Just when we thought the weather would turn warm, we find out Old Man Winter’s still hangin’ around these parts.
Saturday’s weather was OK. Warm with a threat of rain. Downtown, there was a gallery walk which I took in.
I left at the first few raindrops and then headed for The Mahogany Bar for a little din-din and NTN Trivia. I managed to actually win a game of Countdown — and that doesn’t happen very often.
Sunday, I had to tell my radio show audience another hard freeze warning was about to be the rule of the night. Our call of the day goes to the guy who phoned in and asked, “If I put viagra in my temperature gauge, would it warm up?”
Later in the day, as the radio show goes on (a computer plays the music and pretty much runs the show for me…ain’t technology great?), I watch the NASCAR race from Vegas on Fox. And wouldn’t you know, before the race, *four* people called my show and ask when are we going to run the race.
Long story short, the local group of Cheap Channel — uh, Clear Channel — stations stole the MRN Radio affiliation from my station. When Rock 104 started carrying NASCAR in 1998, it was usually wrapped around my Sunday show — hence the title RockTrax and RaceTrax. During this past off-season, the CC gang, thanks in part to one of their stations carrying John Boy & Billy, stole it from us — albeit legally — like a rug from right under our feet.
There’ve been mixed emotions since then. But, given the fact most of the races are now on broadcast TV — roughly a 2/3 majority between NBC and Fox by my math — it was challenging for us at Rock 104 in terms of marketing NASCAR on the radio going into the 2001 season. And remember, going into the 2001 season, we still had Dale Earnhardt and we still had a World Trade Center.
But, getting back to the four listeners that hadn’t heard about NASCAR’s absence on Rock 104. Naturally, I told them “another station” stole it from us, didn’t name names and suggested they check out Fox.
Now, here we are three weeks in the season and these four listeners aren’t fully aware of the new MRN affiliate for this area? (FWIW, there are other radio networks in NASCAR and CC has ’em all covered.) Needless to say, the local CC chapter has done a poor job in spreading the word. I realize economic times are tough. Obviously, a TV commercial is out of the question. Perhaps a billboard would be in order.
Another thing, CC could be their own worst enemy when all’s said and done. One of their stations in their family is a podunk AM station that carries the Busch races (something we at Rock 104 couldn’t handle due to Southern Miss football and basketball commitments — which still continue) as well as The Jim Rome Show.
In the event you’re not aware of Jim’s story, he’s no fan of NASCAR. Ten racers could have a mathematical chance of winning the Winston Cup going into the last race of the season and Jim, using his words, would not give a rat’s ass. If the local CC sponsors catch wind of this, more harm can be done than good.
Maybe this wasn’t the best weekend on record — but mildly entertaining.
Clear Channel is eventually going to collapse under its own largesse. XM may be to FM/AM what cable and satellite were to OTA brodcast TV.