It's the pit of rerun/reality TV seaon on the boob tube right now and as someone desperate for an alternative I have been trying to tune in to radio for some decent, informative entertainment.
Unfortunately, where I live right now, the radio situation is pretty dire. There are few local stations and the only good big-city ones you hear are all far away ones in places like Chicago or Seattle. In fact, it's a vast wasteland around here. It seems like every AM radio station in these parts plays country and western music. Which is fine if you like that sort of thing. But if you are university educated that stuff can end up being boring to listen to.
As well, there are these talk stations here in Canada that run Charles Adler and Roy Green on the Corus radio network, but it gets kind of boring when the only talk stations you can find on your radio dial in Canada are only serving up Charles Adler and Roy Green ranting and raving.
American talk radio is even worse. Let's face it, a lot of talk radio these days is just dreck. I did a whole rant ages ago about the politically-charged junk from the likes of Michael Savage and everyone else, and then there's George Noory with his late-night piece of nonsense that's all about UFOs, conspiracy theories and other stuff.
I have to admit, I miss the old days when old Larry King used to be on the radio. I'd put his show on hoping Larry's show would put me to sleep, and instead it would always keep me awake because the guests were so interesting.
In the old days he'd be on for three hours. For the first two hours he'd have on some guest who had a new book out ( that was basically what you got from him every night, prominent people with books coming out) and then the third hour would be turned over to the inmates to run the asylum with Open Phone America, where every weirdo could call up Larry and talk to him on the radio. And sometimes these folks would be really nuts and that would prompt Larry to hang up on them and say "rest well." And then the show would close with them playing the song Duke's Place, in honor of Duke Zeibert's Restaurant where Larry was a regular in Washington D.C.
I miss that show. These days, Larry is lurching from week to week on his miserable CNN show, and the rumors always keep flying about "who is going to replace Larry King??" Well, I can tell you that when Mutual/Westwood One replaced Larry on radio in the early Nineties, Jim Bohannon lost a ton of Larry's old network stations. Sadly, no one replaces Larry King, and CNN will find that out soon enough when (a) they get rid of him or (b) he dies.
Personally, AM radio lost a lot when Larry decided to do TV full-time. Radio ended up getting turned over to these political talking heads and other idiots on all sides of the spectrum. Sadly, a lot of these folks are total lunatics, and their listeners are even crazier.
The other thing that has happened is the rise of sports talk radio -- or should I say, one singular kind of sports talk radio. I have to say that ESPN Radio is getting on my nerves. It used to be that there was once a variety of sports talk stations around that you could listen to with a variety of opinions. But ever since ESPN came along, these stations have been dropping their local late-night stuff and airing ESPN's boring stuff.
You know what they've been talking about on all these ESPN stations late at night lately? Brett Freaking Favre! His soap-opera un-retirement from the Green Bay Packers and his demand for a trade and the whole mess that has ensured, has made fools out of everyone in the National Football League, especially him. That's all we've gotten from ESPN radio for weeks: same for Jim Rome and all these other shows. It's depressing when you are looking for intelligent stuff to listen to on the radio late at night after the baseball games are over, and all that you get is ESPN Radio ranting about Brett Favre this or Brett Favre that. Who cares! It would be nice if they talked some more about auto racing or other sports on ESPN Radio, but they don't.
This is why I miss living out East: at least there you can tune into WFAN and hear some real talk radio with real fans calling in and ranting and raving. ESPN Radio is just too generic.
Anyway, the selection on the AM dial these days is driving me nuts and making me seriously consider satellite radio. And what kind of sports do you get on satellite radio? Why, what else: ESPN Radio!!! So buying a satellite radio kind of makes little sense. Actually, the reason I resist getting satellite radio is because I don't want to pay for it. Heck, I wouldn't pay for half the stuff on conventional radio these days.
It really is pathetic when the only options on AM radio at night are George Noory, ESPN, political loudmouths, or the news!! And that's it!!