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calimary

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Oregon
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,306

About Me

Female. Retired. Wife-Mom-Grandma. Approx. 30 years in broadcasting, at least 20 of those in news biz. Taurus. Loves chocolate - preferably without nuts or cocoanut. Animal lover. Rock-hound from pre-school age. Proud Democrat for life. Ardent environmentalist and pro-choicer. Hoping to use my skills set for the greater good. Still married to the same guy for 40+ years. Probably because he's a proud Democrat, too. Penmanship absolutely stinks, so I'm glad I'm a fast typist! I will always love Hillary and she will always be my President.

Journal Archives

Definitely appreciate your efforts here, MrScorpio.

Comprehensive, AND the links to earlier chapters is a major bonus. Like a little library every time.

Good stuff!

True!!! We MUST NOT EVER help them with their branding efforts.

This “Spygate” crap trump is pushing, for example. We should not reinforce that. Every time that branding comes up, we should take that opportunity to layer OVER it something else. I kinda like “LIEgate”.

Thank you, Adam Schiff, for that clever strategic wording!

Thanks! One of the license challenges to a station where I worked was actress Marla Gibbs.

She was best known for her role in the sitcom “The Jeffersons”. She was part of a group challenging the station’s last cense. Man were we super conscious of making sure that big binder of ascertainment interviews was current and relevant, thorough and impeccable. Oy...

The upshot, though, for both my pal the Public Affairs Director and me (News Director) was that management knew they had to step gingerly around the both of us. They didn’t dare try to fire either one of us. The station was under scrutiny, at the same time, for malfeasance that had been committed by its parent company long ago, and any license challenge that had even one tiny chipped tooth to it made the sphincters tighten and the Maalox bottles come out among the corporate types hoping to hang onto that expensive and highly-coveted broadcast license.

They didn’t dare mess with us or cut us or our departments back. That wouldn’t have looked good - to cut back on news and public affairs during a serious license challenge, when news and public affairs were where they could present proof of responsiveness to community issues and concerns as part of the privilege of holding that license in the public interest. So it meant that my job was safe until I decided to leave it. And I decided. NOT management, looking to cut more overhead, cut back on local news and public affairs (which of course included staffers), and just play more hits and commercial clusters.

Wild times. Weird, too, that some corporate monkey business years earlier and on a whole other continent would mean job security for me.

And broadcast deregulation changed ALL of that, and not in a good way.

I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you...

And sometimes they prefer somebody who puts up a fight.

Not the person who’s reasonable. They want to see conflict. Things stirred up. Disruption. Yeah. Even chaos. I guess it’s similar to liking or disliking roller coasters. The shit-stirrers do have their fans.

Reminds me of some past campaign or some such. The female GOPer declared that her party led in her area because the voters like that. “Cuz We FIGHT.” As opposed to lying down and going along, I guess. But her assertion was clearly that this “cuz We FIGHT’ was a good thing.

And I remember thinking to myself - “yeah, fighting. ‘Cuz We FIGHT!” that’s all you guys do. Fighting. Always gotta be fighting.”

But maybe some people like that. Hard to figure.

Sorry about the length. It's complicated.

And for me it’s not just the “I saw my friends get laid off” thing. That’s just the beginning of a rough time for those directly involved.

I’ve seen marriages break up and families disrupted because one of my friends got fired. Who brings home the paycheck to get you through this til you can find another gig? Your partner? Got kids? Does that partner then have to go look for a job too? What about childcare if both of you work? And if you land a new gig, where is it? Not in town? Are you gonna have to drive two-and-a-half hours? Or move? Family can come with? Family doesn’t want to or can’t come with? It’s really endless, an endless domino effect. I knew one guy working on his fourth marriage because he’d had to hop around that much for jobs. Each wife had trouble with all that disruption and instability.

It’s rough out there. I knew and still know people who left the business as the jobs got more scarce, and got into something different. I knew one or two who moved alright. Straight into a liquor bottle. And with the mess deregulation caused, so much local talent got kicked to the curb. AND, some big-name talent, like those prominent jocks in morning drive - many of them had worked their way up the salary ladder that they were often shown the door to save the company those star-quality paychecks - regardless how well-known or well-respected or popular or highly-rated they were. Bring in somebody cheaper and hope for the best. Or maybe call the syndicators and arrange to start funneling Howard Stern into the lineup - or what was left of the lineup.

Greed is NOT that good.
Greed begets gluttony.
Hmmm... two of the “Seven Deadly Sins”.

Suppressing, curbing, managing, or regulating greed is a must! For Pete’s Sake, that’s all that makes us civil! Take away regulations and you get an orgy - which always winds up with somebody getting hurt. Sometimes seriously so. Much more often than not, overdoing it doesn’t end well.

And that aggressive media shopping spree changed the information calculus.

This allowed these corporate giants to cobble together networks. That begat a frenzy of syndication companies that would pump out Howard Stern and Don Imus and Limbaugh and a handful of others in timeslots serving every little town in America - where listeners didn’t consider that the rude funny dude or loud in-yet-face grumper saying all those things that you felt but didn’t have the nerve to say in public (cuz it wasn’t “PC”).

For folks like me, it meant watching friends get laid off and sometimes entire departments get drastically cut back to save money. Which was because the owners’ eyes were bigger than their stomachs and they acquired WAY more than they could pay for. Big companies went bankrupt. That means MORE firings and layoffs and cutbacks as the staff had to absorb the brunt of the owners’ greedy idiocy.

When I was still working, ownership was restricted to THREE. Period. Could be three radio stations; or an AM, an FM, and a TV station, but no more. And you had to prove you were responsive to your community’s needs and issues and wants, through an active outreach procedure called “ascertainment”.

That was a management obligation to reach out to community leaders of all stripes and ask them what THEY thought were the critical issues facing the community. And you’d fill out a form with their names, credentials, and their responses. That somewhat tedious job most often fell to us news directors and public affairs directors. And we’d do those interviews and fill out those forms and submit the forms to the front office to file in huge binders that were kept open to public inspection at all times. Important to have for license renewal which came around at regular intervals. Personally, all told, I must have done hundreds of them. Then we’d “respond” to those interview comments by developing programs - public affairs interview shows mainly - to present discussion of those issues on the air. Usually offered another opportunity for another ascertainment interview and another completed ascertainment form for that big ol’ binder in the front office.

That “prove you’re worthy to hold that broadcast license” rule also went on the scrap heap at the same time.

And did I say MESSAGING?????

Look what just popped up on my phone’s newsfeed:

Most Americans Don’t Realize Robert Mueller’s Investigation Has Uncovered Crimes
https://apple.news/A_t2RmsfWTR2h3r9QQqi-qg

It’s a report about how a majority -repeat: a MAJORITY of Americans have no idea that the Mueller investigation has already produced results INCLUDING multiple indictments AND guilty pleas. No idea. Never heard of such a thing. W. T. F. ?????

We HAVE TO ask “why not?” WHY is this so?

And unfortunately, we have a partial answer. The bad guys have built media empires. Big ones. They’ve spent years - decades - building this. Since the late 80s when Reagan did away with the ownership restrictions, in the last year or so of his administration. A feeding frenzy followed almost immediately. This was at a time many referred to as the “Go-go 80s” when the regulatory reins were lifted off big business and corporate America and this freakin’ ORGY of buying and selling radio and local television properties.

Remember the original Oliver Stone movie “Wall Street” - and its madly popular buzz phrase “greed... is GOOD.” ? That film was released on December 11, 1987. We were into Reagan’s final year in office. Wall Street traders and young hotshots and high-rollers and widely-admired risk-takers and other assorted self-proclaimed “masters of the universe were envied and damn near worshipped! Unfettered Capitalism was our state-sponsored religion. And profit was god.

And there was this rampage of mergers and acquisitions as corporations sought to buy up as many media properties as possible, often at ridiculously inflated prices, they were leveraged up the ting-yang and the “owners” plunged deeply into debt, just knowing that things were just permanently gonna grow, Grow? GROW!!! And for the mom-‘n’-pop local stations whose owners saw an obscenely big profit if one of these big boys swooped in and offered more money than they’d ever imagined before, they eagerly cashed out.

Hey, my friend!

Having done some of this talk show host stuff myself, I appreciate your civility and your resolve. And your knowledge and ability to articulate and to reason - even when your audio sparring partner doesn’t seem to want to be reasonable.

Bravo! I also appreciate the way on-air folks like you and also another of my heroes, Joy Reid, compel the filibusterers to shut up. She doesn’t let ‘em yammer on, or interrupt, or otherwise rudely dominate the discussion. And if they hang up? So what? Fuck ‘em! All that does is guarantee that YOU get the last word.

Andother thing she does is to immediately shut down AND correct, ON THE AIR, RIGHT THEN AND THERE, that it’s the Democratic Party or Democratic bill or Democratic representative etc. NOT “Democrat Party” and so on. Like you, she does it gently, with good will, like a loving but vigilant and conscientious parent might do.

Let me add that I enjoy reading your commentaries and I am happy to see your posts here, also!

Nice work!

Wish I could rec this post!

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