Friday, January 7, 2011

Help me pull a Keith Moon (and get on the radio)

UnPublished Draft: 2011-01-07


Irony comes in many forms. Over the last week I was gearing up a campaign for myself to get onto the radio in Philly. Not just any radio - the biggest RW Talk radio station in the market, WPHT. As part of their new line-up they brought in a standard RW talker for the morning drive. I had written the piece below and was starting to elicit help from various sources, including a PR firm, reporters and the management at Huffington Post. I was about to start the Facebook portion of this campaign.

Friday night I got an email from the person I was about to target in this campaign to get a gig. He wanted my phone number. I put the piece on hold. Then the horror of Saturday happened. I still haven't gotten the call, but an email saying he'd be out of town for a week and maybe we'll be able to talk.

Here is the dilemma. Do I go forward with my campaign or sit tight for a week waiting on the call from someone who would be my boss? On one hand, I would normally let the guy get a chance to get back to me. I'd like to hear what he has to say. On the other hand, this is the gentleman who brought Howard Stern to Philly, he has hired a cadre of people who are just sometimes plain nasty to folks on the radio. His line-up included Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck. These are people who put pressure on those on the non-right without mercy. Is pressure how this guy operates?

In some ways this is the perfect storm. RW Talk radio will be pilloried for their role in the current environment. Did they put the gun in the shooter's hand? They have to know they need to change their act.

From a personal perspective, do I look at this as a test for me to get on? Can I rally enough people to get on the air? Can I create a sustainable, respectful, passionate, moderate media product in a toxic right wing environment?

I ain't getting any younger.

I need to stop waiting for phone calls and go for it.

I need your help! I make my case below...


Legend has it that Keith Moon jumped on the stage and literally threw The Who's old drummer out of the band while in the middle of a set.

Do you want a different voice on the Radio? Are you tired of the great conflictonators?

I have been on the Huffington Post for a little over a year with about 2600 fans. I have about 2100 Facebook friends over the last several months. I want to parlay you into a spot on the radio. I have been thinking about jumping back into radio for a long time (25 years). Now is as good a time as any to go for it!

Yes, I want to use you!

A couple of months ago I wrote about a shuffle at a large Radio Station here in Philly, WPHT, The Big Talker. Michael Smerconish, their morning guy was moving to the PM Drive time (Link). They got a new guy in the morning.

This week it was revealed that this guy is a standard, poke-a-stick-in-the-eye-of-everyone-I-don't-agree-with, right wing radio host. A conflictionator radio host.

Examples from this week:

  • During the 6 o'clock hour the host projected what happened in New York with their storm situation onto the Philadelphia Street Department. He made baseless accusations against the Philly Unions. (I thought about calling and challenging the guy to put up or get off the air.) If you want to go after the Philly Unions - they do enough on their own, they don't need to suffer the sins of what goes on in another city.
  • In his next segment he went on about how the President and Liberals think business is about providing jobs. Evidently the host forgot that the taxpayers gave a ton of tarp money to the business sector to stimulate the economy. The host decided that if the President wants to hold business responsible for the cash we gave business - it is a great way to tee off on the President for a cheap shot.
  • In the 7 o'clock hour he got a "democrat" analyst who could not even pronounce Joe Sestak's name properly. Sestak was the local congressman here...

It was difficult to listen after that. This new outsider host is calling to threaten the jobs of people like Will Bunch and has attempted to marginalize good reporters like Annette John-Hall. Both local Philly people. Later in the week I tried calling up with a different viewpoint - I got the click in the ear.

I wrote a note to the station manager. I know it may be arrogant and egotistical, but I am tired of the Right Wing whining and their spitting of the term liberal as though it is some kind of epithet. There is room in the talk radio world for people who are NOT RIGHT WING.

I want a tryout at this station! Even if it means a 2 am shift.

I need your help to get it!

I am asking you to do two things:
  1. Contact the management
  2. Then listen and participate once I get on. (There is an internet feed so no one will get frozen out.)

Here are 2 ways to contact the management:
  1. Phone Call: 610-668-5800 Ask for Mr. Andy Bloom
  2. Send an email: Here is a sample (I know your voice would be better than mine).


Subject: Give the Nerd A Shot.

Mr. Bloom,

Over the last few years talk radio has become the domain of one voice: those on the right side of the spectrum. There is room for more people and better discourse. It is even profitable to have a non-Right Winger on the air as you have experienced with Michael Smerconish.

Joe Ferraro blogs as Joe the Nerd on the Huffington Post and Facebook. He deserves a crack at your line-up. I normally don't listen to talk radio because it is so one sided, but I'll make an exception for Joe. He is a fair minded moderate who can be funny. He is also an activist.

Another good story line with this is he's a blogger and radio caller who's making it out of the crowd to say something of value. Can you give him a shot?


Joan Q Public...

Am I being a shameless self-promoter here; yes - I apologize. But I think I can bring something other than the nastiness of partisan rhetoric to the table. It is time to be part of the solution.

I really believe that non-Right-Wing radio has proven to be profitable and has a huge growth potential with those who are not in the right wing. I need your help to get in on the ground floor.


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