When Will Radio Industry Get Some Class?
There was a good article at JacoBlog yesterday. It dealt with the negative affect some radio talents have on media buyers, agencies and advertisers. So what happens today? We wake to headlines at Inside Radio stating "Cake prank leaves bad taste in listeners’ mouths." It revolves around what sports radio WEEI did. (Inside Radio deserves applause for exposing this.)
"This is not 'locker room humor' - and it's about as classless an act as anyone could conceive."
Now, this isn't just any story. And, having been part of the management team for SportsRadio WKNR when it signed on as the 4th sports talk station in the nation, I speak with some authority on what should or should not be done in a sports talk radio environment.
Let me speak frankly: Despite whoever Mike Mutnansky and Lou Merloni are, and whatever Entercom-Boston vice president of programming and operations Jason Wolfe thinks he knows about running a radio station, for the sake of the radio industry all three should be shown the door - today!
Let's start with a graphic representation of what transpired. The following cake was sent to CBS Radio’s "670 The Score," by Mut and Merloni pictured on the right.
DISGUSTING is a word I can use to describe this stunt. Lazy is another; as in gutter humor is easy, and there's nothing so lazy as a radio host who cannot do a little work to make their show interesting.
What this episode represents is another reason why advertising agencies are becoming wary of spending client dollars with radio. If "Mut" is so proud of this, how would he feel if I left his wife and child in the family picture (above), pulled from his Facebook page, to display next to this vulgar cake? (In the name of entertainment, of course.)
The response by WEEI's Wolfe is just as disgusting because it demonstrates that management is behind this type of action.
What we have boils down to another example of people in radio not having the talent to carry a "show," and management not having the guts to hold talent to higher expectations. Memo to Wolfe: This is not "locker room humor" - and it's about as classless an act as anyone could conceive.
Last week it's three guys making fun of an ALS patient. This week it's denigrating women in a fashion never before attempted by any radio industry personnel that I'm aware of. What is it going to be next?
Last January I said the time had come to stop reporting on what the radio industry is doing. It is apparent that few within have a clue about how to do "good radio" anymore, nor is anyone interested in stepping into the digital age with aggression. I still do not want to write about the radio industry for the same reasons. But what is described above has reached a new level of low for sports talk radio. It is my affection for this format and radio in general that forces comment.
Sports talk should be about sports. Talent should have enough talent to carry the show without depending on elements that destroy what thousands of people created before these WEEI employees came along.
These 3 people have succeeded at making the radio industry a cesspool in media, once again.
As one of the people who helped create the sports talk format I'm voicing my opinion that the time has come to clean up this act. Start being professionals!
Today's indie artist introduction to internet radio is...
We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.
Give Frank Palangi's "I'm Waiting"
Add it to your station playlist, free!
Such is the new world of music distribution.
It's time internet radio programmers take a chance and reach into a huge pile of talent.
It is there that new hit songs will increasingly be found.