Saturday, May 12, 2007

Great Quote


"I have no pleasure in any man who despises music. It is no invention of ours: it is a gift of God. I place it next to theology. Satan hates music: he knows how it drives the evil spirit out of us. "
-Martin Luther

May 12 2007

The 31st anniversary of my first day in the air.

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I don't know what is happening to me emotionally but I don't like it. I am thinking and feeling things I have never felt before. My daughter is leaving for college in August and that is all I am dwelling on. I have been obsessed with the idea that I am growing old and wondering who will need me then? I was having a conversation about this to a buddy of mine in the sauna the other day and he said the same exact thing is happening to him. We were wondering if hormones had anything to do with it. All I know is while I am happy with who and what I am at this stage in my life, I shudder to think what the future holds and how shitty it's going to be without her. I don't see her much now becasue she is with her friends but at least I know she will be coming home before the night is done. That won't happen in August ...arrggghh! I know I am very lucky to be able to send her to a great school, but I cannot get past the fact that she's leaving and probably won't return home much. I can't stand it. It is killing me and I don't know why. Mr. Strongguy has turned into mush and it sucks.

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I went and hit some golf balls for the first time in about four years today. I am playing in a charity game on Monday and I needed to see if I could even hit them anymore. I hit most of them pretty well and we will see what happens on Monday. Head down, arm straight, follow through.

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I am afraid the station in Nashville that I left is in deep trouble. The winter rating book came back and it was rough on my buddy Al. Of course, I don't think the company will let him win. Al will do things exactly as they tell him to do and then when the ratings stall, they will blame Al and blow him out. They should have left us alone and kept things the way they were when we started.

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I couldn't sleep again last night, so I went downstairs and watched all the Friday Night Lights that were Tivoed and I hadn't seen. It is an excellent show and I hope that next year it finds an audience like "Hill Street Blues" did. Good story, good acting and I am thinking the gal that plays the coach's wife is just killer diller beautiful.


I believe she was in the movie, too.

Backstage Pass Number Five


Old Gas Station Number Two


Post 714


Perspective 2




When I lived on the farm, listening to far off stations from Little Rock, Nashville and Chicago, I really fell in love with a song called "Games" by Redeye. Great harmonies, nice words and a killer guitar solo in there. So, I went out and bought the 45 and immediately wore out the grooves (I did the same thing with "Absolutey Right" by the 5 Man Electrical Band). When I moved to the Quad Cities about nine months later, I was shopping at Target and found the album that "Games" was on. Took it home and it possibly was the album I played most in 1971. It was like an old friend and me, a teenage loser in a new town needed all the friends I could get. While listening to our am station in Davenport (KSTT), the dj came on and said there was a new song by Redeye called "Redeye Blues". And while much different than "Games", it was great because that meant new music from the guys. Their second album was called "One Man's Poison Is Another Man's Medicine" but I could never find it anywhere. After enrolling in radio school part time in early 1973, the station had a copy of the album that was a promotional giveaway. I quickly took it home and taped it. I kept that tape for a number of years until I found another copy of the album at a garage sale or something like that. These guys had a very laid back country feel to them and their music was very positive , almost happy (.."you know time will mend that hole in your shoe, but until then, your toe will stick through..."). About ten years ago, I met a guy who could put LPs on CD (a very novel thing back then) and the first two albums I took to him were these two. After listening to the CD again the other day after a few years, let's just say that my musical perspectives were a bit different then than now. While still listenable, the music now sounds really dated and almost silly. "Games" is still a kick ass song and it always will be. Hey, if I am only known for only one thing, make it something good like that song. I wonder whatever happened to the guys in the band, I never heard from any of them again.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Perspective



In 30 years, I'll be 81. 30 years ago seems like yesterday.
Nuts.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Old Gas Station #1



I am into wierd things. Like skylines (the top ten will return as soon as I get them from my "Nashville" laptop). And old gas stations. When I was a kid, the guy across the street was a big "car" guy and a Ford fan. He also collected old gas station signs.
Whatever. You are what you are. For now, this is old gas station number 1.

Thanks, Keith

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wednesday Junk



While diggin on and through some tunes for the accountant, I came across this beauty. I came to St. Louis on my honeymoon to my first lovely wife in 1974 and I left St. Louis with Nektar. At that time, it was a big favorite on KSHE. It sounds a bit dated but it's almost like having seen a friend from the past who didn't quite make it out of the seventies. A fine old discovery though and it brought back very strong memories of me thinking.."what he fuck did I just do?"...
My two favorite songs on here would be side one and side two.



God, I loved this show and just found it again through reruns. This show can bring me to tears. Kevin Arnold was 12 in 1968. Bingo! So was I. It is uncanny how this show wrapped up the thoughts of loneliness, amazement and sometimes joy that I felt at that age. I think it got all the way to high school and then it was over. I remeber how hard I cried at the last show when it was revealed that Kevin' dad died the next year, just like my dad did. Wow, this show ranks in the top ten of my all time favorite shows. Five stars.




I have volunteered to be a Mentor, which means I give 45 minutes of my life every month to a kid in the hood who needs it. On Tuesday, I went to Simmons Elementary and sat with Lamontae. He wants to be a sports agent and he really likes Math. I told he needed to go to college and the whole world could be his. He was a cute kid and I enjoyed him. You start when the kids are in first grade and you follow them through to the fifth grade. These kids don't have much, but they seem to try very hard. I kinda felt sorry for them but inside the school, it was clean and the teachers really appreciate the help, I think.


Starting in the fall, I am going back to shool and finish that frikkin degree I started on in 1974, continued in 1984 and in 1994. Time to get serious. I would like to be a teacher some day and a place like Simmons would be cool and challenging. The question remains, would anyone hire a 54 year old guy, fresh out of school? Most say no, I say, why not?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Name Change

When I was on the air, the sales slugs were always reffered to in the most demeaning terms,...slugs, weasels, scum, whatever. We rarely gave them the time of day but one thing was certain, they drove the best cars. I have decided to change the name of the blog...again. Geez, what a surprize.. I am not trying to resemble those terms. Trying to be real and honest and trustworthy and all they other Boy Scout stuff. So, I have changed the namd to "A View From The Dark Side" which is the same sentiment without all the names

Here's A Guy That Gets It!


From Fortune Small Business Magazine...
A 'radio gypsy' keeps local stations rocking
How a creative salesman revives snoozy local stations.
By Justin Martin,
FSB Magazine
May 7 2007: 11:33 AM EDT
(FSB Magazine) --
Radio isn't exactly rocking nowadays. It's a 100-year-old technology, and many operators cling to tired ways of doing business. Financial results have been about as flat as an old 45: Total revenues for U.S. radio stations, at around $20 billion, have increased less than 1 percent over the past six years. Enter Joe Schwartz, 54, the founder of Cherry Creek Radio, (cherrycreekradio.com) a three-year-old firm in Denver. Schwartz buys underperforming stations in small communities, mostly in the American West. He encourages each newly acquired station to focus on community news and interests, which Schwartz considers radio's competitive advantage, while pursuing more aggressive sales techniques - namely going after the local newspaper's share of the advertising pie. "Cherry Creek tends to buy stations in places that you need an atlas and a flashlight to find," says Bishop Cheen, a radio analyst with Wachovia. "Then it runs them really well." Today Cherry Creek owns 60 radio stations that it bought with around $50 million in private-equity backing from Arlington Capital Partners (arlingtoncap.com) and a bank line of credit worth another $70 million. Schwartz says the closely held company earned about $10 million last year, on total sales of $30 million. A self-described "radio gypsy," Schwartz founded Cherry Creek after spending 29 years running radio stations in dozens of markets across the country. He often surfs Chamber of Commerce Web sites in search of struggling stations in towns where the population is growing or where new businesses are taking root. If a market looks like a strong candidate, Schwartz pays a visit. "When you've done this as long as I have," he says, "you get a feel just driving around and looking for new construction, seeing how much dirt they're moving." As soon as Cherry Creek buys a station, it puts its staff through an ad-sales boot camp run by Dan Gittings, 60, who is Schwartz's deputy and a former petty officer in the U.S. Navy. Gittings gathers the managers in a hotel for an intensive two-day workshop. His main message: Go to war with local newspapers. The advertising pie in a typical small market breaks down as follows: 25 percent radio, 25 percent TV, 50 percent newspaper. In markets without a local TV station (there are plenty), the breakdown is more like 33 percent radio, 66 percent newspaper. Radio ad salespeople tend to believe that those percentages are set in stone, Gittings says, and that the easiest way to increase their revenue is to steal from other radio stations - even though many newspapers are vulnerable, with declining circulation and aging readership. Local radio stations aren't known for aggressive ad-sales operations. Gittings helps his charges develop a standard sales pitch, highlighting the strengths of their stations and the weaknesses of local papers. Then he gets them fired up. "Go out and get your accounts to up their ad spending," he urges them. "Go knock on the door of businesses that have never done a radio spot." Targets of opportunity include car dealerships, furniture stores and local outlets of retail chains such as Sears (Charts, Fortune 500) and Wal-Mart (Charts, Fortune 500). Cherry Creek in 2004 bought four stations in and around Lamar, Colo., an agricultural area with about 35,000 inhabitants in the southeastern corner of the state. The stations were in trouble, having posted a revenue decline of around 20 percent over the previous four years. They have since turned around - largely by stealing ad market share from two local papers, says Schwartz - and their revenues rose by about 25 percent last year. Charlie Anderson, a sales manager for the La Junta Tribune-Democrat, conceded that her paper's ad revenues were down in 2006. But she maintained that the drop-off stemmed more from a weak local economy than competition from Cherry Creek. Still, she's well aware of her new rival. "I'd be silly to sit here and tell you I'm not concerned," she said. Cherry Creek rarely gets rid of personnel at the stations it acquires; the company has laid off only two managers so far. The reason: Existing managers are considered an invaluable asset for their ties to the local community. (holy shit, you gotta be kidding me) Ron Korb, 40, was general manager of four stations in and around Great Falls, Mont., when Cherry Creek bought them in 2004, and he retains that title. "They provide - I guess you'd call it 'coaching' - in some key areas," he says, referring to Gittings's boot camps. "In other areas, they don't really breathe down our necks." Notably, Cherry Creek rarely tinkers with a radio station's programming. Most Cherry Creek stations provide plenty of community fare to address the concerns of their small-town audiences. For example, KMON-AM in Great Falls offers country-music standards and agricultural news and talk shows, much as it did under the previous ownership. Other Cherry Creek stations broadcast local staples such as school lunch menus. "Our markets tend to be very down-home and very community-oriented," says Schwartz. "They're not racy, and they're not controversial. Howard Stern would never fly here." But Cherry Hill's go-for-the-jugular sales tactics obviously do.
...IS there hope for this businessI love yet? Let us all pray he is successful.......uh, does he need any help? Sales? On air? Wow, I hope he kicks ass. Good luck to you Mr. Scwartz and please consider this an open invitation... (just kidding, Brian)

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