Monday, February 11, 2008



Fever & Chills...really sucks. A lot of it going around the office and I got nailed with it Wednesday. Uh oh--my annual cold. First step was going to Bad idea. By the time you are done there, you are convinced that it's NOT a cold, but something far worse...maybe a rare smallpox that masks itself as a cold? Brought on by the Thai Food from the prior weekend? WebMd is is and some of those other sites, BUT--it's imperative you DON'T read too much into those as even the strongest willed mind will collapse to the "Hey...they might have a toe IS bigger...that must mean...oh" So, putting the web aside, I had two options. A) Infect all of XM and do sub-par work as I felt like shit or B) Go home, lay in bed, aircheck my DirecTV and thank god for blackberry, not be too disconnected from my chronic email addiction, now that Cingular put up a new Cell tower near my house. Of course, half the company was at the Grammy’s, so I picked a good day to be out sick since the building was relatively quiet.

TV, as always, was a mixture of education and pain. From a purely personal viewpoint, I found:

TBS & TV Land to be fun. Oldies TV. Ranging from the timeless brilliance of Seinfeld (A Seinfeld Twofer on TBS every night)! to the pop culture schmaltz of the Beverly Hillbillies which was SO blatantly stupid, it was fun...Unlike many of today's shows which are stupid but masquerading as "important".

JUDGE (put name here) shows. I like the smart/dumb balance here. The Judges being smart and practical and the "contestants" (hard to call them things like defendants) incredibly stupid.

INFORMERCIALS. These are frightening. Partially because I end up thinking "Hey--I could use some of that super-duper putty" to 'YOU FOOLS! You aren't going to make 5 million dollars with this sleezebags' book & DVD set!" I wish more channels had "real" programming instead of Infomercials...could be a great incubation area for "interesting" not ready for primetime programs. Call it "the incubator". Probably wouldn't make economic sense...

POLITICAL ADS: OK, WHY, WHY, WHY is EVERY candidate framing their ad with "I'm Citizen Cane and I approve of this ad". WHY? Can't any of these geniuses say it differently? I'll bet if Obama simply said "I'm Obama and the ad is cool by me" it would give him another state or two. Are these people SO focused grouped out that they can't see something as basic as this?

AIRLINE: Southwest Airlines is featured as the bad guy...canceling flights and not allowing drunks to board. More brilliance from the last of the great American Air Carriers. They consistently come off as the good guys. I'll bet the other carriers didn’t want to touch this show with a ten foot wing. I respect Southwest.

HBO; Quality. Sure--some bad movies (most movies ARE bad)...but minute by minute, they set the standard.

ROBERT DI NERO: Quality. A reason I detest celebrity worship in general. You don't see him New Aging out or working the tabloids. He just delivers. A role model.

60 MINUTES: More Quality.

LOCAL TV NEWS: I've addressed this before. It is SO bad it's actually funny. Grab some friends, turn the volume down and make up the dialogue---it's a great game. OR--keep the volume up and play "Count the clichés"....or buy a buzzer and play "Bullshit"--when ever they bullshit you, you hit the buzzer. You can have a lot of fun with Local TV Newscasts...maybe that's how they are programmed? To entertain, and create material for comedy writers. If so--they are doing a great job.

A&E: In our house we call a zone of channels "The smart zone"...Biography, A&E, science Channel types. My only problem is in a recent shift to sensational UFO discovery shows. Yeah, I watch them, but they're skewing just a little too game show for me, but if that helps attract a larger audience---hire Wink Martindale to host the next show about a meteor scheduled to blow up Earth in 2011.

Anyways, I get INSPIRED by all of this...It IS reality and kind of like the state of the government—A huge opportunity to get better. You can kind of see through the creation of the shows--which ones came from focus groups, rip offs of other concepts, play-offs on mass stupidly...and then you can ALSO see the ones that work…and have for a long time...and WHY. More TV programmers need to catch bad colds and aircheck the TV dial.

Went to my Doctor Friday. Diagnosed with an ear and upper respiratory infection (bad cold). Malaria.

Back to bed for TV and cinematic fever dreams that would have inspired Freud & Jung...and impressed Kubrick if I could have taped them...

...just when you are awash in self pity over a bad cold, there’s some very sad news. Greg Gillispie recently worked at XM on Deep Tracks. I also was his consultant when he was a PD at stations like KAZY in Denver and WDVE in Pittsburgh, and he was an associate at Burkhart/Abrams back in the 80's.

Media Consultant Mike McVay sent out this note:

Greg Gillispie Needs our help
Well known consultant and longtime programmer Greg Gillispie announces his retirement due to health. Gillispie, a 36 year media veteran, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Greg has been battling the tumor for more than two years, while working at XM Radio and consulting radio stations on Programming.
Greg programmed radio stations in markets as large as Washington, DC.Denver and Pittsburgh as well as “touched” hundreds of Rock stations in 46 states during his time with Burkhart Abrams, Burkhart Douglas and later as President of the Rock division for McVay Media.
Gillispie is hopeful that with prayer and medical attention he will be able to return to work. He remains positive and is grateful to everyone who has been supportive to him, his wife Cathie and daughter Sara.
This was part of a press release sent out earlier today. Greg Cathie and Sara need our help!!! It’s a terrible thing as to what is going on in our country with healthcare. It’s a scary thought that any one of us could be knocked down with some type of sickness or disease that could wipeout our whole Life savings!!!. Cathie reached out to several old friends, last week, asking for advice and guidance. She told me she reached out to George Cappellini, Lee Abrams, Dave Lonaco and Neil lasher, as well as myself. After brainstorming all weekend, we came up with the idea of presenting a series of fund raisers to help with the hospital bills. Greg cannot get insurance at a reasonable rate because of his condition. Well we are working on that!
But in the meantime we are asking all of our friends and friends of Greg to send Cathie one hundred dollars($100.00) to help with immediate relief. To most of us this nice dinner out on the town. To Greg and Cathie it will help pay for an MRI.
This could happen to any one of us on. Greg isn't your responsibility. He isn't ours. It is however our opportunity to show how much we really care ... and do more than "say nice words." Let's show the Gillispie family that we care ... with action. We ask you to send a check to Cathie, and forward this E-mail on to anyone you think might know Greg and would be willing to help her work through this horrific situation….
Make Check's Payable to Cathie Gillisipe and mail them to her at:
Cathie Gillispie
361 Teague Dr NW
Kennesaw, GA 30152


At 4:47 PM, Anonymous RoadRunner said...

Every campaign frames their ads that way, because it's legally required. Part of the McCain-Feingold law, as an attempt to clearly segment campaign ads from "independant" expenditures, required candidate to "own" their self-directed ads with this specific terminology. Were Mr. Obama to use Lee's alternate terminology, he'd be in violation of the law. Aren't you glad that Mr. Bush and the Supreme Court didn't find this restriction to be an unconstitutional violation of the 1st amendment?


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