Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Squeeze Blood From a Turnip Act of 1996

I will now attempt to describe in detail what is transpiring within my current radio market, how it affects my current career track and whether any of this makes any sense in the overall scheme of terrestrial radio.

You may want to grab a compass, dust off the slide rule and prepare for trigonometric equations only a Radio Manager could love.

In the beginning, the FCC deemed it allowable that a broadcast company may own two FM's and one AM in any given regional market.

During the latter part of the first term of the Clinton Administration, lobbyists from radio conglomerates opened their checkbooks and stuffed millions of dollars into FCC coffers to loosen up the restriction of number of stations owned in any given market.

This came to to officially be knows as the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Or as it's known among programmers in the radio industry:

The Squeeze Blood From a Turnip Act of 1996.

Here's the portion from the actual document that currently affects my company's situation, as quoted directly from the website:

With regard to the local radio ownership rule, Section 202(b)(1) of the Telecommunications Act directs the FCC to revise the permissible number of commonly-owned commercial radio stations in a local radio market as follows:

(C) in a radio market with between 15 and 29 (inclusive) commercial radio stations, a party may own, operate, or control up to 6 commercial radio stations, not more than 4 of which are in the same service (AM or FM)

Sounds pretty official, doesn't it?

Currently my company owns outlets in News/Talk, Classic Rock, Country and Album Rock, all of which are doing quite well.

It was announced earlier today that we were going to purchase the Hot AC branding and the OTHER Country outlet in town.

That's right, if you can't beat 'em, buy 'em.

Country is a HUGE format in this area. This means, unless I'm fired or replaced, I could have the number one afternoon show in the market.

A number of variables and scenarios could end up happenning, but this is where I believe the dust will settle:

My company will take the Hot AC branding and move it over to the former home of the other country station. Our country station will hire away their old morning show (which was more popular than ours) and shift it to our station.

That means I could be squeezed out or promoted.

They could decide to hire my direct competition (or any of the other jocks at the old country station) and replace me outright.

To quote my General Manager: "To be honest, I'm loyal to those already employed here. You will still be part of the team."

That's good to hear because I do trust our General Manager. She speaks her mind and speaks it honestly.

That still doesn't mean I'll be employed here three weeks from now.

So I'm divisive on the Squeeze Blood From a Turnip Act of 1996.

Taking a postive bent, it allowed companies to expand their already successful operations and share personnel, thus saving costs.

From the negative side though, it has prompted companies to ask for more time from employees while compensating them less.


Surprisingly, I'm not really worried.

Fate has an interesting and commanding way of pointing one in the direction they just couldn't muster up enough courage to act upon.

That is what I am assuming will happen to me.

I listened to our competition over the weekend and none of the regular staff was on-air. It sounded like they just threw on a bunch of interns and promotional assistants to fill in. Either they've bolted or taken the last of their vacation, I don't really know.

I just know that for once, it's good to be on the winning side of the battle.

And whatever happens, I'll be ok.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Human Slinky

The commercial still reverberates off the walls of my memory, happy and full of life.

Slinky! Slinky! For fun it's a wonderful toy!
Slinky! Slinky! It's fun for a girl and a boy!

I think that's how it goes.

At least in my version it does.

Nearly two weeks into my new living situation I metamorphically became the Human Slinky.

Actually, if I had done so, it probably wouldn't have hurt as much.

It's 9:05am on a Dialysis Day. Oh how I hate them so. I rise blurry eyed and fatigued, stumbling my way to the hallway so I can excavate my increasingly sore bladder.

My roommate's in the shower.

In past roommate situations, this would mean I would have to determine a stealth way to excrete my urine.

When I lived with Susie (that's definately another post waiting to happen...she had heaven sent legs) and she was in the bathroom, I would simply go out to the backyard and visit my favorite tree.

That would probably not be a good idea in my present concrete jungle.

Since I now reside in a two bedroom, one and a half bath apartment, I simply slump downstairs and do my business.

Except when I become the Human Slinky.

The carpet is short and somewhat aged on the steps of my apartment. I engage the first step and I become a living Peter Sellers scene. Instead of stepping flat, I use the ball of my foot and the entire weight of my body pushes it out from underneath me.

Instead of falling flat, engaging my weight with my skinny, boney ass, I fall on my right side, allowing my left ankle bone to slam against the following four steps.

I lie there thankful my roommate is still in the shower and didn't witness my Chevy Chase like pratfall.

I hug the steps for a minute or two, lightly grunting as I try to keep the pain from fully strengthening.

Yes, much like I do at Dialysis.

It eventually subsides and I make my way to the bathroom just in time.

If I truly had the powers of the Human Slinky, once my feet slipped from under me, my head could have swung back and landed on the step. I could have flipped, head to toe and back again, safely down the steps.

By the way, I would be amiss if I didn't mentione that THIS HAS HAPPENED TWICE.

I know, I'm a dolt.

My ankle was the size of a grapefruit for eight days, but I could still limp my way through the day.

A psychological manifestation of my inner worth.

That's what a therapist would say. I allow Dialysis to rule my life, so I limp through, never able to completely and happily travel at life's pace.

That's certainly true.

But if I begin to believe myself the true Human Slinky, I should be able to spring through my problems with energy and originality.

And fall down steps gracefully.