Friday, July 06, 2007

Radio Crack & S.D.S.

So I've learned a few things in my years in radio... not a lot, but...something anyways. I'm going to explain a couple of things I come across almost everyday in my work. This may not be relatable to the everyday reader but for those in the business, I'm sure there are some similar stories out there. Here's a couple of terms I use:

Radio Crack

It's the term when some people just can't get enough of getting their name, their kid's name and what they're up to on the radio. Calling to inform us of even the smallest detail or the latest info of a project or event they just participated in. All in the hopes of having it broadcast to the masses.

It starts innocent enough. Maybe this person has a child who just won the Soap Box Derby or won a medal in a soccer tournament - great stuff actually and noteworthy. But when it doesn't stop, it can become scary. It's as if people need their "radio crack" fix to get them by.

The first time it's a rush. People on the street come up to you and say "hey I heard you on the radio talking about this or that" or "I hear your son had a great track and field meet". The gratitude and attention they receive puts a smile on their face.... they feel good about their accomplishments.

Don't get me wrong, I love getting information sent to me but I've been burned before. For example, there was a proud parent who called in some results for their daughter who played on a prestigious Provincial soccer team. Great stuff. The dad proceeded to tell me about all the goals she scored and how the team did. I assumed that she was the only local player on this Provincial soccer team and I went with the info on a sports story the next day. Did my phone ever start ringing! Turns out, four Swift Current girls played on this team and the question was why did I not talk about them too?? It turned into a parent pissing match about who's kid was better and who contributed more to the team. I felt used.


But, as time goes on, so does the attention and the spotlight. For some it's tough to handle. They will do anything to get back into the spotlight again. Whether it be next year's event or the next hockey tournament on the schedule, they want to have that sense of "accomplishment" again.

So the phone rings, the message manager gets another hit.... they stop by the radio station. All in an effort to get their "radio crack". It really becomes overbearing and weird.

You have to cut it off at some point. Much to their displeasure. Withdrawl symptoms take over and sometimes extreme measures are taken in response. The NEED they're hit.... it's scary stuff.

I know this seems strange, but believe me it's true.


The other term we use is S.D.S. - or "Spotlight Deficiency Syndrome".

This one applies to us, the workers of the media industry. This ensues when someone leaves the business to take up another profession.

After years of being in the public spotlight and being a recognizable name in the community, suddenly it's all taken away. You become just John Q. Citizen again and for some the transition is tough.

Pro athletes often suffer from this in my opinion, so do washed-up movie or T.V stars but to a much greater extent. Being a recognizable name or figure and getting accolades for it can be as addicting as a drug. For some who fade back into the scenery it's unbearable. We've all seen people unravel with drugs, alcohol and other issues once their time in the spotlight is over. If you don't believe me watch the reaility show the "Surreal Life".

I've seen it even in small-town radio. It's a hard pill to swallow. I would love to hear if other bloggers in the industry like Ryan, Regan and Roddy have seen similar stories.

Oh, I have to go....someone just showed up in the newsroom waiting to be interviewed....here we go again.

Jon

9 comments:

It's Me! said...

A personal favorite of mine is "Look at Me Syndrome". This mostly applies to radio personalities (and bar stars occassionally, but for these purposes, we'll keep the scope narrowed to radio). Very similar to Radio Crack, but for those in the business. "Look at Me Syndrome" is the need to be the centre of the spotlight at all times...those who interupt others, who can't co-host, and who, when they go out for public appearances, have the attitude that demands "worship me, I'm a big deal!!!" There is no known cure...and most often these people suffer from SDS following their inevitable exit from the industry.

Mole said...

My favorite is "Microphone Mask". These are radio guys who hide behind the radio mike because they are to damn ugly for T.V.

Sound familiar Keener.

Don't laugh to hard Switz - you suffer from this too.

The Wondering Hobo said...

Everyone can relate to this at some point in time. In TV you deal not so much with the public but with ego. Everyone has a huge ego that is fueled by the hierarchy of the industry and then countered with the ego of various artists who are dispersed amongst the group. Everyone thinks their the cats pajamas and it tends to clash. The way our society is set up this happens all most everywhere, people compare and judge themselves and categorize as to where they feel they are. When you leave any job you do have withdrawal, its weird leaving something you have lived with for so long, its like loosing a family member. The whole thing is very much an addiction, you become dependent and crash when its all over mentally and or physically. Scary to think of your everyday life as an addiction.

Jon Keen said...

Jeez, when you put it that way...that's even scarier.

Jeff said...

Since everyone seems to want a syndrome these days, we have coined the phrase "suffering from A.S.S." (Attention Seeking Syndrome)

Jon Keen said...

I like that one...A.S.S. it also works perfect as an acronym too.

Switzer said...

Everyone I know who has left radio has tried to get back in. It's why, even on my worst days in radio, I will never leave this business. People will leave radio to make "real money" but always want back in.

I will always encourage people to call in and be an interactive part of the radio show. Being able to call in and get on the air is one of the great things that separates us from the satellites. There are some people who think they can just show up whenever they want and go on the air whenever they want. Some people (organizers and promoters) are horrible for this. "Hey can you put this on the air every fifteen minutes for the rest of the day?"

Plus there are the people who think they are more important than the event they are promoting and feel the need to use us as recognition for their "hard work".

And yes Mole, I know I'll never be the pretty face reading weather off a teleprompter who files restraining orders against my fans.

Trines said...

Ahhhh good ole' "Spotlight Deficiency Syndrome". Has the town of Shaunavon gotten over that yet, or are they still suffering from it? Ahahaha!!!!!!

Go Riders maybe you'll owe me 2 drinks after tonight!

Jon Keen said...

Hey Latrina!

Looks like you're up a couple on me now. Jeez. How bout Friday night triple or nothin'?