• Why Oct. 15, 2013 Will Change the Radio Dial Forever

    December 7, 2012

    The FM dial is about to become an auditory playground that could make the days when Top 40 hits and shock jocks dominated the airwaves feel like a distant memory.

  • In Las Vegas, the News Don't Come Cheap

    October 17, 2012

    It’s a known fact that TV stations are hitting the jackpot this year when it comes to political ads. But one city is taking it to a whole new level.

    The New York Times reported that Las Vegas has reached the top of the charts for the number of political ads aired — clocking in at about 10,000 ads per week, with at least 98 different ads in rotation.

  • The Top Five Most Ridiculous Things I Have Experienced (So Far) While Collecting Files from Television Stations

    August 17, 2012
    While the process of collecting public and political files from broadcast TV stations should probably evoke the feel of a drama or a high-tension mystery show, my experiences have left me feeling like I am starring in my own personal sitcom. Why? Because the process of getting my hands on these files has been laced with moments that can be described only as comedic. Or maybe they more accurately fit into the genre of “dark comedy” —you know, the kind that’s funny but also makes you groan a bit.
  • Free Pussy Riot. Free Expression

    August 17, 2012
    Three members of the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison this morning for committing acts of “hooliganism.” Pussy Riot’s conviction rattles us because it seems so outdated. The word hooliganism itself belongs to an era long gone. Yet the sentencing of these women reminds us that no matter how far we think we have come, threats to free speech and freedom of expression continue.
  • Clear Channel Eats My Childhood Commercial Station

    May 16, 2012

    I’m not normally one to tune into commercial radio, but I still find this morning’s news sad: The Boston Phoenix is selling radio station WFNX to (yeah, you guessed it) Clear Channel.

  • On the Verge of a Local Radio Renaissance

    May 7, 2012

    One of the most common complaints about radio is that no matter where you go on the dial, it all sounds the same. You can take a small step today to change that — dramatically.

  • Dear Hulu: You're Doing It Wrong

    May 4, 2012

    This is a love story about television. My love story about television.

    I cut the cable cord a long time ago. The cost was too high and the majority of channels offered were, well, mediocre at best. I got by for years on my new favorite format: TV on DVD. I bought box sets and spent hours soaking up the plotlines from Six Feet Under and the West Wing. I became a series binger — that is, I would complete what took those poor regular cable subscribers years in the course of a few weeks (OK, sometimes it was a few days).

    I was feeling pretty proud of myself.

    Then streaming television started.

  • Political Files? Meet the Internet

    April 27, 2012

    On Friday, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that television stations must enter the 21st century and put the information in their public and political files online. Now anyone with an Internet connection will be able to access information about who is spending all that money on political advertising. The files will also allow us to see how stations are serving — or failing to serve — community needs.

  • Television Stations Don't Like Television Cameras

    April 24, 2012

    What happens when a group of broadcast journalism students set out to inspect the public files at their local television stations?

    Three out of four stations refuse to let their cameras in.

    “Cleveland television stations,” one student said, “don’t like television cameras.”

  • Court OKs Political Ads on NPR and PBS

    April 13, 2012

    Sounds like an Onion headline, but it’s not. Yesterday a U.S. appeals court struck down a ban on political advertising on public TV and radio stations. That means your local NPR and PBS stations could start airing all those nasty attack ads that clog up the airwaves in an election year.