Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Things I Don't Understand (Part I of CCLV)

I don't consider myself a dumb guy, but the following question may change that thinking.

Why can't someone just buy their own health insurance?

Granted, for the past 15 years or so, my insurance has either been covered by my employer, or by my wife's employer. I haven't had to go out and actively seek a policy. Certainly one can do that, no? Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley says that once people lose their jobs, they lose their insurance as well. That can't be right, can it? I mean, yes, they lose their insurance that their former employer used to provide them, but they can still get it, can't they?

How did we get to the point where the benefits are now the most important part of a person's job? Whether it's health insurance, a 401k plan, dental, vision, whatever- it seems the first thing that a person thinks about when they get fired (ok, maybe the second or third) is: what am I going to do about benefits? I admit that I gave that a thought before realizing I could jump on Pumpkin's plan until I landed a new gig. Still, I felt bad that her paycheck was much smaller because of that. I never considered looking on my own for a policy that best fit what I needed as a married father of none.

Maybe I'm old school, but I still consider the employer-employee relationship to be a good day's work for a good day's pay. How did we get to the point where the employer has to take care of everything for you but tucking you in at night? Isn't it enough that they pay you a wage that allows for food, shelter, and the occasional Friday night run to Applebee's? Wouldn't the checks be larger if the employer didn't have to worry about providing you with an ever-increasing health care package? Employers now are faced with the possibility of laying off more workers because of Obamacare. Why can't they just hire people to work for them, pay the people their wages, and that's that? Isn't that what Wal Mart does (again, forgive the ignorance if Wal Mart caved in to union pressures. I must've missed that)? In the meantime, the employee can study for whatever health-care, investment, dental plan, that best suits the needs of him and his family. What's so hard to understand about this?

I must be a moron because I don't hear anybody else speaking the argument. That, or I'm a genius. Either way, I'm confused

Thursday, March 4, 2010

This One's For You, Mikey

Another radio guy I know got sacked today. I asked him what happened and he said his boss said that "his talk breaks were too long". That's about it. This guy worked mornings, so if there's a place where your talk breaks can be lengthy, that's where. I'm Facebook friends with him, so I'll get updates on things that he did with the station and he always seemed to be out in his community. Nice guy, well liked, not a big ego. Big deal. His talk breaks were too long. Here's a box. Pack your stuff.

I've said this before, but show me a radio station that pushes a "more music" morning show, and I'll show you a loser. Now more than ever, it will be personalities that radio needs to save itself. It just needs the incomprehensible incompetence of radio management to get their boot off of the personalities' throats, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen anytime soon.

It's abundantly clear that the most successful radio shows have nothing to do with playing the hits, and everything to do with showcasing the biggest personalities: Limbaugh, Stern, Dees (ok, maybe that one's a stretch). Yet, time and again, we jocks are told to cut the chit chat and spin the tunes. I've even had a market manager tally up the number of songs played over one week's time and told me that that number indicated that I was talking too much (forgetting the fact that they had added two extra :60 commercials each hour and the average length of a country song had increased by over a minute). And this was a boss that I actually had respect for!

People can get music almost anywhere these days. What's sorely lacking is entertainment. Satellite radio was supposed to be the next big thing when it arrived because it was all music, commercial free. Subscriber numbers have been disappointing. In fact, a large number of people simply signed up for the service because that was the only place they were going to be able to hear Howard Stern. A personality. An entertainer. Music is omnipresent. There's only one Stern. Again, a lesson. Staff a radio station with personalities people want to listen to, and every sales person will be driving a Bentley. Christ, what's so hard to understand about this?

Lately we're seeing some music artists starting up their own record labels because they grew tired of how things were handled in a typical record label operation. Maybe that can happen with radio, where a bunch of jocks fed up with the "just play more music" mentality can put a group together and show the suits how it's supposed to be done. I don't see any other way for radio to pull out of its death spiral. Every radio salesperson elevated to a position where they can make decisions over programming is akin to a morbidly obese guy eating another triple cheeseburger. A quick death is inevitable