There’s a certain rhythm to going on vacation.
Alexis and I headed south for a few days. It was nice. We went by a live broadcast for Pirate Radio, 101.7 FM and 96.7 FM in Key West. They set up a mixer and a couple speakers in the corner of Two Friends Restaurant on Friday mornings. The host looked and acted like a cross between Ric Federighi and the Preacher.
If you know who those two people are, then you’re more of a WJOB junkie than you ever wanted to be.
I just read through a week’s worth of newspapers. That’s because for several days I unplugged. Have the three or four of you done that in the last 10 years? I haven’t done it for a long time. I even went for runs without my phone. How cavalier.
One thing I’ve been thinking about is where do we go from here with our media molehill. We are coming off a surprisingly successful run of doing live video of high school sectional and regional games. And, of course, we got more than 2.5 million video views last year. We’re getting more views per day this year. Still, I wonder what the next move is.
As you know, two years ago, I went to a streaming video conference and came back with one thing on my mind –
“Stop everything we’re doing. We’re investing almost exclusively in Facebook Live video. It’s the future.”
So there it is. We established ourselves as the leader in Facebook Live video. And Facebook Live video has taken over the world. But where from here? And what about radio?
This is what I thought about all of the time in Florida. As a matter of fact, barely a minute goes by that I don’t think about:
Remember that the whole point of this blog is to preserve what I’m going through, for I represent either the death or rebirth of radio. Or evolution of it. For the three or four of you now, this is an ongoing mystery. We don’t know what’s gonna happen.
But for broadcasting students of the future, this is not a mystery at all. They already know what happened to radio, streaming video, apps, podcasts, web radio, etc. For the people of the future, I can only tell you this:
“I don’t have any idea where media is headed. I’m just along for the ride. Forgive me for these and all my sins.”
“Okay. Say four Hail Marys and three Our Fathers and you can do your radio show in the morning.”
I am Catholic, as the three or four of you know. As a kid, I was like everybody else – scared as hell to go to my first confession.
“Bless me Father, for I have sinned…”
You’d kneel in this box and through this criss-crossed cloth, you could make out the shadow of a priest on the other side. Joey Chruby and I would figure out what confessional the one priest who didn’t speak English went to. Then we’d wait and go to him. He didn’t have any clue what we were saying, nor us him.
“Shee fif er fadders y tree hurl murrays. No go een pizz.”
I did my confessions then, as I do once in a while now. Still, even at this advanced age, I am bothered by a nagging question –
How does the priest decide which prayers you should pray and how many times you should pray it?
This question has bothered me for a long time. I should probably pick up the phone right now and call my cousin Duane. He used to be the mayor of Hammond and now he’s a deacon in the Catholic church. If you’re in the hospital at Franciscan Hammond, and you call for some spiritual guidance, he’s the one who walks in the room. Imagine that.
There are a lot of other questions I’d like answered. Like should I put even more money into Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube video? For the first time, people paid us to advertise directly on Facebook Live. That was for the boys basketball that ended last week. It was an easy sell.
“Hey, we just cut a deal to Facebook Live sectionals in video. You in?”
What’s that tell you? Are advertisers finally starting to come around to Facebook Live as a viable way to promote? Maybe. For a long time, though, when we walked into offices, business owners and marketing people treated us as if were snake oil salesmen.
Really, until recently, no one would pay directly to advertise on Facebook Live video. And now, of course, we’re on Twitter and YouTube and, soon, if I decide to spend the money, on our own website directly. The situation could be changing quickly and dramatically. I have always said that our biggest danger is if a bunch of growth came all at once. I lived that once. I bumbled through the markets as an independent trader for more than a dozen years. Then all of the sudden, in a big whirlwind, I started making gobs of money. I of course lost a lot on the way out of the Chicago Board of Trade. But I will not forget the danger of quick success. I watched it ruin dozens of men and a few women.
Not that I’m thinking that all of the sudden we’re gonna make a bunch of money and I won’t be able to handle it. I’m thinking in another direction. If all of the sudden local businesses started coming to us to advertise directly to streaming video, how would we handle it?
We had a difficult time putting together all that needed to be put together to broadcast from four different sectional sites. We had to gather graphics for the screen and find camera people and deal with athletic directors and get video switchers at the sites and so forth. It was a lot.
What would happen if we pivoted to streaming video because that’s what customers want?
I don’t have an answer for that. For you in the present, it’s a mystery:
You broadcasting students of the future – you know the answers to these questions. You do not, however, know how priests choose the quantity of Our Fathers and Hail Marys. That will remain a mystery forever.
As I write this, I’m smiling.
It’s 10:47 on a cold Wednesday night. On the show this morning, I talked about Dave Dennison and Jackie Sutton. They’re my newest favorite characters.
It’s 11:26pm on a Tuesday night in March. By the time we’re done talking, it’ll be Wednesday. There’s that to look forward to.
I know you hear this a lot, but the world is spinning at a frantic pace. We’re hurling through space in what could be our last days. I’m serious. That’s how I feel. How about you?
To write this blog for the three or four of you, there has to be balance.