I don’t do sports and leave that to those who know how to cover it best.
But I did get caught up in the frenzy of the Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers playoff series. How could one not? And as a citizen of both cities, it was my civic duty.
Of course, with my warped mind, it wasn’t long before I came up with a radio analogy.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are like a radio station with the best morning drive personality – and nothing for the rest of the day. Think of the slogans that have dominated radio for years. Let me offer a blast from the past: “Howard Stern all morning, the best rock all day.”
Isn’t that an alternative to “....mediocrity the rest of the day?”
LeBron couldn’t do it alone. By surrounding him with mediocre players – they were fated to run out of steam and let him down. And they did.
Stations may get anywhere from 35 to well over 50 percent of its total revenue from morning drive – and it is the must-own daypart.
Here’s the problem. “Own mornings, own the day” was, is, and will always be falsehood. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re living in a 24/7 world. And you wonder why kids aren’t listening to the radio? You’ve already answered the question.
The Boston Celtics have the three-headed beast: Allen, Garnett, and Pierce. True, LeBron is in a class by himself - but he can’t carry the Cavs by himself.
Seven games – and right up to the last minutes it could’ve gone either way. The Celtics are a team. The Cavs had a superstar lead surrounded by mediocrity and for that reason they won’t be on the hardwood until the ’08-’09 season.
How many games did the Cavs win this year without LeBron?
Remember what happened to CBS stations like WBCN, WYSP, and others when Howard Stern vacated terrestrial for satellite. Even to this day - WBCN has the Patriots, for Chrissakes, as well as Opie & Anthony, who have Boston roots – and they still can’t convert those numbers to other dayparts.
How many stations have morning shows followed by generic voice-tracking all day? Must you ask why listening is down and TSL is becoming an endangered species?
That’s why so many in radio have that feeling of vague but imminent doom. It’s real. Embracing that old school way of doing radio is terminal.
To those not in the know, managing a radio station has now joined King Crab fishing, coal mining, rattlesnake wrestling, and being a personal assistant to Mark Mays as the world’s most deadly professions.
The Celtics can tell you more about programming a successful radio station than the Cavs can.