Worst. Column. Ever.
May 17, 2013
Aw, (expletive deleted). I did it again. I wrote a column, read it over, read it over again, and, right here at the deadline, running late, I decided... nah. Not quite right.
Does that ever happen to you? You start a topic, get deeply into it, and then decide that it just isn't going anywhere? The difference is, you don't have the luxury of writing and rewriting and editing and looking at it before the listeners hear it. If something doesn't work for you, it's public. I can just delete the thing. It's too late for you. All you can do is dog paddle to the end of the segment and start the next one with a new topic as if you'd never done the last one.
So, here I am, left with a blank piece of paper, figuratively speaking. I was going to write about the little controversy involving an advertiser who got caught in the middle of conservative and liberal groups battling over Rush Limbaugh, even though the advertiser hadn't bought an ad in his show itself. What caught my eye was a spokesperson for the department store saying, "This is why we don't advertise on talk radio." That bothered me on a couple of fronts, one of which was that the department store in question probably doesn't advertise on talk radio because it's seeking demographics that talk radio doesn't deliver. The other part is that I don't think that radio has progressed very far in terms of being able to overcome advertiser objections to "controversial" programming. Television seems to do better with that kind of thing, and I wonder if the RAB should have some kind of training program specifically to sell controversial talk and personality radio, but.... See, that's where I kind of fade away with this. It's the same situation that we were dealing with 20 years ago, and I think my managers at New Jersey 101.5 were better at it then a lot of managers are today. But I could give you a step-by-step set of instructions on how to do it right, and I don't think it would make much difference. I'm preaching to the converted.
So I trashed the column. And it's too late on a Friday to scrape together an alternative that I haven't already written about a hundred times before, so I'll leave it at that. Too bad I don't do "best ofs." Hey... you know, if radio can do "best of" shows, maybe I can, too. The only problem is finding anything I could call "best" with a straight face....
The Revlon Run/Walk for Women was a success, by the way, and by "success" I mean Fran and I made it all the way to the finish line, the 50-yard line at the L.A. Coliseum, without stopping at a single Starbucks or fast food joint. Not that the thought wasn't there. Anyway, the walk raised money for breast cancer and other women's cancer research and programs, and several of you were generous in your donations. Still interested in donating? They're still open for donations, and you can do that at do.eifoundation.org/goto/pmsimon2013. Thank you!
Okay, we're REALLY late now. (By "we," I mean me) So, plugs: Go to All Access News-Talk-Sports' show prep column Talk Topics, where there are hundreds of stories and comments compiled with radio in mind, by clicking here for the full column or going to Twitter at @talktopics, where you'll find every story linked to the appropriate item. It's free. And read "10 Questions With..." Fox Sports Radio VP of Sales Jeffrey Schwartz, who's worked both sides of the sales/programming wall and has created some interesting integrated ad plans as a result.
Follow my personal Twitter account at @pmsimon, find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pmsimon, and visit the other site I edit, Nerdist.com. And please watch "The Nerdist" on Saturday night at 10p (ET) on BBC America (or Sunday at 7p (ET) on Space in Canada). This week: Joe Manganiello of "True Blood," Morena Baccarin of "Homeland," and dapper comedian Paul F. Tompkins.
You got a closing joke for this slot? Okay, scribble it in yourself. I'm sure it's better than anything I can come up with right now....