Monday, May 4, 2015

Dashing my radio dreams

As of this morning, I’ll no longer listen to the radio station I’m still hoping will give me a job.

I’m still eager to launch my proposed “Use All The Crayons TRAVEL!” radio show on 1480-WCNS AM here in Latrobe.

It was in mid-March that I pitched the Latrobe station’s new owners about a lively half-hour radio show based on my new travel website. The timing seemed perfect.

My tech buddies had just put the still-evolving site together, the station’s new owners were promising exciting new changes and a Latrobe author had just published a book declaring me a bona fide Latrobe legend.

It looked like the stars were aligning to make a Latrobe legend even more legendary.

And for once, I’m not referring to Arnold Palmer.

The station was very enthused. We talked format, potential guests and whether it’d be a good idea to expand the show to an hour. It was all very promising.

But first I needed to secure advertising.

I, of course, thought it’d be a cinch. Really, I have a lot of friends in prominent businesses in town. Many of them, however were tied up in supporting already existing programming. Duplication made no sense.

Others said they saw no value advertising on a weak AM station that gets relatively few listeners.

“But that’s changing,” I countered. “The new owners are now streaming and archiving every show on-line. And they’re promising to do even more.”

That much was true.

It’s just that the "more" is turning out to be something I consider destructive to good community programming.

Yes, it’s talk radio.

Not just any talk radio.

It’s Tea Party talk radio with Jim Quinn Mondays through Fridays from 6 to 9 a.m.!

It's a non-partisan matter. I’d stop listening if they were bringing in Michael Moore to read aloud filthy limericks, in which I'd revel.

CNS, don’t you understand I love you just the way you are, and that’s in part because in the still misty mornings I get to hear Billy Joel sing soothing songs like “Just The Way You Are.” I listen to it every morning from about 6 to 8. It gives me the local and national news and fills my head with innocuous pop ditties from  “America’s Best Music” syndicated format.

Now, I hope what I’m about to write doesn’t demolish the years of cool cred I’ve built by talking about my impeccable tastes in music.

But I’ve found the soothing mix from the likes of Neil Diamond, The Carpenters, Frank Sinatra and others puts my mind in a good soft place from which to write this blog. And I enjoy hearing my friend Dow Carnahan read the local sports and news.

It’s great background audio for when I’m reading the paper and trying to brainstorm a daily topic upon which to expound.

And if “Feelings,” the 1975 Grammy Song of the Year by Morris Albert comes on, well, my iPod with its 7,897 rockin’ antidotes is right there to expunge any saccharine overdose. Heck, I might even be moved to write about how musically bereft 1975 must have been for “Feelings” — “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Feelings!” — to have in ’75 been song of the year.

All I can figure is The Stones must have been in some Swiss clinic getting their blood swapped for something less toxic.

Talk radio is something I’d never listen to in any situation in which I’m striving to be creative.

And Quinn is among the worst. He’s a former Pittsburgh morning zoo giggler who in 1990 upset news director Liz Randolph by repeatedly joking on air that she was promiscuous.

Randolph sued for sexual harassment and a jury awarded her $694,000. The event led to Quinn’s dismissal and down a self-righteous path toward vitriolic right wing radio.

If I chose to listen to Quinn, guaranteed, three of every four posts would be my opinions refuting his.

It’d be intolerable and boring.

Just like Quinn!

So my dreams of having my own weekly radio show on the local station seem to have, for now, been dashed.

It would have been cool and I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt.

It does.

After all, I do have feelings.

It’s just that after today, I’ll no longer have “Feelings.”

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