Radiogurl a la Carte

Monday, Dec. 12, 2005
Green and Blues

Yes, D-man, there is a Santa Claus pen and paper. They still actually exist and a few of us know the proper means of wielding them. While I write most frequently here these days, I still commit a lot to paper. Paper's easier to burn before anybody discovers it, hehehe.

The massive missive to Mr. Complicated is sent, after I made a mad dash to the post office last night, adding both it and another batch of Christmas cards to the holiday glut. Most of the year I appreciate the immediacy of e-cards, but for birthdays and holidays I like to pretend I comprehend preparation and set aside my perpetual procrastination in favor of personal touches. (How's THAT for alliteration and free rhyme, hmm???) There's the added factor that I figured if I waited, I'd chicken out, do a watered-down rewrite and wouldn't say the things I needed to say.

I'm fighting with a scratchy throat today - which hopefully doesn't signal something nasty. My air shift is over, thank goodness, but I still have some production work I need to wrap up. I'm also trying to work up an interview with Mike Nesmith; he's cut another CD and I contacted his PR team to see if he's willing to drop the long-time moratorium on interviews to promote the new work. (Cross your fingers!) I had to make several phone calls initially this morning and have fired off some emails, but it'll probably take at least several days to find out if we'll get the coup I'm aiming for.

If he interviews with us, chances are I'll set him up to talk to my Friday afternoon guy, who 1) has more time to devote to the project and 2) has the only programming from the station that's still streamed regularly (at least for now.)

The issue of licensing and fees for Internet streaming are still in court. Radio stations maintain we already pay the licensing to broadcast the music; but ASCAP and BMI, who ostensibly represent the artists, claim since it's another format it qualifies for a separate (and hugely inflated) fee. I think we figured at one rural station we figured our streaming license would run into the tens of thousands of dollars per month; more than the gross station revenues.

There's another artists' group called SESAC. It's frustrating as heck. You have maybe two artists, two or three songs on your station through that agency, but you're required to pay as much as for the hundreds (and potentially thousands) through the other two agencies. Total rip off in my opinion but they don't seem to terribly interested in my views on the matter. Go figure.

For what it's worth, you're licensed according to the size of your market, not station income or how much music you play; therefore because we're a low-power FM our 'market' is reflected by a really tiny licensing fee. Since we're public radio, that's another determining factor. But unlike PBS and NPR, we get zilch in terms of grant funding, at least at this point. Every penny that comes through our doors comes from local merchants and a few residents who send donations. Mighty few, in fact.

In spite of our low power designation, we have fair coverage. Aside from the advantages of elevation, we've got two translators that pick up our original 10-watt signal and amplify it like crazy. We won't ever have the coverage of a 500,000-watt FM but we do get to some communities that are fifty miles away or thereabouts. We're easily the number two station in the immediate area, in terms of ratings; unfortunately the former underwriting manager really mucked us up while he was still here and it's an uphill battle trying to undo the damage. At the number two spot in a community of 15,000 where there aren't a lot of stations, should be making a pretty decent income. Instead, while we're in the black, we're just kind of scraping by.

Okay, enough of boring you with radio junk. (That's a technical term we use to describe programming and whatnot. Whatnot is, naturally, another technical term; but if I told you what that meant, I'd probably have to either kill your or make work at radio wages, a fate worse than death.)

It's been a looooong day today. This weekend was a work weekend; I got precious little that could be considered rest, and still have a whole lot more to do. There's more of the web work. I want to finish it up tonight but I'm going to bill them through Thursday, whether or not I'm done. I don't think that's unrealistic at this point, since it's looking increasingly like I'll NEVER be done.

That isn't a problem in the sense that it's pretty fair money for the time, but I am exhausted and wish I could foist some of the work off on one of my partners. Unfortunately I can't do that yet, for technical reasons. Won't be long, though. Then a-foisting I will go at every opportunity, believe me.

I've gotten leads on two more potential websites; I don't know how many that makes now. I know it's far, far more than I can handle alone. Fortunately I've accumulated several partners in crime, so to speak, so I can and will share the wealth. I have two ladies who are wonderful and I know they write nice clean code. I won't have to apologize for the work they do, that's for sure.

I have been emailing back and forth with Jake S's manager today and was apologizing for taking so long to get back with him. (Jake's on Conan O'Brien tomorrow night.) I still need to review a couple of other CD's he's sent my way and he's got another artist I'm interested in - but who the hell has time???

Both businesses have just ballooned all of a sudden and I don't have the time to do ANYTHING. It's nuts. My underwriting manager also just dropped more production materials on my desk from another sale. This is all good because it translates into money for the station, but yeesh... It's supposed to run tomorrow. I still haven't updated some stuff that was recorded week before last. This is becoming ridiculous.

This has been written in short spurts and I'm afraid it's going to have to end here. Break's over and I've got to finish up as much as I can before leaving. I've got all of the stuff done on this machine, now back to the other grindstone!

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )