When I was a kid I loved radio–listened to it intently. I wanted to be on radio and once college told me I was through being educated radio is just what I did.
Radio was everything I expected it to be and I loved it. Sure I fought with my bosses (Peter–I’m talking about you among others) and even got myself fired a few times, but radio was satisfying.
Doing mornings at WPEN is probably my all-time favorite job. I was given reasonably free rein and had a great time. I’d do it a little differently today, but I have no regrets.
I fell in love with radio because of the people I listened to on radio. They were smart, often witty and funny. I listened to Brucie and Dan Ingram on WABC and Gary Stevens on WMCA. Jean Shepard talked to himself for 45 minutes a night on WOR and I never missed him.
My favorite station was WKBW in Buffalo. I couldn’t hear it until the Sun set. I was a member of Joey Reynold’s “Royal Order of the Night People” and listened to Danny Nevereth, Bud Ballou and Sandy Beach. Rod Roddy, who later became the announcer on “The Price is Right” did overnights on KB–and I listened.
Radio was full service back then. Even stations ‘for kids’ had hourly newscasts. It was tough to be an uninformed teen. That’s much easier today.
Radio isn’t fun to listen to any more. Radio doesn’t have larger than life personalities any more. Radio isn’t local any more. What was local is evaporating rapidly.
The radio stations I listened to created a community. There is no more community. I can’t see anyone loving radio the way I loved radio… the way some of my friends loved radio. There is little to love.
Today Clear Channel Communications announced they were cutting another 600 jobs. They cut nearly 2,000 back in January. Local people are being hatcheted and replaced with nationally syndicated shows. Local people used to talk about local things in the time slots now devoted to Ryan Seacrest, Billy Bush, John Tesh and Rush Limbaugh.
R&R has a list of some of those let go. It’s sad to see. Lots of 10 and 20 years veterans. Lots of people whose shows were getting good numbers.
Helaine often says when TV is through with me maybe I should go back into radio. I don’t think there will be any radio left.
I am saddened.