Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Radio Professionals

(Off-topic comment - titles appear to be working fine now.)

I just got in to work after listening to KLAC radio on the way, and I just heard the most bizarre half hour of radio that I've ever heard (with the exception of the time that I broadcast a Radio Shack children's story on KRRC a quarter century ago).

First, let's note that there are a lot of asynchronous communications going around KLAC, where the hosts on one radio show say something about hosts of another radio show, then the hosts on the other radio show do a "Guess what THEY said?!?" routine, ad nauseum.

So apparently the question of radio professionalism has been the subject of one of these debates. The players are Steve Hartman of the Loose Cannons, Petros Papadakis, and T.J. and Tracy Simers. Some of the questions floating around:

  • Are T.J. and Tracy correct when noting that if the two of them can host a radio show, anyone can do it?

  • Does Petros' approximately four years of radio experience make a difference?

Fred Roggin was beginning to weigh in on the latter issue when my car radio started broadcasting static. After checking the other stations, I confirmed that KLAC's broadcast wasn't going over the air.

This serves as a reminder - you can get any yahoo (even, for several years, myself) in front of a microphone, but if you don't have the engineers doing their thing, it will all be for naught.

For the next several minutes, the KLAC frequency broadcast nothing but static. (Yes, I'm a masochist, or I'm easily entertained, or something.) After a few minutes, I heard Tracy's voice for about five seconds, then things went quiet again. For the next several minutes, the voices cut in and out, continuing their conversation as if nothing was amiss. Either they didn't know that they weren't broadcasting, or there's some professional code where you don't acknowledge it, or perhaps I'm the only person who listens to radio over the air any more, and everyone else was listening on their computers.

In retrospect, I probably should have fired up the web browser on my Motorola Q; KLAC has an available feed through the California page at

Well, eventually KLAC got their act together and were broadcasting with no problems - just in time for the Roggin and Simers Squared interview with Tracy Morgan.

I guess the KLAC engineers must have what Martin Gore would call a "sick sense of humour." That was one of the more bizarre interviews from radioland.

The main point of the interview was to ask Tracy Morgan about his ankle bracelet. It turns out that Morgan is wearing an ankle bracelet due to a previous arrest for drunk driving.

So the interview began with Roggin letting Morgan know who was interviewing him. It's standard practice for someone to be interviewed by several radio stations in a row, and Roggin courteously clues his interviewees in on who they're talking to.

After Roggin and Simers Squared brought up the ankle bracelet, Morgan launched into some cross between a comedy routine, a rant, and a therapy session. After Tracy Morgan stated how funny he was, Tracy Simers made a point of mentioning another comedian (Bill Bellamy) who declared he was funny when he wasn't funny at all.

Morgan didn't take the hint, and continued to declare his wit. My favorite example:


And trust me, it got worse. As T.J. was probably fervently praying for a commercial, he (and his daughter) deferred to Fred to continue with the interview. Fred said nothing.

So, how would Steve Hartman or Petros Papadakis have handled that interview?



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