8:10am on Friday.
I get a 45-minute break from the show on Fridays as Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott and his host Kevin Smith buy the time. It's a nice break, and usually I go eat some breakfast. Today though I got up early and fried up some eggs before the show so this is what the three or four of you get - an IN-SHOW blog. I go back on the air in 20 minutes.
My high school football coach, John Friend, came in the studio this morning. That always makes me sit up a little straighter. Ryan told me that my hair was sticking straight up in the air, so, since my crewcut-wearing high school football coach was sitting in the guest chair, I snuck in the bathroom and wet down my hair.
With water from the faucet, not spit. If you carry around stinky gargantuan breath most of time, it makes your hair smell. So I quit using spit.
Right now, I'm typing this in the producer's booth while McDermott and Smith (steakhouse?) talk about all the death around.
Literally, in the past two weeks, I've known six people who have passed away. I don't want to go into it, but it's been a tough time.
Amen, brother. I feel it, too. There's been a ton of traffic accidents this week. Dozens of people have called in or texted with accidents, long before they make it to the Chicago traffic grids on the computer. We've probably spent a good on third of this week's shows talking about accident.s That's what we do. Traffic trumps all.
And it hasn't just been humans dying. Yesterday, Dana Drew called in to talk about how her three dogs got out of her yard and into the neighbor's... and he shot all three and then burned the bodies. You could hear the anguish in Dana's voice, and the anger. I'd be the same way, too, I suppose, if someone shot Abby and Henry... and then snapped a photo of the carcasses and sent it to me. Life sucks and then you die, even if you're a loyal yard dog.
Today, I did a story about 65 cats removed from a house in Lake Station. Sores, emaciated, and some could barely breathe. There were also four dogs and a pet raccoon. How do you keep a pet raccoon around 65 cats and four dogs. One lonely muthatruckin raccoon.
... Coach Friend did have my back this morning, by the way. The three or four of you know how I make fun of myself about being a "superior athlete." And how Matt "Money" Smith did a promo from LA about how I carry around my trophies in the trunk of my car. I'm a running joke to myself and the three or four of you about my athletic prowess.
Caller Bob called in - "Coach, Dedelow tells everyone he was such a superior athlete? Is that true? And if so, have the standards changed that much over the years?"
Coach Friend - "Jim was part of a talented class of athletes. Jim played three sports and won the 'Athlete of the Year' award. So, yes, Jim was a fine, all-around athlete."
Can you believe that? John Friend, who was just the honoree at the 70th annual Gary Oldtimes Athletic Banquet, said that I was "a fine, all-around athlete." That made my day, punk. I mean, Granola Bob.
Mayor McDermott's making jokes about "hey, hey, hey" from Fat Albert. Caller Kris says - "Hey, don't forget about Weird Harold." Local radio rolls on. All local radio is good. Just some is better than others. I go on in five minutes and nothing more to say to the three or four of you that I can't say on the air. Got any ideas of what I can talk about for the last half hour?
Just worked out at Planet Fitness and I should probably not mention them because they don't advertise, but what the heck, it's only you three or four anyhows.
The new WJOB studios are a quiet place when station manager Debbie Wargo and my sister, finance director Jen (Dedelow) Foreit aren't around. Ryan Walsh is gone, too. It'll go from quiet to rock and roll in a little bit as Geno Sferruzza and his "Region Bandstand" takes over the studio right in front of me. A "Distribution International" truck just went by on the Boulevard. So did a "Hub Group" red semi. All is well in the Region.
Quiet to... people. Geno arrived and is setting up in the studio. And my sister just walked in the door with my veggie burrito. We don't do much small talk, my sister and I. Two hard-asses in one conversation a communication does not make.
Geno (noon to 1pm) and Harlow (4-6pm) and Kubic (10pm to midnight) and I (5:30am to 9:30 or so) and Debbie met yesterday to figure out what we could do to discover a better rhythm to the WJOB listening day. Here's what we came up with:
1. We set up a group email so that we can all update what each other has on their upcoming show that day or the next morning. That way each host can promo live the other shows. Each host has to make an effort to do so, of course. We'll see how that works out.
2. Each host also agreed to make four ten-second promos that will play throughout the day. This is something we do not do now. We just don't promo the live, local shows enough. When Laura Ingraham is talking about how much she hates what President Obama has done to this country, we should be following it up with promos for live, local shows later in the day. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that the reason that Laura Ingraham is on WJOB is to do just that.
These are small steps. Better promo of shows during other live shows. Better promo of shows during network and sports programming. Better rhythm altogether, at least I hope so. I don't claim to be a wunderkind radio programmer. I'm just not that good at it. We had to arrive at where we are through trial and error, not vision and execution. Contractor Steel company just sent two really huge coil haulers down the Boulevard. Welcome to the Region.