8:30am on a Saturday morning in October in the Midwest among leaves just about to change colors.
Radio never stops needing to be bottle fed. That's the secret that nobody tells you while you romanticize about owning your own station and doing it the right way. Nobody sits you down and says - hey, you're gonna be working on this radio thing for a good 60 hours a week and even that might not be enough.
You take the challenge anyhows. After all, it's radio. All radio is good, just some is better than others. This is a variation on the old trading slogan - all trades are good, just some are better than others. The idea is that I have forsaken this blog that nobody reads so that I could immerse myself in the radio life of frittered detail, quiet desperation brought on by not being able to meander through the woods peacefully on a weekday. That's a transcendentalism reference. Nobody thinks about transcendentalism anymore. Who in their right mind would go live in a woods just to see what it's like. And then write about it?
Radio is in transition - we lose on average six percent of time spent listening (TSL) every year - and so am I. For the past 11 years we've been running pretty standard radio. A morning show - ME - and an afternoon show and nighttime local show and a bunch of high school and college and NFL sports. It's pretty cool stuff in a traditional sort of way and I'm proud of it as far as that goes.
But I still get the sense that I'm missing something. For a long time as a trader, trying to figure out what to buy next, I would stand in the pits and think of this little birdie on my shoulder and that if I could just get myself quiet enough amongst all the shouting and sweating and waving, then maybe I could hear what the birdie was trying to tell me. That's pretty much how it is these days, I suppose.
We have this radio station and these amazing new studios in a college campus building, and I've got this fairly listened-to morning show. And I'll finish this later. My hot Mexican wife just made me a veggie omelette with salsa and wheat toast. If it's like the thousands of breakfasts before it, it'll taste amazing, better than any Chi-chi's you've ever been to.
... It was amazing, although Alexis took the shortcut of not cutting up all of the vegetables. Fluffy scrambled eggs with cheese and some homemade salsa and fresh wheat bread with tons of Land o' Lakes butter. Tropicana 50 orange juice... and a little fresh melon on the end. Nice.
So the decision today is centered on radio and sports, my two favorite things in the world behind family and Grateful Dead and running golf. Alexis and I are two empty-nesters trying to figure out how to deal with that situation... and we have no plans today. But we have options:
1. Eric Salzeider's sectional soccer final at East Chicago. Our friends' kid Eric scores goals for Munster and I really would like to see him play at East Chicago, tucked next to the ship canal and several chemical factories. We won't be broadcasting the games so it's the least we could do.
2. Minnesota at Purdue. We will be broadcasting the Purdue game at 2:30pm central time. We've been doing Purdue games since before there was a Purdue network. In the 1960s WJOB announcers would drive the hour and a half to Lafayette and broadcast the game themselves. We have standing media passes to go to the games so Alexis and I thought - why not?
3. Cubs at St. Louis. We're in the middle of Cubs mania, and I posed the question to Alexis last night - Why don't we just drive to St. Louis and pick up a couple tickets and see the Cubs win game two? Tickets for game 3 on Monday at Wrigley cost thousands, but in St. Louis you can see the game for around 150.
4. Navy at Notre Dame. Will Glaros just emailed me a few minutes ago and said he had two extras for Navy at Notre Dame - We'll meet you in the lot by the ACC and we can tailgate there.
Here's our radio schedule today. First it's the IU game at 11. I forget who they're playing. And then we'll forego the IU post game show and go straight tot he Minnesota at Purdue game. Tomorrow we have the Patriots at Dallas. It's a lot of football and since we'll be doing network games, I was supposed to meet with an engineer to work on a Barix connection at 11am at the new studio. Not gonna do it. I'm not sure if we're gonna go to a high school soccer game or the Minnesota at Purdue college football game or the Cubs at St. Louis baseball game or Navy at Notre Dame in South Bend... but whatever it is, I'm not gonna sit in the station all afternoon trying to figure out a short in the IP audio system. Not gonna do it. It's just too freaking nice out.