George got a nice note from Detroit’s Jim Harper:
“This is the most productive and potentially “golden” advice any morning jock could ever expect to receive. And it’s free! Then again…generous. Old Pros do that…never when asked, but when you least expect it and they sincerely want to help talent. I hope jox realize that Bob’s phone call script/outline should be stolen and produced with a killer-close…tomorrow! And George’s break-by-break then repeat-outline is a million dollar secret.”
Nice work, Gentlemen.
George and I were chatting this morning about something that’s always irritated the hell out of both us, especially about morning show talent.
The big sports news, the news really, is Baseball’s League Championship Series have started. Dodgers-Brewers, Red Sox-Astros. The winners go to the World Series. It’s huge, even for people who don’t avidly follow baseball or listen to sports radio,
Here’s the deal, all over the country, radio people, who know zip about baseball, will begin pontificating on baseball. It happens every year. Don’t do it, you’ll sound like a moron.
I had an afternoon talk show host, a smart, interesting guy, great numbers. He knew nothing about sports and hated baseball. We carried baseball on the station, we did it for the cume, but that’s another story.. Anyway, our team ended up in the World Series. For the Series, we set up a remote broadcast studio in the parking lot right by the main gate of the ball park. We’d move the station to the ball park every afternoon prior to the home games. The talk show host pitched a bitch because he didn’t want to sound like an idiot on the air. The solution his producer and I came up with was simple, surround him with experts. We had an ancient, regional sales manager who had been a pitcher in AAA ball for the Phillies. He was so old, he played before MLB expansion! The guy knew baseball in and out. He was always fun to go to a game with, he carried a baseball with him and explained each pitch and the grip needed to throw it. We put him with the talk show host. We found baseball writers, TV guys (even Bob Costas dropped by) and retired ball players (Gary Carter) to join our guy for his shows prior to the games. Our guy was good, he knew when to shut up and he began asking the right questions. He got the “experts” to tell their stories. He was relaxed and comfortable with baseball during those shows. He did a great job doing something he initially didn’t want to do. There was a lot of laughing and good times on the radio, just guys talking about baseball. The callers asked good questioners and the experts gave them great answers.
When the teams moved on to play in the other teams home ball park. Our once reluctant talk show host couldn’t wait to get our sports guy on the phone to talk baseball.
The Series went 7 games, when our team won it, the happiest guy in the ball park was our talk show host, who a few weeks earlier hated baseball.
Jack Cole (RIP) was a pro.
And let that be a lesson for you.
BTW, We didn’t originate the games, but we carried them and made them our own. We won numerous awards for out sports production. Our production director was at the presentation ceremony in in New York and the committee was blown away that we weren’t the originating station for Marlin’s baseball.
It’s called “Theater of the Mind”.
Personal sidebar: My first date with my wife was the 7th Game of the World Series between the Marlins and Cleveland. The Cakes hasn’t been to a baseball game since!