It is the end of 2016 and if I wasn't such a slacker, I'd review all of the big stories of the year and make predictions for 2017. That's for newspaper writers who get paid to do that kind of thing. I suppose if I got paid to gather my thoughts in such an organized manner for the three or four of you, then I'd review the year. But I don't get paid for this. And you don't get paid for reading this. No one's getting paid around here and, hopefully, that keeps this blog at least a little pure and uncompromising.
I haven't been doing the radio show these four days between Christmas and New Year's. Instead, I've been working on podcasts and live video and building websites. That doesn't sound much like "My Radio Life," but then again, remember that us four or five are attempting to chronicle radio as it changes. Right now, radio is still like an old black and white photo of men doing radio. In a few years, if radio's gonna survive at all, it better look like young men and women walking around Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley carrying backpacks and wearing headbands.
Anyways, I just got a bunch of texts from the radio station. Verlie Suggs is hosting for me. She's got East Chicago mayor Anthony Copeland on with her. I know this because I just saw it on Facebook Live video. I have no idea what they're talking about. That's not what the texts are about.
It seems there's trouble with the satellite that brings in network programming to WJOB. There's a slight clicking sound. We don't do a ton of network programs. There's Laura Ingraham for a couple of hours in the morning, and then there's Clark Howard in the afternoon. Overnight, we've got George Noory. Every few years, some ice or water gets into the tube that carries the wires from the middle of the big dish behind and I gotta go in there and find the wet spot. I know that sounds a little off color - "I gotta find the wet spot" - but really that's a good skill to have.
Radio never sleeps, you know. Ever since Alexis and I bought WJOB in 2004, it's as if we added another child. Or two. Sometimes we'll be eating dinner and the dinging of my cellphone will start and I'll have to drive without hesitation the 4.1 miles and adjust the transmitter, or troubleshoot a hiss in the background, or reset the Tieline, or a number of other things that would only make sense to someone else in radio.
In the end, radio is a mealstopper. One moment you're chewing on your chicken. And the next moment, you're speeding down the Boulevard to get your two radio stations back on the air. Sometimes you get there and it's a simple flick of a switch. Sometimes you're there for 12 hours redoing some wiring or taking apart a piece of machinery. That's why radio's a mealstopper. It's similar to being a doctor who delivers babies. My cousin, Doug Dedelow, is an obstetrician. And sometimes when we're playing golf or sitting together at a wedding, he'll look at his phone and say, I gotta go. See ya."
Radio never sleeps.... and it's like being a baby doctor. For now, I gotta leave the three or four of you, put on some work clothes, and go climb around a satellite dish the size of an 18-wheeler. It's not glamorous and it's not even hearty, masculine work. It's just work, which is something we all have to do, even the three or four of you. So quit reading this and go do something for which you'll get paid. Go.