letters-logo-oct95Isn’t it about time someone started regulating the content of these hideous “psychic hotline” ads that have “infected” our airwaves?  I’ve contacted my congressman and the FCC and am still awaiting their reply. I hope you and your readers will too.

After years of truth in advertising regulation that I believe unfairly encumbers some advertisers, I am bombarded daily with advertising messages from psychic swamis who boldly claim to make wonderful things happen in the lives of people who call them...for a fee, of course.

These charlatans bilk people out of millions of dollars with outrageous claims that seem to require no proof of performance!  The actors in these ridiculous ads claim to have found mates... won fortunes... secured business transactions... ”Thanks to my psychic.”  The impact of the minuscule “entertainment only” disclaimer they super at the end of these ads is lost after the barrage of absurd claims these shysters make!

This is a classic con that is preying on the weak, and there seems to be no regulatory body willing to force these carnival hucksters to abide by the same Truth in Advertising regulations that force every car dealer in America to add endless droning disclaimers to every ad they broadcast.

I’ve been in the broadcast and advertising business for about 20 years now, and every time one of these asinine commercials or info-mercials comes on, I cringe!

If these “psychic” bozos were forced to abide by the same truth in advertising regulation that the rest of advertising America does, I think they would fade away like a fart in a hurricane!  (Sorry about the crass analogy but it seemed fitting.)

Thanks for your time.

Jean Hetherington
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Dear Jean,

Let’s add the “become a millionaire in just six weeks with my program” info-mercials to your list.  And what’s with these “call a babe” lines where the girls on the TV are young and gorgeous.  We all know these aren’t the girls answering the phone!  Talk about Truth in Advertising!  ...I’m sorry.  My late night television viewing habits are showing.


I just read your review of the little Darwin unit and I agree with you.  I just wanted to tell you, you missed the boat on one thing...although you did kind of allude to it.  The Darwin can function the same as an ADAT in a multi-ADAT system.  If you already have one, it can be set up so your system just thinks its another one.  BOOM!  8 more tracks...at pretty much the same price as the ADAT, if not less.  And everything in sample accurate sync, with the bonus of nonlinear editing. 

Backing up the Darwin can be a lot easier, if you just dump everything over to ADAT tapes.  The transfer is digital on ADAT optical cables, the only drawback is that it is in real time...although we ARE talking about 60-second radio productions here.  Besides S-VHS tape is cheaper than DAT tape, although it only holds 40 minutes on a T-120 at ADAT speed.

After seeing the Darwin, I think it makes a great addition to an ADAT system, but I don’t think it has much place as a stand alone in the radio production suite.

Bear in mind that I am an enthusiastic ADAT user, a machine that is too often ignored by radio producers.

Craig Jackman, Production Director
CHEZ 106.1 FM, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dear Craig,

Thanks for your input.  Your expertise with the ADAT is welcome, and you bring up some good points.  As far as a Darwin as a stand-alone unit in the radio production suite goes, many readers might have difficulty trying to handle their production loads in a studio equipped with only a Darwin.  But the station that’s still producing on an analog 4 or 8-track can certainly upgrade nicely with the Darwin.  And unfortunately, I still hear from people working in rooms like that.