Tuesday, August 02, 2011

What's Wrong With Broadcasting (Edition # 1,795,833)

I love the broadcasting biz.  Love, love, love it.

I haven't been on the air (other than my weekly Friday chats with Tony Savino) in months.

I haven't called a Renegades game (my schedule among other things).  No high school action.  No news reporting.  Nothing.  I do the Friday interviews to keep my voice on the air - slightly.

And I continue to be confounded by those who make decisions.  This is not a reflection on my bosses at WGCH (they know I want to be on the air - we're long-overdue to have a sports talk show on).  But it is what it is and, Marconi-willing, the team will be back in a few weeks for Greenwich Cardinals' football.

Over at The Peak (part of the Pamal family of stations, which I've been on via Hudson Valley Talk Radio), those in charge have decided to give the ol' heave-ho to Chris Bro and his "Next" show, which highlighted new music.  In an era in which quality music appears limited (I'm still not sold on Madonna: the Next Generation), "Next" gave listeners a chance to find something new.  I was a fan long before Chris allowed me to write for the Next Blog, which he says will continue.  He also says "Next" will find a new home.  As Chris writes, it could be time to rethink the "Next" format anyway, so he's overall taking the positive, high road approach.

Still, why drop the show?  The Peak has been a solid station for several years now.  They don't do a lot of shtick.  Their morning show is low-key.  That show is shifting from Rob Arrow to Caroline Corley (who still insists on calling the Rolling Stones "the world's greatest rock and roll band").  Caroline - I get it.  It's their nickname.  They're not the Beatles, and they never will be.  So do we need to promo every...freaking...playing of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" or whatever the same way?

I'm teasing, somewhat, if only to bring my blood pressure back down.  I'm told I need to switch to decaf (I'm laughing as I type this).

The Peak hasn't often failed.  They did here.

Staying on my broadcasting rant, I read an interview with Curt Smith, the author who once appeared on "The Press Box" (hey - remember that?) with me to discuss his Vin Scully bio.  Smith, who was very generous with his time that day, has a new book out, called A Talk in the Park.  This book tells anecdotes from the world of baseball broadcasting.

In that interview with Michael Hiestand in USA Today, Smith hits the nail (and the very bane of my existence) on the head:
The problem, Smith says, starts with "obscene fixation with statistics" by the powers-that-be.
In short? BINGO!

In the Gades booth during the Sean Ford years, he and I would hang up some stat sheets - just for the intros of the players. I'd carry a media guides and a few notes. But overall, Sean and I wouldn't dazzle the listener with numbers. Sure it might be fun to reach for an occasional stat of player versus pitcher or something like that, but our bottom line was to report...and keep people listening.

We entertained. We informed. We invited you into the booth.

Once again, allow me to impart the wisdom of the Great Scully:
"Statistics are used much like a drunk uses a lamp post: for support, not illumination."
That might be (no, it is) my biggest beef with the youngins' who have jumped into the various radio booths (and of course TV as well).

And once again, we see where quality flies out the window.

1 comment:

Georgia Road Geek said...

"Dingo and The Baby" and "Weenie and The Butt"... when Family Guy was still good IMHO.