Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My Letter Back To The End

Dear Mr. Manning,

I appreciate your response to my customer feedback regarding the cancellation of DJ Noname and Jennifer White’s morning show on The End. While I certainly understand your motivations for the format change, I’m not sure you understand your morning show audience, as evidenced by two things you mentioned in your email.

You mention that Mr. Carolla’s show, “Loveline,” has enjoyed success at The End, and I’m quite certain that it has given its late timeslot. The only times I’ve had the pleasure of listening to “Loveline” are when I work late, as it is on at a time when I suspect people in my demographic aren’t tuning in to The End, or any other radio station. Therefore, equivocating success with a late evening show to success of a morning show is an error in logic, as I would be willing to bet that your overall listener demographic in the morning is much different than your demographic at 10 at night – and judging by the types of phone calls to the old Morning Alternative show (twentysomethings on their way to work) versus the phone calls to Loveline (thirteen-year-olds seeking sexual advice), there seems to be at lease some circumstantial evidence to support my theory.

Additionally, you mention that “intelligent, engaging on-air presenters” are what I’m looking for in a radio station. You couldn’t be more correct, and frankly, I’m surprised to find anyone using those terms to describe the creator of The Man Show, a program designed to denigrate women and celebrate traditional gender stereotypes (and not necessarily in that order); and the creator of Crank Yankers, which was only mildly funny fifteen years ago when I was 12 and it was called The Jerky Boys. You chose some exceptionally poor words to describe Mr. Carolla’s programming, and again you demonstrate a lack of understanding of your morning show demographic.

Later in the letter, you mention that Mr. Carolla’s show emanates “live from Los Angeles, just like many of the network and cable television shows, and virtually all of the theatrical movie releases that we enjoy,” as if that were a selling point – again demonstrating a complete lack of understanding of your target demographic. While nodding towards the Jerry Bruckheimer set might work in, say, Los Angeles or might play well in the Midwest, Seattle prides itself on its artistic independence.

As one example, I am a member of the Seattle International Film Festival. The SIFF is a monthlong celebration of independent film from all over the world. While the Bruckheimer set will continue to pack the Googleplexes every Friday and Saturday – and I’d by lying if I said I wasn’t among them from time to time – Seattle itself is a fiercely independent artistic community, and we are proud of the local music that is of some of the highest quality in the world. Frankly, if we wanted Los Angeles, we’d move to Los Angeles; the point you seem to be missing, again demonstrating a lack of understanding of your demographic, is that we’re all here in Seattle and we like our city and the art, music, and personalities we produce.

Since penning my last correspondence, I have discussed The End’s new morning format with my wife, my roommate, and several of my friends. We have sadly all stopped listening to The End in the morning, because we all agree that the Adam Carolla show isn’t what we’re looking for. It may be fine for Los Angeles and wherever else its ratings are high, but it certainly seems to be a flop here – among us, at least. Unfortuantely, I have nearly stopped listening to The End altogether. I’ve found that I can enjoy many of the same options The End offered for free on the Internet, without having to cringe at the advertisements for the new morning show.

Sadly, I feel that my words will have little to no affect on the final outcome of The End’s programming decisions. Therefore, I plan to draft a letter to send to every company that advertises on The End during the Adam Carolla show and inform them of their shrinking listener base. Even if nothing comes of it, your advertisers need to know how you have grossly underestimated a demographic they appear to know better than you do.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Jason Mical

No comments: