Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On College Radio, No One Can Hear You Scream

After about three months of hosting and producing 4 Quarters, I've come to a difficult realization.

Doing radio is easy. Doing GOOD radio is hard. Very hard.

Maybe my own standards are too high, but it just seems that the last few episodes have gone downhill faster than Charlie Weis on a Crisco-covered waterslide.

While I flail around for something to say, my co-hosts do the best they can with what they know. Even with that, there's still minimum show prep going on, as they both wander into the studio about four minutes before showtime and disappear right around the time I put on the "postgame show" song.

Either I come in with topics that we get totally out of hand with and burn a whole quarter or I get shrugs and mumbles.

My own preparation continues to get more and more sketchy by the day, and I shudder to think what it'll be like next semester or even this summer, when I'm taking something resembling a full course load.

Of course, it's not like it'll matter one way or the other, since I'm having it proven repeatedly that no one pays a damn bit of attention to this blog, this radio show, and very few seem to take any notice of whether or not I live or die. Even some people that have the gall to call themselves "The Family" would surprise me greatly if they even knew that I had a radio show at all.

Promo efforts have repeatedly fallen flat, not helped by the fact that MTSU seems mostly apathetic to the fact that there is a student station in their midst.

Station meetings take place at 9 PM, primarily for the sake of one or two people who might take night classes, and screw all the people who live off-campus and might want to go home to see their spouse before said spouse retires for the night.

Station "management" can barely be bothered to spend any effort on helping their "staff" handle anything, whether it's recording a commercial for their shows or explaining why a position on the website has nothing to do with the station, and is therefore off limits to all of us pathetic scrubs.

Sometimes I wonder how much of this is actually similar to an honest-to-God professional radio station. Do the guys at the Zone have to deal with an apathetic management that can't respond to anything in a timely manner?

I know the hosts don't have to deal with pushing all the buttons and doing all the programming themselves because they have their own producers. Maybe that's the part that's most difficult. When I'm busy trying to pull something up on the computer to support our discussion, I'm also conducting said discussion, choosing the spots that will run at the next break, and preparing the music that will play at the intermissions. Dan Patrick and Mike Greenberg don't have to deal with all this.

And I'm quite sure the guys that do this for a living have very understanding wives who know that keeping up with sports is what pays the bills. I have no doubts that mine will be that way when that actually comes to pass for me. Until then, however, Tuesday night is Biggest Loser night, Thursday night is Survivor, and if I spend too many nights on the computer doing research, it might become a Relationship Issue.

And for all this, I can't get anyone to tell me if the show's any good or if it stinks like week-old milk. Only one podcast has had both halves reach 10 listens (and I think a couple of those were me doing troubleshooting). I can count the number of comments on this blog (all 10 months' worth) on one hand. People on Facebook are doing their damndest to ignore promotional efforts...oh, unless they're a call-in guest, and then they'll shout it from the rooftops. Sometimes. That's if they're not too fucking arrogant to admit that they're slumming on a college radio show in the first place.

I have no doubt that it'll all become much more fun once I learn how to do it right. Unfortunately, I can't find anyone willing or able to tell me exactly what it is I'm doing wrong.

But, enough whining. I've been germinating a post on the 96-team NCAA monstrosity for weeks now, and I should probably get around to finishing that instead of bitching to a room that's pretty empty already.

1 comment:

  1. Do you feel better? Sometimes it just feels good getting it off your chest...and by the way, your wife has never condemned you for watching sports in lieu of one of her shows!!!!