September 12, 2001

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Wednesday, September 12, 2001        Edition: #2130

In light of the events of YESTERDAY, we’ve decided to scrap much of the material we had prepared for you and concentrate on how to handle a radio show during a crisis.

September 11, 2001 will go down as one of the few days that occur in a lifetime (like Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK, first man on the Moon, or to a much lesser extent the deaths of John Lennon or Princess Diana) that people will remember vividly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. It’s safe to say that much of your audience spent much of YESTERDAY glued to TV screens, whether at work, home or school. The much-repeated footage of the second airliner hitting NYC’s World Trade Center will become a lasting memory, likely the icon of the day’s events.

In scanning a variety of radio stations worldwide on the Internet YESTERDAY, we heard some really poorly thought-out comments, some of them in shockingly poor taste — from Howard Stern calling for the immediate annihilation of Palestine to an airheaded rock station morning crew spouting patriotic jingoism to out-and-out racial slurs. This isn’t a time for flippancy, sarcasm, or scattershot speculation. Some rules of thumb: stick with the facts as they unfold, stick with your regular format when there are no new developments, and if you have nothing of substance to say, shut up!

• There are tens of thousands of stranded international passengers at Canadian airports. What’s the situation at yours today?
• If you’re near the international border, are border crossings open or closed this morning?
• Will financial markets back up and running today?
• Any local events canceled or services suspended?
• What’s the status of long distance, cell phone, Internet services?

A psychologist friend suggests that broadcasters can play an important role in helping to re-establish some routine and normalcy to listeners’ lives today. We’ve been shocked and angered. Many are experiencing grief, confusion, outright fear. She speculates that this morning a lot of people will be tired and ornery from lack of sleep. Drivetime is likely to be more erratic than usual. One way people try to cope with trauma, she says, is by picking up their regular routines and attempting to get on with things. That’s where you come in – providing the soundtrack of their lives.

To that end, here’s some of our regular drivel . . .
TODAY Christie’s auction house was scheduled to put much of the private memorabilia of Marilyn Monroe under the gavel, including bathroom scales, a mink stole with the head, paws & tail attached, bartending gadgets, a turquoise belt and change purse, shoes, photos, letters, costume jewelry and some fabulous gowns (interesting that the catalogue prepared for the sale has already become a sought-after memento of its own) . . . TONIGHT was Barbara Walters’ scheduled “20/20″ interview with Mariah Carey that’s been postponed due to her return to hospital but Barbara says fear not, she’s “still got her” (ratings are so much more important than someone surviving a mental breakdown, aren’t they?) . . . THIS WEEK Sean Penn begins shooting guest shots for several episodes of “Friends”, playing the boyfriend of ‘Phoebe’s’ twin sister ‘Ursula’ (who woulda figured Penn in a sitcom?) . . . First it was Disney tie-ins, and now Kellogg’s will launch 2 new cereal brands tied to “The Simpsons” — ‘Homer’s Cinnamon Donut Cereal’ and ‘Bart Simpson Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch’ . . . Buzz is Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal”) will wed comedian/actor Garry Shandling (“Larry Sanders Show”) early NEXT YEAR because she wants her adopted son to grow up with a father (ah, true love).


1931 [70] George Jones, Saratoga TX, country legend (“He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today”)

1944 [57] Barry White, Galveston TX, oldies singer (“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love”)

1952 [49] Neil Peart, Hamilton ON, classic rock drummer (Rush-“Roll the Bones”)

1966 [35] Ben Folds, Winston-Salem NC, pop/rock singer/songwriter (Ben Folds Five-“Brick”)

1972 [29] Liam Gallagher, Manchester ENG, rock singer (Oasis-“Champagne Supernova”)

1973 [28] Paul Walker, Glendale CA, movie actor (“The Fast & the Furious”, “She’s All That”)

TODAY is “International Video Games Day”, a day for kids who love ’em to celebrate and thank the parents who pay for ‘em. The next big thing on the horizon is Nintendo’s next-generation gaming console ‘GameCube’, set for release NOVEMBER 5TH. Games for this system will run about $50 a pop. Microsoft’s rival ‘Xbox’ game system arrives 3 days later.

TODAY is “Pet Memorial Day”, sponsored by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries, a day to remember your departed dog or perished parakeet and ponder their importance to the family.

1954 [47] Largest-ever American League baseball crowd (86,563 at Municipal Stadium in Cleveland watch Indians beat NY Yankees in both ends of a doubleheader)

[Thurs] Positive Thinking Day
[Sun] 2001 Terry Fox Run
[Sun] Prime-Time Emmy Awards
[Sun] National Working Parents Day
National 5-A-Day Week (fruits & veggies)
Self Awareness Month


Q: In 1979, Mel Gibson had an edge to get the starring role in “Mad Max” because just before the audition he –
(a) dated the producer’s daughter.
(b) was beaten up.
(c) won a prestigious Australian acting award.
A: His face had been badly battered in a fight.

Q: At age 16 at the 1984 Olympics, Cuba Gooding Jr’s first professional job was —
(a) Audio Engineer
(b) Backup Singer
(c) Breakdancer
A: Breakdancer for Lionel Richie.

Q: Before her success as a comedian, Ellen DeGeneres considered becoming a –
(a) Wrestler
(b) Golfer
(c) Bowler
A: Golfer. (Wouldn’t that have been unusual? A lesbian on the women’s golf tour.)

Q: Denzel Washington graduated from Fordham University with a BA in —
(a) Drama
(b) Quantum Physics
(c) Journalism
A: Journalism.

Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.

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