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Civil War Reunion

american-flagA large crowd turned out over the weekend for the Civil War Reunion at the Pennypacker Mills Historic Site near Schwenksville. Participants included Delaware Valley Civil War Roundtable member Jim Dover of Northeast Philadelphia.  He says he became a Civil War buff after visiting the Gettysburg Battlefield.

“There’s just this sensation you get at different parts of the battlefield that something important happened here, and you start looking into it and researching it, and the funny thing about American History is the more you look into it, and the personal lives of these individuals, the more you want to keep looking because their lives are so interesting and these guys weren’t backwards.  They didn’t have today’s technology, but boy were they intelligent, and the engineering back then was just incredible.  They did things back then that would put some of our engineers to shame today because they didn’t have all the heavy-duty equipment, so it’s an amazing part of our history.”

Dover says the schools, under pressure to be politically correct, are not teaching enough about the Civil War and the American Revolution, and kids learn very little about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  He says he and other Civil War Roundtable members teach courses at Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia and Manor College in Abington.  Others on hand included author Frank Meredith, who grew up in Hanover, Pennsylvania, where Union and Confederate troops fought the day before the Battle of Gettysburg.  He says the real story of the war is not as simple as what he learned in school.

“As a kid growing up I learned that the North were the good guys, they wanted to end slavery, and the South were the bad guys, they wanted to enslave people, and that certainly was an element, but there was a lot more to it than that.  The young man who is at the center of the story believes very strongly in states’ rights, and he was in Manassas, Virginia when the war broke out, 16 years old and horrified to see federal troops invading sovereign territory and he helped bury the dead, and two years later as a young man he’s still trying to decide which side to fight on.  He’s against slavery, but he does believe in state’s rights, so that’s another element of the story.  Why do men fight on both sides?”

Meredith says the book is fiction, but historically accurate.  The young man at the center of the story has a romantic interest in two women, and you don’t learn which one he picks until the last sentence.  The Unfinished Work just came out in hardcover on June 1, and it’s available at Amazon.com or you can get an autographed copy at his website,
Theunfinishedwork.com.
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WNPV AM 1440 The “Disconnected Car” April 13, 2015 By Fred Jacobs inShare57 Chances are good you saw that story from Forbes last week, strongly showing consumer demand for and usage of the AM/FM radio platform in cars and trucks. Broadcast radio, a platform? AM/FM radio is a legitimate platform, and according to Forbes contributor Christopher Versace, a new IPSOS survey shows that it’s the dominant choice in cars. Overall, their study reveals that AM/FM radio is the preferred in-car preference with 91%, compared to only 9% opting for an app-based system. Respondents were given an either/or choice, and they overwhelmingly went with old school radio. In their survey of more than 1,000 Americans 18+, IPSOS also learned than more than 8 in 10 (84%) survey takers listen to AM/FM radio in their cars, while Siriius/XM (22%), Pandora (18%), and Spotify (7%) distantly trail. Versace’s money quote: “More Americans use AM/FM radio each week than use Facebook.” And from the research side, Thomas Spinelli, VP with Ipsos MediaCT, noted. “Our studies show that despite all the technological advances we’ve made when it comes to digital listening, the vast majority of Americans still prefer AM/FM radio overall and especially expect it to be a part of their cars – in fact, virtually all said they wouldn’t buy a car without a radio.” But it’s not just the IPSOS research saying this. Our soon-to-be-released Techsurvey11 echoes this research, reinforcing the ongoing appeal of AM/FM radio in cars. In our survey of more than 41,000 North Americans, we isolated prospective car buyers and asked them to tell us which in-car media features are most important in their new vehicles: And there it is at the top – nearly nine in ten of those in the market for a new vehicle in their driveways report that AM/FM radio is of greatest importance. While connectivity (smartphone jack, Bluetooth, WiFI, etc.) are becoming more attractive over time, nothing is more desirable and necessary to consumers than broadcast radio. So how do we explain the disconnect in article after article, and story after story about “connected cars?” If AM/FM radio is in such high demand and celebrates nearly ubiquitous usage, why is there so much noise suggesting that that broadcast radio is an endangered medium in cars? And why are we bothering to put together a third DASH Conference in partnership with Radio Ink this November in Detroit if everything is so copacetic? It’s simply counter intuitive. Everyone wants broadcast radio in the car and consumers use it regularly. Yet, many talk about how radio’s days are numbered in the car. The paradoxical issue revolves around the notion that while AM/FM radio is considered to be “standard equipment” in new cars, it isn’t what’s bringing people into showrooms. No one walks into a new car dealership and asks about that new Mustang with the AM/FM radio. In fact, most are hungry for newer features they’ve seen advertised or experienced with other people or in rental cars. The sense of anticipation for new in-car media emanates from the fact that the average vehicle on the road is more than 11 years old. When consumers decide it’s time for a new ride, they have a strong desire for something that is truly NEW. And that’s where all the talk about smartphone connectivity, Sirius/XM, Pandora, and apps come into play. A new car buyer assumes AM/FM radio will be there. But what they really are revved about is the availability of new media choices, and that’s where these digital options and new media features sweeten the deal. But even if consumers look forward to a new car with lots of media options, AM/FM is still right there in the “center stack,” right? Well, when that buyer takes delivery on their new car, the chances are becoming much better than they’ll need instruction. Even the most basic in-vehicle media systems have a lot of moving parts and features that require some explanation and instruction. Enter the trainer (often the salesperson) who is tasked with quickly orienting an anxious consumer who simply wants to get in that new car and go. And because so many new car buyers are focused on the “what’s new,” the time and attention given to AM/FM radio in these orientation sessions is diminishing. In some cases, it may be difficult for consumers to even find the AM/FM radio, much tune in and preset their favorite stations. For the radio industry, this is a fork in the road, and a critical inflection point that could very well shape the future of in-car listening levels and preferences for years to come. We have some amazing data in Techsurvey 11 to show the industry about the “connected car” training process and what it means to radio. And at DASH, we’ll be focusing on the dealership level, and looking for opportunities for local radio stations to become proactive and succeed both on the listening and the sales fronts. The IPSOS and Techsurvey11 data indicate that all is well for radio and the car. But a deeper look shows that this storied relationship is fragile and very much in flux. The “center stack” is redefining the in-car media experience and that has big-time implications on broadcasters. In the “connected car” space, too many people are disconnecting the dots.
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