Friday, May 28, 2010

Mark Edwards Programs KYKY to Top Hot AC Radio Station in America

According to a report in the May 28th Inside Radio, the Hot AC radio format is doing incredibly well across the country.  And doing best of the Hot AC stations in Arbitron’s electronically measured markets is KYKY, Y98 in St. Louis.

I’m blessed with a great company to work for, an incredible staff on the air and behind the scenes, and a “whatever it takes” attitude from everyone even remotely connected with Y98.  Thanks to Inside Radio for the recognition, to the listeners of St. Louis for making KYKY not only top of this chart, but the most listened to radio station in St. Louis for the month of April,, 2010, and to all the artists we work with for the great music they’ve given us to play.

Summertime is here, and Y98 is the OFFICIAL Station Of Summer in St. Louis.  We’ve got concerts, contests, and cool events all summer long.  2010 promises to the a great year for KYKY!

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Friday, May 21, 2010

GREAT News For St. Louis Mass Transit Patrons

We've still got a long way to go, but its nice to see some good news about Metro, the St. Louis Public Transit agency.  Check out the last two paragraphs!  This from

Metro approves budget after Prop A win
ST. LOUIS - Metro commissioners today approved a $232.4 million transit
operating budget that reflects the restoration of public transportation service
following the passage of Proposition A.

The spending plan covers the agency’s budget year that begins on July 1.

Robert Baer, Metro’s president and chief executive, said proceeds from the
Proposition A sales tax increase and a separate sales tax increase in St. Louis
city won’t reach the agency’s coffers until late September.

"There’s some misconception about the resources that are going to be available
to Metro," Baer told commissioners this morning. "We’re not rolling in dough."

Baer said sales tax collections already were down $5 million because of the
recession. Passenger revenues also are down because of a recessionary drop in
ridership. Further, Baer said, the state reduced the emergency appropriation it
made to restore some service in August 2009.

Metro also will begin funding non-pension retiree benefits.

Baer said the agency only will fill "mission critical" positions, such as bus
drivers and maintenance workers, this upcoming year.

Still, the agency’s budget reflects growth over last year’s spending level of
$204 million.

St. Louis County voters approved a half-cent sales tax increase. Half of that
will go toward transit operations. In addition, passage of the county
referendum triggered collection of a sales tax approved by city voters in 1997.

Ray Friem, Metro’s chief operating officer for transit, said the agency will
restore service sooner than originally planned as well.

Metro plans to restore service by late August, Friem said.

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Is It Wrong To Love A Promo Featuring Perry Mason?

From WCIU in Chicago and via Robert Feder at, the best promo I've seen in years for a local TV station. Kudos to the team at "The U" in Chicago for another brilliant promo.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm Ashamed To Say I See Myself In This Article And It Makes Me Sick

Cubs fans are hopeful beyond reason

Cubs fans have no grounds to keep believing, but they can't help it

May 16, 2010
BY RICK MORRISSEY Sun-Times Columnist

Sports Illustrated recently ran a story about new Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, which is to say it ran a story about hope.

But any story about hope and the Cubs is a story about a historical record that recommends proceeding in an orderly fashion to the lifeboats.

Manager Lou Piniella says he can hear the worry in the fans: "They're supportive, but with a little anxiety in their voice."
(Tom Cruze/Sun-Times)

Cubs are just Pitt-iful Lee puts onus on himself CUBS IN BRIEF: Nady's arm still an issue in RF Cubs recap Boxscore: Pirates 4, Cubs 3 Inside the Cubs: News, notes and updates

The piece was featured inside the magazine, so we don't know which jinx is stronger: SI's infamous cover jinx or the Cubs' tendency to jinx everything they touch.

Talk about a battle of titans. Would Ricketts have suffered a torn rotator cuff if he had appeared on the cover, or would Sports Illustrated have declared bankruptcy immediately after running his photo?

As stories about the Cubs often do, this one ended with someone in the organization saying he was tired of being on the losing end of baseball games. That someone was Ricketts, and there was almost bewilderment in his quote, as though he couldn't quite believe what he was seeing, which is impossible, seeing as how he was a bruised Cubs fan well before his family bought the team.

Law of averages doesn't apply

The Cubs are 15-22 heading into their game today against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The season is not over, but it does have a familiar patina of futility to it. It's only May, but there's already something ominous about this season. Perhaps it's Tom Skilling and those storm clouds over there.

I'm not asking Cubs fans to believe in jinxes, curses or fairy-tale ogres, but I do wonder if you believe in the possibility that your team's century-plus dry spell might stretch to a Buzz Lightyear-like infinity and beyond.

Do you think the Cubs will win a World Series in your lifetime or anybody else's?

If you answered yes, the natural companion question is: Why in the world would you think that?

The law of averages? No, sorry. The law of averages has declared definitively that it doesn't like the Cubs. One hundred and two years since the last World Series title would appear to be impossible. But you Cubs fans know better, don't you?

New ownership? The Ricketts family is saying and doing all the right things. It is spending money, just as Tribune Co. did in the latter years of its ownership of the team. But it's much too early to know what this group is all about.

Please, give me something conclusive to go on, something besides your vague feelings of hope and possibility.

An improving farm system? The thought that a natural disaster will wipe out half of all major-league teams in 2045? The presence of Starlin Castro?

It's a little early to put that on the kid shortstop's shoulders, no?

You don't have anything but hope, which makes you like fans of most other teams. But many of those fans at least can point to a championship team somewhere in their past and say: ''There. That's why I believe. I know what it takes for my team to win. I've witnessed it or my parents witnessed it. It can be done again.''

A Cubs fan only can tell you how it feels to pick at scabs.

Even by Cubs standards, what has happened so far has been bizarre. Alfonso Soriano is hitting; Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez aren't. Carlos Zambrano is pitching out of the bullpen -- and not particularly well.

After starting 4-4, in their last 29 games heading into today, the Cubs had, in order, lost five of six, won five of six, lost three, won three and lost nine of 11.

Manager Lou Piniella, the periodic stubble on his chin suggesting sleepless nights, has appeared to be at his wits' end more than a few times. Before the game Friday, though, he was positively chipper. He saw hope -- that word again -- in the Cubs' periodic offensive struggles.

''I still remain confident that we're going to do it,'' he said. ''I really do. It gets a little frustrating at times, but truthfully, in my heart of hearts, I believe that we're going to hit and we're going to score runs and get this thing moving in the right direction more consistently.''

'I love the big lugs'

There is no numbness to you Cubs fans. All the losing hasn't left you with a high pain threshold. You still bleed at the first hint of an extended losing streak.

In the first inning Friday, the crowd at Wrigley Field booed Cubs pitcher Tom Gorzelanny when he walked a batter after giving up three consecutive hits and a run. And the fans booed Zambrano after he gave up a three-run home run in the eighth.

Piniella said he heard from Cubs fans as he walked in the city on his day off Thursday.

''They're supportive, but with a little anxiety in their voice,'' he said, chuckling.

Asking a Cubs fan why he continues to support the team is like asking a table leg why it supports the table. It just does.

What if you saw the future unfolding before you and learned the Cubs never would win a World Series? Would you give up on them or offer an ''I wish I knew how to quit you'' worthy of ''Brokeback Mountain''?

I'm guessing you'd say, ''What are you gonna do? I love the big lugs.''

The SI story did say the Cubs are eating healthier food in their clubhouse this season. See? There is hope.

Everyone who has ever met me knows I love the Cubs. I've bled Cubbie Blue for half a century, like my father and grandfather before me. I've sat at playoff games only to see my heroes implode, but yet I still believe.

This season may be different. The Cubs are playing worse than I can remember, and all the promises of new ownership and new traditions (even actual urinals in the Wrigley Field men's rooms) can't make the Cubs a contender, or anything less than a laughingstock.

I think its time for a reality check and some serious re-evaluation. After getting let down by the players and kicked in the teeth by the front office (a story for another blog post) perhaps its time to take a hiatus from baseball fandom.

Posted via web from Mark Edwards 3.0

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Inside Radio" Talks To Mark Edwards About Radio And Social Media

Well known Radio industry publication Inside Radio, like many smart radio stations, has discovered the importance of social media and web presence for radio stations.  They were kind enough to interview me for their  May 7th edition.

Extending station brands with social media has moved up on programmers’ priority list. Nearly half of Americans now have social networking profiles, up from 24% just two years ago according to Arbitron and Edison Research. Though usage is highest among 12-24s (78%), the biggest growth in social media has been in the 25-34 cell, which grew to 65% in 2010. A new study from Nielsen shows Facebook experienced a 69% year-over-year gain in unique users in the U.S. while Twitter rose 45%. Jacobs Media’s 2010 Tech Poll of rock listeners reports eight in ten respondents have a profile on a site like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. As social media growth mushrooms, updating station MySpace pages and Twitter accounts is taking on greater importance among programmers. Air talent are increasingly expected to have their own station Twitter account and Facebook page and post to them multiple times a day — and reply to tweets people are making about topics in the station’s wheelhouse. Personalities used to encourage listeners to call the station to comment on something being discussed on the air. Now they’re more likely to say, “Hit me up on Twitter.” Air talent keeps the microblogging service open on an air studio computer to view and reference listener comments and song requests in real-time. Jocks talk about the funniest tweet or Facebook post. Pollack Media Group VP of digital Pat Welsh advises client stations to “make it a requirement that air talent get into the habit of participating. It’s how people communicate in the real world.” In addition to populating the Facebook pages of hot AC “Y-98” KYKY and AC “Soft Rock 102.5” KEZK with fresh content, CBS Radio-St. Louis director of programming Mark Edwards monitors social media traffic figures and watches which posts get re-tweeted. Entercom-Indianapolis director of programming & operations Scott Sands says he tweets throughout the day and makes sure his airstaff is posting whenever something newsworthy breaks. Smartphone applications enable posting and managing social networking profiles on the go. “You’ve got to have constant content up there everyday,” Sands says. “It’s something everybody should be doing these days.”

Stations turn to Twitter and Facebook to drive appointment listening. Thirty minutes before Jenna Elfman appeared on “The Smiley Morning Show,” Z-99.5 WZPL, Indianapolis sent out a tweet to encourage listeners to tune in to hear the actress talk about the season finale of her CBS-TV sitcom “Accidentally on Purpose.” Like a growing number of stations, the Entercom hot AC uses social media to promote guest appearances, ticket giveaways, new song premieres, major concert announcements and other tune-ins. As Indianapolis broadcasters prepare to transition to metered ratings next month, Entercom’s Scott Sands says social media sites can be effective tools to increase listening occasions. “If they happen to see it online, you’ve given them an immediate reason to tune in for an extra five minutes,” he says. “That’s the way to win the people meter game.” CBS Radio hot AC “Y98” KYKY, St. Louis populates its Facebook wall with abridged content from the station’s web site. Facebook members who “like” the station — which number 2,737 — see that content in their live news feed when they log into their own Facebook accounts. “We know people can’t listen to the radio station 24 hours a day so we make things available through different platforms, whether video or audio,” CBS Radio-St. Louis director of programming Mark Edwards says. Broadcasters are also using social media to drive traffic back to their web sites. When the Indianapolis Colts 2010 schedule was announced, WZPL used social media to direct listeners to the station site to view the schedule. “You can’t put everything up, just the big stuff,” Edwards says. “We’re very respectful of people’s lives and don’t want to waste their time. There has to be a listener benefit.” Sands says posting three times a day for each show and about five times a day for the station as a whole is a good rule of thumb. “Radio is going to become an octopus with a million tentacles with many different ways to communicate with listeners,” Edwards says. “Facebook and Twitter are just two of them.”

For air talent, social media is the beginning of the “after-show.” With personalities streamlining on-air raps to adapt to PPM measurement, social media offers another vehicle to express themselves unencumbered. “The air talent should be encouraged to use these tools to showcase their personality in a more open way that they can do on the air,” Pollack Media Group VP of digital Pat Welsh says. WZPL, Indianapolis morning man Dave Smiley uses social media to continue the conversation with listeners after he gets off the air. “He tweets and is on Facebook all day and uploads pictures from his iPhone,” Entercom-Indianapolis director of programming & operations Scott Sands says. While the station posts pop culture news on its Facebook wall, Sands says it gets more reaction to personal posts. “It’s the personal insights, the post from our real lives that get the most response. It’s a way for listeners to get insights into our talent’s lives, which builds touch points toward that ever elusive bond.” At CBS Radio’s St. Louis FMs, all air talent have Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. “We’re using these media, along with our blogging and station web site platforms, to do things we can’t do on the radio because they’re visual or too complicated or too long,” director of programming Mark Edwards says. “Facebook makes it easy to add content by using applications,” Sands says. “You can pull all your tweets into Facebook automatically, post polls, audio, video and photos. It’s a very robust tool for interacting and sharing content.”

Copyright 2010 Inside Radio.  Used by Permission

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Baseball Loses A Legend. RIP Ernie Harwell

Image Courtesy

As a broadcaster, I have a special spot in my heart for baseball on the radio.  Today we lost one of the greats, Detroit Tigers broadcast legend Ernie Harwell. 

People who write much better than I will write much more interesting tribute to the 92 year old Hall Of Famer.  There are great things posted at what's left of the Detroit newspaper, .The Online  Here's an interview with Bob Costas and Ernie Harwell, courtesy of the Detroit Tigers Website.  Costas/Harwell Promo.

I'm not good at saying goodbye to someone I've admired but never had the pleasure of meeting, I'm sorry I never got to shake Ernie Harwell's hand and thank him for all he'd done over the years.  I just hope he's in Baseball Heaven with the players and fellow broadcasters who whom he spent most of his memorable life. 

Posted via email from Mark Edwards 3.0