This morning was not an easy show . It’s a Monday. That usually means there’s not a lot of news to work off of over the weekend and you have to put the show on your back and carry it across the roadside ditch.
But that wasn’t the case today. There was plenty of news, all of it bad. A police officer killed and an actor crushed beneath a semi in front of a Target. You know going in that some shows are gonna be tough to do and you do them anyways. Callers don’t call when it’s death. It’s hard to talk about the best pizza in the Region on the heels of the details about a police officer getting ambushed and shot in the neck and head.
You go to break and look for other, lighter news to take the sting away. But you can’t look away. You return to tragedy because that’s what you think people want to hear about. And they do. They just don’t want to talk about it. They want to listen to you talk about it.
After the show, Communications 357 came into the WJOB studios and Instructor Joe and I gave them a “sink or swim” on the air. A group of three students would go live for ten minutes on the air and then another group and another. Five groups in all. I produced the whole thing, told listeners they were witnessing education history, pioneers. Live education on the air. Talking for grades, performing for merit. And each and every student – I’m not making this up – was equal to the challenge.
We got some complaints. Here’s one – “You have got to be getting a shitload of $$$ from Purdue Cal in order to be subjecting the listeners to this.”
It was my idea to put the kids on the air. Joe came up with the format. Afterwards, I put each group live on the air with me for four minutes, asked them how they felt and what they learned. Break-throughs all around. They learned something today. If you listened, you could feel it. Radio is magic if you want it to be.
And, no, I didn’t get a shitload of money from Purdue Cal. If I gotta explain why that’s not the point, you weren’t gonna get it anyways.