Crusty News Veterans
WTOP already had a unique way of talking about its studio. It's often referred to on-air as "the glass-enclosed nerve center" of the station. Now it's "The Ledo Pizza Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center." Read more at www.dcrtv.com. Scroll down to the WTOP blurb. You can also hear an MP3 of what it sounds like on-air.
This reminds me of a fundraising spot I wrote for the Car Guys a few years ago. It never made it to national distribution but the hook was that "everything is for sale" these days. In the spot, one of the Car Guys had the bright idea to send a bill to the Ann Taylor clothing company every time NPR newscaster Ann Taylor said her name. After all, why let them have free publicity?
Then they take naming rights to the extreme. Carl "White Castle" hamburgers. Robert Spiegel catalogs. Cory Lintoff could front for one of those sticky-roller companies. The obvious Nina Totenberg joke was included too.
It was a good gag at the time. One that looks less and less funny these days. Just about everything really is for sale.
Commercial broadcasters continue to lower their standards to make money. The temptation in public radio will be to follow suit. Rather than setting high standards and maintaining them, many will want to take the money as long as public radio looks good by comparison.
I really hope we'll avoid that trap. Last time I checked, "we're not as bad a commercial radio" wasn't one of public radio's Core Values.