Jim Carroll

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The spinning is only fabulous

It’s JNLR Day again and On the Record is weary. The friendly calls to spin the results and the press releases to confirm the spins have been arriving over the last few hours. Thankfully, it will be another few months …

Thu, Feb 12, 2009, 18:28

   

It’s JNLR Day again and On the Record is weary. The friendly calls to spin the results and the press releases to confirm the spins have been arriving over the last few hours. Thankfully, it will be another few months before we get those calls again.

All over the land, station chiefs have spent the entire afternoon locked away in a room going through the survey results to see how they can, uhm, “manipulate” the findings to paint their station in a good light for other media and advertisers. Budgetary cutbacks means they probably didn’t have a cup of tea or a plate of biscuits to tide them over, the poor lambs.

But you have to admire the ingenuity of all concerned in turning what are usually flat and uninspiring figures into the stuff of legends. It is because of this dastardly craft of embellishing the truth with a smile that we have heard so much puff in recent years about weekend shows on the up (ie it takes attention away from the fact that listenership for the station’s weekday primetime shows are down). It’s why you now get press releases which are very good at comparing like with unlike, where figures for last year are compared with a three-month period and not the full year. Indeed, in the case of one station, it seems to our eyes that there are even some very subtle shenanigans going on with some of time-slots under review.

To quote Sgt Phil Esterhaus, let’s be careful out there.