Dave Richards for January 22nd….…………
--I’ve fielded a number of questions from listeners and readers asking me to comment on the recent news that thousands of people have been let go by one of the huge corporate broadcasting companies. I’ll repeat my answer here.
It’s true. One of the two largest publicly-traded radio companies having just emerged from court-supervised re-organization under federal bankruptcy laws has taken advantage of recently-passed FCC rule changes to cut human staffing of their radio “properties”, as they call them.
To explain, with the advancement of computer-controlled equipment we use in radio these days, the FCC, the folks who regulate the broadcasting industry, were persuaded that maybe nothing bad would happen if we broadcasters were allowed to run our stations by machine and not even have someone in the office to answer the phones when staffing was tight. After all, phone calls could be forwarded to another phone electronically.
It made sense for small broadcasters who had small staffs and who had to visit with advertisers during the business day, that maybe the door could be locked for part of the business day to allow staff to tend to out-of-station business if they were short-handed due to sickness or such as that.
But to our large corporate broadcaster with thousands of radio stations, it meant that five or six of their stations could run with no staff at all and be controlled by a seventh station group in a large city hundreds of miles away. The temptation of that kind of cost savings was just too much to ignore for them. The result as we have seen is thousands of hard-working people, some who have worked at their stations for decades, are now unemployed.
While the actions of one greedy and selfish radio owner seems to give all broadcasters a ‘black eye’, and while some have pounced upon the opportunity to predict that ‘radio is dead’, the truth is radio is still doing just fine. I am happy to report that both Woonsocket radio stations are serving their audiences with fully-staffed studios and fully-staffed offices. While we don’t speak to each other directly of such things, I feel confident in saying that neither of us have any intention of failing in our service to the community we are licensed to serve. ……
Because we are broadcasters.
There are many differences between Woonsocket’s two radio companies. But the one thing that we share is that we are radio broadcasters. Professionals, all our lives in this business because we love it. We are not stock manipulators. We are not impersonal corporations who accumulate hundreds and thousands of radio stations. We are local people who love our neighbors and are grateful to serve them in the craft we’ve loved since we were kids. And, may I say, this difference is precisely why we are here today and why we both have staffs who have been with us for decades. And audiences who have been with us just as long.
I’m proud of what I do for a living. I’m grateful I can do it. Please, don’t paint lifelong family broadcasters with the same brush as huge publicly-traded corporations who just happen to work in the same business.
Do you remember the corner drug store? Wouldn’t it be a shame if your local radio station disappeared the way they did? We are in this business for a different reason than the large, corporate broadcaster.
We are here for you.
--Up to now I have never been a fan of large, sweeping changes in public governance. I was concerned that experience is a valuable thing and we shouldn’t change out too much of it at one time. I’m more of an “evolution” instead of “revolution” guy. But recently I’ve been persuaded that even in a revolution…….little actually changes in the long run because the people who actually do the work of government, the bureaucrats, just keep things going in SPITE of changes in leadership.
If you elect a good leader who can get along and govern with care and concern for all, things go along great. If you elect a jerk who has drunk their own Kool-Aid and cares little for anyone else but themselves, the bureaucrats will keep the place stumbling along until another choice is made. In this respect, I have great faith in the ability of our republic to survive well beyond our own years. And with that faith comes a new perspective.
I noticed yesterday that a friend of mine is becoming stressed-out about the impeachment drama now unfolding in Washington. I tried to calm him, but I don’t know how successful I was.
My advice is if all this impeachment foolishness is getting you down, just ignore it. Impeachment, trial, conviction or not, it’s just a lot of people who think they are important mis-behaving. The people who really count and who really keep this world spinning are the so-called ‘working stiffs’ who keep the all essential systems working in SPITE of the leaders.
I think in actual fact, government leaders have very little to do with whether you’re happy or not. You do. Remember, life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how you take it. So, impeachment? Take it with a grain of salt…….
Will it matter if every member of the RI General Assembly, the Governor, and all the other state government officers are replaced? Nope.
Not one little bit…………….Have a nice day!
--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332. Thanks for reading.