CONVENTIONAL wisdom in the recording industry holds that...


February 19, 1994

CONVENTIONAL wisdom in the recording industry holds that the compact disc has superseded the long-playing record album.

Not quite. Rich Warren of the Chicago Tribune writes that the unit sales of LP turntables increased 39 percent over a recent year. Mr. Warren also finds the advent of the CD in the early 1980s did little to stop turntable production, citing a 1993 Audio magazine listing of 34 manufacturers that make a total of 200 models. These range from the Pioneer PL-203AZ for $100 to the Rockport Technologies Sirius Limited Edition for $30,000.

How to explain the persistence of the turntable? Plenty of folks still have their favorite LPs from the pre-CD era. They sound good. They have nice covers. It would cost a small fortune to replace them with CDs. So why not hang onto them? Of course, this means the turntable continues to occupy its honored spot in the home-entertainment system. And when the machine wears out, you have to buy a new one.

By the way, we know just the model to recommend, if you've got a spare 30 grand lying around.

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DO YOU know about the "Ted Knight Syndrome"? Ted Knight played that vain, dim-bulb anchorman on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, but we had not heard about the TKS til it was raised in Washington state in connection with a television news anchor's entry into the governor's race.

His name is Mike James, and he's been around for a long time -- some 25 years. A congressman from the state (who used to be a news director at another television station) said admiringly of Mr. James that he could overcome "the Ted Knight Syndrome. . . because he is not one of those. He was always respected. Now that television news has gone into a period of emphasizing road kill over substance, he's probably even more respected."

Hmmm. American Political Network's Hotline notes this may be a trend in the 1990s. Four broadcasters have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the decade, and four are running for Senate seats this year. Just think, someday, happy talk filibusters. Maybe about road kill.

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IN CASE you missed it, the "Pig Book" was unveiled this week. This is a compilation of the worst excesses of government spending.

Our favorite: Iowa Rep. Jim Lightfoot's $2.4 million garage with 200 spaces to take care of 18 federal employees.

Those 18 workers would be better off with a lump sum payment in lieu of parking privileges. If each got a $66,000 lifetime parking subsidy, taxpayers would save $1.2 million -- and wouldn't have to operate or maintain the Iowa garage, either.

Where's Al Gore when he's needed?

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