Tag Archives: Radio

AT THE RISK OF SEEMING IMMODEST…

I’ve just figured something out. At the risk of seeming immodest, I’m WAY more creative than the people who run the “guerrilla marketing” companies whose websites I’ve seen on the Internet.

Sorry, geniuses, but hiring “street teams” via Craigslist is NOT cutting-edge. (For the uninitiated, “street teams” are attractive young people who walk around high-traffic areas and hand out fliers about their employer’s client. Yup, that’s it.) Illegally slapping up posters that look like street graffiti might have been a cool idea about ten years ago, but that ship’s sailed.

There are probably a million things I suck at, including intermediate algebra, but coming up with original creative ideas which can promote products and people’s careers isn’t one of them. About three weeks ago, I came up with an idea which is apparently going to be used by a young artist to promote his career. I can’t talk about it yet, but I’ll let you know if and when he actually does it and makes the news. Just yesterday, a friend asked me if I had an idea that could help a friend of his promote her diet book. Yes, I did have one as a matter of fact, a damn good one. If the author doesn’t go for it, she’s out of her friggin’ mind, it’s that good.

After looking at what passes for “guerrilla marketing” in America today, I decided on a new goal for my life. I want to become the King of Publicity Stunts. I don’t even want to call what I do “guerrilla marketing”; that’s a pretentious euphemism for good old fashioned publicity stunts. Let’s just call things what they are without the Web 2.0 nonsense, shall we?

So, who needs a good publicity stunt in their life? Any radio DJ’s out there who are getting overlooked by their corporate management? I feel your pain, I’ve been there. Any small retailers who need to get some press? Who are you, where are you? Holla at your boy (don’t you hate it when white guys try to be cool?)

IT ISN’T *EXACTLY* “RADIO WITHOUT COMMERCIALS”

In Dallas, Commercial Radio Without Commercials – New York Times

Interesting experiment.  God knows SOMETHING has to change with terrestrial radio; audiences just aren’t willing to put up with 12 to 16 minutes of commercials per hour anymore, now that they have MP3 players handy.

The last paragraph of this story, however, demonstrates the stupidity of some radio programmers, however. 

But Mr. Freeman, the Dallas station manager, says he has had his fill
of classic-rock bands like Led Zeppelin. “A friend of mine said,
‘They’ve been climbing that stairway to heaven for 30 years, you’d
think they’d be there by now,’ ” he said.

If the audience isn’t tired of hearing “Stairway to Heaven,” why do you want to stop playing it?

OK, LET’S TALK IMUS

Newly fired Imus meets with Rutgers players

Here’s my biggest problem with the Don Imus story: there’s no good guy to root for.

Let’s start with Imus, since it did start with him, after all.  Imus is an asshole.  Always has been.  Given that, did he have the right to call the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy-headed ho’s”?  Yes.  Should he have called them that?  No.  It was nasty and mean-spirited to direct that insult at young women who haven’t done anything to earn anyone’s insults.

Now, let’s move on to Al Sharpton.  Sharpton is a well-documented media whore who is running a radio show (that has an extremely small audience) which makes him Imus’ competitor, so he is not without a conflict of interest here.  As far as Sharpton’s “integrity” goes, anyone remember Tawana Brawley and Al’s involvement in that sordid affair?

Imus had the right to say what he did but the people who were offended by it (leaving Sharpton out of this for the moment) also had the right to react negatively to it.  They had the right to call for his head and boycott his advertisers. 

Imus has been down this road several times in the past.  He called former New York Times White House reporter Gwen Ifill a “cleaning lady” (need I tell you she’s black?).  He got sandbagged by 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace who asked him to his face about his use of the word “nigger” (Imus had told one of Wallace’s producers that his sidekick and producer Bernard McGuirk’s job was to “do nigger jokes”).  He avoided being suspended or canned several times in the past, but he had no guarantee that he wouldn’t create a fuss that would cause people to agitate for his ouster the next time he got all racist.

Imus’ bosses, his guests and his advertisers all knew what kind of show Imus ran.  They all had the perfect right to support him over the years, but they, too, should have realized that there was no reason that Imus and they would never be criticized for the content of his show and their involvement in it.

What Imus said about the Rutgers players was hardly the most over-the-top thing he’s said, even recently.  While CBS and MSNBC had every right to can him once they felt the heat from critics, it’s the height of hypocrisy for them to pretend that they are “shocked…shocked, I tell you” about what he said this time.   His show last week was no different from the show they made millions of dollars from for years while they looked the other way and cashed the checks.  CBS and MSNBC suddenly discovered the content of Imus’ show?  Give me a HUGE friggin’ break here!  He was doing the show they paid him to do.

I was a wacky morning drive radio DJ for several years.  I can tell you without fear of contradiction that, if Imus wasn’t a big damn cash cow for those two corporations, his bony ass would have been shown the door years ago.  It’s very simple: with big advertisers bailing on Imus’ show, suddenly, keeping him on the air would cost more than canning him would.  He moved to the other side of the ledger.  Period.  CBS and MSNBC didn’t suddenly grow racial consciousness (or any kind of consciousness); they just looked at the numbers.  In America, the numbers will bite you on the ass everytime.