Production 212: The Boob Tube

Production-212-Logo-1By Dave Foxx

I got an email from a producer I work with in Barbados a few weeks ago who had just been turned on to RAP Magazine. Among the adjectives he used were, “fantastic,” “brilliant” and “amazing.” Then he spoke about my columns. {Sigh} For the sake of decorum, I won’t repeat the words he used for that.

Well, greetings from New York – the worldwide center of idiocy. You might recall that about a month ago, the pop-culture universe was still buzzing about Janet Jackson’s bare boob being seen during the Superbowl on national television. Jay Moonves over at CBS was making grave announcements about whether Janet was welcome at the Grammys, and both Justin and Janet were denying any ill intent. Televangelists were declaring the imminent demise of all social structure, and a lot of radio personalities were saying, “so what?” Personally, I was cheering.

Like Britney’s wedding the month before and Madonna’s osculatory antics the month before that, Janet’s escapade lit up the pop culture landscape. Everyone was standing around the water cooler on Monday talking about his/her own experience. Some people had saved it on Tivo or VHS. Others had been taking a bathroom break or were not watching at all and had to see the digitized version on the news over the next several nights, but pretty much everyone at least heard the story. I don’t know whether Justin and Janet had planned it or not. I don’t think it matters much because they provided a ton of pop culture fodder for folks like us, whether you and I approve of what transpired or not.

If I had to guess, I’d say at least one station in every market took advantage of the situation with sweepers, promotions or commentary. Here in New York, we centered a weekend promotion on it, and that brings me to the point of this month’s column. Save everything. Every time an artist wanders though, grab the interview, performance and/or sweeper session and burn it to CD or DVD-ROM. If the same artist comes back, get the old media and burn a new CD or DVD-ROM with any new stuff plus the older sessions so you always have one CD or DVD-ROM with everything from that artist in one place. Make a copy for yourself if you’re safety conscious. Keep notes on the contents.

The day after the Superbowl, when we had our Monday morning programming and promotions meeting, just like everyone else in the world, we were talking about the half–time show. Someone said, “We have to wrap some kind of weekend promotion around this.” Well, we had everything we needed. In an interview Janet did with our afternoon guy, Paul “Cubby” Bryant, some 4 or 5 years ago, she told him to “stop looking at (her) boobies.” It was a big laugh at the time, but that gave us the ammunition we needed. We clipped the final ‘s’ off the phrase and made that our cue to call. We had gotten an advance copy of her new single, Just A Little While, a couple of weeks before and knew that she had not yet shot a video. A phone call to the label secured a grand prize of admission to the set of the video shoot. Add our standard “Z-100 Dollar Bill” as a qualifying prize and we were set for the Z100 Flash 4 Cash Weekend.

Since this month’s CD is full of RAP Awards nominees, I’ve posted the finished promo at http://64.226.255.32/janetRAP/ so you can hear our collective brilliance. It’s really just the product of being a pack rat, but it made a great weekend promotion.

Z100 has always kept an archive. Before we moved to our studios in Jersey City, right across the river from Lower Manhattan, we had an entire room filled with 10-inch reels of 2-inch tape, 7 and 10-inch reels of 1/4-inch tape and more Fidelipac cartridges than most radio stations had in their entire inventory. When we moved here, we carefully went through every inch of tape and transferred anything we thought we might need one day to DAT. (Due to long–term storage issues with DAT, we’re currently debating whether to transfer to DVD-ROM now.) Then we donated most of the archive to the Radio–Television Museum in New York. I’m really glad they have all that stuff because there were a lot of things we did not transfer. Somehow, I doubt we’ll ever be doing a Soupy Sales weekend, but hey…maybe a Duran Duran Revival. Or not.

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Your post will be moderated. Your email address will not be shown or linked. (If you have an account, log in for real time posting and other options.)
0 Characters
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location