Monday, March 30, 2009

TPT and Your Money

At 6:15 this morning, the KQRS morning show broadcast a 60 second commercial for Twin Cities Public Television's (TPT) broadcast of the Antique Road Show. Don't get me wrong - Road Show is a good show, and offers a great educational and historical perspective. But what happened to the "public" in "public television?"

Here are the issues in this situation:

  • I know of no business, none, that is not in cut-back mode. We're firing people left and right, freezing wages, invoking furloughs, killing profit-sharing, killing 401k contributions, etc. This is what life is like in the real world. How, in this environment, does government get up the funds to all of the sudden do advertising?

  • Is buying advertising the best use of the taxes you have paid? Is it how their members choose to have their contributions spent?

  • KQ dominates radio in the Twin Cities. Their morning show, in terms of dominance of share, is top 5 in the nation, and has been for years. It's not cheap. Of all the properties in which TPT could advertise, it chose the absolute most expensive - by a long shot.

  • Radio advertising is finite - there are only so many spots per show. Now that government is buying spots, guess what happens to the remaining spots? Limited supply, meet increased demand...

  • And hey, as long as we're advertising, there's no need for a more cost effective :30 spot - let's buy the big :60! It's just the taxpayers' and members' money.

I know there's precedent for the government advertising - the USPS has been doing it for years now. And with their loss of nearly $3B in 2008 and projected losses of an even greater amount in 2009, that's a heck of a model to emulate.

Let's hope that this is just some kind of test.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kathleen Edwards - Gotta Check this Out

I really enjoy finding new artists, and while I had previously downloaded some things from Kathleen Edwards (In State and Six O'clock News) it wasn't until a fortuitous encounter with iTunes recommendation engine that I did a deeper dive on her work. Holy crap, have I been missing out.

I'd define her as alt-country, with a really sweet, smoky voice and some really incredible lyrics. She's Canadian, but does not have much of a following in the States. Unfortunately, that is too often the case for Canadian musical acts (e.g. The Tragically Hip, Cowboy Junkies - and how the mighty Rush is not yet in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a travesty).

The attached video gives an insight to her talent and personality. For more information, along with a number of great, free downloads, check out her site at

You have to love a chick that can fold Marty McSorley into a song. Now that is a woman that knows her hockey...

First Foray

Welcome to the blog. As much as I enjoy writing, I probably should have done this years ago, but better late than never. Also, the technology has evolved greatly, hence some of the tough things associated with blogging in the past no longer apply, so there are benefits for those that stay off the cutting edge.

I encourage your comments and appreciate your perspectives. We'll not always see eye to eye on things, especially along political lines, but that's what makes the discourse fun.