Thursday, April 28, 2005


Someone rescue "Springer on the Radio"

Maybe this is stating the obvious, but after listening to both the PM and AM (PM replays) of Jerry Springer, we think his show is in big trouble and highlights two big problems of Air America.

The first problem, one that pre-dates Springer's arrival, is that the shows producers/directors/personalities/call screeners often fail to keep the programs fresh, interesting and moving along. For the most part, the Al Franken show is a major exception to this because 1) they don't take calls, and 2) they produce short segments with guests that are knowledgable and have something different and interesting to say.

This isn't meant to be a slam on listener calls. But - and we think this is a big "but" - if you are going to do it, screen them well and make sure that have a new angle on the topic. We confess that after the third Stephanie Miller caller that says, "Hi Stephanie, this is Susan - we love you in Columbus. Your the best! Can you believe Bush is still trying to take away our Social Security?," we want to beat our car radio senseless." (Solution: Hard screen your callers. Find out what they want to say. Learn the difference between chit chat and something really interesting. And, finally, warn the callers before you put them on to get to the point. Cut them off if they are too slow or if their "great story" about Harry Reid turns out to be a snoozer. And, keep all the calls short unless the caller truly has video of a torrid Karl Rove/Jeff Gannon affair.)

Springer's problem, however, is his own. He is soooooo sloooooooow. His deliver is slow. His comments and explanations are slow - so slow listeners lose track of where he is going. Yes, we know that he is looking for a side-kick to riff off of, but the whole concept of the show seems off. If anyone should have a grasp of what "entertaining" is, it should be Springer. Instead he sounds like a bored college professor lecturing us on stuff from a book. Jerry has nothing new to say, it doesn't sound like his staff does any research or finds guests that aren't already being interview elsewhere. He's not funny. He and his staff have no creative bits.

You can't have commercially successful radio that is this bad. You especially can't have morning drive radio that puts you to sleep. Fix Springer, or return Morning Sedition. Otherwise, we're back to NPR and Howard Stern (guilty pleasure confession) in the morning.


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