Monday, December 4, 2023

Wink and Radio


Happy birthday, Wink Martindale!

The DJ and game show host is 90 today.

While I was never a huge fan of the shows Martindale hosted, I do appreciate his talent.  I've heard Martindale's radio work and its outstanding.  The man has the voice and the patter.

Here is why I love the guy.  Wink has a You Tube channel featuring old game show clips, including unsold pilots.  Those pilots are fascinating.  There are some great concepts that should have sold.  Most of the others were pretty bad, and you can see why networks and syndicators ran away.  I can't believe producers/creators thought there would be a market for the shows they were trying to sell.  Convoluted, complicated concepts.  Mark Goodson had it right.  The famed game show producer said a good game is simple, and you have to be able to play along at home.  Goodson's "Match Game" and "The Price is Right" are perfect examples.  Non Goodson shows like "Jeopardy!,"  "Pyramid," and "Wheel of Fortune" are further proof of how important the simplicity/play at home concept is.  Just look at the decades they've been on the air, just about unchanged from day one.

Wink, happy birthday, and thank you for celebrating the game show genre.

There are a couple of items on today's agenda, and both deal with radio. 

KNBR is a legendary station in San Francisco.  NBC/General Electric owned it for years.  There was a short time it was part of the company that also owned the station where I worked, WARM.

Be that as it may, the current owners gutted KNBR last week, firing long time employees and getting rid of the digital division.  A nightly sports call-in show, that had been on the air for 51 years, is gone and replaced by network radio.

The highways are littered the the carcasses of companies that thought they could cut their way to increased profitability.  Investing in the product is a foreign concept.  How about increasing listenership by making it better?  It just makes me sad.

On a much happier note, our friends at Froggy 101 are raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Thursday and Friday.  Several people you might know are dropping by for short shifts to lend a hand, and I'll be there Thursday morning at 9.  Happy to be asked.  Happy to help.