After some 30 years, my association with AM 1050 WLIP has ended. Here are a few things I’ll miss and a few things I won’t.
Things I’ll miss:
Location, Location, Location. I used to be able to leave my driveway with the 7:00 news already started and still get there in plenty of time to start the show by 7:06 with Shirley already on the line waiting.
Some of the true radio professionals in that building. GM Karl Wertzler, Program Director John Perry, Traffic Manager Lori Madison, Salesmen Mike Hirsch and Steve Salzman and personalities Tom Kief and Bill Lawrence. All true professionals and making it in an extremely difficult industry.
The fringe people like me…like Scott Delabio and Jim Selovich..people that enjoy the industry but can’t afford to actually try and do it for a living.
The audience. It is not like I was a “remote guy” or had a huge call in show but you know who you are broadcasting to at AM 1050 and I will miss brining my madness to their world.
That stupid, nasty AM studio. It was not going to win any cleanliness awards and it did not smell like lavender but for a long long time it was home to where I cut my radio teeth and that will be missed.
And from the world of “won’t miss”:
The amount of money radio people make. If you do not have a second source of income or live in your folk’s basement, it is next to impossible to survive unless you are THE top person or on the business end of the building. You don’t have to be the best, you just have to be someone that can afford to work for very little.
Hearing my ideas regurgitated as someone else’s work. Countless times you hear “your stuff” coming out of someone else’s mic. They will deny that til the death, but we know different.
The fear of cross promotion. One SHOULD promote every one and every show on that station but most are afraid, “If I promote you, people might listen to you more than me. I can’t run the risk of using my air time to talk about someone else”. And due to the nature of the industry, I don’t really even blame them for that approach, it is just not good business.
The industry in general. Somebody continually gets rich of buying and selling radio stations and schmos all over the country go get a 3rd job delivering pizza just for the opportunity to work for 7 bucks an hour as a “radio person”.
It is hard for me to comprehend how the vast majority of the AM employees can possibly justify driving to Gurnee every day or a few times a week for what they are paid. I mean, I know some folks that if they were to take the toll road, could literally be in the red every time they go to work. I love the industry and am eternally grateful to JP and Karl for the opportunity to do my thing for as long as I have, but that being said, radio is one F’d up industry. Just because somehow you can get away with paying a long time employee under $10 an hour, don’t mean you should. This last go-round, I sought zero pay for my time. I wasn’t about to go out and try and sell my show to make an extra 10 or 20 bucks. All that would do is jack my tax returns around, so I just did it for free. I didn’t have to pay them for the air time and they didn’t have to pay me for my time. I know what I created and I’m positive they made a decent amount of money from my talent, I just didn’t want to be Oliver and have the audacity to ask for “more”. The Kenosha Sports Extra podcast will be unleashed soon! Much thanks and love to anyone who listened to anything I did.