Friday, March 03, 2006

The Official Darwin Radio Award of the Year

Goes to my former competition on the "other" country station.

You know. The one I told you about recently that we bought out?

So the entire on-air staff at the Other Country Station was told (save for the morning show, which we signed) that their station was being terminated this Monday.

If you're smart, you perform your remaining shifts to the best of your ability and depart the airwaves with respect and dignity.

Apparently my afternoon competition hadn't read that unwritten rule in the Common Sense Radio Manual.

It's roughtly 4:45, drive time. A majority of people are listening to radio at that time because they're stuck in their car trying to get home.

He decides to open up the mic and say goodbye to his listeners.

Nothing wrong with that. A nice way to create closure for yourself and your listening family.

But instead, he gets the bright idea to take callers.

This is where respect and class were thrown completely to the wolves.

"We've just been bought out by a company, which by the way, isn't local. They're a corporate entity from the East Coast and they don't give a damn about talent."

That statement is only 50% true. Yes, we're not local, but we have personalities (including myself) who've been here for many, many years.

One of our saleswomen was listening at the time to see what they'd say about the changes and quickly called our GM.

He was yanked off the air within minutes.

Our management had offered to help with his new job search and see if there were any openings in any of our other stations nationwide.

Obviously, that will not be happenning.

I have only been released from employment twice in my life. Once in college for a sales job I had no business doing and by this company I'm working for now.

I know. It's a silly story.

Budget cuts were coming down and I was working at night at the time. (Little secret about the music side of the radio industry: most of the smaller markets tape their night shows or bring in syndication.) Since that daypart is usually just a gimmee, they fired me on a Friday.

I was rehired on a Monday because they realized they couldn't take care of all my duties without me.

For a while I had to do a number of different jobs but eventually worked my way into the position I hold now.

I've only had two aspects to my personality that have helped me survive this long and it has nothing to do with talent.

1. Tenacity.

I will work and scrape and fight and even put up with some crap if I can see the end results in the future.

2. Workaholicism

I'm sure that's what they call it. I'm a workaholic. Always have been. I must have absorbed my Dad because he was always working. And when he wasn't at his job, he was working the backyard or garage on something.

Witnessing that for years on end imprinted itself on my DNA somehow.

And I couldn't be more grateful.

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