Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Radio Rod

by Pa Rock
Cultural Commentator

Several days ago while writing about the Beatles, I mentioned that one of my favorite radio stations back in the day was WLS (AM 89) out of Chicago. In fact, most evenings while I was in high school I could be found in my room, reading or writing, and listening to the pop music of the times on WLS. At it's zenith, the Chicago AM station reached forty of the forty-eight continental states.

WLS missed the boat sometime in the early 1970's when many radio stations upgraded to the new technology - FM. Today the station still exists in Chicago as an AM outlet, and it is primarily a talk radio station. (Eventually, WLS did go on and purchase an FM license for a second outlet - which focuses on "oldies.")

WLS (AM 89) has been in the news today because of a rather notorious fill-in DJ for their morning show. Disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich was at the mike bloviating, playing some Elvis, and interviewing celebrities like news reporter Ann Compton and comedian D.L. Hughley.

(Has the former governor fallen on hard times financially? Did Roland Burris's check bounce?)

According to the news blogs, Rod did a passable job as a DJ, if you overlook the time that he spent whining about being railroaded out of office, dissing his successor, and invoking the will of God by saying that he is awaiting God's plan for him to be revealed.

But the former person of importance may have already screwed the pooch when it comes to a career in radio. When he was fighting to keep his job as governor, WLS told him that they would give him his own show if he would resign. The governor inexplicably passed on the opportunity. He should have thought longer and harder on that generous offer because there is obviously money to be made in talk radio. After all, the medium is capable of keeping Rush Limbaugh in groceries and drugs - definitely not a small change operation!

Hey Rod, you snooze, you lose!

No comments: