Radio Experiment = Failed

Well, that didn't take long.

I started last week's announcement of a new all-sports radio station by cautiously warning that the Sports Fan 990 experiment was either "hopelessly pitching pebbles at the castle walls...or perhaps the latest, greatest idea in local sports radio." Three days into its first week, we know the answer -- and it ain't the latter.

During 990's month-long incubation, station founder Thom Bailey repeatedly pounded his fist onto tables, shook hands, looked into eyes, made heartfelt promises and shouted, "Failure isn't an option!" As of today, however, promises have been broken, concrete plans have been shattered and, indeed, failure isn't only an option, but an inevitable reality. Oh, I assume the station may limp along, but it'll do so without me and my short-lived noon-2 gig. I was given the opportunity to forge ahead or even tweak time slots, but I know a sinking ship when I'm on one. Locker Room Crew (giggle), we hardly knew ya.

In our place, 990 today ran an intoxicating mix of dead air and old music. Riveting. Simply riveting.

Let me now commence a brief pause so that the "told-you-so"ers can scream, "I told you so!"

Bailey talked of grand plans. Of hiring homeless to tag radio fliers on cars at Stars games. Of producing contracts penned by lawyers, not third-graders. Of ridiculously renting an airplane, dragging behind it a 990 banner and flying it over next month's Ticketstock. Of "letting the genie out of the bottle."

Enough. Already.

There are no fliers. No contracts. No airplanes. No banners. No genies. No bottles. And, before his venture turned one week old, no future. Pressed for answers on how so absurdly his actions failed to live up to his words, Bailey mumbled, "I don't have any answers."

Of course, I accept the blame for diving into a pool I knew was shallow, if not altogether empty. In the end I had a little fun, got Unfair Park a little publicity, and learned a big lesson:

Never go into business with a man who, at a staff dinner meeting, waits for one of his station's hosts to go to the restroom, and then slides across the booth in an unsolicited attempt to stick his tongue down the throat of the host's date. --Richie Whitt

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams

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