Monday, May 15, 2006

Go Blame It On The Mountain

(84) Go Blame It On The Mountain

There’s been a whole lot of fuss about a radio announcer named “Star” in New York, NY. Apparently, this guy made threats against someone’s child or children, offered money for an address and hurled a racial and sexual epithet at some woman. Star got fired.

Should probably never have been hired in the first place, but radio has become a place that hires people like that – and like the truly harmful talk show people.

This is not going to be a defense of one radioman from another.

This is going to place the blame where the blame should be placed and that is in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the Great Mountain West, as the Salt-lake-onians like to call it.

How’s that?

Well, some history. In the 1960s, a company from that town bought a shortwave broadcasting station in New York, and couldn’t sell much advertising on it because no one on Madison Avenue could hear it, and the owners didn’t think to supply them with recordings so they could get an idea about what was being broadcast, which was mostly dinner music for people without appetite.

Instead, they bought a crummy little FM radio station in Woodside, NY on which they simulcast the shortwave program.

Madison Avenue then could hear the shortwave. They didn’t like it any better than they did when they couldn’t hear it at all.

But a funny thing happened. Madison Avenue liked the crummy little FM station just fine, thank you and so did the public.

The Utah mob moved the place into the heart of Manhattan, where it grew to become a major player. It was unexpected. Decades of unexpectedness.

Decades of gobs of incoming money.

But the Salt-lake-onians never were comfortable in New York, never understood it and never liked it.

So, eventually, they took the incoming gobs of money and fiddled with the radio station to the point that they drove the entire audience and all of Madison Avenue away.

Eventually, they sold it for gobs of incoming money more than they paid for it, and walked away, dusting their hands. And washing their hands of New York, NY.

If they hadn’t, they’d still have the money machine, which they called “WRFM,” and which was at 105.1 on the dial.

And there would be no “Power 105-one.” And there would be no racial slurs because the previous owners were very sensitive to that kind of thing.

So we get this Star guy because some corporate types in the Great Mountain West couldn’t leave well enough alone.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2006 WJR

Disclaimer: The above-signed worked for 14 years at WRFM, during which he developed a love for dinner music for people without appetite and a mildly intense dislike for the Great Mountain West.


paul007rf said...

Dear Mr. Richards,
I am 47, and I remember when you were the terrific host of the late afternoon shift at WRFM. It was a great station. I remember personalities Charles Garrett, Mr. "Ayleward" and Jim Branch. It was too bad the BM format went to the graveyard, even though there are just a handful of internet, cable and a few FM stations still carrying it. I sometimes need it to chill me out.
Paul Feldstein, NYC, grew up in Hudson Valley (Kingston).

paul007rf said...
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