Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thank God, I Am No Longer a Broadcaster!

Thank God, I Am No Longer a Broadcaster!

I spent thirty years of my life in the broadcasting industry. I am proud of that. I was proud to be a broadcaster.

I began at the bottom, as a Sunday ”boardman” in a little “one lung station”, in my hometown, working 12-hour shifts. Heck, I was so eager to break into the broadcasting field I would have worked 24 hour shifts had they asked me!

Soon, (within weeks) I was offered a full time job as a DJ at the competition’s station and I moved on and up.

I never owned my own station. There was a time when I thought I wanted that, and even went so far as to negotiate for the purchase of a station and went to the final meeting with the attorneys and owners, with the contracts on the desk, with a pen on them, ready to be signed. I couldn’t do it. I made my apologies and got up and walked out and turned my back on ownership. I never regretted it. It was NOT what I wanted.

My greatest joy in broadcasting was turning a station around. That is… being hired to go into a station, which, for one reason or another, was on the rocks and turning that station around and putting it back in the winner’s circle and atop the ratings in it’s broadcast coverage area and producing income. I LOVED that. I became pretty good at it, too.

I ramble here to allow you some insight into what I am about to say.

The National Association of Broadcasters, of which my stations were all members, has done a ‘dumb” thing! They allowed the actor Tim Robbins to deliver an address at their convention in Las Vegas. Robbins did exactly what I would have expected him to do. For the details see:

NAB 2008: Tim Robbins Decries Media 'Abyss' in NAB Keynote
Actor Tears Into Government, Media in Keynote at 2008 NAB Show
For the story behind the headlines above, go to:

We recommend that you read the article.

Now, folks, had I been in the audience, I would have walked out on Mr. Robbins speech. Furthermore, I would have cancelled my station’s membership in the National Association of Broadcasters.

Whoever invited Mr. Robbins must have, MUST HAVE, at least, suspected he was capable of such shenanigans and a little common sense would have led the “speaker hunters” to move on to the next name of potential speakers on the keynote speaker’s list.

I am ashamed for my fellow broadcasters.

I am happy that I am no longer a broadcaster. I do not like where the industry has gone, and I do not think they are serving the best interests of their listeners and many broadcast stations should be challenged, at license renewal time, for just such reasons.

And yes, I have labored for three months, or more, to complete license renewal forms! I KNOW the hard work involved in all phases of broadcasting. I also know broadcasting stations hold licenses in trust. There is an agreement between the users of the airwaves (Broadcast stations) and the owners of the airwaves (The American Public). When the holder of the license is not providing the services required by his community of operation/service, then that broadcaster’s license should be revoked and the license given to a broadcaster who WILL serve the community of license.

If Mr. Robbins had any knowledge at all about the broadcasting industry he would know that.

In my opinion, the directors of the NAB owe an apology to the membership of the NAB for engaging Mr. Robbins to speak at their convention. In the meantime, while members wait for the apology, many stations might want to consider canceling their station’s membership in the National Association of Broadcasters.


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Frank said...

I read it he seems spot on, the MSM has become a branch of the government, well maybe just the G.O.P. and that sir does not serve the public interest.... It is supposed to shine a spotlight on all the garbage coming out of Washington, yet it does not.

Longstreet said...

You are confusing "The Press" with "Broadcasting". They are two different things.

When I say "Broadcasting", I am speaking of that branch of the media which is actually broadcast( electronically transmitted). Networks, and such, are not necessarily broadcast and do not require a broadcast license from the FCC. (If Networks happen to actually own broadcast stations, and some do, those stations DO require licenses.)For many years the networks were tied to the varous stations broadcasting their network content by telephone lines. Now, that is most often by satellite.(beginning as far back as the 1970's.)The broadcast stations pick up the network "feed" and broadcast that "feed" through their transmitters. It is the owners of those transmitters who are required to have an FCC license.

(When I say broadcast stations, I refer to both radio and TV.)

In reference to the Press... I have long since given up on the press in this country doing their job. The youngsters coming out of the liberal journalist schools are too indoctrinated in leftist socialism and told they are going "to make a difference" that they cannot see past that to the real world right in front of their faces.

If there is any doubt about how far the profession of journalism has fallen, all you have to do is visit:
The comments on that site will tell you all you ever wanted to know about the profession of journalism and its state of decomposition.

Longstreet said...

Let me add this: Cable news is not broadcast news. Network news is not broadcast news. Neither cable nor networks require FCC licenses.

Mr. Robbins was apparently aiming his remarks at the news media. The audience he had there was a room full of “Broadcasters”.

If you want to experience real broadcasting these days, as it has always been, you have to go to the small community stations where the personnel are members of the local civic clubs, serve on the Chamber of Commerce, attend worship service at a local church… in other words, they are integral parts of the community. THESE are the broadcasters who fulfill the requirements of their licenses because THEY KNOW WHAT THEIR COMMUNITY REQUIRES AND THEY SUPPLY IT. How do they know? They know because they are a part of that community at its core.