun.

Have you heard the "professional" Sunrise show that you seem to think is the golden future for student wanna be broadcasters? Check it out.
 
**The Sun paid the university $40K for the first year's broadcast rights. The university then hired a "professional" announcer with the money and gave him to the Sun for free. In addition the university hired several other people and a tech at additional costs.The Sun then sold underwriting, best estimate is about $300K for the 15 months they were on the year and kept the money.**

I don't believe the sun sold $300,000 in underwriting.

Please cite your source.

**Have you heard the "professional" Sunrise show that you seem to think is the golden future for student wanna be broadcasters? Check it out.**

I never said it was the "golden future"....from what I understand, it was simply awful. However, the Lydon show will probably add much more to the situtation that the Sun's errrr..."show.

However, my point all along, is that it's the schools/licensee/owner's decision to make.
 
"I don't believe the sun sold $300,000 in underwriting.

Please cite your source."

As I said it is best estimate since the Sun never listed the underwriters in the radio station's public file as required by FCC regulation.

The estimate is based on third and fourth party information about the average "buy" from larger institutional underwriters and the number of those underwriters heard on the air.

Not even the university knows for sure how much money they made!
 
I don't believe they found $300k in underwriting.

3rd or 4rth hand has no credibility (I'm sure you will agree.)

I would estimate that the Sun lost money on the deal.
 
"I would estimate that the Sun lost money on the deal."

While you may doubt my figures, and as I said it is an estimate, I am very curious to hear how you believe the Sun lost money on this deal.

Site your sources along with math
 
You said that The Sun made a contribution of $40k to the school.

In *my* estimation:

Knowing what I do of the newspaper business, I hardly think they even got near the $40k back in underwriting.

Even if they came anywhere close to the 40k, it was 40k that was going to go to the newpaper in advertising.....that basically got shifted over to this new project.

They had no track record, no product, no record of nominal sucess. Why would any advertiser(s) put $40k towards the radio efforts...instead of the proven tangible product...which is the newpaper.

Ask the local stations if there's anyway they can generate 40k in underwriting/advertising.

It was a bad idea....makes very little financial sense. That's why it was the laughingstock of anyone who listened. And anyone who put up money to 'underwrite' realized from the get-go that this was a losing proposition.
 
So your hypothesis is that the bottom line of the Sun remained the same or dropped by 40K in the 15 months they had control?

Interesting that you think the sales dogs from the Sun couldn't raise 40K in 15 months, or that you apparently think that WCAP can't make 40K in 15 months.

You may have a knowledge of the newspaper industry, or so you say, but you really don't have any grasp of the media market that is Lowell

bye bye
 
**So your hypothesis is that the bottom line of the Sun remained the same or dropped by 40K in the 15 months they had control?**

Either that or they lost money.

**Interesting that you think the sales dogs from the Sun couldn't raise 40K in 15 months**

40k in NEW money? (i.e..by NEW money, I mean to say excepting any money that was simply going to go to print, and got diverted to the radio venture.) No, I don't think so.

** ...or that you apparently think that WCAP can't make 40K in 15 months.**

Again, in NEW Money? No, I don't think so.

** You may have a knowledge of the newspaper industry, or so you say, but you really don't have any grasp of the media market that is Lowell**

I know that the billing at WCAP has been going down every year for almost 10 years. So, again, not any NEW money.

I know that the 'sales dogs' at the Lowell Sun are out on the street every day trying to bring in new money to the paper. And, miraculously, one day they are selling a new thing ....an 'underwriting project', with no track record, no ratings and sound awful to any human ear....and they found NEW money? Not a chance.

Oh, is Sears opening a new store in town? Nope! Is the Bon Marche expanding to the next buiilding? Nope!)

**bye bye

I would guess you are too emotionally involved in the station at a student level to see any other vewpoint but your own.
Ca c'est Correct?
 
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