La Radio, c'est le Moulin Rouge !

Just heard today about the most incredible thing : an Adult Contemporary radio station, last year, gave 2 weeks of holidays to its team for Christmas/NewYear, and replaced them by MasterControl’s automation !

Yes, you read those two words in the same sentence : RADIO and HOLIDAYS ! Ah ah ah ah ah ! I just couldn’t stop laughing.

I know two kinds of radio people : those who LIVE RADIO, and those who WORK in Radio. But holidays are reserved for the second kind ; those who just have a job that happens to be in the broadcasting industry.

But what is LIVING RADIO ?

I had the chance to be part of some radio starts… radios that one day were a project, and the day after were on air… I remember that GM, a Lady, saying with panic in her eyes at the end of the first day of broadcasting : “But… what’s scary… is that now… it won’t stop… never… it started, and won’t finish….”

Yes… that’s precisely the point. Radio is NONSTOP. You prepare a Theater play ? First night, first show. At 22:30, the curtain comes down, and that’s all… until tomorrow. Not in Radio. When you start it… it won’t stop before years, tens of years, or maybe never. And when it does, it’s for seconds, and it’s panic everywhere. Radio IS special. Radio is a SHOW that NEVER STOPS.

I’ve seen drama. I’ve seen disease and death in radio. I’ve seen friends disappearing. I’ve seen DJ’s losing their relatives… and being on air, just for “that next song”. I’ve seen DJ’s spending Christmas on air, hosting, bringing joy and music in the homes of the lonely, while their own family was expecting them at home… I’ve seen people, great people, understanding that radio is A SERVICE OF ENTERTAINMENT.

I have seen people divorcing because their so-called love was not able to understand that radio was a mission. I’ve seen people sleeping in the studio, because no money to take the train to reach home. I’ve seen listeners faint when they were understanding that that guy in the elevator with them was THAT DJ that they were listening to for years on radio.

I’ve seen a guy in terminal phase of his cancer asking for a radio receiver for his hospital room.

Then… there are people who consider it as a job. Just like another job.


Radio is Le Moulin Rouge. And the show never stops.

Ladies, check your pantyhose.

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  1. serban

    October 19, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    hmmm those days are gone! I lived the times when what u say about radio was true! I used to feel it on my skin! Sleeping in the studio, having no holidays for years, scheduling the birth of my son after the radio schedule! Now, that type of radio is dead! We have playlist, research, automation, Dj’s are saying nothing, no brain inside, we don’t like the music we play, but we broadcast it because of “the book “and because “of the research”!
    Today’s radio is a big industry, not a dream!
    You will find more workers than believers in today’s radio !
    sad but true!


  2. Denis Florent

    October 19, 2008 at 11:56 pm


    I think there are two separate topics here.

    1. Music / Scheduling / Research :

    I started playing radio in 1985 (Nov 5th ;-), and I never worked in a radio without Selector, or at least without pre-scheduling. I never chose the music I played. Never.
    I love addressing the masses. I am not into niches. If I had been a speech-writer, I would have loved to write for big stadium speeches ;-) I am into mass-market.
    Basically, I don’t see any reason not to play what people want to hear. I am at their service, not the opposite :-) Then, back home, you don’t want to know what I listen to ;-)

    But don’t misunderstand me : I LOVE the music I play on air. It’s entertainment. It’s a precisely designed entertainment product.

    Let’s talk about your morning show. You are doing with words exactly the same as we do with music ! ;-) You are CAREFULLY writing jokes that will make people LAUGH. And you hope they will ELEGANTLY make a MAXIMUM OF PEOPLE LAUGH. You sculpt your show by every millimeter, precisely caring for optimizing each moment. That’s what you do, because you care for the result. You WANT a maximum of chosen targeted people to enjoy what they hear on air.

    Maybe, in your real life, you would prefer to read Shakespeare poetry on air. But you don’t do it, because you are into show-business. You are on the stage of the Moulin Rouge, just like every other moment of the radio.

    You do with words what we do with music. It’s the same. And that’s why you succeed.

    2. More workers than believers.

    I agree with you 100%. But, as you know, it’s all about pyramids… so… let’s show them how it’s supposed to be ;-)

    And… if they are only workers… at least let’s make them PERFECT workers.
    A plumber cannot build a whole house, but he can be the best plumber of the world, and that’s just what we need, sometimes.



  3. Foka

    October 20, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    In my opinion, radio can be fun, even if you don’t always play the music you like. If you realize that people listen to you and enjoy what you do on air, it’s quite impossible not to feel satisfied and happy about it.
    And that’s all it takes to love radio. Knowing that every day, thousands tune in to listen to your show.
    When you have guests at your home, you will not bore them doing things that only you like. You will do anything to make them feel good, and their satisfaction is your happyness, in the end. And you know, that they will come back. Otherwise, you will start to feel really lonely after a while. Because nobody will visit you twice :)


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