I sign my own columns…
…just in case you forgot who was delivering you this magic by the time you read yourself all the way to the end.
Some editor told me it wasn’t necessary since my name and picture are displayed in copious proportions at the top of every column. But that guy doesn’t deliver the pageviews I do, so I told him to take a hike.
Today, 101ESPN announced the addition of Tony Softli and Howard Balzer to their sports radio team. Howard Balzer will be the Managing Editor for 101ESPN.com, and will contribute both on-air and online. Tony Softli will be added as the sports radio station’s NFL Insider and will be featured on the St. Louis Rams flagship radio station.
But frankly, this news which confuses the hell out of me.
First, I was under the impression that Tony Softli already worked for 101ESPN. Why the press release? Although, I suppose news that a radio station is choosing to keep someone employed is newsworthy these days.
Now, onto Balzer. The press release states that he was hired away from Grand Slam Sports, which owns St. Louis Sports Magazine and approximately 76.2% of the AM airwaves in St. Louis that no one can hear from a moving automobile. But the important thing here is that I had no idea Balzer worked for Grand Slam Sports. I mean, much like the rest of the St. Louis sports media, he’s worked everywhere three times over, so there’s a decent chance Grand Slam Sports was his last employer.
But does he have a radio show there? I have no idea. I’ve heard him on a few radio programs, but I figured he just called in to regurgitate injury reports.
I mean, he refers to himself as “The H-Man”.
No one refers to themselves by a self-imposed nickname except sports talk radio callers from Festus and a few of my commenters on STLToday.com.
If you’re over the age 65, you may have noticed that this morning’s Post-Dispatch didn’t contain my regular sports media column.
No worries, fans. Just taking a little break this week to conduct research in sunny Dallas, Texas - the site of this year’s Super Bowl. It’s imperative that a journalist of my stature gets a lay of the land before the big event commences on February 6th.
Truth be told, the things that I’ll write about before, during and after the Super Bowl are things that any human with access to Google can find on their own these days. You know, Super Bowl attendance records, the Nielsen rating of the game, total number of records sold by those Blackguy Peas that are performing at half-time. Things like that. So really, there’s very little reason for me to be here.
Nevertheless, the powers-that-be at the Post-Dispatch are more outdated than my mustache, so they don’t know any better.
Plus, Dano could use a nice little vacation.
Now, off to the second leg of my J.R. Ewing reality tour.
As you can clearly see from some of the various comments on my columns, St. Louis is a juggernaut of scholarly exemplification. the community is always insightful and incredibly inspirational, especially when it comes to internet anonymity.
Well, according to that “other paper in town" (ohhhhh, scoop alert), a university study has taken note and rated St. Louis as the ninth most literate city in America.
A number of factors went into the ratings. Apparently, St. Louis didn’t score as high in the areas of education and Internet usage, but we scored extremely high on the number of booksellers per capita and library usage.
Here’s where I’ll push modesty aside and claim responsibility for that library usage rating. Seriously. I’m there nightly.
In fact, this Christmas, Gertrude the librarian presented me with a gift: my very own thesaurus. And, she put some duct tape over the spine and titled it “The Caesarus”!!!
It was the best gift I ever received. Love you, Gertrude.
Long story short, you can thank me for St. Louis’ literacy rating. My presence at the local libraries definitely skewed the percentages. Well, me and homeless people. Homeless people love the library.
My column in the Post-Dispatch this morning has everyone in a damn tizzy.
Did I lead with a little too much insight into Rams’ Nielsen ratings that don’t really mean squat since no one has any idea what/how the ratings are calculated? Yeah, probably.
Did I review that MTV “True Life” girl at KFNS a little bit too hard? Yeah, probably.
Did I actually compare KFNS host Kevin Slaten to Randy Johnson? Yeah, definitely.
"But this pairing puts Slaten in a position akin to having Randy Johnson mix an array of junkballs into his power pitching when he was in his prime."
What the peanut gallery doesn’t understand is that I was able to put Slaten’s name in the same sentence as “Johnson” and “balls”. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to embrace the youth in this town. I’m told genitalia jokes kill.
Truth be told, I never liked Slaten. If I’m able to talk about him, while zinging him…well, that’s just the bee’s knees. But he’s a pageview goldmine because he’s controversial. And thus, I’m controversial.
And that’s what this business is all about: creating controversy, without being overly creative, informative or factual. I learned that from some of the best in the business; Howard Stern, Tim McKernan and The Octomom.
Controversy means listeners. Controversy means viewers. Controversy means readers.
You best deal with it.
Insight into my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions.
Some of the most creative people in the world work best with a Sharpie marker, a napkin and a value meal from McDonald’s. The double-cheese burger meal is highly underrated.
Then again, so is my mind.
Last night’s “Sunday Night Football” game (I use quotes there to denote a proper noun, NOT as a sarcastic jab to the level of play which didn’t exactly resemble a football game) earned the best overnight rating in nearly a decade.
The game between the Rams and Seahawks was up 11 percent over last year’s Week 17 game, according to overnight data released today by the Nielsen Company.
The St. Louis market obtained a 38.7 Nielsen rating, which was the top metered market in the United States. Seattle came in second with 35.4.
38.7 in St. Louis.
That’s huge. I mean, “38.7” is higher than 38, and just a shade below 40 - which translates to roughly 1000 people. Or, it could be 10,000,000 people. I forget. The actual number of people isn’t really that important. It’s the percentage that counts.
And that’s what headlines are all about in this industry, kids: highlighting perplexing metrics that the general couldn’t possibly comprehend.
Today, I posted my “Best of 2010" list for the Post-Dispatch. Basically, everything I write is a pageview juggernaut, but these end of the year rankings allow everyone to relive the cream of the crop.
In short, the rankings were compiled from an underlying mathematical formula that you minions couldn’t possibly comprehend. And, in an effort to be a “man of the people”, I’m providing insider access to the formula for you here. You’re welcome.
((( Total pageviews on STLToday.com) * (Number of comments containing misspelled words) * (Number of radio acronyms used) * (References to Arbitron/Nielsen) + 7 ) / (Kevin Slaten mentions in the headline and/or first paragraph ))
Boom. There you have it.
I know what you’re thinking: the “7” at the end of that formula doesn’t make much sense. Well, that’s the number of letters in Joe Buck’s name, and that means a lot to me. A whole hell of a lot, to be frank.
Truth be told, while the algorithm above provided a convenient, mathematical method for determining my best columns from 2010, it just served as a starting point.
In the end, I swapped out the bottom four stories for ones that allowed for snazzier subtitles.
- Radio Report
- Billiken Boondoggles
- Clark’s Corner
- Buck Biz
Alliteration is key in this biz, aspiring journalists.
Read the entire piece, here.
Last Friday, you likely read the big news that Kevin Slaten (currently #3 on my speed dial) is getting a new co-host named Ashlee Feldman.
That’s right, once we get all of this holiday fluff behind us, St. Louis sports radio’s biggest lightning rod will have a significant other on January 3rd, 2011. Dra-ma!! Feldman, 24, is from New Jersey and attended Northeastern University in Boston, where she played basketball, then appeared on MTV’s “Real World New Orleans” this year.
Since my wardrobe resembles something out of an Archie Bunker Museum, many of my critics believe I don’t adhere to the latest trends. Not true. I’m a huge fan of the MTV’s “Real World”. In fact, I was on this story loooong before it ran in last Friday’s Post-Dispatch.
Who do you think tipped Dave Greene over at KFNS? Please. I was a regular out at the Real World’s New Orleans house (crib, as the kids call it) frequently.
One night, Ashlee got liquored up on Zimas and Jägermeister and began pondering life after television. Many admirable occupations were discussed as the moon dimly lit the fog above the hot tub in which we occupied. Waitress. Socialite. Contestant on VH1’s “Rock of Love”.
I said, “Ashlee, have you ever thought about sports radio?”
She said, “Wha?? Does you know peeps or something?”
I said, “Like you wouldn’t believe, darlin’.”