Archive for FM Radio

RADIO HYPOCRISY

Posted in Supplements with tags , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by adoseofbuckley

This industry frustrates me so much. I want to see it flourish, I want to hear great material being produced by quality radio hosts, but instead it’s amateur hour all throughout the country as the corporations slash budgets and hire people fresh out of school (or who never even went to school) who aren’t ready to be in front of the mic in markets that should only be hiring seasoned veterans… and I think that’s why the incident I’m about to discuss happened the way it happened.

Recently I was once again exposed to the hypocrisy of certain radio hosts, though not first hand this time (it’s nice to watch one from the bleachers sometimes). You may or may not recall that I once wrote an open letter to a local radio host, which included a scathing review of their work. I took a lot of heat for that, but everything in that letter was the truth, and unfortunately a bunch of people blinded by friendship and loyalty felt they needed to defend what was, at best, first year college-grade work being aired in a medium market on a commercial radio station. This announcer hasn’t gotten any better by the way, they referred to Pat Burns as “alive and well” while he was suffering from cancer… he died about 2 weeks later (yes, very “well” indeed), and within the last couple months badly segued into a contest after discussing a kid who was shot (classy), but see, I’m not allowed to say that, because the radio industry believes they’re immune, that they’re above jokes and criticism, and that we’re all supposed to support each other no matter what, all a bunch of nonsense. So it came as NO surprise to me that my good friends at [Name Withheld because they’ll cry if I put it] were all upset because of the antics of one “Drunk Jock”.

Drunk Jock is the alias of someone apparently working in the business here in Canada, who tweets jokes about the industry and about other radio announcers. Some of his tweets that are deemed less harmful include: “The music director just came in late and now is going for lunch. Makes total sense why he makes more than me!”, way to stick it to middle management… “Jonathan (not) Quick (enough). #blackhawks”, which has nothing to do with radio but seems fitting since it’s the type of not-at-all-funny hockey humour that so many radio hosts probably did after the Kings lost to the Blackhawks, and “Every radio station in the world: Blah Blah Blah something about Friday!”, which, that one actually is mildly humorous because of how often radio announcers talk about the weekend. “Weekend’s comin’ up everyone! Just in case you didn’t know that there are 7 days in a week, 2 of those are classified as the weekend, and that this is a never-ending cyclical process, just thought I’d remind you that we’re approaching the weekend, unless it IS the weekend, in which case, yay! It’s the weekend! Not for me though! I’m in a studio working the easiest job on the planet, feel sorry for me!”… fuck me… But recently, he had made a series of “inappropriate tweets” to a local radio announcer who will remain nameless. “Hey [blank] wanna bone?”, that was posted on June 4th. Then, on June 16th… “Am I watching the #MMVAs? Did [Blank] suck so many dicks that she had to get an operation to handle 10 dicks at once? No. Answer is No”, which resulted in a bit of an exchange that also included one of her co-workers joining in, then Drunk Jock tweeted the next day that he’d “totally let [blank] girly cum all over my shit!”, and wondered why this announcer was so upset considering he was actually paying her a compliment in his own way… and then followed it up with what is apparently his trademark, drawing a penis on their social networking picture. Apparently someone at [place that can’t be named even though they already hate me anyway] actually accused ME of this, which, by the way, thanks, but fuck off. This isn’t my style AT ALL. This guy’s not funny, but that’s probably why he works in radio. This is juvenile playground humour that’s not even close to what I do. And although I don’t defend this behavior, I DO defend his right to do it.

Any radio host offended by all of this is a major hypocrite, unless they’ve absolutely NEVER made a joke, ANY joke, about a celebrity, sports star, politician, or other public figure in their careers. As a radio host, you’re a public figure. You’ve signed up for all the perks and all the pitfalls, you don’t get to pick and choose. During my exchange with the person I wrote the open letter to, they claimed they shouldn’t be criticized, because they aren’t a public figure. Yes you are! You’re on the god damn radio! Strangers can press a button in their car and hear your voice. You may only be a local celebrity, but you ARE a public figure, subject to the same criticism and scrutiny that ALL public figures are. Do you know how long Howard Stern would have lasted if he got all upset the first time someone made fun of him, the first time someone told him he sucked or criticized his work? Not very long. He’d be nobody. That’s a person who can handle the pressures of being a public figure, and I don’t think that’s something that can be taught. You’re not taught in school how to be a star, how to handle everything that goes along with that. You’re only taught how to dish it out. You can learn how to craft a bit, how to write a joke with a beginning, middle and punchline, but how do you train someone to take criticism? I don’t think you can. They have to have a specific attitude, they have to be a little bit arrogant, they have to believe that they’re good at what they do and they can’t let the criticism get to them. Once again, during my exchange with the person who I wrote the open letter to, they confessed to me that they were afraid for the next few weeks to even turn the mic on. Every time they had to press that button they felt a little bit of anxiety. They had no confidence in themselves. That was not my goal, but that just proves that they’re not a person who can be a star. Do you know how much shit I take from people who view my YouTube channel? I get a lot of positive feedback, way more than the negative, but I get A LOT of negative feedback. Because of the nature of my work (as well as the nature of the Internet where you can hide behind an alias), I get called every name you can think of. I get people telling me they want to kill me, people saying they’d punch me in the face if they ever met me, people questioning my sexual orientation and telling me to suck their dicks… hell sometimes I get people who LIKE my work telling me that if I were gay they’d let me fuck them. Then I get the “haters” who just tell me that I’m “annoying”, that they don’t like the sound of my voice, and that my opinions are shitty because they don’t match their opinions. I take all that abuse and I do it for free, just because I like entertaining people with my brand of angry humour, I’m not even getting paid (although if you ask a lot of radio hosts they’ll tell you they feel like they’re not getting paid either). And if I hadn’t been able to handle it, I would never have seen my channel grow to 260,000+ subscribers, over a quarter-million people waiting every week to hear my opinions about whatever the hell I feel like talking about that week. I don’t get upset about it, I’d be a complete hypocrite if I did since most of my material is about being critical of celebrities and social behavior. And that’s what is happening here.

I’m sure someone will say “Umm, I never made a joke on air about some girl sucking a bunch of dicks and asking to fuck her”, and I’m sure you haven’t or you wouldn’t have a job, but have you ever made a joke about Taylor Swift being boy-crazy, or the loose… umm… morals (yeah, lets go with “morals”, that’s radio friendly) of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, the Teen Mom with the sex tape, even Pam Anderson back in the day? Have you been talking shit about Rob Ford despite the fact that the alleged “crack smoking” video has yet to be made public? Have you ever made a joke about a celebrity at all? If not, I commend you. Your shows are probably really boring, but I commend you for being the king or queen of morality that we should all look up to and try to be like, and I hope your Christian Radio station gets that 50 watt upgrade approved by the CRTC soon. But that’s what I hear on commercial radio in this city and every city I’ve ever visited: Jokes about celebrities and public figures. Many announcers have entire segments devoted to it, I forget which station was doing a segment in the mornings called “Celebrity Sleaze”, an afternoon drive host had a segment called the “Daily Need to Know” which was usually celebrity jokes. Then you’ve got local politicians getting as close to slandered as you can without a lawsuit. Our mayor at the time, her husband was arrested for drinking and driving and local radio went to fucking town on that guy well before he was convicted… of course, he WAS guilty, but he wasn’t proven guilty when the jokes were being made about him being a drunk. Our current mayor is accused of stealing money from the city, guess who’s taking a verbal shit-kicking now? OH, but you can’t talk shit about a radio announcer, it’s only a one way street right? Yes, you can, and no, it’s not. You’re a public figure, you should expect it. Time to grow up. You’re getting upset about someone making some crude sexual jokes about you on Twitter? You can’t handle it if someone is critical of your work, whether that person happens to be in the industry or is just someone who listens to the radio? If so, you’re not fit for the business of being a celebrity. Pack it in. The colleges are spitting out hundreds of grads a year to fight over a handful of jobs, I’m sure any one of them would be happy to have yours.

– Buckley

Epilogue: “Drunk Jock” deleted his Facebook and Twitter, I assume because of the backlash regarding this incident. Guess he wasn’t fit to be a celebrity either. And again, whoever accused me of being him… A) grow a pair and don’t talk behind my back (there are so many ways you can contact me, and half a dozen people in that building who know me personally if for some reason you can’t figure out how Google works) and B) know that I will ALWAYS put my name on everything I have to say. I won’t hide behind an alias. I don’t need to.

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How NOT to Get a Job in Radio – #2

Posted in Supplements with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by adoseofbuckley

Most people who will read this know the story by now, but for those who are checking out my work for the first time, here’s the abridged version: Milkman Unlimited, Canada’s top resource for the radio industry, allows visitors to post a short blurb advertising themselves as available to work in the radio broadcast business. A lot of them are good, but some of them are absolutely terrible. So, I get the idea to create a presentation using the terrible ads as examples. “How NOT to Get a Job in Radio” was born.

After links to the original video were posted on Milkman’s website, the RadioWest message board, and all over Facebook, I started getting e-mails asking when I’d make another one. So, here it is – another video explaining the things to avoid when presenting yourself to a potential new employer. This is “How NOT to Get a Job in Radio Part 2”

How Not To Get A Job In Radio: Tell People You’ll Change The Format

Posted in Supplements with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by adoseofbuckley

As I start preparing for my next edition of “How Not To Get A Job In Radio”, I thought I’d give you a little teaser. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, last February I put together a 6 minute presentation (found here), using examples from the website Milkman Unlimited (the top site in Canada for radio professionals looking for work, basically the Monster.com of Radio). People post that they’re looking for work in one section called “Talent 4 Hire”, and often times they’re so awful, I wonder if PDs ever e-mail them to say “go back to school, there’s still time to try something else”. The presentation got me a lot of exposure, for better or worse (a little of both), and I’ve decided to do a second one, which will be released in the next month or two. In the mean time…

This posting, which I won’t be using in my next video, is actually a better example of WHY you shouldn’t attempt to get a job in radio (if you have the same attitude as this guy), though it’s still a pretty good example of how not to get a job in radio:


The text:

I love radio, but I’m way more about the music than getting famous. I can stand some pop, some country, some Indi, but quite frankly, those genres usually end up boring me and I feel let down.

But a revolution is coming – it’s just a matter of time. Electronic music (the real stuff mean) is coming, and nobody will know what hit them. If you’re a station manager who agrees with my prophecy, I would really like to hear from you – traditional broadcast, online or both. I would be honored to assist with the metamorphosis. Don’t kid yourself. A new format is on the way.

Cheers,
“Acadianboy”

When I first went back to school to take radio, everyone had to stand up and give a short introduction, and explain why they wanted to be in radio. Three losers stood up and said “because I don’t like the music on the radio, and I want to change it”. Every person that said that made the teachers cringe, and every person that said that also was out halfway through first semester. Why? Because you’re taught in school VERY quickly that commercial radio plays commercial music. Of course it does, that’s the only chance it has left of being viable.

Imagine this scenario: a niche genre, liked by 5% of the population of a city (at best), is chosen as the format of a new local radio station. Of course, that 5% of the population doesn’t currently listen to the radio, and they won’t, because a) their genre was not very well represented to begin with, and b) because radio stations have ads, people talking, weather updates, and all the stuff that gets in the way of the music, which is all the fans of this niche genre care about, they don’t care about the other stuff. What happens to the local radio station? They fold immediately, or start playing more mainstream music which annoys the few listeners that were tuning in, new listeners come along but turn off the radio anytime something that’s not mainstream comes on, and the station still folds. When this guy refers to “Electronic Music”, he’s not referring to Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, or the huge number of pop artists that don’t use a single proper instrument in any of their recordings. He’s even most likely not referring to the Chemical Brothers or Darude, artists who have SOME popularity but are more dance than “Electronica”. No, when he says “the real stuff mean” (what?), he’s probably talking about a bunch of underground club DJ nonsense that no one cares about aside from a few ravers too drugged up to realize the same loop has been playing for 45 minutes.

Of course, there’s the people that think “well, if it played on the radio, it’d be popular”. It doesn’t work like that though. Mainstream music is just that because of the “it” factor, as well as a lot of marketing dollars that go into promoting people to make them famous, putting them and their songs on TV and in advertisements so that you’re being bombarded by that artist, and not liking that artist or their music is pretty much the same thing as not liking sex. You don’t like sex? What’s wrong with you? On the other hand, liking anything that’s not mainstream makes you some sort of nerd that wastes all his or her time looking up obscure music instead of getting laid. Why? You don’t like sex? What’s wrong with you?

The other part that I enjoy… who is this guy? Why would a station program director need “Acadian Boy”? If I was a station owner, and was on the same glue as this kid, and believed this “prophecy” that a “revolution” is coming, why wouldn’t I just create the station? Why do I need this kid? There’s lots of resources and ways to determine what songs you should have on your radio station if you are going to go with some sort of niche format. Hell, just search “Electronica” in iTunes. Done, station created. Thanks for letting us know about the “revolution”, Acadian Boy, you can listen to the station on your way to your job stocking shelves at Wal-mart.

This is great, free, advice for any of you looking to get into the radio business because you think you can “change it”: You can’t. Radio is run by the same old white guys in suits who only care about the bottom line as the music industry. Start a podcast if you really want to try and get people to listen to this stuff, but don’t think you’re going to go to a commercial radio station and tell someone who’s been in the industry since you were born how to run their business. You’ll just be laughed out the door.

As for Acadian Boy? We’ll see who’s “kidding themselves” when I’m still working and he’s still unemployed. The only place this format MIGHT work in Canada is in Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver, and even then it’s doubtful with the dance stations that already exist. It’s not a format (let alone a new one), it’s a two hour show on Campus Radio, at best.

Bad Head – Edition 2

Posted in Supplements with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by adoseofbuckley

What happens when you take poorly written headlines and add poorly written jokes written in poor taste? You get Bad Head!

My second edition of Bad Head, all of the headlines taken from various newspapers from the week of June 20 to the 25th, 2010. My personal favourites: The Spain rail crossing incident, and the “Suspected Tornado”.

How NOT to Get a Job in the Radio Broadcasting Industry

Posted in A Dose of Buckley, Supplements with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2010 by adoseofbuckley

Have you ever wondered how to get a job in the radio broadcasting industry? Well… I’ve got some tips for you this week on how NOT to get into the industry. If your goal is to get a job as a radio host/announcer/producer/writer, then you’ll want to take notes. If your goal is to fail at getting a job in the business, then you’ll probably watch this video and say “I didn’t see any problems”.

My thanks to Milkman Unlimited for providing me with an excellent source of entertainment!

More of my brand of angry comedy at A Dose of Buckley