Tonight I am very saddened to hear that next Friday, July 15th, 2016, will be Dr. Leon Berman‘s last Shake the Shack show on KEXP.
He will be leaving the program, Cuzzin Mike Fuller will continue the show, however, I can’t imagine it being the same or nearly as comprehensive musically as it has been under Dr. Berman‘s leadership.
Dr. Leon Berman had this quote on his page, “I grew up thinking the voice of Pat O’Day was God”. Folks, Pat O’Day is radio done right in my book, and in his sober life a hell of a nice guy and so I can’t think of a better radio guy to emulate.
There is no explanation given in KEXP‘s website, in fact not even any notice that he is leaving, only found out listening to the show tonight.
Art Bell shared on his Facebook page a second reason he left the air. He is suffering from COPD. This is the same thing that killed my mother, also a long time smoker. I find it especially sad since he has a couple of young daughters to raise.
He did say he would try to do some “fill in” shows.
It was announced tonight that Midnight In The Desert is going to be back on one of the major stations that carried it when Art Bell was the host. I’m glad to hear this. I think she is doing a good job.
With respect to audio quality, I’ve found that bringing the level down on the codec and then bringing up the master volume to compensate results in better quality.
I was not optimistic about the ability for another host to pull it off with respect to Midnight in the Desert, but I have to say Heather Wade is capable of a decent interview.
She doesn’t have the voice of Art Bell, nor the sense of humor. But she is intelligent and scientifically literate and able to ask good questions of the guest so I am finding her not unpleasant to listen to, unlike the competition.
I will offer $20,000.00 to anybody providing information leading to the Arrest and Conviction of the person or persons responsible for the Stalking Terror resulting in my Leaving the air from MITD.
I’m glad to see him make this offer. I hope it has the intended effect of bringing this person or persons to justice. We all know fans wouldn’t have to be paid for this but hopefully it will motivate some non-fans to provide the necessary information and soon.
I would love to see Art Bell return to the air but I fear it can only happen if it happens while the dark matter digital radio network is still financially viable and while it still has the contracted stations. If it fails, nobody is going to ever be willing to stick their neck out financially to make it happen again.
Back in the day, mid-60’s, KJR’s market share approached 35% with their top-40 format. Today that kind of market share is unheard of for a music station. KJR is an AM Seattle station on 950 KHz. Today it is a sports radio format.
The Internet, cable, satellite, podcasts, all competing have resulted in a degree of specialization that did not exist 40-50 years ago and really has killed broadcasting and replaced it with narrowcasting. It’s not the same now when you listen and you know the experience is shared by only a few that share your interests.
There was magic in those days when there were a good number of clear channels where a station just went forever. KJR didn’t have the power that clear channel stations had, they ran 5Kw directional at night, but they still were widely heard. Part of the reason is that they had their antenna on Harbor Island, which was just a few feet above sea-level in a salt-water area so ground conductivity was excellent.
When I was a teenager (40 years ago), I ran a bootleg radio station and used to go down to KJR to scrounge old equipment which was often given to us or sold for almost nothing. The folks there were very nice. The engineers let me sit in on proof of performance testing, actually at KISW, which helped me to learn what was involved as I was working towards a 1st phone at the time.
Most music format stations have moved to FM, and most clear channels got turned into minority stations, and digital has created so much hash from the powerful stations that weaker adjacent stations are lost in the hash. The magic is gone, the fun is gone, it’s a lost era.
After threats and gunfire and other assorted bad things happening, Art Bell has once again called it quits and is ending his broadcast.
Wish I could say I was surprised but I am sad none the less. I do understand that his family is at risk and I understand why he needs to do this. However, if I were in his shoes I think I’d move back to the Philippines, he’s always expressed that he enjoyed living in Asia, and broadcast from there.
I’m sure the Coast to Coast folks are jumping for joy. They’re back to not having any real competition once again.
Today, December 11th, 2015, is his last broadcast.