Monday started with news of a murder. According to the instruments we have, namely what police say came from a surveillance camera, there was a basketball game going on at Nunez Park in East Chicago. Two 17-year-olds got into it. One shot at the other, who ducked. The bullet kept going until it hit the head of David Anderson, an 11-year-old. He died.
Equally distressing was the report of a couple in Griffith who brought their baby to the emergency room with ribs broken in 35 places, brain damage, bruises and hemorraghing.
With all of this going on, I couldn’t bring myself to talk about the woman in Hobart police suspect killed people and may have served their remains as barbecue.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can get to the nitty gritty. Local radio is good and pure and beautiful, until it isn’t.
Murder, beating a child,
the eating of a man.
You try to make this
but you never can.
I tell the world what happened.
We review it together.
But when it’s like this,
it gives me no pleasure.
People kill people, people
The news should be concise,
accurate and lean.
There’s a lot of reasons that I
I like to talk to people. I like
a full studio.
But bad news is bad news.
It gets you down.
I’d rather be a poet, a teacher,
an upside down clown.
I know that we should talk every day, the three or four of you and me, or at least every other day. But I’m having trouble with my end of the bargain. Something is holding me back. To write reasonably, I have to be at least a little balanced. Body, mind, soul. They have to come together to be able to communicate like a sphinx, a sphincter or lynx. You have to be balanced to do good. Brush your teeth before bed. You know you should.
The lies that you tell echo in your ears
after you go to bed and there are no tears.
You’re falling, grabbing for something to
hold onto. It’s a huge cavern. You’ve driven
off a bridge or got pushed off
a ledge by a former girlfriend. You deserved
it, but still, wouldn’t it be nice to wake up
before you hit bottom?
Without the will to change who you are,
you’re left with yourself. In the mirror,
you look like an older version of yourself
who just woke up. The eyes still search.
It’s the skin on the cheeks that sags. You
could try to change things, but no amount
of Noxzema is gonna change the fact that
you are who you are, right brain and all.
I went to the Streaming Media East conference last week in New York City. It confirmed what we are doing, which is trying all sorts of things with streaming video. It’s fun and a lot of people are watching.
The challenge is to know if what you are experiencing is similar to what other video streamers are. And the answer is a resounding yes. One thing we all agree on is that streaming video is extremely fragmented. You really don’t know where to stream your content to. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and your own website. There’s also other websites you can stream to.
Many content creators stream to several different sites. This is what we do also. We may be reaching as many people now than we have reached in the 14 years that we have owned WJOB.
The challenge is that fragmented media is difficult to sell to advertisers. They don’t understand the value of getting some of your viewers on Twitter, some on Youtube, some on Facebook, etc. Pretty soon we’ll stream to our own website and that will further fragment our video.
Add into the mix that the same content that streams in video often also runs in audio on AM 1230 WJOB and 104.7 FM off of the 400-foot tower. You see how it’s confusing? Are you confused?
I have thought about this a lot, and so have a lot of other streaming video creators. There’s a lot of ideas out there. Here’s a couple.
So there’s the challenges ahead. Ultimately, streaming video creators across the country are facing a shared experience. We know that we are creating things that are magical and that will eventually take over the world. Meanwhile, we have a hard time selling advertising or subscriptions.
Oh, that’s another thing that I’m going to have to consider. Why does it always have to be ad revenue that supports WJOB? Is there other NTR (non-traditional revenue) that we can develop? Subscriptions would be a possibility. In the end, local people are loyal to WJOB. Would they contribute, say, five bucks a month to jedstream.com? If so, how many contributors would we need to make it worthwhile? 100? 500? 10,000?
What if we had 1,000 supporters at five bucks a month? That would be 60-grand a year. That’s a good start. It’s way more than we’re getting on the video right now.
As you can tell, the visit to Streaming Media East has my head spinning. I sense that we are on the cusp of something magical with our streaming video. We have a lot of creative people making a ton of videos. Just go to jedstream.com and hit the “shows” tab. When you see it laid out for you, it’s a damn lot of shows to watch. Are they all good shows? No. But are we getting better at doing live video of local talk shows and local sporting and news and entertainment events? Yes we are. It’s only a matter of time before the local business community discovers us.
Ah, but that happened on Friday. Debbie Wargo and I went into a sales meeting. We laid out all of the tradition of WJOB radio and how we are such a large part of the fabric of the Region community. We told of our talent and our pricing. And then we put forth a proposal that led with radio and offered on the back end some streaming video as a bonus.
“That’s really nice,” the woman said. “But we watch your video all the time around here, and we want to sponsor that.”
This was a real eye opener for us. It had not happened so directly before. This woman knew what she was doing. She is an anomaly. Most of the time when we go into a sales meeting and start talking about streaming video, the buyer’s eyes glaze over. Something has to give. The meeting on Friday was a good start. I had to rewrite the proposal to lead off with video as the main sell. I hope it signs.
That should do it for now. I really am a little turned around when I come in on a Monday morning and have to talk about the murder of an 11-year-old, the ongoing beating of a baby, and the eating of a man. It’s my job. I’m the radio guy for northwest Indiana and the south end of Chicago. There’s a lot of violence and meanness and sadness and loneliness that we have to cover. It doesn’t mean, though, that we can’t have a few laughs along the way. I hope that’s the case tomorrow. I really do.