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» MediaLine's Open Line   » Open Line   » Bruce: Magic Refused Radio Play

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Author Topic: Bruce: Magic Refused Radio Play
Paper Trail
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 09:30 AM      Profile for Paper Trail     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
link

Bruce Springsteen should be very happy. He has the No. 1 album, a possible Grammy for Best Album of the Year for "Magic," an album full of singles and a sold-out concert tour <http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,306164,00.html#> .

Alas, there's a hitch: Radio will not play "Magic." In fact, sources tell me that Clear Channel has sent an edict to its classic rock stations not to play tracks from "Magic." But it's OK to play old Springsteen tracks such as "Dancing in the Dark," "Born to Run" and "Born in the USA."

Just no new songs by Springsteen, even though it's likely many radio listeners already own the album and would like to hear it mixed in with the junk offered on radio.

Why? One theory, says a longtime rock insider, "is that the audience knows those songs. Of course, they'll never know these songs if no one plays them."

"Magic," by the way, has sold more than 500,000 copies since its release on Oct. 2 and likely will hit the million mark. That's not a small achievement these days, and one that should be embraced by Clear Channel.

But what a situation: The No. 1 album is not being played on any radio stations, according to Radio & Records, which monitors such things. Nothing. The rock songs aren't on rock radio, and the two standout "mellow" tracks - "Magic" and "Devil's Arcade" - aren't even on "lite" stations.

The singles-kinda hits, "Radio Nowhere" and "Living in the Future" - which would have been hits no questions asked in the '70s, '80s and maybe even the '90s, also are absent from Top 40.

What to do? Columbia Records is said to be readying a remixed version of "The Girls in their Summer Clothes," a poppy Beach Boys-type track that has such a catchy hook fans were singing along to it at live shows before they had the album. Bruce insiders are hopeful that with a push from Sony, "Girls" will triumph.

I'm not so sure.

Clear Channel seems to have sent a clear message to other radio outlets that at age 58, Springsteen simply is too old to be played on rock stations. This completely absurd notion is one of many ways Clear Channel has done more to destroy the music business than downloading over the last 10 years. It's certainly what's helped create satellite radio, where Springsteen is a staple and even has his own channel on Sirius.

It's not just Springsteen. There is no sign at major radio stations of new albums by John Fogerty or Annie Lennox, either. The same stations that should be playing Santana 's new singles with Chad Kroeger or Tina Turner are avoiding them, too.

Like Springsteen, these "older" artists have been relegated to something called Triple A format stations - i.e. either college radio or small artsy stations such as WFUV in the Bronx, N.Y., which are immune from the Clear Channel virus of pre-programming and where the number of plays per song is a fraction of what it is on commercial radio.

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Scarlet Termite
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 09:34 AM      Profile for Scarlet Termite   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is the issue really that Bruce is too old or that his politics are in conflict with Clear Channels?

[ October 30, 2007, 09:35 AM: Message edited by: Scarlet Termite ]

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Zero
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Icon 10 posted October 30, 2007 09:52 AM      Profile for Zero     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And the first single is called Radio Nowhwere... about a satellite drone station.

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"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of telling the truth" Lillian Hellman

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commercial hack
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 10:05 AM      Profile for commercial hack     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't like most of Springsteen's music, having said that, I still would like to hear it on radio and at least have the chance to change the channel.

I don't approve of radio networks not playing older artists because they think no one will listen. Willie Nelson still cranks out good music, so does Lyle Lovett, Dolly Parton and a host of others in different genres of music.

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America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourseves.
-Abraham Lincoln

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Pro
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 12:14 PM      Profile for Pro     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking about older artists with new albums...I thought Paul McCartney's album was/is terrific....one of his best post-Beatles albums ever.
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kneedinthegroin
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 12:18 PM      Profile for kneedinthegroin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Radio is dead or very close to it. Strong stations are pulling fractions of the audience they once did.

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The Bible is the single most shoplifted book.

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Produce man
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 12:37 PM      Profile for Produce man     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Meh, who cares? I haven't listened to terrestrial radio in 3 years.

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"DON'T TAZE ME, BRO!"

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Da Woodshed
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 12:39 PM      Profile for Da Woodshed   Email Da Woodshed   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Radio? Yawn.

Maybe if poor Bruce's stuff wasn't available on XM, Sirius, or for download I'd give a ****.

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Tripe Face
Open Line Veteran
Member # 3328

Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 12:40 PM      Profile for Tripe Face     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Elvis said it best years ago:

Radio Radio
I was tuning in the shine on the light night dial
doing anything my radio advised
with every one of those late night stations
playing songs bringing tears to me eyes
I was seriously thinking about hiding the receiver
when the switch broke 'cause it's old
They're saying things that I can hardly believe.
They really think we're getting out of control.
Radio is a sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don't give you any choice
'cause they think that it's treason.
So you had better do as you are told.
You better listen to the radio.

I wanna bite the hand that feeds me.
I wanna bite that hand so badly.
I want to make them wish they'd never seen me.

Some of my friends sit around every evening
and they worry about the times ahead
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
and the promise of an early bed
You either shut up or get cut up;
they don't wanna hear about it.
It's only inches on the reel-to-reel.
And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools
tryin' to anaesthetise the way that you feel

[Chorus]

Wonderful radio
Marvelous radio
Wonderful radio
Radio, radio...



Rock on Elvis!

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"Tripe is getting far too much attention.
There will be no dealing with him soon." Writer2 11/9/07

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Diplomat
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Icon 1 posted October 30, 2007 12:42 PM      Profile for Diplomat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Scarlet Termite:
Is the issue really that Bruce is too old or that his politics are in conflict with Clear Channels?

It's that he is too old by their way of thinking. Stations don't play quite a few older artists, as commercial hack mentioned. Country radio has also been dealing with this problem for many years.

I used to work for CC and while the company has many faults (they are legion), they never pulled any artist because of politics.

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"I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

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radio & tv
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 02:18 AM      Profile for radio & tv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I too worked for CC for a while, and can't remember a single memo as has been described. Did anyone actually see one on Springsteen, or is this along the same lines as the "list" that CC allegedly put out post-9/11?

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"There are four things you should never argue: religion, politics, women, and baseball." - my Uncle Charlie, who died in 1980

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radio & tv
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 02:19 AM      Profile for radio & tv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kneedinthegroin:
Radio is dead or very close to it. Strong stations are pulling fractions of the audience they once did.

Fractions like 95/100? [Wink]

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"There are four things you should never argue: religion, politics, women, and baseball." - my Uncle Charlie, who died in 1980

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New York'rr
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 08:48 AM      Profile for New York'rr         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Spirit of Radio is pretty much dead.

Canadian power trio Rush has made about fifteen albums since the radio stations decided that Rush no longer exists. So what? Hasn't seemed to slow down their banking major buck$ with tours and sales. And they don't shy away from liberal politics either but you don't hear anyone whining about it.

Would a Rush fan rely on the radio for music? Why should a Douche Sheetstain fan turn to the radio to hear his new album?

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Kace
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 09:15 AM      Profile for Kace   Author's Homepage   Email Kace   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like how people still blame Clear Channel for stuff that was essentially done by Cumulus.

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Our Main Event! (11/12/2007)

NCAA Basketball - Charlotte
Appalachian State Mountaineers At Charlotte 49ers

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Vulcan
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 09:28 AM      Profile for Vulcan   Author's Homepage   Email Vulcan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kace:
I like how people still blame Clear Channel for stuff that was essentially done by Cumulus.

I was looking for a link on the exact same point.

But it's easier to hate Clear Channel, and that disastrous News Central operation that made Fox look like MoveOn. (sarcasm intended.)

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Sultanosurf
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 12:15 PM      Profile for Sultanosurf     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Regardless the reason, it's a downright shame that great new stuff from Fogerty, Springsteen, The Eagles, and McCartney can't crack a playlist dominated by Idol runner-ups. And the listener-age logic doesn't really work since most families already introduced the artists to their pop format-age kids.

If they didn't have a built-in fan base, major record companies wouldn't even release their albums.

Coming from a radio background, I understand the logic, even with 'classic rock' formats. Tight playlists win. But by now, even I'm getting tired of oldies and enjoy the new releases. You'd think programmers would get a clue...

[ October 31, 2007, 12:18 PM: Message edited by: Sultanosurf ]

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Diplomat
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 01:12 PM      Profile for Diplomat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kace and Vulcan are right on the money.

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"I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

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Pro
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 01:15 PM      Profile for Pro     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's not just an American thing. In 1995, the BBC caused controversy by not including the Beatles' reunion song "Real Love" in their pop music playlist because it didn't "fit their format". Paul McCartney wrote an angry Times of London op-ed piece about that.
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TV Dad
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 01:18 PM      Profile for TV Dad     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sultanosurf:
Regardless the reason, it's a downright shame that great new stuff from Fogerty, Springsteen, The Eagles, and McCartney can't crack a playlist dominated by Idol runner-ups. And the listener-age logic doesn't really work since most families already introduced the artists to their pop format-age kids.

That's kinda odd because VH-1 plays the old folks' videos right along with the videos from much younger acts. Why can't radio do the same, I wonder? [Confused]
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Pro
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 01:21 PM      Profile for Pro     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Does VH1 play music videos any more - except overnight?
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kmfdmatt
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 01:24 PM      Profile for kmfdmatt     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How very odd. Occasionally I hear new songs by older, established artists on WRFY in Reading, PA, a CC station...

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s'news
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 07:52 PM      Profile for s'news     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The corporate ownership of radio stations has pretty much killed them.
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amp
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Member # 354

Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 09:00 PM      Profile for amp     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A bit tasteless in the way they did it, but think about it. Teens have money that is spent on a very few things: food/drink, clothing and entertainment. They will drop a ton of $$ on an artist they love. I know I did the same thing when I was a kid. So did you! Did you spend all your cash to get every Duran Duran or Beatles album you could find? Probably. Would you do that now. Probably not. You have to worry about the car, the heat, medical bills, credit cards, groceries, your kids!

Radio does have lower number because there is more choices out there, but they still need to get the biggest bang for the buck. Kids will listen to the radio or their iPod for hours EVERY day. Most adults are lucky to get an hour during the commute.

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But don't listen to the talk about having shows beamed directly into your brain. That's science-fiction nonsense. Shows will be stored in the pancreas and will enter the brain through the bloodstream after being downloaded into your iHole. --Joss Whedon

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Diplomat
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Icon 1 posted October 31, 2007 09:13 PM      Profile for Diplomat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And let's face it, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and others in their age category have their fans but younger kids aren't as likely to buy their stuff.

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"I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

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Paper Trail
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Member # 3269

Icon 1 posted November 01, 2007 08:59 PM      Profile for Paper Trail     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Clear Channel: We Didn't Ban The Boss

SAN ANTONIO -- November 1, 2007: Since a Fox News report cited "sources" saying Clear Channel had ordered its Classic Rock stations not to play tracks from Bruce Springsteen's new album, Magic, the Web has been buzzing with accusations that CC is attempting to "silence" Springsteen, with some bloggers saying CC wants to punish the artist for his outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq. (Fox's Roger Friedman didn't mention politics; he blamed the purported "edict" on Springsteen's age.)

Clear Channel -- which has been down this road before, with accusations that it banned Madonna and the Dixie Chicks over political remarks -- has posted an item in the "Know the Facts" section of its website saying its stations are actually playing Magic more than anybody else's.

"Although Clear Channel owns only 8 percent of the radio stations in the U.S., in the first days after the CD's release, airplay of music from the disc on Clear Channel Radio stations represented a full 21 percent of the total radio airplay in the U.S., including airplay from satellite radio," says the company. "That's according to airplay stats from Mediabase. Further, Clear Channel Radio stations played music from the CD more than twice as much as the nearest radio broadcaster, which came in at less than 10 percent of total U.S. airplay."

But will Clear Channel's denial make any difference in the Wild West of the blogosphere? Probably not.

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Diplomat
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Icon 1 posted November 02, 2007 04:28 AM      Profile for Diplomat     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Once again, the canard that Clear Channel's corporate officials banned the Dixie Chicks rears its ugly head. That was Cumulus. Cumulus and Clear Channel are separate companies. Clear Channel's Entertainment Division was a SPONSOR of the Chicks' tour during that ban and operated many of the arenas in which they performed.

One of the local rock stations here is owned by CC and they do play Bruce Springsteen tunes. It's not my kind of music so I use change the station when he comes on--but they do play him.

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"I should sooner live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

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