Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Use All The Crayons TRAVEL!" radio show?

I have exciting news for anyone who perversely enjoys reading about me failing at five jobs while they’re succeeding at one:

I’ve accepted another that may lead to job number 7.

Yes, I’m selling radio ads for a prospective show that does not yet exist!

That makes “radio ad salesman” my sixth job along with pseudo jobs of author, freelance writer, motivational speaker, worm farmer and blogger.

And if it works out then in a few weeks you’ll be able to tune in locally or on the ‘net to “Use All The Crayons TRAVEL!” on 1480 WCNS-AM in Latrobe.

This would automatically boost “radio host” to the top of the list as my most prestigious endeavor, bumping from atop the pinnacle, I guess, worm farmer.

How’d we get here?

It all starts with the stories. See, some of the best work was either disappearing or becoming too diffuse for anyone to notice.

I from 2000 to 2010 did hundreds of freelance travel stories for many of the top publications around the world. And all of them were uniquely mine. 

They were stories about the confusing Texas town that has streets named This Way, That Way, Which Way, Any Way, etc. A street beside a church is named His Way. It’s a great offbeat travel story that ran on a website that no longer exists.

Same for the story I wrote about what people named Pat Downs think about pat-downs. Or the one about the cheeky National Nude Recreation Week festival that inspired the line: “A game of 8 ball played between two naked men is still called 8 ball.”

Industry tumult meant that many of these great, fun — yes, colorful — stories were disappearing. I was bumming.

Then I realized I didn’t need these once powerful media titans to save my stories. I could save them all by myself.

I decided this unique collection of offbeat Americana were worthy of a site of their very own and that I finally had the perfect umbrella under which they could flourish.

You can check it all out at the still-evolving “Use All The Crayons TRAVEL!” website, expertly done by my friends at Apollo Design right here in Latrobe. Of course, please like and share with friends.

I decided to put the site together after being invited to speak at the Pennsylvania Travel Summit in Harrisburg this May. I thought I could use the site to secure more travel industry talks.

This was happening right about the time when it was announced that venerable WCNS was being sold to Laurel Highlands Total Communication. The new owners  were airing ads about making a great local radio station even better.

I thought I had something to offer.

Friends at the station encouraged me to submit a proposal. I said a colorful travel show could be a hit with listeners and advertisers. I told them I had lots of radio/TV experience, a decent internet following, and that — ahem — I was just featured in a book that declared I am a Latrobe legend.

What was most persuasive, I think, was I said the show’s emphasis would be on storytelling about interesting places and people. See, I’ve never been the kind of travel writer who cares about fancy thread counts or pillow concierges expert at feather fluffiness.

I believe the most colorful destination in the world is sitting right next to a fellow human being with something interesting to say. And I think you’ll find more of those colorful folks in places like Darwin, Minnesota (pop. 250), home of the world’s largest ball of twine, than you will in Cabo or St. Thomas.

I’m a huge advocate that you don’t have to go far to have fun.

So I’m spending this week reaching out to interested advertisers and am very encouraged so far. They like the concept and seem enthused about supporting.

The reaction has me optimistic this thing could really take off.

And I’d be delighted by the irony of a career that’s never gotten off the ground finally taking off because I eventually came home to travel.

Related . . .


Bryan Perrin said...

If your selling Ads are you also the Producer,Director, Writer, Audio engineer, etc?
If you can put together a permission to record and use statement for potential AM ad purchase pilot project,traveling radio ,local color spectrum appreciation,visitation,atmosphere, character, interviews, the times we live in. I know you will make something fun hear !

Chris Rodell said...

Thanks, Bryan! I hope it'll be good. Heck, I hope it even happens.