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Thursday, December 1, 2011
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The Magic of Radio

It's sleight of hand. It has to be. That is the only thought which comes to mind after reading my favorite local radio industry trade, "OhioMediaWatch."

Let's set the stage to see if you agree. Clear Channel's Akron/Canton operations director, Keith Kennedy, would seem to have his hands full holding down the responsibilities this position requires.

Coupling that with programming Akron's WKDD and co-hosting that station's morning show, you start asking whether Keith Kennedy is superhuman, or has he found 32 hours in his day.

"...Is this sleight of hand, magic, an extremely competent person, OR just the cutting of personnel to a point where nothing is done well?" There was a time when the demands of any one of the above positions would require a full-time employee, if your expectations where that they do the job well.

Here's where I'm getting confused with a single person's ability. On top of the three above-mentioned responsibilities, Kennedy also voicetracks middays on Canton's WHOF while overseeing the programming of Clear Channel's Ashland/Mansfield Ohio radio stations.

Knowing the amount of time required to complete these tasks forces the question, "Does Mr. Kennedy sleep?" It's an impossible amount of work, if you expect to competently accomplish any of these separate responsibilities.

Yet, today I read how Keith Kennedy has been handed the Regional Programming Manager title for Akron/Canton, Toledo, Youngstown, Ashland/ Mansfield, and Defiance Ohio Clear Channel clusters... and he'll still be doing the co-hosting morning gig at WKDD (and, I presume, he'll remain programming that station, too).

We all know the human body is capable of great feats, and I've seen Penn & Teller pull off some pretty remarkable magic as well. But, there's nothing in my bank of knowledge that says one man can successfully coordinate the number of elements within all the above described positions.

Which begs the question - Is this sleight of hand, magic, an extremely competent person, OR just the cutting of personnel to a point where nothing is done well?

The problem is that Clear Channel's not the only radio industry group stacking job title upon job title like this. And, as you see these job titles stacked on one person, you figure they must be coming from other people who have been shown the door.

It has to be the magic of radio, or the degradation of each position's quality of work, that makes this possible.

How much Mr. Kennedy is paid for his efforts is another question I'd like to see answered. With respect to anyone carrying such a heavy load, I'm sure it's not enough.

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