Even local radio guys have to take a short break. Today Alexis and I snuck out late afternoon for a movie, "Southpaw" with Jake Gylenhall and Forest Whitaker. Pretty good. I almost cried and Alexis certainly did.
She didn't cry this morning on the air, though. Alexis comes on with me Fridays and we talk about crap going on around the Calumet Region. We also talk a little about stuff going on in our own lives and that makes us like a real Region couple and I suppose that brings us closer to some.. and then there are others who wanna puke up their recently-devoured breakfasts.
Hammond mayor Tom McDermott also came on with me this morning, and he said the most interesting thing - that he didn't want to agree to guarantee to raise $270,000 to bring Hillary Clinton to Hammond. McDermott said that last time around in 2008 it was all about getting to know Tom McDermott for the votes. This time, it's all about the money.
McDermott's statement brings up an interesting question - Does Hillary Clinton really only come if you'll guarantee so much money raised for her campaign? And what about the other day when Alexis and I went to see Jeb Bush, Jr., talk. He made a joke about the big checks people are gonna write that night and where the money's gonna go... So what does that mean? Does that mean the host of the shindig had to guarantee so much money raised? Is that how this stuff works for both parties? Or is it only Hillary Clinton doing the demanding?
I have no f***ing idea, and really wouldn't care except that if you're a local radio guy or gal you want to know how EVERYTHING works. If you're in radio, then you have this natural curiosity and you bring it to the air. You've heard it said that radio runs on free speech or solid programming or a dynamite marketing department. But for me, it runs on the fumes of curiosity. And I really don't know if presidential candidates demand a guarantee of hundreds of thousands of dollars, as McDermott suggests, of if he got it wrong. Maybe McDermott was at a bar and could barely hear his phone and instead of "two-hundred and seventy thousand dollars," the Hillary handler said, "you stunned her and tentatively bought her doll hairs." Or something like that.
For now, you radio heads, it's a Friday night after a long week of radio. And if you own the damn station and you talk on the air almost every day, then you know that the week isn't over by a long shot. As you know, we have temporarily moved out of the dungeon-like studios where WJOB has broadcasted from for 60 years. We landed in a big room at the brand new Purdue Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center. In the meantime, we're building more permanent "teaching studios" in the Purdue Center.
The teaching studios are almost finished. So I've decided we should move back to the dungeon for a month while we move out of the temporary studios across the building to the new studios. And you should see these new f***ing studios. They're amazing. Carpet, production room, floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, two of them looking right out on to Indianapolis Boulevard. I designed all this crap, so there's an angle for the camera (remember, this blog is about the end of radio and the rebirth of... something else like radio)... an angle for the camera to see me in the front with my headphones on, the Purdue Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center sign in the background, the WJOB sign in the background, a zillion trucks a morning coming out of the refineries and steel mills, and the 400-foot WJOB tower in the background. If we can get the lighting right, and there's no guarantee that we can since we're radio people and not TV people, then it should be a kick-ass visual. One that's not only kinda cool but also says a lot about the Calumet Region of Indiana and Illinois.
I suppose you could say it's an exciting time to be WJOB. I guess so, but if you're in radio then you know how much f***ing work it is to keep an existing studio running efficiently, let alone design and move into a new one. That means I'll be up early at the old studio making sure it can still house our broadcasting for a month. That's about how long I figure it'll take me (and it's almost all ME doing it, control freak and cheap) to wire everything and put in the cameras and sell enough sponsorships to pay for it all and then worry about shielding from the truck traffic noise.
A word to you radio people about the truck traffic noise. We'll be broadcasting in front of huge windows on two sides not more than 20 feet from one of the most truck-travelled local roads in Indiana. In the morning, these huge box trucks and flatbed steel haulers and lowboys hauling cranes all leave to go deliver their shit. If you're into big trucks, it's a great place to just sit and gaze out the window. These trucks are as huge as they are beautiful.
But these trucks are also loud as hell. And their rumble seeps through the molding around the windows or maybe even through the windows themselves... and if you stand where the studio's gonna be, you can hear them. Or more like feel their vibrations. What we need to do is spend about 20-grand per huge window and cover them with soundproof, angled glass. We've done the research. There's a ton of ways to do it but the best way is gonna cost tens of thousands of dollars.
But I have a better idea. How about we do nothing for now? That way when you're listening every once in a while you can hear the roar of an 18-wheeler in the background. It'll sound like I'm standing right next to it and how cool is that? We are, of course, the most industrial radio station on the planet, stuck in the middle of massive steel mills, refineries, finishing mills, chemical plants and even a few automobile assembly plants. After a few generations of it, you find beauty in it, in both sight and sound.