This week was a busy one at ski school.. I have been luck enough to teach a lot of upper level skiers. We had some great snow too. Powder and packed powder… all good. It’s always interesting to when students ask what I do for a “real” living.. I laugh and say “this!?.. for now”.. ski instructors don’t make very much money, but come on.. nobody REALLY does this to make money. It’s the scenery, the sport and the people that keeps us all coming back for more.. year after year.

 

I took a fall this week while demonstrating a maneuver called a “yah yah”. This is a funky movement that forces you to develop a ‘cross-under’ move on one ski. I had just finished tell the group to not do this too fast… you guessed it, I let it go fast and I crossed over and under right on my ass… it threw me sideways and slammed me into the snow on my right side. No knee injury, but it did hurt my knee a bit. Felt like a small LCL thing. The instructors I was teaching were all kind enough to ask if I was OK before they burst into laughter. For some reason, I have become the on-staff trainer that gets to take all the Cert II candidates out to help them get ready for their exams… not complaining, it actually helps me improve my skills too, since this is the year for a more committed attempt to get closer to Cert III.

This week we also reconnected with our Hula O’hana.. Lelani and Emi were in a hula group before we moved to Houston, and this week they went back. It was like a little family (O’hana) reunion. I love those guys. Auntie Marcia, Angie, Kristi.. I also got an update on my dear friend Scarlette whom I have temporarily lost touch with. Scar and I had an instant connection when Bonneville bought Simmons back in the day. She was the HR director at Bonneville and we met to discuss employee rosters and change over issues. Scarlette is Hawaiian… I think I’m either Samoan or Hawaiian, so we had that Polynesian connection right away.. anyway, she’s been battling brain tumors and is in remission. We will go get lunch soon.. of course at Mo Betta Steaks !! Hawaiian food… bruddah.. (hoping for some chicken long rice) Anyway, Scar is on the board of directors with the hula group.

On the radio job front, I am still hopeful that something will come my way. The idea of moving again doesn’t excite me, but the idea of being unemployed excites me even less. Salt Lake City radio is a damn ghost town.. as one of my radio pals put it the other day. Like most markets, the jobs have been eliminated or downsized to the point that they just aren’t doing anything.. ratings and revenue are down and spot loads are up. DUH!?!? Cause and effect? Do you think?

Okay, here’s what I don’t get.. Radio is an industry we all got into because of the mystery and fun of music, artists, concerts and.. well the emotion of music (and maybe the illusion of quasi celebrity status). Now because of the level of greed or just plain short sightedness, the industry figured that a short-term fix of cutting the budgets (eliminating jobs) and increasing inventory (playing more commercials) would fix the dwindling revenues… BUT they forgot that over time, the audience doesn’t need too many reasons to to just simply stop listening. Radio audiences are fickle.. you see, for a free medium that plays cool music, the only thing that stops them from just using their Ipods.. is the local content that a good air talent brings to the mix. Sooo, if you eliminate that position and play more commercials, the end result is a less effective medium that doesn’t appeal to the once passionate audience anymore. It’s what we call a regressive cycle of diminished returns.. or less money because of  less ratings.. cuz the audience isn’t stupid. Mess with their favorite station.. and they will leave. Science (Arbitron.. haha) has proven it. I must say, one of the great things that Cox radio had in place, was that the GM couldn’t add units (commercials) unless Bob Neil (president of the company) approved it. Several of the stations I have worked for in the past had the idea that we can always add commercials if we need to and then go back.. which they never do. Looking back, the stations had better ratings and revenue before this overwhelming “greed movement” became so popular. I actually thought Clear Channel did a decent job thinking out of the box with their “less is more” initiative. In the end.. More was more.. but not a bad idea.

Because of this, lately I have asked myself the big question, If all things remain the same, do I really want to get back into the greed game? It seems like a ‘no-win’ scenario. It also reeks of Einstein’s definition of insanity.

I do love radio, and will get back into it when the right opportunity comes along which must include; Quality of life, challenge, upward mobility, FUN/creative staff, audience focused and salary.. not necessarily in that order.

So until then… I ski. I ski and see amazing views like this..

Ahhhh…… yup! My life doesn’t suck right now..

No greed problems here.. just frostbite and knee pain. But that’s another story.

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