For many years, urban radio has tried desperately to claim the music as the star of the station… I think this came about via constipated consultants and the once greedy mom and pop owners who saw jocks being treated like stars who they viewed as out of control. I don’t know which one I have more of a problem with, syndication or consultants. At least consultants are a dying breed (did I say that? Bad blogger). Ultimately the REAL problem was the owners were jealous and they didn’t have the skills to duplicate the DJ’s but wanted a piece of the DJ pie nonetheless. They knew it was delicious (laugh). What better way to take the power of the DJ than to to use black on black slave tactics? Owners stopped letting DJs program their own shows and book their own concerts and they hand ed that responsibility to the PDs and the sales staff. Many didn’t stop there. They broke the DJ down even more by destroying his self esteem and making him feel expendable and worthless to the industry. Ironically, some of that still happens today but I better not ever hear of it.
When Nate Quick died this past week Urban radio management and the trades barely responded (online). Out of the many comments on the posts that we did for Nate I saw few, if any, from programmers and radio management and I know many programmers and radio management people read it because I have the report. What urban radio did do, and I don’t know who to give credit for this, is they talked about it on the air (Kudos my radio family). For a format that does not like “swan songs” urban radio really came through on this occasion as over 50,000 people read that one post about Nate’s passing. I thought I was blown away when Media Take Out did links to a couple of our stories. Nate’s story got the highest readership in the history of the blog. My brother was truly a star (laugh). When I write something about Cathy Hughes, we’d be lucky to get 200 readers no matter what the subject on her. Readers don’t have a connection with her and consumers really don’t care about the politics of radio, the Performance Tax issue or the fact that urban radio is struggling cause that’s all out of their reach, thanks to syndication… they DO however care about jocks and those they can touch see and feel from our industry. I have to admit, I was surprised that radio talked about Nate on the air but I know a lot of those numbers we got HAD to come from urban radio and I thank you guys for it. Needless to say the bottom line is it proves DJs are indeed STILL stars or at least we have the ability to be. You think my campaign to get young jocks on the air was bad before? What till you see me after this post.