Anybody remember when radio was fun? When you couldn’t wait to go in and work on the product? You’d do the “ job” for free (although you wouldn’t want your boss to know that) because you were doing something you loved.
Now, the alarm clock goes off and I curse the empty Bain suits who make us do our jobs with one arm tied behind our backs. It’s like we’re all on death row; our execution date is unknown, but it’s coming.
These greedy bastards want us to believe we should be grateful that we still have jobs. Most of us would quit if we could go across the street. But they own those stations too.
They made our holidays miserable by dangling the Sword of Damocles over our collective heads. Merry Fucking Christmas. Happy Haunkah my ass. I don’t know about you and your family, but we were afraid to spend a nickel on gifts for our kids, fearing we might need the money to put food on the table if Bain left a pink slip under the tree.
There was a time when there was a tacit agreement between employee and employer. You worked your ass off, you were taken care of with job security and maybe even a pension. You were treated with respect, and you gave it right back in unwavering loyalty to your employer.
Now the rumors are rampant. There could be a second and even third wave of layoffs, courtesy of Bain (aka Mr. Potter). Our cluster is survivor island. It’s dog eat dog. Management, which is as scared as the rest of us, communicates to everybody on a need to know basis. You can’t get an answer to “Is my job safe or should I start looking?” The suits repond with “We have a job to do and should not allow things we can’t control to sidetrack us from working hard for the company.”
Baaaa! Do they think we’re sheep? We know we’re headed to the slaughterhouse. We’re all looking for a way out. We didn’t get into radio to be turned into time clock punchers. Product be damned. Morale sucks. We practically trample each other to the copy machine to crank out resumes. Show prep? Who has time when we’re Googling for gigs? And preoccupied with the latest rumors about who might be getting it next.
Loyalty to Clear Channel/Bain? Fuck you.
Let me make it short and sweet: could radio do better? There’s so much other media to contend with now. Radio is not the only store on the block.
So if you want people to come to your store you better have something to sell. Radio flunks out on all counts.
Turn the radio on. The music stations are voiced tracked and sound like hell. The talk stations continue their bland fair with right-wing yelling from syndicated shows.
In the middle of radio’s programing meltdown you have companies like Clear Channel and Citadel firing people who create great content.
So why should people come sample your product when they can sample their own by Ipod or so many other choices out there?
They won’t and by the time radio wakes up to this sad fact the people who have made this mess will be long gone–their pockets line with cash made on other people’s misery.
All of the above is sad but true.
See you on the unemployment line very soon.
With 1,800 human beings kicked out of their jobs and on the cold winter streets now comes word the Clear Channel boy toys are taking a voluntary pay cut to something that still keeps them in Ferrari territory.
When I told another radio friend of mine he asked “if the company is in such trouble why don’t the Mays Monsters drop the corporate jets out of the sky and work for $1.00 a year?”
Why don’t they?
I think you know the reason dear reader. It’s because the Mays Monsters don’t give a shit about the people who work for them. They never have and they never will no matter how many bullshit emails they and their stooge John Hogan send out trying to give a rectal exam to the workforce left in the company. This attitude, along with bad programing, has been part of the company since old man Mays and Red McCome started Clear Channel with WOAI in San Antonio.
Think 1,800 people out is bad? Heir Hogan told assembled employees the firings on Inauguration Day were only the first wave. The second wave has yet to come. How would you like going to work everyday with the Mays’ grand economic plan hanging over your head.
Never mind that. In the end they Mays Monsters will walk out of their gigs with a pair of Rolex watches and a boot load of cash. And the little people–fuck them and let them eat cake.
WLS-AM/Chicago, a once respectable and great sounding station, offers Blago an airshift if he’ll resign as gov of IL. WRKO in Boston lets a former politician take over morning drive. An FM music station in L.A. puts a comedian in drive time.
What do those stations have in common? Short term thinking. Go for a big name with no radio experience and hope the initial wave of publcity brings ratings and revenue. It seldom ever does.
Shame on the owners and their station puppets. They crapshoot on “names” because they drained the talent pool. A guy or gal who would’ve moved into morning drive from afternoons, nights or even overnights–after dues paying–doesn’t exist anymore, replaced by syndication.
And thanks, owners, for failing to experiment and/or develop talent on the weekends. You’ve decided to fill Saturdays and Sundays with what Monday-Friday cume really wants to hear–hour after hour of infomercials hosted by snakeoil salesmen, or brokered (meaning paid for) programming hosted by the somnolent local insurance agency owner or the mortgage broker. Now THAT’s great programming! How long before they buy their way into drive times to replace the big names that bombed?
These greedy owners should be brought up for crimes against humanity (listeners). Let’s light torches, march on their corporate offices and demand that they turn themselves in to us for proper justice.
I’ll let you decide what their punishment should be. I have my own ideas, most of which would make waterboarding seem tame.
It was a ritual like the way I would have morning coffee and settle in to read the newspaper. I used to be this way about reading the ARBs when they came out in every radio market.
Now I don’t give a shit.
Not because I don’t care about radio, but because I’m resigned to the fact it doesn’t matter what your numbers are. The only thing that matters is how much revenue you drag in for the radio station (if you’re in the talk format) and how much a company like Clear Channel can save by running in the can programing from another market. In music radio one air person may do three to four different radio stations.
Gone are the days when radio was live, and people made appointments to hear their favorite person on the air. Now the voice you hear may not be in your market.
Most people never think about this important aspect when it comes to radio: owning a spot on the airwaves is supposed to be a privilege a few are granted–this makes a radio frequency a finite resource. The airwaves are supposed to belong to the public and in turn broadcasters are to return the privilege granted by providing a public service to their community.
Can some one please tell me how Clear Channel’s’ inauguration day slaughter benefits the public for right to own and operate on “the people’s airwaves”? How does it help when a tornado touches down or there’s a gas leak at 3 in the morning?
Can someone please tell me how voice tracking and syndication helps to act as a local focal point for the above mentioned community involvement or great entertainment based on what goes on in the community? Can anyone tell me how programing in the can like peas or tuna fish acts as anything but an alienated voice from another city?
Clear Channel’s slaughter of 1,800 people– like the baptism scene in the God Father– flunks on a grand scale. The media has nothing to do with servicing the community and giving John Q Citizen better entertainment and information it has to do with making money and shows capitalism without a human face at its worse.
If your in broadcasting there’s a couple of things you can do: vote and write you elected officials and the FCC making your concerns known on broadcasting. Educate the community to the fact the airwaves belong to the people of this country and in turn they are owed something better then they are getting.
Remember the old saying “God helps those who help themselves”? Now more than ever this is true. Mobilize and fight back or end up in the trash bin of radio history. Which do you choose? I know what I choose.
This is an insider’s view of the raw, running open sewer which passes for the media and radio today. All tips are welcome no sources will be revealed. Look out corporate America we’re here to blow the whistle on your fowl and sick effort to ruin radio and the media– as the public once knew it–in pursuit of pure profits.
How often will we blog?
This is a collective effort by a number of us with long histories in the media. There are no guarantees as to how much we’ll blog so you’ll want to check back often.
Most of us in broadcasting, especially radio, have been fucked long enough. It’s time to fight back. The public deserves a better media, and the people in broadcasting deserve better treatment.
Keep your dukes up corporate America because we’re here and ready to slug it out.