Wasting time working
Accomplishing stuff you
wanna tell yourself is
important. But in the end
it’s all just stuff to do.
Avoid boredom at all costs.
When you’re sitting in
the backyard drinking
a beer on a sunny day –
as you watch the sprinkler
throw water into the air
and then you watch it land –
as you’re doing all of this,
think about what color
your personality would be
if you could see it.
Would you be purple?
It’s the color a priest wears
and so do Deadheads.
How bout green?
There’s so much green,
from Timbuktu to
Thailand, that you could
lay down in a feel and
be invisible. However
appealing that sounds,
after a while someone
would come by and
mow the lawn and you’d
Would you be blue?
Not sad, dark blue like
in that blues joint on 57th
by the University of Chicago.
No. Sky blue and ocean blue.
Sometimes they’re the same
and sometimes they’re different,
but when it’s all said and done
there’s more blue than there
is anything else in the world.
Perhaps you want to be in
There’s a lot of brown in the
world, too. If you had enough
money, you could go up in a
spaceship and look down at
the Rocky Mountains. They’re
brown except for a little
white on their bald spots right
at the top, especially in summer.
When it’s warm, there’s more
brown than white. It’s that way
with people, too.
Purple, brown blue and green.
If you’re confused,
I know what you mean.
There’s so many colors to hope for.
By the time you figure out what
color you wanna be, you’ll be
rotting in an airtight casket
in a cemetery by the
interstate. So quit worrying
My name is Jim Dedelow. I write a blog to the three or four of you about My Radio Life. I am grateful that you exist and stay with me. Sometimes I forsake you by working My Radio Life too much. That’s happening now. But you’re still here. Thanks.
I have a lot of radio thoughts that I think about. As a matter of fact, the wife and I were just sitting in the backyard watching the sprinkler throw water at the flowers. She sat on her beach chair and me on mine. It was a perfect moment. I can’t believe it sometimes. I set out to be alone and tortured. I wound up sitting in my backyard admiring the wife’s begonias.
“Dead air again. Aren’t Region Flashbacks supposed to be playing?” That’s the text I got from Rich Christakes, the guy who owns Alsip Home and Nursery. He never stops listening to WJOB. We have one of these alarms that you put on your transmitter that calls you if you stop broadcasting. I don’t really need it. The moment we go off the air, Rich texts me. And so do a few other loyalists like Mad Mac, my dad, my brother Brian and my uncle Danny. They’re watching out for me while I admire the begonias.
Some of you want to know how the Experiment is going. You know, the one in which I take 20 grand and spend it on Purdue students and software and apps and the sort to make a marketing team for streaming video, innovation and radio.
Doesn’t that sound like a non-sequitir? How can “radio” be in the same sentence as “innovation” or “venture capital?” It doesn’t make any sense. There hasn’t been any major radio innovation in a hunnerd years, as my friends from Hegewisch and the East Side would say. Life is good if you let it be. Admire the different accents in the Chicago area and you will never be bored.
I hired three people – Mark, Christina and Daria. They all met the criteria.
“Did you take Matt Hanson’s Ad Campaings class?”
“Yes I did.”
“Then you’re hired.”
It’s not just that Matt and I get along, it’s that if they could make it through his award-winning class, then I know I don’t have to teach them any of the basics of marketing. As a matter of fact, they’ll probably wind up teaching me.
The team is assembled. The mission?
The mission is to take advantage of the success that we have had in streaming video, to establish a marketing team and to start taking in some sponsorship of the millions of views that we have earned.
And, yes, we have earned them. I am proud of the team that I have coddled together. In the beginning, it was me getting almost all of the views. Now, I’m a laggard and glad to be so.
Take this weekend. Ryan Walsh, Jimmy Mullaney, Sam Michel and team broadcasted the high school baseball Regionals. Thousands of views. Tony Panek broadcasted from “Live in the Ville” in Hammond – thousands. Rick Kubic, who is leading the creative charge, showed up at Chuck Kreisl’s Harley Davidson and interviewed a bunch of bikers.
These are all done without my direction. And it’s got me thinking about something.
What is our strength?
For the longest time, I thought it was the brand of WJOB. It’s been around since 1924. WJOB is as much a part of the Region and the people themselves. We are the Region. This should account for something.
But, once again, it’s tough to butter your bread from a longtime brand if you’re not constantly reinventing it. The brand only goes so far. You need some content, some meat.
I guess what I’m trying to get to is that, right now, our strength is our people. It’s the people who work here and the interns we have over the summer and the creative yahoos who listen to us and contribute video, texts, phone calls and photos. It’s a team, an extended team.
In terms of the marketing experiment, it was really pretty easy to find three really talented young people and get them to participate in the Experiment. Since we’re on the campus, there’s talented young people all around.
As a matter of fact, Alexis and I went to the Beaux Arts Ball on Friday night. It’s a black tie event that attracts some of the hoy polloyest people in the Calumet Region. I sat right next to Cal Bellamy, the noted banker and lawyer.
“Our biggest export has always been talent,” Cal shouted at me. He’s in his mid-70s now and like a lot of old guys, he shouts.
“It’s a shame. Our best and brightest leave us in droves,” Cal said, er, yelled.
This got me thinking. I have a good dozen young and old innovators working in some form or another for me at WJOB. That’s on the broadcasting side. Now, I have this team of three on the marketing side also. What am I gonna do with it?
My first inclination is to say this – Nothing.
As a trader, if I learned one thing it is that you let the market take you where it wants to go. No kidding. If you stand there in the pit – which you can’t do anymore because the pits are gone – and you wait for the bell to ring… and you clear your mind and you just let the market take you where it wants to go…
You may or may not make any money by following this form of meditation and cosmic egg theory, but at least you’ll have some fun. And you’ll learn something. If you get quiet enough amongst the chaos, the market will whisper something to you. I won’t tell you the kinds of things that me markets whispered to me – you’ll think I’m crazy – but if you believe in the whisper then you’ll hear it.
I guess that’s where I’m at with this streaming video and radio thing. I sense strongly that we are on the verge of doing some really beautiful things. I just don’t know what they are yet.
It comes back to this – if you’re where you should be, doing what you should be doing, then sometimes begonias pop out of the ground and the next door neighbor finishes mowing his lawn. Sometimes you put bread in the toaster and it comes out just right, brown and crusty. Sometimes you turn on the TV and you catch a home run by Schwarber, live. Sometimes you take a shower and no one else is doing so in the house and the water comes out hot and forceful. Listen to the water. Listen to the whisper. Hope like hell that you didn’t do too many bad things in your life to keep you out of heaven.