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I Can't Listen To You Anymore!

(by Ron Robinson)

Dear Talent:

We have never met and I would appreciate your keeping that in mind as you consider this letter. Even though your first impulse on reading the following might be to take offense, it would be a mistake, as I dont know you well enough for you to be offended or, for that matter, for you to care. There is still an opportunity to consider this as no more than "information". Nevertheless, I cannot listen to you anymore. And, I will list my reasons.

1.) You keep talking as if you and I had established a close, warm and personal connection and that I presume I am the one to whom you are communicating. We have not. It is not and I do not.

2.) You and your associates are continuously telling me what to do as if you had some authority over me. You do not.

3.) You presume you have an inside-track to what my immediate experiences might be. You presume I'm in my car when I'm not or dragging my butt through a "work day" when I'm doing no such thing. I was always prepared, when you did finally hit one accurately, to call you immediately. We havent spoken. Further, this is a nebulous "shotgun approach" where only a sniper could have the desired impact. In other words: A "shotgun approach" generates tremendous collateral damage. And many of us resent that.

4.) "Fast and Furious" was an interesting, little car-crash movie. It is not, however, a description for a useful, exclusive presentation-style. Although it is too late for me, it still might be worthwhile to request of your PD that she turn the Tazer under the Control Room cushion to the off position - even from time to time. This, for the benefit of your next listener. Nobody is so consistently that light, tight & bright who isnt in a trance-state, delusional, on serious meds, squatting on a cattle-prod or operating on a distorted portion of company policy. Or some combination.

5.) Based only on what I have been hearing, I am older, smarter, and better educated than you and have had more life-experiences. As such, I respond poorly to being talked to as if I were a drooling idiot. My drooling is not the result of a lack of intellectual capacities. Its about something else. Something about which I feel shame and I don't want to talk about it today. If I was on the air, though, I sure as hell would! :)

6.) Getting me to your web-site, or to participating on your Facebook or Twitter accounts is your problem. For what possible, useful purpose to me have you insisted on trying to make it mine? I do have other, more invigorating interests. Really. I do.

7.) After all this time, I still have no idea who you are, what your life-experiences might be, if you have any positions worth consideration or if I can learn something by investing time with you. So farbupkis. Zilch.

8.) You keep insisting that what you are your colleagues are providing consists of only The Best, The Greatest and The Most. I am obliged to wonder: According to whom? Compared to what? When? And, in what context? But, perhaps I ask too much.

9.) On the off-chance you might have something of interest to say, I am compelled to wait around until some other biological form makes the next, great evolutionary step before I get to hear you even make the attempt. I can get the tunes anywhere and at all times. Plus, those aren't, necessarily, the tuneage I'd be choosing for myself anyway. To put it more succinctly: I have never had a trouser-accident from being told I'm getting "10 songs-in-a-row". Others might. Yes, it was you I wanted to hear!

10.) When you do make a half-hearted stab at communicating an idea, it sounds like you are still formulating the words never mind: phrases - as you are speaking them. Your next listener might be a little more appreciative if you acquired some serious and important tool-usage skills. Im thinking: pencil.

Now, I appreciate all of this is not your fault. (HONK!! ALARM!!)

Alright then. Actually it is all your fault as you are responsible ultimately for you own behaviours. You do choose to allow yourself to be limited, exploited and bullied about by your employers. You do know that the environment in which you work is Draconian. You do know you are under-serving your audience and the advertisers who keep your paltry efforts on-the-air. But, I do also comprehend the vagaries of corporate-Radio policy and protocol and I wouldnt want to come off as being overly unkind. Unless, its too late for that.

And so, although posting this letter could have been so unnecessary, and as I must, even so, say goodbye - truly with no ill wishes there may be some value in realizing that if I ever think of you again, it, unfortunately for both of us, will be with indifference. I'm sure that was never an explicit intention of yours when you got into this business.

Ronald T. Robinson has been involved in Canadian Radio since the '60s as a performer, writer and coach and has trained and certified as a personal counsellor. Ron makes the assertion that the most important communicative aspects of broadcasting, as they relate to Talent and Creative, have yet to be addressed.




(10/26/2013 12:59:02 PM)
nE1t6a Great blog.Much thanks again. Great.

- NY
(9/13/2013 3:09:44 AM)
w5wd96 Major thankies for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

- NY
(9/6/2013 5:55:03 AM)
b6UIRN Thanks a lot for the post.Much thanks again.

- NY
(4/4/2012 6:18:13 PM)
RTR: Pt.Deux of what began last month was a worthwhile wait! Not sure if that will be common reactive response though;life can be a great teacher - for the 'teachable.' Radio could still be so successful, so compelling, so captivating;however,that would require people of like minds dedicated to a common goal and doing whatever necessary to get there!Didn't that Jet Blue Pilot say the same thing?

- Charley West
(4/2/2012 2:45:23 PM)
He always has a lot to say about radio, which is interesting in that he hasn't held a radio job in decades.
His comments are always the same, negative rubbish, too. If he was as great at it as he claims, wouldn't he be working in it? Reading his drivel has become nothing more than a big, fat yawn. Predictable. Perhaps he should take his own advice, or just face the fact that his career in radio is over. Let it go.

- Jack

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