Thursday, August 30, 2007

Behind the Scenes: Dislaimers

One of the seldom-mentioned facets of our operation is that we are operating on air time purchased from another source. It really matters not who owns the transmitter to which you’re tuning to pick up our programming; so long as we keep the BizRadio Network on the air, you’re able to hear our daily offerings of wit and wisdom.

The owners of the broadcast properties we lease have insisted, however, that we air a disclaimer each day, just in case any of you were under the misconception that they were responsible for our shows. They’re not. But they insist we run a ten-second blurb disavowing any association with our content.

Pretty ironic, since there are people waiting in line to pay us to be on the Network…

Anyway, this morning, due to a scheduling error, the disclaimer did not air in its usual position, between the CNN news feed and our local newsfeed. Instead, it played after the local news, and after the National Anthem, just ahead of the start of my show. Actually torqued me off a little bit, because I prefer to present a somewhat seamless presentation, once the show is launched. I did not appreciate having to play some corporate disclaimer right before my show intro. Call it disgust by association.

If necessity is the mother of invention, creativity wrought from frustration is the first-cousin. Buddy Cantu, the BizRadio Orchestra and I began to let the creative juices flow, and wondered aloud whether there might be a more creative way to express the hated disclaimer. There is.

Imagine if you can a rap music sound track—nothing booming or obnoxious, but with enough of a rhythm to make it interesting as we state the obvious:

"The following program ain’t got much sizzle, cause it’s a piece of paid programming on the station, fo shizzle."

Now, that’s short and sweet, pretty succinct, and it gets the job done without mentioning any of the usual suspects. It was, however, just enough to trigger a second, more loquacious rendition, behind which the theme from the “Fractured Fairy Tales” was played by the Orchestra:

“I think that I shall never see
A disclaimer as useful as a tree…
A tree which shades by day, and at night
Refreshes the air with its boughs of the blight
Of toxins and poisons and particles we breathe,
Through the miracle of photosynthesis in its leaves.

“Disclaimers, however, are interruptions of thought
That pull attention to the fact that the air time’s been bought.
So enjoy this segment of our show as you do every day,
And don’t worry about the fact that the time’s here for pay.”

The operative theme here, obviously, is entertainment.
I don’t know how enthused the owners of the station were at our antics, but I know the boys (and girls) in the Band were amused, and we trust you were as well.

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