Is it possible that if you flood the country with guns that sooner or later a certain percentage of Americans are just gonna start shooting?
I ask this question as I prepare for another Monday morning radio show. Let's recount recent misery:
It's Sunday morning and this isn't gonna sound like much, but I just figured out how to embed a Facebook video into this blog for the three or four of you. It took a while.
Yesterday I did four Facebook Live videos. The first one, above, is when I ran into my uncle Danny and my brother Brian at nephews Allan and Carter's baseball games. Al played one field and Carter on an adjacent one, so my baseball-crazy brother and uncle stood between the two fields and watched both games.
After that I rushed over to Van Til's grocery store in Hessville and did a quick like Facebook Live video with Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell. I took my daughter Jeanie's advice to keep the videos short, but with Earl we probably could have done a little bit more. After that, I drove over to BlueTop Drive-In on US 41 in Highland. The place started in 1939. WJOB's Big George was doing a live broadcast amongst the hot rods and muscle cars and that was kinda cool. I ate a chicken Philly there that was to die for. It's Sunday and I really don't feel like creating anything like a blog entry or a live video or any radio... but you never know. The Moon and Sixpence, you know, just got to paint. Just got to express.
It's Saturday morning and in the past week or so...
Shooting at Jewel after St. Thomas More fest in Munster
Talk about $851,000 taken by former Munster schools supes Pfister and Sopko
Black men killed by cops in Louisiana and Minnesota
Dallas cops killed by Army vet who said he wanted to kill white cops
Amidst all of this you have Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump going at it big time. And three young Cedar Lake girls held on first-degree murder charges after botched home invasion.
What the hell's going on? On my front, I'm catching more and more momentum with the Facebook Live videos. It turns out that we can tell the story of My American, Radio Life a little easier in quick, live videos than we can in plodding through this blog. Oh well. It's a discovery process of how to tell the story. First it's photos. Then youtube videos. Live AM radio and now live FM radio too. There's this blog and in the past there was the newspaper column and my personal journals that have long been thrown into a dump and erased off of hard drives. There is a story unfolding and for now it doesn't necessarily unfold best to the three or four of you in this little-read blog.
It's unfolding on Facebook Live video. I'm not kidding.
We're getting tens of thousands of views of our videos. Yesterday, Geno did a live interview in the middle of the afternoon with George Thorogood, who's coming to the Festival of the Lakes soon. 3,000 views. On Thursday, daughter Jeanie who's in from New York City and I stopped by the new exercise equipment at Wicker Park, did a quick video. 3,000 views.
The though thing to accept in all of this is that no one wants to watch my morning radio show live. They'll listen to it on AM 1230 WJOB and 104.7 FM, and online on the Tune-In app. And they'll even listen to replays of the show when we play them at night and on weekends - Region Flashbacks.
But the three or four of you and the rest of the potential audience does not want:
1. Facebook Live video of a morning radio show
2. Podcast highlights of the morning or any other radio show on our station
It's like this. You might watch me walk down the hallway of the Lagunitas Brewing Company at 16th and Rockwell in south Chicago, and 750 of you have done since I did the Facebook Live last night. And you might watch Harlow do a scheduled interview with a big name like Chet Coppock, like he did this week and got a ton of views.
But you're not gonna watch my morning radio show on Facebook Live... or on any other video platform. We've been trying to get you to do this for five years. You may know the story. We originally streamed our shows on Livestream, then Ustream, then we built our own digital streaming system. That cost a ton of money, not just for the three servers and Wowza software and Wirecast and the rest... but for the internet. A couple grand a month for internet alone, not to mention installation cost.
The cold reality is that although we think northwest Indiana doesn't have its own television station so we must want our own video... and that we can provide that by repatriating our radio shows to do it... it just doesn't work that way. It turns out that northwest Indiana and the south suburbs do want local video.
But only if it's local video and not repatriated radio. Does that make any sense to the three or four of you?
The same holds true for audio. We have tried like hell to take slices from our radio shows and put them up on the internet as podcasts. And we get very little traction on these repatriated radio pieces. We know that we get a lot of people listening to our live radio... and we know from the numbers that we have a growing audience for live, local Facebook Video... but we just have not been able to recycle our radio into something else.
It's live radio. That's where it lives. In the air. If you try to turn it into something else, it dies.
So that's the lesson that took a long time to learn... that you can't recycle radio to the internet. You can kinda recycle radio back to radio in the form of replays... but even that's limited.
Other part of the lesson:
Do podcasts for podcast
Do video for video
It's 8:06 on the Saturday morning of the big Fourth of July weekend and I've been up for almost four hours. That's how it goes when you're a morning radio host. You wake up in the wee hours even on the weekend. Can't help it.
Yesterday, Jeff Strack, head of Strack & Van Til food marts, helped announce on the air with us that our WJOB studios will now be officially named the "Strack & Van Til Studios." This is a big step for WJOB. SVT has 25 grocery stores on the Indiana side and 10 or so more on the Illinois side and they're making a huge investment with us.