Wednesday, April 20, 2016

                             THE PERSONIFICATION OF PERFECTION 

By jove, I think I've finally found it!  PERFECTION! I know, people say there is no
such thing. Many of us want to believe it, but most fail to achieve it. One person has!
After all the decades and broadcasts I've heard, when it comes to radio sports announcing, 
I say there is PERFECTION, and it's name is Vincent Edward Scully!
 For 67 years, the game of baseball, one team and one man have  become synonymous.
Vin Scully, the Dodgers and baseball are indeed one. It was(shall we say it) a perfect
marriage. No other voice has matched the flow and tempo of the game it depicts than that 
of Vin Scully. As a kid in high school in the '50's, when I first heard him, I thought he 
said his name was "Vince Kelly". But his name would become legend over six decades.

Baseball has no time clock like other sports. A game ends when it ends, and it's
up to the game's announcer to keep it interesting for however long that game lasts. Vinny
not only voices what he sees on the field, but it's his choice of the precise words and grammar
which set him apart as a true "poet" of the game. Keep in mind he is one person-basically
alone-for some three hours tasked with describing on radio, LIVE, the events occurring in a
baseball game. Vin Scully has elevated the art of public speaking to its highest level with
the proper verbiage to keep the listener totally involved. Never have I ever heard him seem
lost for a word, or a stumble or a mispronunciation. bet! And never have I
heard a negative word about his delivery or demeanor on or off the air. bet!
Vin's fellow sports broadcasters have always marveled at his superiority in his craft. They
know the difficulty of what is required to be a sportscaster...and they know...who is best.
It's unanimous almost every's Vin Scully. It will be hard to imagine America's
Game-Baseball, after this year when Vinny finally retires. It'll be almost like not hearing
our "National Anthem" then hearing "PLAY BALL"! But left behind are sports play-by-
play "gems we can all relive again and again:

Vin's most famous call, of course, is probably Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World 
Series -- "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened" -- 
but his finest moment as a poet and wordsmith may have come in Sandy Koufax's 
perfect game in 1965. (" two and two to Harvey Kuen")  
Here's the final inning of that game.

"And there's 29,000 people in the ballpark and a million butterflies."
"I would think that the mound at Dodger Stadium right now is the loneliest place in the world."
"On the scoreboard in right field it is 9:46 p.m. in the City of the Angels, Los Angeles, California. And a crowd of 29,139 just sitting in to see the only pitcher in baseball history
to hurl four no-hit, no-run games. He has done it four straight years, and now he caps it: 
On his fourth no-hitter he made it a perfect game. And Sandy Koufax, whose name will 
always remind you of strikeouts, did it with a flurry. He struck out the last six consecutive batters. So when he wrote his name in capital letters in the record books, that "K" 
stands out even more than the O-U-F-A-X."  

If that's not PERFECTION,  I don't know what is....Thanks for "Taking us out to the
ballgame" Vin.   That's my RadiOpinion, what's yours?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

                           WARNING! PETER PRINCIPLE IN PROGRESS!!

I have always liked the premise of "The Peter Principle", which says basically that:
one tends to rise to the level of one's own incompetence. Nowhere has that effect been
in relevance more than the Radio and/or broadcasting business. It's apparent from
the recent news and rumblings of the sale of the nation's three biggest Radio entities:
IHeart, Cumulus, and CBS; that their incompetence or current business practices have
not served them well. At least well enough to make a profit or sustain themselves 
financially....which is their primary goal isn't it? These broadcast profiteers do what so
many in the business world do-cut overhead by eliminating employees first-consolidate
various departments, then "water down" or homogenize your product. And of course,
hire upper management types who have little or no knowledge of the product that 
they're charged with overseeing. Small wonder this business "model" seldom works...
..especially in Radio. This type of "Executive" usually only deals with share holders,
Wall Street, and the Bottom Line. It never seems to occur to this type of "Executive"
that the "Product" needs to be this case a radio station and how it sounds.
No, upper management will point to lack of advertising revenue nationally or locally.
Radio stations during the so called "Golden Era" never had this problem. These radio
stations were always exciting, interesting, thus causing large-loyal listenership. Back
then, advertisers wanted to be on these stations...they loved the fact that you were doing
your part to attract an audience for them to hear their advertisement(s). Makes sense.
When in the last 20 or so years have you heard anything exciting or ear-arresting on air? Where are all the great announcer/DJs? What happened to the big giveaway or fantastic sounding station contests? These "Peter Principles" don't know..or don't really care. 
You see, since deregulation in the mid 1990's, radio corporations are nothing more than
large scale property for future sell offs and big, big profits. Hasn't
worked out that way for most has it? It's one thing to buy property, but you just can't
sit there and do nothing to the property; otherwise, it erodes, decays, becomes run down.
Like any property-house or building-radio needs the support to keep it up. This is the
very thing which today's large broadcast companies are not doing. Perhaps it's that the
large media conglomerates of today think much like our Federal government. Only the
BIG can do for the small. It seems to be that this liberal progressive idea works only
from the top..down. That the "Top" knows us! I'm not totally buying this
theory. I can only hope that when and if these stations sell, I hope they will be broken up 
into smaller-more individually run companies. 
Maybe lessons can be re-instituted from decades ago to restore local "glory". Maybe
radio can be lifted out of this FCC imposed "Peter Principle" penance it's been sentenced
to for far too long.  That's my RadiOpinion...what's yours?