Tuesday, February 21, 2006

I hope that this goes somewhere

Hi folks. Thanks for bearing with the silence. I've been doing a lot of full-tilt mulling, of a sort that doesn't easily translate into text, so this may be a little fitful.

The talk-folk at NJ 101.5 FM decided, in so many words, to auction off their 7-11 pm show, American Idol-style. Call in, do a little spiel, get narrowed down to 16. Then you do an hour in the booth with the regular hosts and get cut down to eight; then another hour, another cut. The final four get one full 7-11 show to themselves, and after two more rounds of that, the last host talking is the new permanent addition to the talk-radio firmament.

I'd considered doing this. It's not that I don't love my job, because I do. I've been there longer than five years now. I have a pension and everything. Truth be told, I didn't think I had more than a remote chance of actually landing the gig - but - and this is where the logic falters - I wanted to try. I mean, "Nightfly" was chosen in homage to the Donald Fagen song of the same name, about... a late-night radio host. I looked into college radio while I was there, and community radio after that, and hemmed and hawed and generally spazzed about the idea. It's a lot of work - for every hour at the board, a host spends two in prep, recording promos and bumps, researching topics...

At this point in my life, maybe I was just tired of saying to myself, "Binkley, you bored, miserable yuppie, you never went for the gusto." I'm not a "jump off the horse for the brass ring" personality - I'm almost anally competitive, but not really a risk-taker. ("I'll have the plain vanilla ice cream, please - but it's got to be the BEST DAMN CONE EVER.") But I wanted to be sure; I talked it over with my friends, my girlfriend, my boss... The heavy favorite in these conversations was, "Go for it." (Or as one of my friends said, "Promise them listeners - if you get it I'll actually tune in.")

On the appointed day, I called, got to the screener, got on hold. The rest is non-history. I hung up before I hit the air. Life goes on without me.

That's what's left me short of thoughts to share these past few days. It wasn't lack of topics. I have about five or six posts on the burner that will be popping up in the evenings these next few days. I've just been sidetracked. I go back and forth about it, between "prudent choice" and "buck-BRAWWWWK." I like to think I'd have done well - but did I bail in order not to disturb that little notion? Sometimes I have trouble with four topics a week to blog; this gig would require four a day, four times a week, every week from now until closing time. Could I dodge the dreaded dead air? Would I have any creative freedom (to do stuff like this)?

So there it is. Thank you, loyal listeners, for sharing this episode of Nightfly's Midlife Crisis.

No comments: