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Monday Memo: Telephone. It’s for You

| December 23, 2019

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Why I LOVE the Christmas tunes radio reverts to this time of year: I can hear The Beach Boys on FM.

The dang BEACH BOYS, who contributed so much volume-up TSL when Baby Boomers were young.  Now, radio seems to think they were one-hit wonders…maybe two, if “The Man With All The Toys” is also airing.  Otherwise, FM affords “Little Saint Nick” the same status as those barking dogs and mischievous Chipmunks, one-and-done until next year.

Boomers are radio’s most-lifelong-habitual heavy users.

  • In the 1990s I amused and horrified my DC-area friends who only knew me as a corporate suit, by re-enacting my 70s DJ act on “Washington’s Sixties SuperStation, Oldies 100;” targeting 25-54. So, at first, I was surprised to find so many teens and pre-teens on the request line.  As currents, these now-neglected acts sang to young people…us.
  • Back to the future: We greys are the most-monied retail spenders. On YouTube, search “Holland Cooke Grey is Gold.”

There’s an app for that.

If 60s music isn’t classic-enough for classic rock stations, it’s just another white flag.  Previous radio staples now on-demand on smartphones include weather and sports and traffic and play-by-play; and music, FREE from numerous sources.

Broadcasters’ most-logical defense?  Give consumers something they can’t get elsewhere, something apps don’t do as-well (yet): local news.  If that seems like a tall order with perennial year-end firings now underway, resourceful stations will persevere, the topic of a recent column here.  ICYMI:

Be there or be square.

On Cyber Monday 2019, $3 billion was spent on smartphones.  And it’s not like we didn’t see this coming.  I found this on Facebook:

As The Beach Boys sang: “I get bugged drivin’ up-and-down the same old strip.  I’ve got to find a new place where the kids are hip.”

Holland Cooke ( is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of the e-book “Holland Cooke: Greatest Hits” from Talkers Books.  Click the ad banner in the right-hand column on this page for an instant download.  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Read HC’s Monday Memo each week at, and follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice