(Some of) What I Did on My Christmas Vacation, and Some Media News Bits


While I traveled around the Rust Belt (Cleveland, Detroit, Columbus) over the holidays, I banged into some interesting things.

1. The Trans Siberian Orchestra is the hottest concert ticket in the country. They were/are performing in all of the aforementioned cities plus Cincinnati this week. Radio stations were crowing about having tickets to give away for the sold out shows. Interestingly enough, the group became popular with little radio airplay, save for a few TSO Christmas songs.

2. This is definitely a gaming culture. I saw my nine-year-old niece in Columbus. Up until last year, she was content to play board games, cards, or “Duck-Duck-Goose” with her Uncle Andy for hours on end. This time, she couldn’t wait to finish our game of “War” so she could play with her Nintendo handheld DS gaming system. She also got a Wii, but didn’t feel like hooking it up. A trend usually doesn’t hit home until you witness something like this.

3. I went to the Motor City Bowl in Detroit on Dec. 26. On the scoreboard, they advertised an in-ear radio to hear the play-by-play of the game. Pretty cool device. Not “clunky”, and no tangly wires. I didn’t catch the brand name, though. Legendary sportcaster Keith Jackson endorses it.

4. I spent two nights in motels, and I did not get a newspaper. I also did not bring my laptop computer. I survived without old media and new media. It doesn’t surprise me that newspapers are in a sharp tailspin. Also, I thought I was an online addict, but I’m relieved to know that I’m not.

Breaking News Item 1: Netscape Navigator is officially dead. If a browser is killed but nobody used it, did it really happen?

Breaking News Item 2: Apple is jumping on the HD bandwagon. It might help give HD radio a much-needed jolt.

All is right with the world now that CBS and NBC will carry the NFL Network‘s feed of tonight’s New England PatriotsNew York Giants game. This isn’t a sports column, but I’ll make a bold prediction anyway: New England will lose at least one game this season. If they don’t lose tonight, the will fall sometime during the postseason. Why? Look who’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated. You know abou that jinx, don’t you?

Postscript to my Christmas Eve blog: In this day and age, fewer people have to work on the air on holidays, thanks to automation and voice tracking. Of course, fewer people work on the air in general, but that’s another story.

Come back New Year’s Eve morning for my recollection of how much fun it can be to be on the radio New Year’s Eve.


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