Monday, March 20, 2006

" “Citation”, “Man O’ War”, “Seattle Slew” and “Affirmed” are to racing as Larry Lujack, Don Steele, Robert W, Cousin Brucie, Paul Harvey , Rush Limbaugh and yes…even Howard Stern are to radio. Thoroughbreds all - unique and gifted entertainers. Try as it may, radio will never “reinvent” these original talents." John Rook

John Rook, the great programmer of legend, makes the case for "unique and gifted entertainers" in a recent writing from his web site here. John's take on the Howard replacements goes on to say...

Radio should encourage and motivate talented young folks to become the stars of the future. Instead, the stages once relied on for developing programming are darkened by voices from afar.

The desire to cut costs with syndication continues to short change radio’s future.

A reminder of the days when independent radio owners provided listeners with what the networks couldn’t…local programming. The independents flourished and the networks were reduced to providing niche programming. History is repeating but this time radio will become just a niche its self.

Dominated by those blinded by the revenue $tern brought in, CBS had months to create something other than “shock” radio. So it decided on David Lee Roth – who lacking Howard’s talent but with more ego, if that’s possible…will certainly crash and burn.

And thus will end CBS radio’s Roth problem.

Bravo JR, well said. Several emails about my post yesterday on what really made WABC's EWN such a smash. The one word answer is talent. Bill Beutel, Roger Grimsby and the entire EWN ensemble cast, the EWN corps, were "unique and gifted entertainers" in addition to being outstanding journalists. It is wrong to suggest the success of EWN was only a matter of "presentation style" as some have emailed me. To discount the significance of talent is to completely miss the point. "In all of art it's the singer not the song" so said Penn Jillette, great directors (and programmers like John Rook) get that and understand...performance is only as good as the talent involved.

Bonus - writing in his column today Lewis Lazare says...

Just about everybody in advertising loves to do commercials they think are funny. We have observed again and again that doing humor that works is one of the most difficult assignments in advertising. Still, everyone seems convinced they know how to do humor right.

Lew nails it (again). Humor is exceedingly difficult and to work it demands the execution that only talent can bring; the writing (the song) requires a star (the singer) buts, ands or ifs.

Read Lew's always insight filled column here