I have nothing to write about. It happens that way sometimes. It’s like when you’re on the air and you have nothing to say. The only difference is that as a deejay, you can just roll the music. I think it was rule number two in the infamous RKO playing book: “If you can’t say anything, don’t say anything.” Of course, not all jocks have read the playbook. I hear a lot of personalities rambling on with no rhyme or reason. I fear that’s what I’ll be doing. Here. Feel free to stop reading at any time. I’m just filling space.
I started to write about all the rumors that are running rampant through the record industry at the present time. But since I hate rumors, I figured that if I wrote about them, I would only be fostering a position I abhor. Besides, there’s no way I could write about rumors without pissing someone off and during my career, I’ve always tried to take the high road and not make anyone angry. Sure.
Did I say I hated rumors? That isn’t exactly true. Not true at all, as a matter of fact. Every person in our industry will say that they hate rumors. What they mean is that they hate rumors about them or their company. Everyone loves rumors about the competition. We’re quick to spread them. And just as quick to get angry if anyone has the gall to spread something about us.
Unfortunately, we are in an industry that thrives on innuendos, half-truths and outright lies. That’s why Page 6 is so successful (and the pictures we run!). And in our business, more often than not, many of the rumors have a way of turning into fact.
Interesting proposition, huh?
I could have written about the stock market. About how everyone I know has been on this wild ride as the market has set new records almost daily. Of course, I haven’t been a part of it. I sold my stock just before the roof blew off. Now I’m afraid to get back in. It’s like standing at a crap table when a shooter gets on an incredible role. You weren’t in at the beginning and you know as soon as you make a bet, he’ll seven-out.
I bought a house instead. I could have written about that, but I’ve been writing so many checks for the house that I don’t want to write anything else about it. I started to write about my girlfriend. It would have been an invasion of her privacy, but, what the hell, I needed something. I could write about the time we spend together, the tenderness we share, the fun we have, all of the things that happen in a relationship.
But I don’t have a girlfriend.
I could have written about cruising Sunset Boulevard after midnight, searching desperately for a street-walker to chat with, but someone beat me to it.
I could have written about what I’ve been hearing on the radio. It’s almost depressing. The absolute lack of excitement on the dial these days does not bode well for the future of our industry. When will someone in Top 40 step to the front of the milling masses and create a truly, full-service radio station? When will jocks stop reading the same old liners and share something to make the audience want to listen? How long will we stay on that 10-in-a-row format, thinking it’s the be-all and end-all?
I could pose some more questions. Why is the art of counter-programming a lost one? If your competitor is playing 10-in-a-row and stopping at :40 and :50, why should your station do the same? If your competitor stops at :40, why aren’t you sweeping music? That’s the way to have your competitor’s audience sample your station. If you’re playing commercials at the same times as your competitor, you give the audience the perception that you’re doing the same thing. It’s another rule in the RKO handbook that to beat the number one station in your market, you can’t be just as good… you have to be much better. Copying a competitor’s clock isn’t better…it’s the same.
It seems the term “innovative” had been deleted from many programmers’ dictionaries.
I thought about sharing my insight on the O.J. trail, but a quick glance at the magazine racks in the check-out line at the grocery store shows me all the angles have been covered. Besides, I don’t watch the trial on television anymore. I’m too busy coming up with editorial topics.
I could preach the virtues of all of the “smaller” radio stations R&B doesn’t think worthy of reporting status, but we do that every week throughout Network 40 anyhow.
I thought seriously about letting someone else write this column this week. I know WPLJ’s Mike Preston thinks someone else writes it every week. After this weak effort, I’m sure he now knows I write it. I should have had him do this one.
It would have been a natural to write about my passion for golf. I could have told you about driving the green at the par four or the three-iron second shot I hit to within six feet on the par five 18th last weekend. But I missed both eagle putts, so why bother? Besides, there are way too many people in our industry playing golf already. It’s hard enough to find a tee time. I don’t need to give any others the thought that they should take up the game.
Someone told me I write beautiful memorial columns. He was just sad that I’ve had to write so many. So am I. I’m glad I didn’t have to do one of those this week. Is it too much to ask that I never have to do another?
I could have written about the Conclave gathering last week, but I didn’t go. I know that hasn’t stopped me in the past, but his week is different.
What about the future?
I can’t think about the future right now. I’m having enough trouble with the present. At least I’m not worrying about the past. Am I?
I could write about paranoia, but I’m not paranoid. Am I? What have you heard?
So what do you write about when you have nothing to say?
But I told you that at the beginning of this column. At least I didn’t lie. I said you could stop reading at any time. You made the choice to continue.
If you’re still reading, you’ve got way too much time on your hands.