What The Hell Was Whitney Thinking !

I mentioned in my last Blog that I was visiting Reid Reker in Las Vegas. I’m out here for a couple of reasons one of which was to celebrate his freedom and the other because we are working on a very special project together. While there I thought I might as well do some more research on what Women really want so I gathered together a couple of small focus groups (pictured below) and continued my probes hoping once again to get a little closer to unlocking the mystery of women to learn some usable information I can use on the radio.

Speaking of Vegas I had a very interesting and exciting dinner with Emmy and Grammy award winning musical director Nancy Gregory plus her friend Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame producer and songwriter Jeff Barry. It seems to me that Jeff must have written most of the huge hits of the 60’s and 70’s. I mean can you resist singing along with Be My Baby, Da Do Ron Ron, River Deep Mountain High, Chapel Of Love, I honestly Love You, Hanky Panky, Doo Wah Diddy Diddy only to name but a few … And what about Sugar Sugar which even Frank Zappa was once caught singing along to by a few of his horrified fans. What a magical evening!

Whitney Houston made a lot of bad choices in her life including the wrong day to die … Music Radio was already pre recorded.

Speaking of Whitney she exposed Music Radio for what it really is now … Irrelevant! I wonder what Wall Street thinks about all that.

I have always believed that you adjust the Mechanics to fit the Art even though Radio now adjusts the Art to fit the Mechanics. How dare that bitch Whitney die on the wrong day and seeing as they could figure out how to adjust her they just skipped it.

The only thing you never have to wait for is the future it always starts tomorrow plus you still have 100% of the rest of your life ahead of you to accomplish something worthwhile. You might as well get started.

I read that keeping your mouth shut whenever you were in deep water might be a good idea. Ahh that explains it.

It sure didn’t take Cami long to go from being a child who was afraid of the dark to a teenager who wants to stay out all night.

Shouldn’t the people who attend Radio Conventions be a little fearful about the fact that if the Radio station can continue to operate without them, someone else may notice.

When I was a teen ambition entered my life for the first time only because I needed a car.

As you go across the dial in the morning have you noticed morning shows all seem to be doing the same bits. They must all be subscribing to the same show prep service. You would think at least one of them would go with the cheapest and the best … Their local Newspaper!

I understand that they are going to make a new Ghost Busters movie. Rick Moranis told me the first one only had one actor in it the rest were all writers. I wonder if they are going with the same concept in the next one.

Kathy McWilliams says we live in a era of smart phones and stupid people.

Strange thing is I relate a lot more to my Father now then I ever did when he was alive.

I always think of Michael Jordan being a decent human being but I don’t think the same of Kobe Bryant and don’t know why really. Maybe Michael just had had a better PR firm.

There are 7 billion people on the planet, I wonder how many of them can do something special.

With all the talk about how great some of the quarterbacks are today I wonder how good they would have been back in the day when the rules allowed you to almost kill them.

As selective as women are about who they want to marry it’s hard to imagine those marriages going wrong. But of course men not being selective enough may be one of the main reasons.

23 thoughts on “What The Hell Was Whitney Thinking !

  1. An intricate, planned-out-to-the-second nationally televised awards show can quickly improvise a legendary tribute…..but corporate radio can’t afford a few live jocks coming in and blowing out their voicetracks.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Duffy. If I had been a GM of a cluster, no matter the format, I would have dragged every night time person into the studio and had them pay tribute. What a disgrace that most stations buckled, when we could have used the support. The easy way Out. Terrible.

      • I agree Robin but now I am also wondering what kind of people do we have left in the Radio business on the programming side. Would they be willing to go to the station on their day off to do what we were born to do, or do they all wait for orders. I’m sure Management wouldn’t have forbidden the staff from doing so yet few did. At this point I think it’s more than just the owners and managers who are lame.

  2. George…. instead of a celebrity dying, what if this would have been a real emergency? This shows how radio has given up the “go to” medium title. If it’s happening now… go to Facebook, you’ll find out a lot more than on your local radio station. How sad is that?

  3. What IS up with radio?
    On the day Michael Jackson died, I was working part-time voice-tracking a night show for a syndication group. After I taped the show and went home, my son Jack called because he had heard that Jackson had died. It was news to me. The first word out of my mouth was, “Damn.” Jack agreed; it was very sad. When I told him that I said “damn” because I’d just taped a radio show without a mention of Michael’s death; Jack said, “Ma, I’m crying here and you’re making this about yourself!” I realized that Michael was Jack’s Elvis, so I went back to the station and re-taped my show. When I called the PD to ask if he would insert some MJ into the music program, he expressed shocked surprise that I would take the time and trouble to re-do the show.

    Rest in peace, Michael and Whitney.

  4. Geo,

    This started when the local Police Chief in Minot ND called the Clear Channel Cluster to let them know a train with tankers of chlorine gas had derailed in town and evacuation orders had been issued. Nobody answered the phone! The entire cluster was running automated, including the news station, for Christ’s sake! Somehow CC (who owned virtually all the stations) avoided any sanctions from the FCC. CC is fortunate that their lack of licensee responsibility didn’t result in death and injury. If you avoid responsibility in a life or death situation, you obviously aren’t going to do anything when an important artist dies..

    • Bobby, Red Robinson told me the same thing happened in BC up in Canada but the Mayor and the Police Captain went to the GM’s home and forced him to take the station live.

  5. The students in my classes all found out about Whitney via their cell or smartphone. We live in a connected society. Welcome to the new reality. (However, I did have some students, upon receiving the news ask “Who’s Whitney Houston?”) Where radio once was soap operas & quiz shows that moved to TV forcing radio to re-invent itself, I think we now see the need for the medium to do this re-invention thing once again. But it MUST be re-invented for the consumers, not the stakeholders.

    • Yes Dick because once all AM’s are just a simulcast of an FM station there will be no future for FM because the next new thing wont be radio and I doubt very much what ever it is will be simulcast on an old FM station. So it is the beginning of the end.

  6. I have a lot of questions about Radio today, but as I don’t have any answers ??? One of the Selling Points used to be the IMMEDIACY OF RADIO. Our Office Staff everybody had to have a back up – someone that could take over in emergency & we certainly weren’t overstaffed – but everybody cooperated & management rewarded everybody – not just on air staff or sales staff . In my hiring, I think most of the people I hired were smarter than myself.

  7. You hit the nail on the head! Does anyone remember what radio was like when John Lennon died? Elvis? Are you all kidding, no not really, most of you just haven’t lived long enough. And speaking of living, I love them focus groups George! Keep on living’ large George! You are an inspiration!

  8. George, one of the key goals of every concept you pushed at WIBC was to allow the talent to use the resources while exploiting the technology to be more compelling, engaging and exciting so that the radio station (and the talent) was (were) the star(s). For most broadcasters today, the technology is the star. For you and our mentor, Jim Hilliard, the star was what came out of the speakers and how the listeners responded.
    When I was just a go-fer at WIBC for Gary Todd, fresh out of Indiana University and on a “six-month temporary job” replacing the (late) departed Josh Littman, Jim’s words to me as I left his office on my first day (May 14th, 1973) was, “Jed, always do the most important thing when it is most important. Don’t wait. Do it now !” That is the essence of great broadcasting, whether it is playing your favorite, “Hey Jude”, or breaking in for an on-the-ground tornado warning !

    • Now as I said Jed they are adjusting the Art to fit the mechanics. Someone should have taught that to Disney, Jobs and Ford maybe they coulda bin a contendah!

  9. EVERYONE that commented above IS RIGHT!

    In my humble opinion, the public is also tired of being told something is good, when it is stunningly mediocre at best.

    George, you first need to embrace the attitude that there aren’t any more “Beatles”. No more Whitney Houston’s. GONE. Frankly, the significance of the Beatles power of “music” over the “presenter” is long gone. MTV hasn’t been MTV for 25 years. How many “music formats” have failed over the last 15 years? I think the music is totally insignificant today, as long as you play the target demos favorite songs…and THEN do EXCELLENT RADIO around it.

    Today’s available technology should be nothing but a tool, used for directing the pubic toward your product. Let the product make the technology explode. It must be that good. Every element of it. WINNING should be EVERYTHING.

    In order to do that would take a sales department located in another building. Incredible Talent. And a shitload of money. A GIGANTIC shitload of money! (That ain’t happenin’ in today’s world)!

    As for Whitney. Shame on her. EVERYONE KNOWS you croak on a WEDNESDAY NIGHT! Not Tuesday Afternoon. WEDNESDAY NIGHT BITCH!….Thursday at the latest! Her publicist DESERVES to loose his or her job over this! I heard that Mitt Romney said Clear Channel saved almost a half million dollars by not bringing in any overtime help!

  10. George – Local DJs all want to talk about national stuff because they think it sounds bigger and more important. They want to work in larger markets and fantasize about being in Hollywood and NYC. As a result, they focus on where they want to be, not where they are.

    Check back in five years; most of them will still be here.

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