Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Gigs III

Before I list the top 5, I should say that none of my 10 radio gigs have been bad. I've enjoyed each of them. It's like a pizza. Even then worst pizza I've had (Pizza Shuttle in Milwaukee) wasn't all that bad. I learned from each gig and was influenced to a positive degree by each of the show partners I've worked with. Anyway, Top Five time

5) KDWN Traffic Guy 1/5- present

Positives: I'm pretty much left alone. It's not an easy job, so the fact that I don't have to have a meeting with the boss every week is a big positive. It helps to realize that those above have confidence enough in what you're doing to leave you alone. 

Negatives: The uncertainty of the job market, and of radio as a whole. There have been two purges of employees since January, and there's no guarantee that another won't happen, like, today. That's not a slam on the job itself, but it certainly makes it less fun knowing your number could be up because you "only" do two jobs

4) KWNR Mornings with Mark and Brooks (2006)

This was kind of an awkward time and the first time I had ever worked a morning show with three people. It always felt like Brooks was being shoved out the door, which is what eventually happened. I've laughed more with Mark than all my other hosts combined, though, maybe I should swap this with the Mark and Mitch portion of the show. Two is always a better number for morning shows anyway. Once three get in, everyone's fighting to be heard, stress and strain build, and the end product isn't as good as it could be. 

3) KWNR Mornings with Glennboy (June '97- Oct '00)

My first legitimate morning show shot. I was perfectly comfortable being the sidekick, since I still had no idea what it took to make a morning show good. I learned from Glenny that you really needed to work at it, not just show up. Not everything the GB did worked, but when it didn't, I was there to pick up the pieces. Negatives: Glennboy constantly battling with the boss, who was never a fan. That put me in the middle of quite a few spats, and led to Glenn's eventual departure

2) KWNR Mornings with Brooks (and Stunt Runt) 

Six years of success when I really felt like I was at the top of my game. When Brooks became the boss, it almost became easier. There were never personality conflicts between us. Stunt Runt was in a groove and really made some great radio, stuff people will always remember. I really thought we could write our own ticket, but management had other ideas. The ratings never recovered after Brooks was moved out of that show (and from what I hear, it wasn't her choice). I didn't like what happened to Brooks but she works in San Diego now, so my sympathy has been tempered.

1) KAAA/KZZZ, Kingman (1993-'94)

 Maybe nostalgia is getting the better of me, but I have more fond memories of my first real gig, so that tops the list. Everything was new. This was me taking a huge chance, moving halfway across the country to live in a town of 11,000 and make $4.50 an hour. It was "before" everything. Before consolidation, before automation, (mostly) before consultancies. It was before I knew what a horrible business radio could be. It didn't matter that it was market 500. It was radio, baby, and it was cool to be a part of. And we were good. The board ops knew what they were doing. The jocks knew the music. Everyone was loose and everyone was real. Simpler times, and deserving of a whole blog entry some time

It's funny, but I think if you ask any radio guy what their best gig was, they'll never say the one that they're doing right now.

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