USF fouls out: Thank you, thank you, thank you! As a native and lifelong USF fan, and alum ('89), I have been frustrated with this current administration to the point of exhaustion. I want to thank Ron Russell for such a well-written, well-researched, excellent and informative piece ["Benched," Feb. 27]. It was about time a local paper investigated this mess.
These skeletons have been known by many people (but not enough), and the administrators have been lying, spinning, or simply ignoring the supporters repeatedly. But hopefully since it's now public, it can be the genesis for a change for the better.
Kudos from the Hilltop: Loved it! The fact that Russell got both sides of the story from USF alums both for and against Jessie Evans (e.g. Larry Blum) was key, and a real credit to the writer. Being a season-ticket holder, I'm glad the whole story is now out there.
Ghost-write the whip: I have worked in commercial radio for nearly 18 years and as a station program director for 12 (including two years as a program director in San Francisco for KZQZ). Those professional qualifications should be taken into consideration when I tell you the "Demise of Hyphy" article [Feb. 20] may have been one of the most unintentionally hilarious pieces of "reporting" I have ever read.
Blaming a single radio station, even one as influential and respected as KMEL, for the "death" of an entire musical genre would strain the credulity of any reasonably informed individual. Simple fact-checking, which was apparently entirely missing during the editorial approval process for this article, would easily have laid bare any number of enormous factual holes in the author's hypothesis, not the least of which is that KMEL is currently one of the top-rated radio stations in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'd say it's doing a pretty good job delivering "what the people want."
Hey, here's a novel thought: Perhaps the records in question simply weren't strong enough to warrant full-time airplay consideration. Commercial radio stations are in it to win it. If music is popular, and helps garner additional listening, which equates to greater ratings, which equates to greater ad revenue, that music will get played on the radio station. Speaking as a program director, I can tell you I couldn't care less if something is local or national in origin. If it's hot, and if the audience wants to hear it, it's going to find a place on air. Any suggestion to the contrary shows a complete lack of knowledge regarding how a commercial radio station operates.
Program Director, Jammin 95.5
On the Team's team: Thank you, thank you so much, Mr. [Eric K.] Arnold, for having the courage to tell the truth about KMEL and Big Von and their antics. We are a small entertainment company that networks with artists; my business partners and myself knew that hyphy was not going to stick around. Why? Because of KMEL and its refusal to support Bay Area artists. I went to a show in 2003 that EA-Ski and San Quinn were at. I was asked how I felt about the show; the performances were great, but I wondered why, after the artists all left the stage, the KMEL DJs started playing Busta Rhymes and other artists not from the Bay. I told them that I want to see the artists out here get the same attention and business opportunities. I wanna hear a B-Legit or Mistah F.A.B. or the Team.
It is unfair to our business interests and artists to constantly stand in the shadows while others make money and don't provide them with an outlet. It is sad that artists and DJs have to move out of the area to do good business. We have a whole squad and team, and yet our cheerleaders are MIA. KMEL should be ashamed of itself for the tactics it employs. It hurts all of us, including KMEL. Someone really needs to consider keeping this topic alive and imploring the radio listeners to demand airplay for homegrown artists. It is a shame. It needs to change.
Terri Brooks, CEO,
Elite 1 Entertainment, Oakland
E. Brooks, CEO,
Disobayish Records, Oakland
E. Morgan, CEO,
Cut the Drama Productions, San Francisco