Now it can be told.
I modeled what I do after Jon Stewart.
I’m not saying I am anywhere near as talented as Jon Stewart but he inspired me to expose the jackasses in the broadcasting and music business and try to keep it real.
Stewart did his last show last week and I think it deserves mentioning as to why he was such a hit with younger audiences where television and radio are losing fans left and right.
CBS TV is losing 5% of its primetime audience every year and at that pace there will be no viable business left in television.
Stewart succeeded where others failed for reasons that could be instructive.
First, he’s from New Jersey.
You knew that was coming, didn’t you?
Seriously, he’s got what Millennials want most – authenticity.
Where TV anchors and reporters look like such clowns when they banter back and forth and hand off to each other, Stewart just lays it all out there. They become the news when they participate in puff pieces. No wonder no one under 65 watches TV news.
Jon Stewart’s favorite word is bullshit – a word you’ve seen me use again and again to describe the robber barons who run the radio industry these days.
Radio is not authentic. It’s fake, sounds fake, loaded with hyped commercials and senseless sweepers. Go ahead -- keep it up. Millennials have voted and they’ve left radio behind.
Unless you listen to Nielsen brag about 245 million radio listeners every week.
The number keeps going up as we know the audience keeps going down, but still radio is always the best.
They sound like soccer moms who tell their kids they won when they lost.
Forget that Nielsen changed the way it compiles its weekly national total of radio listeners to assure that it always goes up – not exactly apples to apples or else the decline would be evident.
And that Nielsen numbers are a fraud perpetrated by the non-authentic executives who run the radio industry.
Jon Stewart would have at these jokers and rant and rave and make them look like the clowns that they are. But that’s my job.
He had more important work.
Another advantage of Jon Stewart is that he has mentored so many people who have gone on to be successful.
Lowry Mays, who have you ever mentored?
Bob Pittman, Lew Dickey, David Field, Steven Price – how about you?
Scott Herman mentored a few in news but they may be sacrificed when his bosses say “cut”.
Stewart separated the bullshit from hype.
Fox News, Donald Trump, Republican politicians (and sometimes his own liberal buddies). Nothing was off limits if his bullshit meter sensed something smelly.
We poke fun at Lew Dickey for saying that everyone else is to blame for Cumulus’ lousy revenue record.
Bob Pittman for the absolute bullshit (see, I couldn’t help saying it) he doles out on just about every topic. He’s not to be believed.
Yet the radio trade press routinely carries the water of these abusers out of fear or just to be liked or included in an ad buy.
Someone once said to me “if you had ads in Inside Music Media, you would back off, too”. To which I replied, when I owned Inside Radio and we exposed a lot of wrongdoing and we did record advertising because you can’t NOT advertise in a publication that has all the readers.
Today, Inside Radio, which I sold to Clear Channel, carries iHeart’s water.
Donald Trump is actually leading in the polls not because he’s capable but because he doesn’t sound like a politician. Imagine Trump with his finger on our nuclear arsenal.
Young Millennials – 95 million strong and the predominant demographic in today’s work force – want straight talk not bullshit and that’s what Jon Stewart made famous.
Student loan aid.
Compromise not confrontation.
But they are more like Conservatives when it comes to fiscal matters.
Anyway, Jon Stewart hangs it up to move on to something else.
But he leaves with humility, another ingredient missing from media executives and air talent (where they are still employed).
Millennials appreciate humility.
Donald Trump won’t be elected president.
Bob Pittman won’t turn iHeart around.
The coronation of Hillary Clinton may not happen.
Rush Limbaugh is Donald Trump and he’s over.
The next president could come out of left field – and when that happens we may find out that this is the person everyone is currently missing who resonates most with the largest generation ever born.
Jon Stewart will smile.
Stewart’s Daily Show was not really a comedy show.
The media business is.
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