Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nightly dumbass reigns supreme

Crank is slowly…very slowly…finding his own voice.  We have to ask, though, does every damn DJ on WZBH have a need to copy JJ’s nightly dumbass report format to be entertaining?

We noticed the trend awhile back with Doug McKenzie.  We even reviewed his unintentional humor, favorably, we might add.  Fortunately, interjecting some of the off-the-wall story as humor wasn’t a staple of his show.  We’ve listened to Sarah and she’s following JJ’s example.  Ok, she’s new and trying what she thinks works, so we cut her some slack.  Crank is, gratefully, getting away from Matt’s style of a morning show, but the few times we listened, he, too, is following JJ’s example.

With JJ, the stories work well.  After an hour of good, hard-hitting music, his quips are an entertaining intermission.  Let’s face it.  At the hours JJ is spinning his CDs, most listeners are tuning in for good music with as little commercial breaks and DJ commentary has legally possible.

With Sarah, we are divided in opinion.  During her shift, most listeners are at work and want to enjoy good, new music that is acceptable to play in a workplace with an interjection or two of flashback classics to keep the older coworkers happy.  Commentary shouldn’t be controversial or inflammatory, but should reflect the personality the DJ is trying to project, hopefully, a personality that most people will like and enjoy listening to.  Because Sarah’s show is during the work hours of most listeners, she has to appeal to the college-age as well as the sixty-year-olds.  (Yes, the elderly not only grew up with rock and roll, but also brought it mainstream.  Do you really think they stopped listening?)

Because of her really tough audience to appeal to, we’re divided on whether her JJ-like commentary works.  Half of us say she should continue as is.  She’s short, sweet, and funny and it works.  The other half of us says she can keep the JJ-like commentary, but needs to expand her horizons to appeal to the diverse audience listening.  In short, she needs to develop a personality of her own.  (If you’ve been paying attention, there’s five of us, so if half think one way and the other half thinks the other way, how does that divide up?)

On the other hand, mostly an audience of people driving solo to work is listening to Crank.  Competition for a morning show personality that stands out and draws in listeners is tough.  The JJ-like anecdotes are amusing, but clutter on a morning show.   Listeners want to listen to news and commentary that affects them, personally, on Delmarva.  While a story of some guy in India was discovered to have the anatomy of a woman is amusing, no one on Delmarva – except for maybe one or two people down in Accomack County – has ever known a person with the anatomy of both sexes.  Now, the story would be more relevant if it were tied into the growing occurrence of fish in our Bay having the anatomy of both sexes. 

“Huh?” you might say.

Big news a few years ago, and still occurring despite the lack of news coverage, is that a sizeable portion of our fish in the Bay have the anatomy of both sexes.  Blame is being put on our habit of disposing medications down the commode.  Since our wastewater treatment plants don’t filter out these pollutants, simply because they aren’t required to, the chemicals in these medications are mutating our fish.  

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am, we just turned a JJ-like story of an oddity in India into a story Delmarva listeners can laugh at on the surface, but think more about later because it is something that relates to them directly and could affect their future livelihood.  Crank, however, decided to focus on that fact that no one knew the real name of the Indian guy because of medical confidentiality laws, laws, which, we’re sure, affect the average American, but not the average Indian.

Long story short, or, at least shorter than what we could make it into, Crank needs to do his homework – with his audience in mind - before making his commentary.  Give us something to laugh about, but make us think about it later.  Crank, don’t fly by the seat of your pants.  Prepare for you show the night before.  The preparation will make a world of difference.

According to the WZBH FaceBook page, a new, and exciting, morning show is on the horizon.  Crank hinted at the change last Friday.  The horizon is only twelve miles away.  Just how long are they going to take to get there and give us this new and exciting show?  If the program director were a person, we’d have had the new show the day after Matt was fired.  It only takes a few hours for a person to walk to the horizon.  If a slug is running the show, well, those twelve miles to the horizon is an awfully long crawl.

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