This Is A Very Conservative Town
by The Cranky Media Guy
Somebody stop me. Stop me now. This Saturday morning, I'm going
to get on a Northwest Airlines flight out of Baltimore heading
for Boise, Idaho. Next Monday morning, I will be start work on
a morning drive radio show with my friend Chris. What the hell
am I thinking?
Some people are addicted to crack. Some people can't stop drinking.
They've got a monkey on their back. Me, I've got a transmitter
strapped to mine. Every time I get fired in another town, I tell
myself this is the last time, I'm finally out of radio for good.
Time passes. I do other things. Then, out of the blue, a friend
or some guy who owns a station somewhere who remembers me calls
me and next thing I know, I'm back, sitting in front of a microphone
again, wondering how in Hell I got there.
I know better. I should know better, anyway. I tell myself
this time won't be like when I got into trouble with management
for wearing a gas mask on the air to make a "bit" out
of the fact that I was working directly over the station's ancient
coal furnace which leaked deadly fumes into the studio. Or when
I was told I should be a "team player" and not detail
Rush Limbaugh's misstatements of fact on my show (which directly
followed his). Or the time I suggested a "cultural exchange"
between Amish women (the station in question was just down the
road from Lancaster, PA) and Times Square hookers.
No, this time is going to be different. This station is
a rock station where the morning show plays no music at all. Sounds
good so far. I'll be working with a guy who told me eight years
ago (when I was doing the post-Rush show) that someday, we would
work together. The show is number one in all male demographics
and number two in a female demo or two. In case you don't speak
Radio, those are good things. Yup, this time is going to be different.
One thing keeps nagging at me, though. When I was in Boise a
couple of weekends ago to talk about taking the job, the two suits
I spoke to took pains to let me know that Boise "is a very
conservative town". I've heard that phrase, that exact
phrase, in every town I've worked in. How conservative can
it be when Chris, the buddy I'll be working with, is already doing
Lesbian Fridays on the show? From experience, I know that warnings
about the alleged "conservative" leanings of the area
are some kind of code. I just haven't broken the code yet. What
is it about me that makes management-types feel they have to hint
at something? What are they hinting at? Beats me.
Are they afraid that I'll try to make the lesbians stop kissing?
Or worse, are they afraid that I'll advocate a national health
care program on their airwaves? Someday I may crack the code,
but I haven't yet.
Saturday I will be on a Northwest Airlines flight out of Baltimore,
heading for Boise, Idaho. Again (for about the eighth time in
my life) I'm throwing everything up into the air and starting
over in another direction. God only knows what's going to happen.
I tell myself that this time will be different. This time I'm
going to be part of something really big. This time I'm going
to be a huge success. I want to believe it with all my heart,
I truly do. In the back of my head, though, is that nagging phrase:
"This is a very conservative town, Bob."
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