Friday, January 18, 2008

Radio: Stop him before he lies again!

Being in this business as long as I have you witness and encounter some…well let’s say interesting events.
I won’t tell you who – that’s not essential to the story. There was a famous rock star. In fact, he still is. He’s a talented and ingenious songwriter and performer. Like others in his profession during the 70s and 80s, excess of drink and drugs was a given.
His manager, recognizing his quandary, hired someone to protect him from himself.
In advance of his client using a bathroom, his hired guardian would do reconnaissance and check under the sink, behind the toilet, and anywhere else one could hide drugs.
This person wasn’t all over him like a dog. Most of the time I wasn't even aware of his presence.

I witnessed one incident where the rock star reached over to grab a quick sip from someone else’s drink. His guardian appeared and calmly took the glass from his hand. If I wasn't looking in his direction – I would've missed it.

This was back in the eighties. Today, this rock star is still performing, occasionally touring, and more concerned about getting enough fiber in his diet than trying to score blow or booze.

I'm proposing we hire a guardian to protect Merchant of Doom Peter “Sgt. Bilk-o” Ferrara from himself. The poor guy needs it. He’s not only doing permanent damage to his own reputation, he’s damaging an entire industry.

His HD Radio Alliance leaked a rumor that Steve Jobs approved the manufacturing of an Apple iPod boom box that would include an HD Radio.

Earlier this week at the MacWorld convo, Steve Jobs let it be known that Apple will not be involved in any technologies that are geographically limited. I don’t know if Jobs’ remark had anything to do with Bilk-o’s poorly planted white lie– but, it’s obvious that when Jobs does put radio into the mix – it will be the kind you receive from the Internet.

So what does the HD Radio Alliance do? Announce a quasi-deal with Microsoft. You’ll read all about it on the pro-HD radio sites today.
Yes, Microsoft. They’ve been a ragbag for the past decade. When they controlled everything, they were pricks to their patrons. They’re still sitting on top of the heap – but their exclusivity is eroding.

What comes to mind when you think of Microsoft these days? Poor customer service? Vista? Erratic performing programs? The blue screen of death?

When Microsoft released Vista - there was little expectation or need for it.

How about Sync? Even I had high hopes for that one. Now, early adopters are complaining that its performance falls short.

Memo to Bilk-o: PR firms can get you press. That doesn’t mean it will translate to sales. Get used to it. HD Radio is not going to happen.

Think Apple and innovation, creativity, and a company that invents products that debut as wants and become needs comes to mind.

Since HD Radio was launched, Apple's released numerous models of iPods and iPhones, which sell in the multi-millions – and have become part of the culture – while the mere mention of HD Radio to clerks at retailers Bilk-o claims they’re sold in look at you quizzically and ask if you mean HD TV.

How long will be perpetrate a dead product even he doesn't believe in?

There's drug trafficking, fencing, hijacking, shylocking, gambling, prostitution, extortion – all serving the desire for fast financial gain. Can we add HD Radio peddling to that list?

Repuation is a funny thing, Bilk-o. It’s built from little things like a house is made brick-by-brick. Over time, a name and face get coupled with words and action. In time, that man’s life is bordered by an imposing edifice, good, bad, or indifferent that can never be altered.

Bilk-o, you’re in need of an intervention. Too bad nobody cares enough to set one up for you.


Anonymous said...

"So what does the HD Radio Alliance do allowing for the glacial speed of HD Radio’s launch? Announce a quasi-deal with Microsoft. You’ll read all about it on the pro-HD radio sites today."

If you are referring to the MSN Direct deal, I believe that this was initially announced last year:

"MSN Direct Goes High Def with Clear Channel" 1/8/2007

But, this looks very similar to this recently released news item:

"CES 2008 - Enhanced MSN Direct"

"Microsoft is working on building a parallel HD radio network for delivery of MSN Direct services."

Just as with Apple's HD/iPod tagging, Microsoft is getting free publicity for this announcemnt - MSN Direct is another loser like HD Radio, with no consumer interest in subscribing to a service that streams stock quotes, weather info, etc to wrist watches, coffee makers, etc:

It seems like every time there is a setback with HD Radio, the Alliance recycles old news - how pathetic. Everything associated with the Cartel is deceptive and a loser.

Anonymous said...

The HD radio alliance did the ultimate scam. They got radio to invest in Ibiquity, expensively retool their studios for HD and even pay Ibiquity royalties for the privlege. Radio cannot get out of the mess its in. I have to believe that there are a few people in the industry that got something under the table for their troubles from Ibiquity. Maybe when the FCC is 3-2 in favor of the Dems we will see this exposed.

paul vincent zecchino said...

Only two possibilities. Either HD gang quits jamming, or ratchet soviet command economy tricks and have their pals ban analog & mandate HD.

House to house searches to impound all privately owned radios? Why give 'em ideas?

Latest nonsense from Microsoft, those people who 'really care' about customers? Does Gates' HD shill parrot realize how naive he sounds, claiming radio's about obsolete towers but HD isn't?

What's he think? HD comes through sidewalk cracks? Radiates offa plastic spoons? More they blat, more ridiculous they sound.

Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasota Key, Florida
18 January, 2008

"I've issued orders for all
privately owned radios to
be impounded..."
- Gen. J.D. 'Jack' Ripper,
Commander, 843 Bomb Wing
"Doctor Strangelove",
c. 1963, Hawk Films, Ltd. said...

John, how are you? Hope the new year is treating you well! Wanted to let you know that the Alliance didn't start that rumor about a boom box - it was started by one of the (myriad) Apple-watcher blogs. They publish incorrect info all the time, fyi, so they're not a good source of information.
Separately, the HD Radio folks are well aware of Apple's product plans re: HD Radio. But Apple doesn't talk about product development - they announce the actual products - so Apple's development partners respect that and don't talk publicly either. While that's frustrating for folks, like you, in the news business, it's the way things work with Apple.
Re: Microsoft - Microsoft and Clear Channel announced their development work on the MSN Direct HD suite of data services a year ago (January 2007) - and the Alliance has never been involved in the Microsoft-Clear Channel announcements. At this year's CES, the pair demo'ed their application in the iBiquity booth.
Hope it's helpful to have the correct info on this.
All the best,

Anonymous said...

"Re: Microsoft - Microsoft and Clear Channel announced their development work on the MSN Direct HD suite of data services a year ago (January 2007) - and the Alliance has never been involved in the Microsoft-Clear Channel announcements. At this year's CES, the pair demo'ed their application in the iBiquity booth.
Hope it's helpful to have the correct info on this."


Yea, right - CC is a major-player in the HD Cartel. This new, major-announcement was sitting on iNiquity's web site for the past year. Why, don't you ask Peter to waste more of his valuable time and post over here, instead on Jacob's Media and RAIN all of the time:


"Brilliant Kurt… Your write things you know nothing about, have no confirmed sources for, and rely on the stories written by other people and their blogs. How professional. The ad age article that stated “no review” was done had to do with the fact that no focus groups of the spots were conducted. We did do a thorough review with a number of agencies and GSD&M won the business based on the best strategy and creative approach. Speaking of which, it would be wonderful to hear YOUR own creative ideas on how to move HD Radio forward, rather than just your useless rants.

— Peter Ferrara · Jan 12, 06:42 PM

Internet Radio Rules said...

Most stations broadcasting in HD are also simulcasting their side channels on streaming audio which you can find on their sites. When you listen to the crap these side channels are programming you would never ever consider buying an HD radio? There are far better choices for all formats on the internet and it is worldwide. I grew up in Santa Monica. I live in Chicago now and I still listen to Kevin & Bean on KROQ on their stream. After them there are about 20 world wide stations I listen to. I spend almost all my radio listening on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to the HD Radio Alliance to partner up (if they are telling the truth) with Microsoft.

Two losers. Two companies with products that don't always work well.

Anonymous said...

The HD Radio Alliance set up radio the way Ted Turner did with cable back in the 1980's. Once he got CNN and WTBS on the cable systems he bought the MGM film studio and ended up deep in debt. He called the cable companies to tell them he had to close down CNN and WTBS. The cable companies freaked since at that time both stations especially CNN was a major draw and selling point for cable. Turner didn't hold up the cable companies. The cable companies volunteered to pay him more for CNN and WTBS to keep his Turner Broadcasting from closing down. I think Sgt. Bilko pulled a similar stunt with terrestrial radio and put them in a position they don't think they can get of. It would be in radio's best interest to call HD Radio Alliance's bluff and put it back on them. This is what happens when radio stations are run by public companies and private equity groups. They don't understand broadcasting.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand the hatred you have for Peter Ferrara. What did he do to you? And what makes anyone think he's somehow misleading the broadcasters who were the charter members of Ibiquity and HD Alliance? TV embraced HD ... why is it so bad that radio is moving in that direction?

Anonymous said...

"RIAA Kills Sirius Satellite Radio, Destroys Value of Consumer

"RIAA has now pushed legislation through the house to protect content delivered through high-definition (HD) radio receivers."

Appears that the RIAA may have just killed HD Radio.

Anonymous said...

"Re: Microsoft - Microsoft and Clear Channel announced their development work on the MSN Direct HD suite of data services a year ago (January 2007) - and the Alliance has never been involved in the Microsoft-Clear Channel announcements. At this year's CES, the pair demo'ed their application in the iBiquity booth.
Hope it's helpful to have the correct info on this.
All the best,

"Clear Channel's murky future"

"Sad because eliminating new hires (including sellers), failing to replace those who leave, stopping all investment in the future, and halting all advertising and research is the equivalent of saying that necessity requires us to strangle the goose that lays the golden eggs, even as the goose is up for sale."

Well, how interesting, Michelle. No wonder, the shift is way from CC, now. Michelle - BUSTED!

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Anonymous said...

"Microsoft sticks with analog"

"The company's MSN Direct was developing a new traffic and local information service using HD Radio signals. But after two years of investigating how HD Radio could be tapped, Microsoft decides to stick with its current analog system instead of converting to an HD Radio data service."

"MSN Direct Service Posts PND Gains"

"MSN Direct's data dumps promise to accelerate when the service supplements its analog transmissions with digital HD Radio transmission, said HD-Radio developer iBiquity Digital. The company demonstrated 12kbps MSN Direct during CES and touted the potential to deliver data at up to 50kbps if a digital FM station delivers two 48kbps programming channels. Digital FM stations have the bandwidth to deliver audio and data at a combined total data rate of 150kbps, iBiquity said. HD Radio will enable MSN Direct to download traffic reports before a driver put his car in drive, and it will enable the service to offer additional content, iBiquity said."

"MSN Direct Goes High Def with Clear Channel"

"Microsoft Corp. and Clear Channel Radio today announced at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that they have executed a collaborative agreement to build a nationwide data delivery service using HD Radio technology, providing personalized and localized content to a variety of HD Radio receivers."

So much for MSN Direct - LOL!