Entries Tagged as 'broadcasting'

wben buffalo adds a frequency and maybe a new logo

So word came down on Twitter today (isn’t that where all news comes from that isn’t already on Facebook…what newspaper?!!) that heritage AM station WBEN/Buffalo was going to be simulcast on another station in the Entercom cluster, WLKK-FM (107.7). The Lake, as the station was known, hadn’t really moved the needle among listeners or advertisers.

So now WBEN will be heard on AM 930 and FM 107.7 – with this news came what seems to be a new logo. Variations of the old WBEN logo have been around for a decade or more.

The new logo – if it is indeed the final version – is bad. Vague city scapes and big call letters (meant to infer how the station covers or engulfs the city with its coverage) never work. They also reproduce badly in newspaper ads and on the web.

I listen to the station and I don’t have to look at the logo so I suppose I shouldn’t care – except it’s a logo and I notice these things. You’d hope a station group as big as Entercom would have a bit more graphic moxie to produce (or even steal from another one of their stations in another market) a logo better than this one.

Maybe this new logo is just a draft.

Kinda like this one I whipped up pretty fast:

this is how they do it

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to serve as an announcer for a game show, I caught an article today from one of the rotating guest announcers currently on The Price is Right who gives you all the details.

I thought it was a pretty fun read.

3 thoughts on voice over technology – iAudition, do you?

Like all things gadget and quasi-technical, I think it was Dave Courvoisier who first posted something about the new i-phone application called iAudition which promises: “You can record, edit and send your auditions from wherever you are, without the need for a recording studio or computer!”

It dices, it slices it even make julienne fries! But wait, there’s more!

Well then George Washington, III chimed in with his experience on the device. As I am not nor really ever been a pioneer on technical items, I figured now that these two fellas had tried it, maybe for a penny under $5 I could try it for my iphone.

So I pinged in Facebook that I had done just that and one of the comments I got in response to that post got me to thinking.

Facebook friend and voice talent Don Capone opined “bottom line… it maybe ok for a quick edit or to… but lets be real…the audio recording quality is hideous… but i guess if its a must have situation and u need to do a quick audition…”

I love comments like Don’s because they start me thinking and in this case three thoughts popped into my head.

1. The technology boat will leave with or without us
It is pathetically obvious to even the most unengaged user of technology that as soon as you buy the newest computer at the store, it’s outdated in some aspect of its internal technology. Beyond computers, it the tech sectors business model – always be improving so customers will buy your newer stuff.

This is, to my knowledge, one of the first apps of its kind for iPhone and it’s very specifically targeted my area of business. Obviously my biggest concern with something like iAudition is audio fidelity and quality…so will Don be proven right? Will I hate it?

I won’t know unless I try it and at under $5, I can roll the dice on this technology.

2. As technology changes, so do people’s expectations
As an example: black and white TV’s died when a successful color TV model was invented. HDTV is having the same effect on analog. People expect better.

BUT sometimes people’s expectations for quality can be lowered and those lower expectations become acceptable. One example I site is this: I remember, growing up, that people always dressed up when one flew on an airplane; jackets and ties were the norm. Now it’s just nice if people keep their flip flops on during the whole flight.

In voiceover, the same thing has happened whether we like it or not. Recording studios and their amazing acoustics have given way to home studios where voice talents manage their acoustics with bed foam and moving van blankets…the clients know not the the recording room difference most times when they listen to the finished file.

Remember when voice over agencies ruled the business? Most professional voice talents signed with an agency and the agency did all the marketing for the talent (one might even go to the agent or the client’s office to audition). Now the Voices.com and Voice123’s of the world have changed that dynamic. And while some of their clients offer fine quality audio recordings and performances, some are pathetic in both those measures. But because those lesser talents will work for pennies on the dollar, they get work.

Sacrificing quality for lower cost is an American retail tradition. Which led me to think…

3. What is the tipping point for “acceptable” audio fidelity on auditions?
Whatever it is today, I think it will be different tomorrow. In much the same way America had recording studio quality standards years ago, today radio stations will seemingly broadcast almost anything for ad dollars and I can’t blame them. And video not audio has always been a prime focus for television ads as anyone who has ever watched a local cable ad can attest.

So what about when auditioning? Will clients and production houses sacrifice pristine audio quality on auditions since they are only auditions? Shouldn’t the audio quality of the audio represent the level of the finished product should that voice talent get the job? Or will the client assume that can all be fixed in post?

It’s an evolving answer but as our national consciousness seems to be focusing on faster and easier more so than better and quality, I think this debate in the voiceover industry isn’t but a year or so away from getting a clearer answer.

Z-100 new york gets refreshed

Logo Montage of Z-100 New York

If you worked in radio in the 80’s, WHTZ/New York was the station that every CHR station (Contemporary Hit Radio) wanted to sound like.

It was where the cool kids hung out. Jingle companies fawned over them tossing them completely new customized and awesome jingles because they knew they’d make their money when every other station in the free world bought them for top dollar. See if these these don’t sound familiar to a market near year where only the frequency and slogan are slightly modified.

My point is once a trend setter, always a trendsetter…until you’re not. Z-100 still turns heads although the 80’s also-ran WPLJ-FM took the lead (and Scott Shannon) away to even things out a bit.

So when Z-100 changes its logo, unlike other radio stations, it matters a bit. You are more like to see those top two logos pop up in other cities around the country – radio as an industry is inventive, once. Then its copy city after that.

So what do you think of the new icon? Or do you have to hear the station to see if it fits?

The playing field is a bit more level today then it was when I was working as a jock but don’t be surprised if you start seeing similar logos to the top two in the graphic above in your market soon. Once a trend setter, always a trendsetter…until you’re not.

new network, new logo

Technically, you could rightly say: “not a new network”, because The Oprah Winfrey Network has been around a while. But when the billionairese decides to fold up shop on her 25 year old talk show to focus on her network, certainly one can be assured new blood is about to be infused into the broadcast.

So with such an infusion comes a bigger focus on branding which usually means a new logo and there it sits.

As always, remember that a TV logo stays static only on the stationary and that I’m guessing they have loads of movement and animation ideas for this concept.

Your thoughts? You like? You dislike? Did Oprah hit a home run on this logo or did she merely rob a paint store?

social media video or tv show?

Because of my proximity to Toronto, I know of the Toronto-based social media author, broadcaster and blogger Amber MacArthur or Amber Mac as she’s known, maybe more than most folks in the states – although the web knows no borders.

I really enjoy one of her shows, CommandN and saw on her blog that she was recently featured in a video on a blog (also featured below). Amber has a new book out so she’s out hawking it like any capitalist author should do.

So I checked out the video and was blown away…not so much but the content which was fine but by the presentation of video which was unlike anything I’d seen on the web not produced by a network news department and re-purposed for the web.

Jimm Foxx and Rob Woodbridge have created an amazingly professional, interesting show that looks like it could be on a broadcast television network (any network) right now. It’s brilliant.

Why is this a big deal? Folks, I owned a video production company for many years and produced, directed and wrote more than my share of videos…it is a TON of work to get all the elements created and produced in such a way that it comes together looking so sharp.

Walking interviews, cut away, sit down interview with multiple cameras, motion graphics…it takes time and resources. Freshly produced video on the web is not new. For example, Amber’s CommandN show is nice Rebel Voice’s production takes the production quality standard to a new level.

So to see Rebel Voice on a web based platform should make you applaud AND wonder…what does this mean for TV, for broadcasting, for the tools we use to absorb media.

If a two man web operation can do this and make it look this good, this viewer friendly….obliterating the line (certainly in the consumer’s mind just by watching it) of broadcast media and web media…can they both coexist or does one have to die off? How quick a death?

We are the people for whom this information is being created and these web channels are the tubes through which they are sent – does it make you think about the media’s future or is it just another day in webville?

Rebel Voice Episode #3 Amber MacArthur from Rob Woodbridge on Vimeo.