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Dork Age / Radio

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  • In late 1999, despite its well-earned reputation as a family show for the past sixteen years, Adventures in Odyssey was re-tooled specifically to appeal to younger listeners. This was apparently interpreted to mean "water everything down." Simplified stories with morals more anvilicious than ever showed up, peaking with a wave of ten-minute "twofer"-style episodes. Characters stagnated, continuity dried up, and some of the series' most interesting characters (including Katrina, whose appearances had been rare enough to begin with, and Whit's son Jason) dropped off the map altogether. While a few good episodes still got by, (among them being the Darker and Edgier two-part episode detailing Dr. Regis Blackgaard's intense near-return and the legendary "I Slap Floor") the listener backlash was strong enough that the series got back on track by the same time next year.
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  • Global Radio rebranding Galaxy to Capital and attempting to make a national station out of it (well, according to Digital Spy, which has lampshaded this on multiple occasions. "Local radio" Capital, done in the same way as Minster FM, Stray FM or 96.4 The Eagle (UKRD) would work. However, their digital presence (websites etc.) have not yet fell into a Dork Age; they're well-designed and easy-to-use, with understandable schedules and nice DJ photos.
  • GMG Radio, their competitor, has fell into this trap too; Ryan Seacrest has a syndicated show, Monday - Friday 11pm-1am, which does not fit in with their image one bit.
  • 2 Flemish radio stations, both owned by the VRT group, have earned notoriety for being in one:
    • VRT Radio 1 was once a radio station with a huge reputation, giving people great and very detailed news coverage with some music in between some segments. In 2007 (when they had a market share of around 15%) there was an attempt to restyle it and it became a horrifying mess after it. Not only did the music on it after that become so awful that it would require Willing Suspension of Disbelief to think that music this awful was ever aired on any radio station, but anything that was serious news was removed and changed to the kind of daily news you would find in your average news pages of The Sun. Unsuprisingly, the fans were not too kind with their attempt at pandering to the Lowest Common Denominator and ratings dropped massively until 2011 (in 2011 they had a market share of 6,4%). As of 2014 the radio did do attempts at making the music of better quality and did some programming changes, but they did not Win Back the Crowd they lost (their market share in 2015 was 6,56%).
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    • It would be unfair to say that Radio Donna is Deader Than Disco, given that MNM, its successor, still has a solid market share (10,41%), but it definitely is past its prime. It was made in 1992 to prepare the VRT for competition from commercial radio (which was legalized in 1987) and allowed for more commercial time than other radio stations that were owned by them. Back in the late 1990's it was THE biggest radio station in Flanders and perhaps even of the entire world (its market share was on average more than 30% and has a peak of 37,9%). It has to be bitter irony that the one thing that caused it to have a sharp ratings decline was a commercial radio station by Medialaan by the name of Q-Music. Medialaan hired a lot of the radio presenters that made Radio Donna so successful in the first place. What soon followed is a sharp rating decline as it turned out that many viewers loved them so much that they were willing to leave Radio Donna and subscribed to Q-Music. A lot of radio presenters also felt themselves uncomfortable with the ratings decline and left to go to VRT Radio 2 (Which was since then in a golden age. As of 2015 it has a market share of 28,44%.). There was a renovation operation in 2004 that did not succeed, as Q-Music became bigger than Radio Donna and Radio Donna started to decline so much in viewership that ended with a market share of 12,2% by 2008 (which is the lowest it has ever gotten). A renovation operation was done by the VRT to make it a success once again and while its market share rose to 14,3% it remained unsatisfactory for the VRT, who decided to axe it in on 2 january 2009 in favor of a new radio station in 5 january under the name MNM, which due to its at the time competitive programming (of which one program directly competed with the highest rated show on Q-Music), was considered as being better. As of 2015 Q-Music has a market share of 14,69%, it is probable that it will take some time before it is again the biggest radio station or at the very least can provide actual competition to Q-Music.
  • Bauer Media got something of a huge Internet Counterattack and are an interesting example of where now, 2017, actually is a Dork Age. The changes they made were many:
    • Speedlinks - removing the presenter's ability to sell themselves with personality-driven radio (not something common to American stations in major metropolitan cities, like Z100 in New York), something that Bauer Media had as their USP (unique selling point).
    • A ridiculously long slogan The Biggest Hits - All Day Long, when listeners actually liked the previous Your Music - Your Life.
    • Removing pre-2000 music as the current Millennial generation enjoys 1980s music and the Top 10 @ 10, and shifting it to their AM/MW stations.
    • Websites that are seen as ugly and generic-looking, with a schedule page that lacks the previous JSONP and modern technology the previous design had (including fonts with CSS font-face).
    • This also annoyed listeners in Scotland, where the stations sold on their Scottishness, but listeners went to Central FM and Kingdom FM as an alternative.
    • Jack FM responded, with a Take That! at the situation.
    • It even went as far as one Victoria's Secret model saying on social media "Hallam FM sounds unexciting... like a flat cola or lemonade. Didn't really want to say this, but I'll go to Pulse 1 instead."
  • As rock music is believed to have fallen into this in the '10s, (more on this on the music page), so has terrestrial rock radio in the U.S. Indie rock fans have largely deserted terrestrial radio for streaming music, leaving terrestrial rock stations with generic classic rock or alt-rock playlists that could be anywhere. And many stations do use voice-tracked DJs, since many of them are owned by large conglomerates.


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