Sunday, May 2, 2010

Be Careful What You Portray Because It Can Come Back And Bite You

Probably one of the few newspaper articles that really impacted how I viewed things was printed on February 13, 1973. And a follow up piece just one week later.

It first was a puff piece on radio written by Sherry Woods of the Citizen Journal about WTVN radio. And when I say puff piece, I'm not suggesting it should have been written differently. There was simply nothing negative in the story. And for the most part, probably for good reason.

The headline read "WTVN radio has made its mark" with a sub headline of "A formula for success."

When I first read it, I beamed with pride as this was my favorite station. And I dreamed I would someday work on air there. With these hosts in place and be part of this team.

In a way, it was confirmation and justification of a seventeen year olds thought process.

Ms. Wood's story went on to tell about the success of the station and why it was at that time a ratings leader in Columbus.

One key to that success was the fact the station had a stable talent base, especially in key dayparts. These hosts knew their listeners and they knew Columbus.

Most had been on the station for many years. Two had been in there for longer than 10 years. Both Dave Logan and John Fraim had been with the station over 10 years. the same for news director Bill Patterson. Afternoon host Bob Conners was there just over 7, having joined in January, 1966. A solid bedrock situation.

Except all that was going to change and soon.

One week later, Sherry's column had the headline "Bob Conners joining WBNS Radio."

Readers learned that Bob Conners notified management at the end of his air shift the previous Saturday evening that he was leaving for cross dial rival WBNS and would begin hosting mornings on that station effective March 5th, 1973.

Two things happened with that second headline. The first and probably not so significant was I lost my favorite afternoon host to a station I seldom listened to, as the non daytime signal of WBNS simply couldn't be heard where I grew up.

But more importantly, it left me with the perception never to crow about your situation. In my mind, that article had WTVN bragging about the stability of their hosts which was a big factor in their success. In a weeks time, that bragging point withered away.

Radio is a constantly changeing business. Formats change and hosts come and go.

But since that time, I've always been gun shy about blowing my own horn as lifes situations change. And as that series of events demonstrated, something could and usually does change.

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