Now I Feel I’ve Been Here A While . .

In Phantom's old studio, in the pirate days.

In the old (pirate) Phantom studio

So, we have woken to the news of a new president elected in the USA.

This time, I’m listening in the comfort of my bed (on a day off from work today) but 8 years ago, telling the audience that George W Bush would become the new president was the very first thing that I ever did on Phantom.

I joined Phantom in November 2000, presenting the morning show, which up until that time had been automated back to back music (this was back in the pirate days when Phantom was live 4pm-11pm and automated the rest of the time).

In offering my services to Phantom, I had explained that I hadn not only presenting, but also news experience, and that in my opinion, for the morning show to be useful in attracting audience, it needed to have some news content. So I proposed, and we agreed on, a format with main news on the hour, headlines on the half hour, running from 7am to 9am, with all news written and presented by myself, as well as presenting the programme.

I was given a week’s trial, and the show went on to run successfully for a year and a half, until other commitments forced me to give it up and I moved to evening shows.

So on my very first day on Phantom, my very first words on air comprised the 7am news bulletin, the first story of which was to announce that after weeks of wrangling and legal challenges, a final court ruling had confirmed George W as president-elect overnight.

And here we are, 8 years later, another new president, and I’m still with Phantom, and still loving it.

It wasn’t specifically mentioned, but I guess I’ve passed the week’s trial?


Palin song – would it be legal here?

Sarah Palin‘s arrival in the US (Vice) Presidential campaign has stirred up fierce feelings on both sides of the political divide, and she has almost eclipsed her running-mate in terms of the amount of press coverage, blog posts etc.

Now one Gerry Stanek, a folk rock musician from Pennsylvania, has come out with a humorous country balled “I’m In Love With A Girl Called Sarah Palin“, which treads the line between comedy and admiration so well that I can’t work out if it is serious, satire, or just a very clever move by the singer.

The latter is certainly true in any case – it will doubtless get airplay and lots of hits to his myspace page where the song can be heard –

Interesting to wonder what would happen in this country (Ireland) if a similar song were released during an election campaign – radio stations would almost certainly be prohibited from playing it, or perhaps could only do so if they gave equal airplay to songs from other candidates!

Election-time is a bonanza for broadcasters in the US with massive advertising spending by the different campaigns. Political advertising is not allowed in our system, much to the regret of the ad sales agencies I’m sure.

In light of the recent comments from the radio industry about the Lisbon Referendum, maybe it is time for the whole area to be looked at again. Fairly administered, is there any reason why radio should not benefit from the big advertising spend currently going to newspapers (and poster printers!) up and down the land?

As for Gerry Stanek – way to pimp your career.

You go guy!