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Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:29 am
by gbarn
I'm calling out to radio's artists: the impassioned shapers and forgers. I'm reaching out to those who dare to imagine sublime sound experiences emitting from radio speakers. Perhaps not today, but soon before it's too late. Radio needs visionaries to take it and shape it anew, not to simply repurpose similar, formulaic signals. Great cinema enjoyed its industry's chrysalis as merging generations of film producers and great directors recognized the opportunity in their mind's eye of this medium before a word was ever scripted or cameras rolled as others about them saw only chaos and decay in a beloved industry.

Radio desperately needs its own generation of dreamers and believers. In short, radio needs leaders to take it, reinvent it, then, guided by their enduring love of radio, work to help Americans fall in love with the magic that is radio all over again. Historically, television was euphemistically referred to as the idiot box, but radio proudly and rightly bore the moniker 'theatre of the mind'. I'm calling out to lovers of radio, the likes of you, to kiss this princess paralyzed in inertia and thereby complete the circle of this fairytale bringing her back to life.

I reject the premise that all journeys must come to an end. Yes, without doubt they must change, transform, but should never be allowed to simply fade or wither through neglect. However, brilliance, serendipity live in the promise of people, not in technology or industrial machines engineered to make work lighter and faster. Magic lives in the human soul.

The recesses of the human mind remain 'loaded' with memories ' like Tennessee Williams' perennial state of intoxication. Williams' penchant for vodka and seconal's was legendary, critics recall Williams often sitting with his eyes closed. He said this way he could shut out the real world which allowed him to focus on the magic of magnificent other worlds in his mind's eye, theater of the mind, although unnecessarily blurred. Let's remember Ernest Hemmingway's "Old Man of the Sea," where he immortalized "every man's journey ends the same way, it's only the details of the journey and how it ended that distinguish one man's from another." The greatest actors, writers, producers, directors, dancers and musicians, poets, lovers, even radio mavericks all animate in our hearts. The creative seek new hearts to touch every day - it's incumbent upon humanity to remain open, available to their magic.

Karl Marx said 'religion is the opiate of the people', similarly radio has owned the mantel 'America's intoxicant' - and just when you thought you were over radio it finds you and seduces you again. Radio finds you driving to work, driving from work, while working out or even while working at home or at the office. At its very best radio takes hold of you unexpectedly, and in an emotional surge you spontaneously belt out your favorite tunes or talk back to talk radio. Only radio can do this. Radio owns a swagger suggesting 'I own you emotionally' in an instant.

You're thinking, what about the effects of new media rushing to install itself into car dashboards, yes -so? We all have someone in their teens or twenties whose earplugs connect them to entertainment devices other than radio. There are even more teens and twenty something's, however, who listen to radio, perhaps without the great passion of the past but their lack of passion should be no surprise to we who gave a lifetime to radio and understand what it can be again. Clearly, radio offers little that's compelling to teens, t'weens, twenty-something's - let's be frank, even to you possibly.

Everything emitting from your radio is being served up as representing lifelong dedication and passion to excellence. This is sacrilegious and akin to drawing comparison between Martin Scorsese's magical tour de force "Hugo's Secret" with William Ashner's "Beach Blanket Bingo." Radio has always been better. Radio will be better than ever once we move beyond downsizing and the wholesale disposal of the brilliant minds in whom resonated the very soul of creative radio.

The choice is clear. Be great again or live a “pink slime- like” existence, like serving as meat filler while marking your time until the public catches on to your game and runs away with arms wildly flailing in the air.

And they never returned, no they never returned!

Re: Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:34 am
by pbergin
Nice pep speech. If you don't mind my saying so, just like the kind a military commander might give to a bunch of raw recruits about to enter a battle they can't possibly win.

What's missing is "what can we as talent do about it?" Well, I shouldn't say "we," I got out of radio when I saw what was happening to it. What actually happened was far worse than I could've imagined back in 1999.

I still commiserate from time to time with people I knew back then, folks who hung on because radio was all they knew or because "I love it so much I'd do it for free." They' are basically doing it for free now.

There will always be the dreamers... the people who soldier on even after all hope is long gone. Some might even make a decent living for awhile, but for me, I always remember what my father told me years ago. "Always know more than one job."

Re: Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:04 am
by gbarn
Better to light one little candle than to cry all night about the darkness,

Re: Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:49 am
by pbergin
True, but sometimes if you're looking for the light you have to open a different door.

Re: Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:05 am
by gbarn
You're ahead of the game, Pbergin. In these uncertain times, wishing something would happen isn't sufficient. You must be proactive, peer behind new doors, peel back layers to discover what's inside that can be exploited.

I feel for the latest group to lose their jobs, and for all who came before them. Let's hope they planned for this inevitable fate. Let's hope those hanging on have already begun preparation for the day when their time will be up, which too is inevitable.

Best to you!

Re: Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:50 am
by pbergin
You too my friend, you too.

Re: Calling All Radio! Calling All Radio!

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:26 am
by jjenkins
So true. I recently heard from some friends who are still in radio and I felt so horrible for them. They are several years older with nothing new to show for it. Most are even making LESS money and there is no creativity left in their jobs. Radio isn't even played in bars now - it's either SiriusXM or pandora and within 5 years it will be a loser in the car too. I saw the flashing neon lights in the mid-2000's and got the F out. The longer you wait the harder it will be to get into another legitimate line of work. Good luck radio friends - the war is over - clear the battlefield and every man /woman for themselves!