Radio In The Home

Radio is having trouble competing with TV in the one daypart radio has historically dominated. That’s good for TV, because AM drive is the one daypart that’s going to be difficult for the interactivity of computers to reach, and which has shown growth substantial viewing growth in the last two decades.

I start most weekdays late. Saturdays start even later.

In the shower six’ish, I turned on the radio. Garrison Keillor was just starting A Prairie Home Companion on Public Radio.

Helaine walked in to use the sink and wash her face. She couldn’t help but hear the radio blasting away. He’s not her favorite.

OK – that’s too kind.

She dislikes the show. There, I said it.

As I listened to some guy from Louisiana that Garrison was praising as if he was the second coming, I started to think about radio. These are tough times for radio.

It’s not just the competition from satellite services and iPods, it’s also TV. Does anyone listen to the radio at home except me?

I asked my friend Bob last week. He said he thinks the vast majority of his morning show’s audience (Bob & Sheri, heard across the US) is out of the home. Some are in cars, others at work. There are downloaders listening to podcasts, but that’s still a small minority.

Radio is having trouble competing with TV in the one daypart radio has historically dominated. That’s good for TV, because AM drive is the one daypart that’s going to be difficult for the interactivity of computers to compete in and which has shown substantial viewing growth in the last two decades.

My only in-house radio listening takes place in the shower. I have a Sony radio (using 3 c-cell batteries that last well over a year between replacements), mounted on a bracket on the shower’s side wall.

We have a clock radio next to the bed. It’s hardly used. When I turned on the family room receiver during last week’s poker game, it was the first time it had been on in months… maybe years. That radio is at least thirty years old. When it dies, it won’t be replaced.

It’s very difficult for sound to compete with sound and pictures. That’s probably a good thing for me.

New Years Eve At Home With Dick

Originally we thought we’d be in Los Angeles tonight. That didn’t come about. So, Helaine and I are home. Steffie is with a friend as we change years.

All week I have been talking about snow for tonight. Not a lot, but enough to make things slippery. It started late this afternoon.

Helaine asked Stef if she’d let me drive her. I’m sure Steffie could have made the drive herself, but I think she was happier to not risk it.

We left the house with an inch or two on the ground. As we came to the big hill, heading down to a well traveled road, I stopped and shifted into 4-wheel drive low.

I was about 1/3 of the way down the hill when I spotted a 2-wheel drive sedan stopped in the uphill lane. I pressed the brake to slow, but there was little traction. Even with ABS brakes, the car was beginning to skid.

Quickly, I made the decision to take my foot off the brake pedal. I figured maintaining steering was more important than attempting to stop.

As I continued to approach, the driver of the other car shifted into reverse and started to back down.

On this narrow, curvy road, he wasn’t anywhere near the edge. I nudged our SUV slightly to the right where the snow was uneven – probably rocks or gravel at the side of the road.

We passed this idiot (yes – if you back up, with traffic approaching, in a vehicle that already has shown it can’t grip this road surface, you’re an idiot) with a few inches to spare.

I would be lying if I didn’t say my heart wasn’t beating faster.

The rest of the trip to East Haven was uneventful and slow. We did 40 mph down I-91. Most, but not all of the cars, were slow and cautious.

I dropped Steffie off and headed back north. From home Helaine made the call for Chinese food. Garrison Keillor was coming on the radio and I turned his homey, anachronistic music up loud.

I want to take a second to talk about the Chinese take out place we frequent because they do something that defies description. When Helaine orders she is not asked for name or number (they don’t have caller ID). When I pick up they never ask what I ordered. We always get the right order!

Usually it’s not busy and I had attributed our success to that. Tonight it was busy. It was still the right order, no questions asked – literally.

Now the two of us are home, as we are nearly every New Year’s Eve. I think the last time we went out was when we were dating. We got into a fight and nearly broke up. New Year’s Eve out lost its luster that night.

Later we’ll watch Dick Clark. There’s a certain dread along with the anticipation tonight. Dick Clark was a no show last year, after having a stroke. Now, rumor has it, he is still physically challenged.

Last week word came that a publicity shot of Dick, Ryan Seacrest and Hillary Duff had been Photoshopped so an older picture of Dick could be inserted. He hasn’t been seen at all in any of the live publicity for the show.

I know this is cruel to say. I don’t want to see Dick Clark if he’s not well. Even a valiant effort on his part will put me ill at ease.

The show starts in 11 minutes.

Blogger’s note: I came back on to edit this at 10:46 PM. No Dick Clark yet.