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(Berkshire Eagle)   Radio station fires amateur meteorologist who has beat the experts for the last 35 years   ( divider line
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29113 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Jan 2005 at 7:35 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

93 Comments     (+0 »)

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2005-01-02 10:11:14 PM  
I move that trueaustinite's name be changed to trulybanninated, because that's what he's well on his way to being.
2005-01-02 10:14:26 PM  
Incidentally, people who whine about how much TFers suck are quite likely to really be sobbing and shaking their fists in a girly, impotent rage that they're such utter failures in life that their McJobs (if they even have one) don't bring in enough money to spare $5/month. So, how's being a whiney little biatch working out for you, trueaustinite?
2005-01-02 10:16:05 PM  

wholesale boycotts of businesses that have nothing to do with your gripe - oh yeah, that's what being a part of a community is all about.

It could be. The Community has to decide what is important to the Community. I say they'd be better served by setting up their own local station that does the things they need. Then the other businesses have a guilt-free place to advertise. If the old station goes completely remote format, that's no good for the community. There would be a business need for a real radio station. Seriously. I almost wish I lived anywhere near there so I could look into it. And if the old radio station goes under? Well, I'm sure you'd agree that's just business. Just the market dictating what it wants.
2005-01-02 10:16:55 PM  
dissenting opinions will no longer be tolerated in the people's republic of fark.
2005-01-02 10:19:58 PM  
actually, the practice of law in austin, texas has been really good to me.

shaking fists in impotent rage? not so much. just sitting here with an amused grin on my face at how many experts on everything seem to congregate here.
2005-01-02 10:20:13 PM  
I move that trueaustinite's name be changed to trulybanninated, because that's what he's well on his way to being.

Nah, he fits right in. One of the reasons I stopped paying $5/mo.
2005-01-02 10:21:53 PM  
Stretch, i agree that the market should and will reward or punish this decision.
2005-01-02 10:25:55 PM  
trueaustinite: Stretch, i agree that the market should and will reward or punish this decision.


And I admit that it's highly unlikely that anyone will get motivated to do much of anything about it. I also admit a small profit seeking angle with the idea of setting up a new station there. A smart business plan presented to a town council, taking full advantage of the PR surrounding the loss of a local hero would fall in line with a capitalist, and human interest agenda. I'm sure they'd have to tread lightly, as not to get sued for unfair competition practice by the old station. But a whole bunch of posters and local tv spots talking about the brand new radio station with the beloved local forecaster onboard would generate a ton of interest.
2005-01-02 10:29:10 PM  
OK, I'm unclear on whether this guy was a paid amateur who put a lot of time and resources into his hobby, or whether he was a volunteer who, again, put a lot of time and resources into this stuff.

Either way, someone above noted that it's more likely a way to replace as many humans as possible with remote automation and lots of prerecorded work by fewer humans, and that sounds like an even better explanation than cost-cutting.

I dunno if I want to threadjack this into Toronto/Ontario/Canada radio stuff at the moment, but I could go there if anyone takes the bait.

They don't even know what a 540 line is.

Hazarding a guess based on my extremely limited knowledge...

A contour on a weather map representing a region where atmospheric pressure is expected/known to be 540 ...bars (i want to say isobars or millibars, but something tells me neither are correct).

What's my score?
2005-01-02 10:29:36 PM  
Thanks, ArtimisRage
2005-01-02 10:36:35 PM  
Well, hopefully he will end up on either Sirius or XM! Stick it to terrestrial radio!
2005-01-02 10:38:19 PM  
I work for Clearchannel Radio...sadly. It's a $6 per hour job where I do everything, from programming to cleaning the toilets. Since we're a small market up here in Eau Claire, WI, we get to keep some of our local shows...

But I don't think people care whether one of our popular jocks gets fired or a show gets replaced with some syndicated show like Bob and Tom. There's complaints, sure, but there's also a bunch of other live, locally originating local shows.

Our weather is all done by whoever is recording stuff into the station they work for. We don't have a resident meteorologist.

In fact, I have a high school diploma and I'm the one who gives the emergency weather warnings for seven different radio stations. Do you trust your local radio weatherman now?
2005-01-02 10:41:27 PM  
PlatinumDragon: What's my score?


This should help a little:

I'd add that that example seems to downplay the importance a little, and it's more often than not a snow-line/freezing-rain-line predictor during extreme weather.

I liked their example because they link to the Unisys weather site near the bottom of the article. used to be the Purdue Weather Processor. Unisys could have ruined the format when they bought the page from Purdue, but instead they enhanced it. It's one of the truely great sources of good weather information left on the net.
2005-01-02 10:42:11 PM  
it gonna rain!
2005-01-02 10:46:47 PM  
Sounds like hell, jimmiekaska. Personally, I'm happy volunteering at the ETSU radio station on a regular basis. There's no pay, but as it's an NPR feed, it basically consists of putting playlists into Selector and printing them out, making sure that all of the jobs to be done on the ENCO are done, and drinking lots of coffee.
2005-01-02 10:48:23 PM  
Sounds like hell...but most of my work is sports-related, as an announcer or game producer. Hey, WBIZ AM, broadcasting at 1000 watts, is a start. It's not ESPN, but it's a start.

2005-01-02 11:01:40 PM  

but then again i forgot that becoming an instant expert in broadcasting (and everything else) comes with TFer status.

I dont know about everyone else, but I work in radio and have for the past 6 years. I feel qualified to biatch.
2005-01-02 11:02:32 PM  
Al Kaprelian would kick this guy's arse whilst predicting the correct 30 day forecast.
2005-01-02 11:04:52 PM  
I'm from that part of the country. Back in the early 1980s we had an NBC affiliate run by the local archconservative William L. Putnam (by today's standards, merely a libertarian). He was offered a silent partnership with some investors from Minnesota who assured him he could stay on as station manager and commentator. As soon as the ink dried on the contract they fired his ass and he moved to some backwater town in Arizona to run a planetarium that's been in his family since they built it in the 20s (Lowell Observatory).

We still think the people who run that station are douchebags. And the ABC affiliate next door is one of the handful that tried to run the Kerry smearjob.

2005-01-03 12:01:38 AM  
"The tough thing is that it does hurt, and it is hard to say good-bye to a member of our family," Luyk said. "I don't think the listeners of WNAW will notice a decline in the weather information we provide to them."

Typical committee-meeting mentality. That's not the freakin' point! This guy must have a marketing background.
2005-01-03 12:07:31 AM  
right on's a start, if that's where You wanna be headed, go phor it man!!!!
/packers suck
//vikings suck less
2005-01-03 12:15:45 AM  
I can't believe some of the people here...

It might be about money for the station but this story is about anything but money and it's happening on an ever increasing scale around the world. The issue underlying this story will probably effect every person posting here at some stage in their life.

Have some farking compassion or when your time comes it may be you out in the cold and their wont be a friendly weather forecaster around to let you know when things are going to get better.

2005-01-03 12:22:54 AM  
I love the concise vision of the modern world presented by

2005-01-02 09:03:38 PM StretchCannon

Money is the most important thing ever. Capitalism is about being a good American that likes money... You hear me you hippies? Kindness is for losers/saps/hippies/liberals. This is our world now where money is the righteous reason to do everything. There is no right or wrong, just profit.

You could give Dave Barry a run for his money. (Seriously, or I'd have used the sarcasticon, "~")

I can see it now, the ship sinks and trueaustinite has a dozen life vests, selling them at the "going market rate," and eventually sells the very last one for a million smackers. He'll be rich, I tell ya! He'll be at the bottom of the ocean, but he'll be rich, and therefore a hero in Austin.

"Money makes the world go around..." Just cannot get that song out of my head.
2005-01-03 12:45:52 AM  
Two things here...

He said he does not understand the motivation, particularly since he made a modest few hundred dollars a month for his reports. "It can't be a cost-cutting move," he said. "That's certainly not going to break a corporation."

English translation: "Waaaaah. They have lots of money so I should be able to get some of it. That is fair, right?"

Get a clue you farking parasite.

Secondly, This guy was not "fired". He was eliminated by reorganization. That constitues as a lay-off by way of position elimination. Kudos for the spin, you got the morons all worked up.

It isn't like they are going to suffer by letting him go. If the ratings drop, they'll wave $200/mo in front of this monkey again and he will go right back to doing it.


In my bedroom, you'll find: Stuff, I keep throwing it out but it seems to multiply while Im not looking. "

That multiplication must have something to do with germs in your mom's nasty trailor. Try using a garbage can you smelly queen bee.
2005-01-03 12:47:45 AM  
trueaustinite: wholesale boycotts of businesses that have nothing to do with your gripe - oh yeah, that's what being a part of a community is all about.

I can't believe that I actually have to explain this to someone who claims to know so much about capitalism, but here goes.

It's like this: listeners are not the customers of the radio stations (nor are viewers the customers of non-pay TV stations or networks, for that matter). They are the product. They are what the station is selling to its real customers, which are the advertisers. The music, talk shows, news, weather, etc. exist for the sole purpose of getting listeners to listen, so that their attention can be sold to the advertisers. Those could be considered expenses and materials used to produce the product, which is the listeners.

Since the listeners are not the customers, a boycott by them against the station will have little if any effect. Only those who are actually involved in the calculation of ratings can actively affect those ratings, and doing so for boycott purposes is usually a violation of the ratings sampling contract.

This means that the only effective means of economic influence on the station by the listeners is boycotting the customers of the station, which are the advertisers, so that they in turn will boycott the station itself.

Now, if this were XM or Internet "radio" or some other pay or subscription "radio" that has no advertisers and is directly paid for by the listeners, with the listeners as the customers instead of as the product, then a direct boycott by them could have some effect and would make sense.

Got it now?
2005-01-03 12:48:11 AM  
As someone who grew and lived in Pittsfield, MA his whole life (where the Berkshire Eagle is printed) and just recently moved to North Adams, I can tell you that, given this area, that's no suprise. It seems the good things go unrecognized around here, and the bad ideas are here to stay.

Fark Berkshire County, what a hole.
2005-01-03 01:37:00 AM  
I was reading this thinkin, why does the berkshires sound familiar. Then I realized its those farkin mountains in my back yard. All the radio around here is getting sucked into Clear Channel it's no surprise one more fell in. It's like that big sinkhole in Texas, just keeps getting bigger until somebody fills it with 1300 trucksloads of sand.
2005-01-03 02:04:10 AM  
Very true that Clearchannel is taking over EVERY market...even our redneck country/classic country/classic rock/soft rock stations in northern Wisconsin.

Thing is, what's stopping them?

I'm not ashamed to claim that my employer is Clearchannel, because I've got one shot at life and I want to spend it being a sports broadcaster, and they gave me my first job as a producer, announcer, and program manager. I don't owe them anything at all for it (because they pay me $6 per) but I can't pretend that I'm treated like a Wal-Mart employee. Radio is a bad money business, but it's one of the few that gets you a little public notice, and it's got some freedom with what you do. If you've got the skills, you can interact with so many people...eventually you get to a local celebrity status, kids know you, and if you're nice, you make friends for life. I'm sure any true Farker has had a favorite local jock from when they were kids--at least most of you listened to the radio.

Clearchannel is effectively destroying the radio business, and satellite radio will deal Clearchannel a deathblow in coming years. If I could, I would post some of the ridiculous denial statements issued by Clearchannel heads like Mark Mays (in their mass-mailing holiday greetings and company update emails). For example, Rolling Stone published an article (a good one) and the next day I had four emails from San Antonio denouncing it, calling it lies and whatnot.

However, I am actually working my 18-hour shift at the moment and there's an eye upon me in San Antonio right now, I'd guess, being 1:03am central time and not many people work overnights anymore at these stations (computers do the overnight work). I'm one of about 12 Clearchannel employees working right now at this time of night, lol...
2005-01-03 02:21:09 AM  
XM is owned by Clearchannel. They are advancing their radio/walkman technology way faster than SIRIUS.
2005-01-03 03:12:53 AM  
Dude worked there for THIRTY FIVE YEARS?

What was his complaint about again?
2005-01-03 04:45:22 AM  
Wouldn't it be great to be able to patent another form of media communication!?

They could do SO much better. And be a lot more educational, let more truths be known, and even be more vulgar.

Good thing people like to live in the medias' made up world instead of reality, only fueling this fire of ignorance.
2005-01-03 05:00:55 AM  

XM is owned by Clearchannel.

It only hold a minority stake in XM. They don't own it.
2005-01-03 05:55:22 AM  
oh look, there is no variety in media anymore. Or in education, or in the culture of the US. I can't imagine why other regions in the world would ever give us any pushback when we are trying to assimilate free them
2005-01-03 07:57:43 AM  
2005-01-03 12:45:52 AM Spoofed Packet

Secondly, This guy was not "fired". He was eliminated by reorganization.

I'm sure he'll be much happier knowing that he's been "eliminated by reorganisation" rather than fired. Don't you just hate when you fall out of the bottom of a company restructuring? But still, it beats being fired...
2005-01-03 08:00:46 AM  
I can't understand whay there's so much complaining over the erosion of local flavor and content in the media. We've no such problem here.
As a matter of fact, right after I finish listening to Bob & Tom (while sipping on my 7-eleven coffee), I'm going to K-mart for some post-holiday bargains, Burger King for Lunch, Wal-mart, Sears, and JC Penney for a few more odds & ends, and by that time, it'll be late enough for a early dinner at either Applebees or the Olive Garden.
And then I'll head home and settle in for a relaxing evening of Cable TV.
There's no place like home.
2005-01-03 08:11:18 AM  
Just remember everyone, thanks Bill Clinton for allowing Clear Channel and other mega corps to own all your radio!!!!!

Course don't get me started on Clear Channel, they bought pretty much all the stations here in Dallas, so when they run commercials they can run them on ALL their stations pretty much simultaniously. It bites, so I just pretty much stopped listening to radio (other then NPR). MP3's are great ;)
2005-01-03 11:50:24 AM  
It's funny when business-types blast the general public for not having the "right" reaction to their business decisions. Because an important part of capitalism is that there is no "right" when it comes to the views of the consumers. If people think your company is evil and don't want to buy from you, tough. If they think your radio station is evil and they don't want to listen, tough. Part of business is that you DO need to care about public opinion. And it's funny when businesses forget that. They think they can do anything they want any WAY they want, simply because their way is "right," and then they are shocked to find that the public actually has a negative opinion of them.

As I said, tough. Whether the public is right or not, you depend on them and you need to portray your business in a good life. Don't like it? That's capitalism for you. And since you worship capitalism that should be just fine with you.

So yeah, maybe all us Farkers are ignorant. Too bad. If the people who listen to the radio station in question have the same reaction to this guy's firing, the station owner's can biatch about their "ignorant" reaction all they want, but that won't change anything.

Yes, it would be so much easier to run a business if you could just tell your customers what to think. It's such a shame that the general public is capable of independant thought.

P.S. On whether this guy's firing really was a good business decision... This radio station has made themselves identical to every other radio station. Yes, I can see the logic in wanting to take a unique product and make it indistinguishable from all others. How exactly will the station promote itself and convince people to listen to it and not one of the other stations in the area? "We get our weather from the same place as all other stations! KBLAH 97 Rocks!" Yes, yes it does.

P.P.S. When you business "geniuses" are number-crunching the bottom-line, don't forget the intangibles. Like, maybe the person you're firing is actually LIKED by the public and when he's gone people will like your company less. Hmm.
2005-01-03 12:07:56 PM  
Another sad result of media de-regulation and conglomeration. When local emergencies occur and there are no local radio hosts to relay much needed information people will die and suffer needlessly. But hey, profits will be up for investors.

"We were going to save the human race, but it wasn't cost-effective"
2005-01-03 12:16:59 PM  
Back in the late 80's/early 90's I worked for a station in Washington D.C.--not owned by Clear Channel--that had an old guy wandering around delivering mail each day. He'd been an engineer there and....just kept showing up for work once he'd "retired". He was bright, friendly, couldn't be nicer.

And talk about a repository of knowledge! His name was Granville Klink. Among other things, this guy was the radio engineer who set up Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats in the White House. He actually engineered them. Amazing, when you think about the connection to history. the Smithsonian used to use Granny (his nickname) for guest lectures on radio history and politics.

Granny passed away a few years ago.

The station General Manager, Michael Douglass, kept him on out of no reason but respect. Michael didn't get much credit for that, and he deserves it.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-01-03 01:38:05 PM  
Farkers have clicked on the above link 23306 times

In comparison, the total print circulation of the Berkshire Eagle is about 31,000. Berkshire County has 133,000 residents.
2005-01-03 03:33:14 PM  
No no, don't go banning trueaustinite just because he disagrees. For every person that thinks they are right here, we need one who equally thinks they are wrong. Else what's the fun?

If anything at all, rip him for the somewhat crispy response, and the stab at TF. Not exactly a flame if you ask me, but he at least rubbed his hands together fiercely. Not sure how the TF status played into the whole thing, but I'm sure I'll live not figuring that one out. Truth is, I enjoy reading the back and forths of people here, because sometimes, between the lines of garbage and self-importance that happen when the flames of forums rage bright, someone actually makes a damn good point, or at least something to ponder, thus completing the circle.

Would sending these guys long elaborate emails about how what they are doing is wrong make a difference? Probably not. That's not what I did at all. In fact, I wrote two words a couple times, then hit submit. I'm sure you guys can figure them out. Totally pointless, unproductive, and immature, and I liked it.


2005-01-03 09:38:57 PM  

underdog, in his clearchannel tirade/threadjack, forgot that CC also owns a farkload of billboards, and also (sadly) runs BOB & TOM (at least the internet broadcast).

That being said:
(1) Good thing he didn't work for CC, cuz he'd have been downsized several YEARS ago...
(2) Is it me, or does he look a lot like the late Bill Cullen?

Yep, Bob and Tom's home station is WFBQ, which has been CC owned for about 10 or 11 years now. When they bought WFBQ and WRZX it killed both stations, because they used to compete against one another in the "active rock" demo, but RZX got changed to a crappy alt-Matthew Sweet-Morrissey-type station so as to not mess with Bob and Tom's station. Of course, without good competition, FBQ became just another classic rocker. RZX is better now, but who cares? XM all the way!
2005-01-03 09:44:15 PM  

XM is owned by Clearchannel. They are advancing their radio/walkman technology way faster than SIRIUS.

NO NO NO NO! XM has never been owned by Clear Channel. That's an urban legend, CC has been a stockholder, but they divested most of it, and only have about 2% now, and NO say over programming or anything they do at all as a company.
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