Word came out of Denver late Friday that Indie 101.5 is stunting with a new “Stripper Radio” format called “The Pole.” According to the Denver Post, the playlist consists of a cross pollination of CHR and Rock hits such as “Addicted to Love and “Baby Got Back.” Interspersed with the typical pop tuna’ are drops of giggly toe-headed girls espousing the great virtue of “The Pole.” Uh huh. I tried to listen to the stream, however the page re-sized to a postage stamp and kept bugging me to upgrade Flash. Annoyed the hell out of me so I gave up.
Well, I wish them luck. Bless you Indie 101.5, whichever direction your radio station takes. This particular stunting action however got me thinking a bit. It’s pretty clever, the whole “Stripper Radio” concept, and much better than the usual all Elvis or Christmas music format stunting to gain some press and attention. So why is stunting, an action to make you stand out from the pack on the dial, usually so uninspired? OK, I’ll chime in.
- Stunting before a format change is usually instituted by a GM. Let’s face it, the GM undoubtedly comes from a sales background. Sales guys worry about sales. They aren’t wired the same way a nut-job programmer is. Thank God.
- The Program Director is almost always given the boot before the stunt, so it’s up to the General Manager to come up with some clever idea. So we get Elvis or Christmas music.
- If you’re lucky (did I say that?), there may be a new PD on the way or a consultant overseeing the new format switch, but they are usually too busy fiddling with Selector to worry about the “Stunt.” They are concerned with the new format on the way, not some “silly” transition that will last a few days.
A number of years ago I worked at a country station in Miami, this was during the hey-day of Y-100, with Bill Tanner and his very savvy crew. The owners at this particular country station in question (WGMA) decided to take on Y-100, despite the fact that the station had a directional AM stick and was heavily underpowered, especially at night. Still, the WGMA management had a very good idea. The station was renamed ” WADY: The Lady… For Singles Only.” WADY was represented by a pink logo of the reclining chick that used to be so prevalent on truckers mud flaps. All in all, “The Lady,’ was pretty damn close to “Stripper Radio.” Man, did we get away with a lot. The content was extremely sexual. Even the PSA’s would raise eyebrows today. I remember one in particular, it went something like this:
“After sex… A warm, damp, moist towel is the perfect way to please your partner….”
The management brought in Dave Denver (aka: Richard Lippincott) along with his crew from KGMB-Honolulu (home of the legendary AKU, who would pull in 50 shares in Honolulu or some such insanity). The day before the format switch, Dave decided to take over the mic and turn the country station into a talk station. Dave started taking calls, putting the good ol’ boys on the air. Dave was calling them “retards” and ranting something along the lines of… “Country listeners are idiots who just sit around the bus station, pick their noses and spit on the floor all day.”
WGMA was located out in Davie, a western suburb between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Now Davie was known as a kinda’ “red neck” town. Davie had hitching posts for your horse at all the local businesses (including the McDonald’s) and was infamous for it’s yearly KKK rally through the Downtown district. As you can imagine, all of this “red neck” talk wasn’t going over very well on the air with the country listeners. The radio station parking lot, located in the very rural sticks of Davie, was being populated with a multitude of pickup trucks, all sporting gun racks. The WADY studio had a big plate glass window and the crowd outside was getting rowdier and more unruly by the minute. Think the villagers scene in “Young Frankenstein.” Dave ended up hiding under the control board, with mic in hand, begging for police assistance at the radio station. Somehow the national press got ahold of the story and it was all over the news. We even got a pretty good write-up in Playboy. Now that’s Stunting!
Yea, back to stunting. I always wondered why no one ever played their sound effects library or sweeper package as a stunting angle. I’m sure that endless sounds of breaking glass, car crashes and woosh-bang would raise some eyebrows. I can imagine Eugene and Mabel driving along wondering what happened to their polka music, banging on the radio trying to figure out why an endless stream of barnyard animals is broadcasting on their favorite frequency. How about comedy records? Anything has got to be better than all Elvis and Christmas music. To this, I tip my hat to “Stripper Radio: The Pole.” Happy stunting!
Your humble RadioNX admin