and on it goes

There was something of a running joke on the Rick Emerson Show, but its message was pretty well established in truth. One Friday, Rick Emerson noted that the staff of the show had just been scheduled for a meeting after the show, at which point a whispered conversation ensured of “Uh Oh” variety. Next episode, Monday, Tim Riley started the hour reading the news, and then ended with “Now stay tuned for… Lifestyles Radio 910.” Cue an informercial on the healing powers of Oregano (disguised as a real radio program). A minute or so in, Rick chimes in with “Okay. Stop it.” And “That’s pretty much how it’s going to be whenever the company fires me. No warning. You just tune in, and hear something completely different.” Tim Riley then chimes in with his experience: “Go to work one day, tune on the radio, and you find that in the middle of the night they’ve switched over to Radio Disney!”

For that little bit, Emerson said that he tried to dredge up something from Marconi, the morning drive idiot who was canned from KNRK after making fun of the decapitated hostages in Afghanistan. He’s evidentally resurfaced down the dial, but the horror of his addition to “Max 910″‘s line-up would have been darkly sensical. Which is to say, he’s easily pigeon-holed into the “Talk Radio for Guys” concept that the corporate masters at Entercom had formatted for the radio station, alongside Don and Mike and Tom Leykis (and for that matter, though I like the program, Phil Hendrie.). At the same time, reading last month’s Atlantic Monthly article about talk radio including a man who was fired on one Clear Channel station and moved to another Clear Channel station (in a bigger market), the idea of shuffling Marconi from one Entercom station to another holds a sort of sick appeal.

I saw the addition of the first verse from Tre Parker’s “Man Song” as theme-song (lyrics not easily available online) as a mocking of the situation. But, he lost his footing at first, moved to the 9:00 time-slot.

As for Clyde Lewis… I remember my weird sense of panic when the stations switched over a year ago. If it’s difficult to explain Rick Emerson’s niche onto a very specific market segmentation, it’s harder to see from the vantage point of corporate suits back East what the heck to do with the Voice of the Toxic Avenger spouting out conspiracies (well simulcasted on the Internet, and “low power fm stations nation-wide”), never mind that anything else you might program won’t likely bring in any ratings.

“The difference between my show and all those other shows is that they have crystal strokers on who claim that the Aliens are going to save us. Well I say that the Aliens are Here and they’ve come to EAT US!”

As for the replacement: (1) That must be some work-environment the two remaining deejays at the oldies station are working under… they just watched an entire sister station get canned with no fanfare; they just watched one station completely disappear; they just watched most of their co-workers at their station get canned. (2) I’ve turned into “Charlie FM” for 15 or 30 minute chunks, feeling like I’m witness to a train-wreck of sorts and gripped by said train-wreck. Basically you have 30 years of Top 40 radio boiled down to a long random playlist. I don’t even know if this is true variety. While I guess you’re not likely going to hear a song repeated within jaunces in and out of the radio station, it’s hard to particularly care. I did hear a song for the second time in listening: Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice, Baby”. I assume if you listen to it more often than I that the replays of other songs might drown out that absuridty, but I for one can’t help slanting my head.

UPDATE: If you think my use of the phrase “train wreck” was inappropriate, consider that I’m not the only one using it. Instead of the 300 to 400 songs available on a typical station, CharlieFM will mix and match from more than 1,000 songs for what programmers call “train wrecks.”

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