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Sunday, November 2, 2014

(TALENT) Radio Apologizes Profusely


It has been said the act of confession is good for the soul. Secular arguments notwithstanding, radio refuses to partake of that nasty, little exercise. To some, radio may be hot-wired for an imminent, no-return trip to the nether regions of that part of Hades reserved for lax, unrepentant broadcasters.

Therefore, as a contingency, a confessional document addressed to any interested member of an audience has been drawn up and is here provided for possible issuance at a later date.

Further, an alternative does exist for owners and managers to employ a form of ?Pascal?s Wager? ? a piece of cheap, philosophical trickery in which non-believers are encouraged to take on the mantle of true believers ? as a kind of insurance policy against possible hellfire. Some would, without apology or recognition of the superficiality of the proposition, call this a ?just in case? option.

Radio?s Apology To Audiences

- We apologize for treating our audience like witless cloth heads ? people who have no life experience, no education, and no awareness of other media, no capacities for serious contemplations, no aspirations, no humor, and no desire to be either informed or entertained.

- We apologize for accepting research that purports to describe what an audience will respond to, including (for adults) the same 350 tracks repeated ad infinitum.

- We apologize for wasting their time and testing their patience by incessantly telling our audience how superior we are ? just like the other radio stations.

- We apologize for addressing the audience as a single individual when we have no idea such a target-individual is even listening. Truth is, we don?t care, either.

- We apologize for taking the position that we have authority over anyone. We have been doing this by making constant demands on unknown, unspecified individuals to perform very specific behaviors. We now appreciate that no one has any obligation to do anything we say, and we now understand why audiences (collectively and individually) might hold us in such contempt for our having the gall to make such an attempt.

- We apologize for purposely and systematically making what presenters we do have left on-the-air sound like lobotomized dullards ? as if anyone else would find that appealing in the least, never mind worthy of continued listening.

- We apologize for assuming audiences have any interest or perceive any value in wading and wallowing through commercial after commercial after commercial, for so long that their situational awareness suffers while memories of home, family, and individual personhood start to rapidly fade.

- We also apologize for exposing an audience to commercials that are so inane, so dull, so insulting, so irritating, so superficial, so poorly constructed and delivered that a constant drone of innocuous incantations or affirmations delivered by tsampa-engorged, Tibetan monks would be preferable ? even welcome.

- We apologize for not even making the attempt to engage imaginations or reasoning faculties with language, on-air presentations, and concepts consistent with appealing to someone who had, at least, graduated the sixth grade.

- We apologize for trying to bribe an audience for their listenership with giveaways and contests that none of them have any real chance of winning and, as likely, no intention of entering.

- We apologize for giving the impression that we want requests for songs along with general input and feedback from audience members. The fact is we don?t care what they want or what they think. Never have. We are the owners of bigger brains and we have research! Ooops! We must now apologize for the surly, arrogant attitude, as well. Sorry.

- We apologize for allowing people on the air who would have no business working a cab stand, as they have no command of the language, have no awareness of their own tonalities, pacing, timing, grammar, pronunciations, and diction. Further, they are unable to supply interesting content because we have shut them down to a minimum of time on the air. When they do speak, they say what we want them to say, and do so like robots-on-amphetamines. We have designed these presentations for them and forced on-air talent into executing them.

- We apologize for not having the slightest interest, desire, or motivation for putting up the resources and finding out what an audience will find more appealing, more interesting and, because we are a commercial enterprise, more influential.

- We apologize in this (admittedly) half-baked, half-hearted fashion for having no intention whatsoever of correcting these circumstances. This is because we were told that the confessions alone were enough to keep us out of any flaming pits. This suits us just fine, as we are, like, totally, already exhausted from just making the confessions.

We might even apologize to our advertising clients. But, right now, we are tattered and all tuckered out. We do hope our sincerity has been semi-convincing ? even for just a while. We also appeal for a smidge of forgiveness. We understand that to do so would take a mighty chunk of audience credulity and generosity. An extremely large dose of gullibility would be helpful, too. We know that. Still, we are so very, awfully, super sorry-sorry.
(?That should hold the little *$#%!&ds.?)

Ronald T. Robinson has been involved in Canadian Radio since the '60s as a performer, writer and coach and has trained and certified as a personal counsellor. Ron makes the assertion that the most important communicative aspects of broadcasting, as they relate to Talent and Creative, have yet to be addressed. Check out his website

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