Saturday, February 12, 2011
In July of 2010 quite a few show hosts decided to leave a radio network for reasons of their own. This event afforded me an opportunity to become a radio show host on that network. From the very beginning I worked hard, some would say I worked harder than anyone else, to keep that network from going under. It was a mutually beneficial relationship in that, the network had someone to fill air time which was crucial to keeping the network relevant and I was able to gain valuable on air experience. In fact there were many days in the beginning when I would be on air for 4 to 5 hours out of a 9 hour broadcast day schedule.
I enjoyed a good relationship with the owner of the network and others in upper management. Also because of my efforts, the communication between show hosts was excellent (something that was lacking in the past), as well as communication between those hosts and upper management (once again, something that was lacking in the past). Times were good, the network remained relevant and the negative effects of all of those show hosts leaving started to diminish. I enjoyed my time on the network completely, all the while going above and beyond what was asked and/or required of me.
On December 2, 2010 I had a conversation with the owner of the network to inform him that, because of a change in my work situation, I would have to end my show on the network effective December 31, 2010. I had always maintained that I intended to help out when I can, if needed, as evidenced by my filling in for a few shows during the month of January 2011.
As a result of another show host having to leave for work related reasons, on January 29, 2011 I once again offered my services to the network to fill one hour of a Friday show that the former host vacated. Instead it was asked of me to fill a 90 minute show later in the day on Friday evening, because a different show host was no longer going to be doing said show, I agreed to do it.
In an effort to mend fences and build bridges between a few of the former show hosts, listeners and the network, I invited 3 former show hosts to join me on air for a "family reunion" style show for my "official" return to the network on February 4, 2011. Now I did in fact inform the owner of the network of my intentions to do such a show in a phone conversation between the two of us that took place on Tuesday February 1, 2011 before the show was scheduled. I pointed out that this type of show might ruffle a few feathers and I was told that "we could use the publicity." So I went ahead with the planned show. It was a huge success, many of the former listeners to the network were in the chat room for the first time in over six months (as evidenced by the large amount of people in the chat room throughout the show, and not a one expressed any concerns or disapproval of the tone and/or content of that show) and the actual listens to that show were the best for that Friday time slot in quite a few months (over 400 total listens as I write this), this is fact backed up by numbers (a you tube video of that show is approaching 600 views).
Immediately following that show I had a conversation with the owner of the network and I was informed that a few people were upset about it, including a perspective sponsor to the network. I received a message on my profile page on the website of the network from another former show host, who made threats to initiate legal action if that show continued to be available for download. The assertions of said former show host were completely false and unfounded. This fact did not stop that show title from being edited for content at the wishes of said former show host (who just so happens to be a friend of the above mentioned perspective sponsor). I had to find out about this through a message sent to me, not from the owner of the network, but from my friend... a former show host. I looked into it and in fact, the title and description of the episode in question was edited (and remains so). I realize that the owner of said network has the final say in all decisions regarding show content. What is perplexing to me is that I did inform said owner about that show's content and scheduled guests and I was given the "green light" to proceed with it. My problem with the whole situation is that, as host of that particular show, it would have been nice to have been informed of the network management's decision to edit said show.
I feel as though myself and my friend, a former show host who participated in the show in question, were "thrown under the bus" and sacrificed for the opportunity to bring in said perspective sponsor (who once again, is friends with the former host who made threats of legal action against the network because of that show) who did not agree with the tone or content of the show. I have been informed that the show in question still remains available in it's entirety for download, but with my show information deleted from the title and description. The reasoning behind this given to me by the network owner was, to appease a former show host and to get an apology from said host for painting the network in a negative light in a you tube video.
I write this to point out the facts and no other motivations are behind this piece. I feel that my friend and myself have been unjustly wronged to satisfy the wishes of a former show host and his friend, a perspective sponsor of the network.
Never did I imagine on a network with the word "freedom" in the title, that I would be censored and denied freedom of speech.
These are my reasons for walking away... I wish everyone involved the very best of luck in the future.
Thanks but no thanks.
Jay a.k.a. ljc3000 (2-11-11)