On Wednesday, we played an updated version of "Where's Waldo", wondering where in the world was AWOL David Lee Roth? Was he fired? Suspended? Too sick from partying all night in Miami? Turns out he was disciplined and, in his words "suspended" for a couple of days so he could get his New York-based radio show back in line with management expectations. Which meant drastic changes, including letting go most of Roth's sidekicks.
David Lee Roth was back on-air with Free FM this morning after two AWOL days sounding just like a dog would look with his tail between his legs. Defeated. It was not "Free" Radio, it was simply uncomfortable radio. Sad, really. If "cringe" radio masters Opie & Anthony made you cringe from their outrageousness, the new version of Roth Radio made you cringe for something much worse: listening to a former King of the Rock World who -- literally -- had lost his voice.
As frequently as he could (almost after every change in topic or between phone calls), he told listeners he now was doing a new format implemented/forced upon him by CBS radio's management. He was simply now doing what he was told to do. I felt bad for him, actually, because he sounded almost lost in the wilderness, like "what do I do now?" Anyone who's felt pushed around by their bosses -- real or not -- and felt forced to do something you completely disagreed with knows how David Lee Roth felt.
Has the rock fire extinquished from Diamond Dave? Aren't Rock and Corporate supposed to clash? Doesn't Rock tear down walls corporate puts up? Just listen to Pink Floyd over the weekend, Dave.
Here's Roth's new marching orders in memo form as reported by AllAccess.com (a radio and music industry news site) and shared by Roth on-air this morning:
ROTH shared a memo on-air from CBS NEW YORK programming honcho MARK CHERNOFF. Paraphrasing the key points of a reported 4-page memo, CHERNOFF says that DIAMOND DAVE needs to work on:Meanwhile, last night Free FM's Jake and Jackie overnight show as well as today's midday fill-in Booker Show were talking all about the bizarre mood inside the station and how freaky it was working while security guards (who arrived when this latest DLR controversy happened this week) were wandering around protecting the facilities, as if there was a "situation" about to happen.
More Topical Interviews
Interview guests regarding subjects that are important to listeners, as opposed to sharing personal stories.
Bumper music runs too long... over a minute, and sometimes over two minutes.
Cut Back on the Use of Loops
Don use the same music under your breaks all the time.
Promote What's Coming Up
There's no promotion of upcoming elements.
Little Evidence of Prep
Improvement needed in this area.
The tone of CHERNOFF's email makes it clear that this isn't the first time he's discussed these matters with ROTH, and it threatens disciplinary action unless they are addressed. Obviously, the problems between ROTH and CBS RADIO run deep, as it is highly unusual for a new morning personality to be suspended - or to need a day off due to late night activities in MIAMI, depending on which story you believe -- on the first day of the SPRING book.
I tell you, while I'd rather hear better programming, this on-going behind-the-scenes, spilled-on-the-air soap opera is good stuff. It's in-fighting in the family. Waitaminute...doesn't that sound like old Van Halen problems? Was Eddie Van Halen right?
Rock on, DLR, rock on...
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Friday, March 31, 2006,