Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It’s Official: “The Bashful Bloviator” Is Joining Tucson’s PowerTalk 1210

Will Tucson talk radio ever be the same? Of course not.

Uh, oh.  Someone went and did it.  I’ve been handed a microphone.

For the last few weeks I’ve been doing more and more with Tucson’s new AM news/talk station, PowerTalk 1210.  Last week, I soloed three shifts in the early morning 5:00 AM to 7:00 AM slot.  My first love in broadcasting was radio, but I haven’t been on the air on radio or TV on a regular basis since I took myself off to pursue newscast producing and, later, TV newsroom management, so many years ago I’d be embarrassed to tell you.

For my first shift on Tuesday, I was more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Going into it, I was afraid I’d run out of things to say, while most everyone who knew me was afraid I wouldn’t.  The show went OK, and at the end of it, station manager Jim Parisi not only didn’t call the police, but invited me back to do it again the following day.  That next show felt more solid and helped to bolster my confidence.

Thursday went even better for the most part, but I did momentarily get a taste of my own medicine.  For many years as a TV news director, I’d lectured anchors, reporters and producers to be prepared for whatever might happen.  Cameras fail, live field remotes crash, video reports get eaten, studio lights explode—and you have to be ready for all of it.  Well.  It’s easier to give that kind of advice than to live it, I found out.  I was just launching into one of my segments Thursday when there was some kind of power glitch and the computer in front of me froze up.  I had all my notes and some websites related to what I wanted to talk about on screen, including a two minute audio clip I planned to play.  Poof—all gone.

Now, in television when this happens—which it does all the time—you can dive to a commercial break if you have to, and then work like mad to fix the problem.  But in this case, we’d just played the break.  I had 8 minutes of airtime staring me in the face and nothing to fill it with except my charming, effervescent personality.  Somehow I did manage to B.S. my way through it, coming up with a personal story to tell that allowed me to tap dance long enough to make it to the next break, at which point I was able to get to the computer tower and reboot the doggone thing.  I hope it didn’t sound too awkward.  Jim didn’t seem concerned because afterwards he offered me the 10:00 AM to Noon shift weekdays.  I start July 14.

This is going to be fun.  I spent 33 years working in a profession that encourages you to dig out the facts, ask tough questions, and think really hard—and then forbids you from ever expressing an opinion.  I’ve got three decades worth of those stored up and am busting out with new ones all the time.  I hope and believe that my journalism experience will allow me to bring a useful new dimension to the commentary and analysis that you might not be able to get from most other sources.  That’s what it says on the press release, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

Interestingly, Jim has a background very similar to mine.  He also spent many years as a television news director.  Our shifts will be back to back, with his starting at 7:00 AM.  We think it’s a very strong and solid lineup, and we’re pretty sure no other news/talk station anywhere offers anything like it.  Stir in Steve Kass from 5 to 7 in the morning, John C. Scott from 3 to 5 in the afternoon, and Matt "Rascal" Condie from 5 to 7 PM, and we think we’ve got the best and most open-minded talk team in town.

Here's what you can expect from me:  My politics lean slightly right of center.  No party seems to want people like me, or can accommodate us anymore.  So I’m a registered independent, and owe allegiance to no political party.  I may ask probing questions of callers and guests, but no one will get shouted down, berated or belittled.  I have no political agenda to drive.  All views are welcome.

But I don’t intend just to bloviate.  I also have a quirky sense of humor.  Being originally from Tennessee, I plan to get in touch with my inner hillbilly.  We’ll do some satire (you can sample the flavor of some of that now on my blog’s Snarkograms page) and also some outright comedy on occasion.  Well, it’ll be intended as comedy, anyway.

This continues a journey I started many moons ago.  Right at the end of college, I stood at a crossroads and had to decide whether to pursue a career as a smart aleck on the radio, or to go into TV news.  I chose TV with the idea that if I didn’t like it, I could circle back to radio.  For most of the 33 years I spent in the profession, I did like it.  But now it’s time to complete that circle.  I’m overjoyed to be doing so.  I hope you’ll give us a listen. 

P.S.  And by the way, I’ll still have time to work on those novels!  Look for more news about my next step down that path soon.  Watch this space!


©2014 by Forrest Carr.  All rights reserved.

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