January 6, 2017Asked And Answered
Every year, there's a Big Thing at CES. Sometimes, the Big Thing never really takes hold -- how's that 3D TV going for ya? -- and sometimes its a Big Thing that becomes a Not That Big Thing But A Thing Nonetheless like drones, and sometimes, it's a Big Thing that carries over for several years and becomes an even Bigger Thing, like autonomous cars. Everyone was showing their autonomous car projects at this year's CES, but that's been the case for the last few years. Same for the connected car/digital dash, which has also been a Big Thing for a while. This year, I didn't really see a Big Thing developing before the show, but while I was there, it became apparent: Voice control is finally a Big Thing, namely Amazon's Alexa and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft's Cortana. Alexa's going into Ford vehicles and is being incorporated into devices galore, and Cortana's being implemented in BMWs. Soon, you'll be able to order a meal and turn your bedroom lights different colors from the comfort of your driver's seat. The new user interface for devices isn't a touchscreen, it's your voice.
December 9, 2016Holding Pattern
How can we sum up the year in News-Talk Sports radio and podcasting? One word comes to mind: Meh. Or disappointing. Or undistinguished. Or however you'd describe what feels like a holding pattern at best and increasing marginalization at worst -- I'm not prepared to ...
December 2, 2016From The Island Of Misfit Media
How did it feel to get thrown under the bus again? What, you didn't know you were down there under the 23 bus from Center City to Chestnut Hill? You didn't notice the oil dripping on you, the Goodyears leaving tracks on your back? Huh. I saw it happen. Your own ...
November 18, 2016The Job Thing
It's nearing the end of the year (please hold your applause until DECEMBER 31st), and the question I get asked more than any other this time of year is "GET ME A JOB!" To which I customarily respond, "that's not a question." But the spirit of the request is noted, and so ...
November 11, 2016Moving On
In the wake of the election, what now for talk radio and its OH LORD I DON'T CARE MAKE IT STOP SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP. Seriously, I dreaded having to write yet another navel-gazing piece about post-election talk radio since I've ALREADY WRITTEN THAT AT LEAST THREE ...
November 4, 2016Picking Up The Pieces
Some of you are going to be reading this column next week, after Tuesday, and if they've invented time travel by then, could you come on back to Friday and let me know if we survived? Because it's hard to tell as of this writing, what with the rhetoric and stress and ...
October 28, 2016A Little Focus
When you think about it, the idea that "Talk" is a radio format is kind of ridiculous. We don't say that "Music" is a format; instead, it's about genres. Top 40 isn't Rock isn't Classic Hip-Hop isn't AC, and while there are overlaps and crossovers, there's generally a ...
October 21, 2016The More Things Change
You know the line. When William Holden's cynical writer Joe Gillis first meets Gloria Swanson's faded movie queen Norma Desmond in the classic "Sunset Boulevard," he blurts out in recognition, "you used to be big." Her response is always on the lists of most memorable ...
October 14, 2016Open All Hours
What was your News-Talk station doing last Friday night? Before you answer that, allow me to backtrack a little. There have been general assumptions governing the way talk radio has programmed stations since the advent of the format, assumptions based on a combination ...
October 7, 2016Before The Next Storm Hits
The thing about emergencies and radio is that the ones you see coming are really just tests for the ones that blindside you. First, the ones you see coming: I'm gratified that I've heard some excellent work from several radio stations in the path of Hurricane Matthew, ...