Take the time to read this link. This comes up on the show from time to time, and it has to do with the difference between a reporte...r and a blogger. I know many of you are aware of this but not all, so I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence. A reporter works for a publication, online or otherwise, with a reputation to uphold. Bloggers blog. I typically ignore things that are written about me but I think I’m in a position to use this as a ‘teaching moment’. (I hate that term almost as much as typing)
I am doing a podcast online but not from 10am to 2pm. A podcast is done in sections then edited for downloading by 3pm. The plan is to do a live segment at 11am where I can take calls. This blogger states that you can listen by calling the station and asking to be put on hold. Not on this planet. And likely on none of the other planets either.
I was indeed hired to come to WGN in 2010. I’m referred to as the ‘controversial’ McConnell. At this point, a reporter would cite an example of something controversial that I had once said or done. The same can be said for my supposed ‘in your face’ style. A reporter might give an example of my ‘conservative’ show as this would help me save face with the conservatives who think I’m far too liberal. I tend to lean much more Libertarian than anything else.
As far as ratings ‘hit deep lows’ on McConnell’s show, a reporter might point out something that’s quite closer to reality and typical in the industry, and that is that I was brought in because the ratings were in deep lows. It’s really quite common. As to advertisers avoiding the show, no, we were running a full load other than typical seasonal dips. But if so, a reporter would make it a point to name one.
After Kevin Metheny left, I also heard he had asked others to call the show. I have no idea why Kevin would have thought I was short on callers as he was never in the studio. But I would have called him out on it. Believe me, callers were never a problem -- everyone wanted a piece of me back then. We can skip past rude and argumentative (same as above, no examples).
As to my numerous vacation days, a reporter might want to find out how many qualifies as ‘numerous’. I get 5 weeks of vacation which is pretty typical for someone who’s been in this line of work for 35 years. I’ve been told that a colleague of mine at WGN gets 6 weeks. And if that’s true, I say ‘more power to him’.
I am able to do my show on occasion from Cincinnati. But how many is a ‘large amount’? That’s up to you. So far this year, in 30 weeks I’ve worked 6 weeks of that from Cincinnati, and some of that includes vacation days. It’s not difficult. I read the Trib and Suntimes online, watch tv news and listen to the radio along with the usual online prep. I’d much prefer spending all my time in Chicago but the explanation is simple. My girlfriend’s business is based in Cincinnati. She can’t be in Chicago all of the time, and we kind of like being together. So, that’s part of my deal.
I did go by Alan McConnell at my college radio station. At my first job after college at WTUE in Dayton, THEY changed my name to Mike McConnell. There was already an Alan working there and they didn’t want two.
My daily syndicated show was cancelled after 2 years. A reporter may have discovered it was cancelled by me due to my lack of interest. I appreciate all of the affiliates who carried it but not enough were carrying it live, which doesn’t lend itself to a good mix of callers. I set the date by which I wanted a certain percentage of ‘live clears’, as we call them. When we didn’t hit that number, I pulled the plug. I did also have a syndicated weekend show which the blogger says was cancelled when I left. This would come as a shock to Joe Pags whose hosting the show to this day. A reporter would have Googled that – I did.
The blogger says I entered myself for consideration for the annual Silver Dome Award. Other than buying the occasional lottery ticket, I’ve never entered a contest in my adult life. My producer Kristin Decker has entered me for the last couple of years. And apparently this time they heard something they liked. As to how many total entries they received I have no idea. But I can find no good reason to take this bloggers word.
I’m not suggesting that this blogger is any worse than many of the others. Unfortunately he is all too typical. I enjoy reading blogs myself. It’s interesting to see what information is lacking -- i.e. facts, quotes and attributions. Other than that, it’s just like reporting.
Talk to you online.