It’s Tuesday. Verlie Suggs joined me on the morning show. We disagreed from the start. After doing a little research in California for a week, I come to the conclusion that people on the coast couldn’t give two shits about what’s going on in the center of the country. Verlie, a native New Yorker, of course took the other side.
Jim Weiser, the head of the Lake County Democratic Party, joined us later in the show. You could watch the video and see me walking around the broadcast table. Please don’t interpret this as a lack of interest in local politics. I simply had to pee.
Verlie took me to task several times for not knowing the ins and outs of what’s going in Lake County politics. She is correct. I do not follow the game as much as I should, considering I’m the morning host on WJOB. That’s just how it is.
Yesterday, my first day back from vacation, Gary mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson came on with me. She recently lost in the Democratic primary for a third crack at being mayor.
"I don't envision myself in another public office during the course of my lifetime," Freeman Wilson said on the show.
Understanding that this was an important pronouncement, I fell silent. Then I called “bullshit.” She explained.
“You're talking about 15 years of elected service, not to mention the appointed service because I was (Democratic Gov.) Evan Bayh's civil rights commissioner," Freeman-Wilson said.
"So I've served publicly and I've enjoyed it immensely, and there are other ways to serve."
I lifted these quotes from an article by Dan Carden on the front page of The Times. Must have been a slow news day.
…. Jet lag is a factor. You can fly to California and you’ll be okay. It’s two hours earlier there. But when you fly back, you lose two hours. And I can certainly feel that part of it.
I needed a few days away to think about where we’re headed with radio, streaming radio, podcasts, Facebook Live video, Amazon, Apple Roku, the HeyJED app, blogs and more. We’re doing a lot of stuff these days. Still, almost all of our direct revenue comes from radio. What’s that tell you?
I’m starting to realize that in terms of streaming video, we’re just early. Pick up the Wall Street Journal and there’s an article almost daily about what the various streaming services are doing and how they’re doing it. On Friday, there was an article about how AT&T is rolling their service out. They started with three price points and then narrowed to one… somewhere around 10 bucks a month.
In the meantime, they lost 544,000 premium TV subscribers, mostly cable, in the first quarter. Streaming video is taking over cable and the world. This is a good thing. We have invested heavily in streaming video. Now, we just have to wait.
Why do we have to wait?
Whereas AT&T (with its recent acquisition of Warner Media), and Roku, Amazon, Apple, NBC Universal and the like are killing it with streaming video, local media is not. Streaming video has simply yet to take over local media. I am betting that it will.
As the three or four of you know, I have been here before. In the 90s, as a pit trader at the Chicago Board of Trade, I invested heavily in computer trading. I built a trading room, hired several traders and tech people, and we traded our balls off on the computer… although a couple of the traders were women.
In the early days of computer trading, you could still make way more money yelling for dollars than clicking for dollars. As a matter of fact, you could barely make any money at all clicking. So I drifted back to the pits… and then to radio.
It was costly to maintain a computer trading operation. Very costly. If I learned anything from that experience, it’s that you have to have patience with new technology… and you have to keep your costs down.
I lost money and patience with computer trading. There were other factors at play, including that I was a trading addict and it was time leave the game anyhows. Still, if I had wanted to stay, I would have had to wait until computer trading took over in the 2000s.
This lesson I carry with me to streaming video and some of our other advances. You can innovate all you want, but sometimes you just have to wait it out for the new technology to take over. That’s where we’re at.
We’re also at a point that we have to keep our costs down. Will streaming video ultimately take over local media as it has with national media? I don’t know. Let's just have patience to see it through.
That should do it for now. I’ll tell the three or four of you more about the trip later. I did a lot of talking to people and taking pictures. I’m getting ready to start my own podcast… something about just being a guy in the middle of the country, which means that if you live on a coast, you can ignore me all you want. Bye.