If you're reading this right now and you aren't from the Detroit area, here's my question: "What do you think is the biggest thing happening in the Motor City this week?" I'm confident that many of you would answer, "The Detroit Tigers." And, of course, you would be right.
After nearly 15-odd years of horrendous baseball, the Tigers are back. Actually, for all the area's championships over the years - three Pistons titles, a slew of Stanley Cups for the Wings, an NCAA trophy for Michigan State hoops, and a national championship for University of Michigan football, this is - and always has been - a baseball town. It just took too long for the Tigers to put it together. But for the past six months, it's been baseball, baseball, and baseball to those of us who have chosen to reside here.
So, you'd think that the radio stations here in the metro would be reflecting that Tigers vibe on their web sites, right? Well, after spending a half hour surfing around all the big stations in town, only one - WCSX - has any acknowledgement of the Tigers. WRIF has a Tigers logo in its familiar shape, and Drew & Mike did a cool CGM TV spot contest that was Tiger-themed. The only other exception is the Tigers' flagship station, WXYT. Instead, most of the remaining sites are touting DJs, contests, and other self-serving appearances, promotions, and sales tie-ins. And not the Tigers.
I found WYCD's site to be especially interesting, because there's a "The Big Story" headline on their front page that showcases the four big things happening right now. They are:
- The 99.5 Christmas Show
- Return of the $5,000 Secret Sound
- Win a Trip to the Extreme Makeover
- Operation Yellow Ribbon
There were seven other headlines on the site, none of which mention the Bengals (another reference to the Tigers). To their credit, of course, Operation Yellow Ribbon is a great cause and a strong community effort. But aren't radio station web sites supposed to reflect the vibe and energy of their hometowns and their audiences (especially during the Fall Book)? So, where are the Tigers?
A couple of years ago, Internet strategist, Zephyr Teachout, spoke at the Jacobs Media Summit. After perusing umpteen radio web sites, she declared they were essentially digital billboards for stations, offering little content that was compelling, scant information about the music, and hardly any are reflective of the communities these stations serve.
How right she was.