Tag Archives: retro media

Night-Owl from WFLD Channel 32 Chicago, 1981

12 Oct

Night-Owl
Viewers of Chicago TV in the 1980s will remember Night-Owl which aired on WFLD-TV Channel 32. Night-Owl was a service by KeyFax which provided rotating text of news, sports, and weather that ran all night long.

This was before the independent Field Communications station was sold to Medtromedia, and then to News Corp as part of the core of the Fox Network.

The truly independent WFLD in 1981 and 1982 had an innovative, informative, and unique programming approach for overnight viewing. 

To experience what Night-Owl was like, check out these videos from the always-reliable Fuzzy TV Memories channel on YouTube and FuzzyMemories.tv has several hours of Night-Owl available for viewing.

 

By today’s standards of computer-generated text – or even by 1990s standards! – it looks pretty lame. But remember, this was 1981! 

There’s something very relaxing about these videos. Maybe it’s the comforting familiarity.  Maybe it’s the fact that you know nothing too exciting is going to pop up.  Or maybe it’s the memory of falling asleep to Night-Owl many times as a kid. I dare you to pull one of these videos, leave it running late in the evening and NOT feel a little sleepy!

And maybe that was the real charm of Night-Owl; it was as much a companion as it was a news source. Today, this is also the true value of the Internet and late-night cable TV for many.

One thing that was better about Night-Owl over today’s CNN and the rest of the 24 Hour cable news channels: no talking heads shouting biased political opinions over each other! Night-Owl was simple, yet had basic journalism down perfectly: just the facts. And a few fun facts…

The Biggest Band of 1986: The Monkees???

8 Aug

 

Who ruled the radio airwaves, record charts and most importantly, video music channel programming of 1986?  Genesis? Phil Collins? Bon Jovi? Madonna? How about The Monkees!

Somewhere between audio and video in 1986, there was a huge revival of The Monkees. The comeback was as planned, pre-packaged and targeted as the original Monkees show. And, our friends at MTV are to thank!

This wasn’t geared toward the Boomers who first made “The Pre-Fab Four” one of the top ten acts in the 1960’s. This was targeted at the Generation X’ers who grew up watching the Monkees as a syndicated show (always in the summertime here in Chicago!) in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was brilliant programming move. The kitsch of the Monkees, campy visual comedy, and most of all, pre-made music videos (typically 2 per 30 minute episode) were a perfect match for The MTV Generation.

   

It started with a series of Monkees Marathons in early 1986 on MTV. The show ran and ran and ran that spring.

I saw the commercial for Eric Lefcowitz’s Monkees Tale book so many times that I can recite the PO box number in my sleep 26 years later!

The popularity of these reruns of reruns resulted lots of records and tapes from Rhino’s catalog being sold. This lead to a new greatest hits release with a new song (“That Was Then, This Is Now”), a tour, and a Christmas video (of which is dreadfully hard to a good copy!). Those enterprises included a brief reunion with Mike Nesmith, The Monkee who didn’t really need the money.

Monkees

Late ‘86 brought a new album of all new material (“Pool It”) which lead to 2 decades of on again / off again reunions, recording and tours. These reunions and comeback seem to now be over with through 2012 and the passing of Davy Jones. Though his death itself lead to a jump in sales of a recent Greatest Hits album on iTunes and Amazon and a third generation of Monkeemania! 

        

Andy Griffith and The 3 Stages of Social Media Engagement

3 Jul

Note: here is a republished post from November of 2011 I wanted to share as we remember Andy Griffith today.

As we begin to wrap up a year of explosive growth in Social Media usage and engagement, I’m seeing many Social Media Marketers moving into new stages of their own involvement. It reminds me of similar changes of audience engagement by one of the all-time great story tellers.
  
I speak, of course, of Andy Griffith’s portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry!

Stage 1: Over the top and finding our way

At the start of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy’s depiction was the same as the characters he had been playing on stage and screen and in his popular monologues and comedy records for the previous few years. Andy was over-the-top, absurd, and loud. It’s what Andy knew how to do to get attention and laughs. 
 
Andy Griffith

Stage 1 Andy: All Laughs

We dig into our own history of past success and use those same tactics when launching our social media engagement. Sometimes it fits, but more often than not, marketers need to tweak their voice and role, leading to…


Stage 2: Getting down to business and finding our role

After the first season or so, Andy realized that it would be best for the show if he played the straight man and let those around him get the laughs. His decision to pay it forward catapulted the show into legendary status.

Andy Griffith

Stage 2 Andy: Paying It Forward

The character of Andy as the normal and wise hub for the crazy Mayberry citizens’ shenanigans is a great role model for how Social Media Marketers should carry themselves within their online communities. Be the Andy by helping solve your connections’ business problems, mediating different point of views, and most of all promoting others before yourself.

Note, many so-called Social Media “Experts” or “Gurus” are the equivalent of Deputy Barney Fife. They take credit for others’ heroics, crow about their own expertise, and obsess on the tools of the trade rather than the message. Barneys don’t really make a community worse; in fact, they can be funny. But in the end, we’re just laughing at them. 

 
Stage 3: Getting annoyed by and tired of those around us

It would be best if you as a Social Media Marketer could stay in a perpetual stage two. Toward the end of The Andy Griffith Show’s original run, Andy’s character further developed into a role that you don’t want to be. These episodes are easy to identify as they are in color and “Angry Andy” is constantly irritated by the dimwits around him.   

Andy and Aunt Bee

Stage 3 Andy: Annoyed

If you feel yourself getting easily agitated by the day to day engagement with the Goobers and Aunt Bees in your online communities, it may be time to stop and to move on to new challenges.
 

WKRP: Thanksgiving Turkey Drop

21 Nov
Arthur Carlson WKRP

“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

 

Several years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Gordon Jump, aka Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson of WKRP in Cincinnati. He was passing through town on a PR tour for Maytag (he was the Maytag Repairman in the commercial campaign at the time) and did a live studio interview at the radio station I was programming.

What a pro! Mr. Jump was a PR person’s AND a media outlet’s perfect interviewee: he promoted the Maytag event for which he was the guest, and also was open to reminiscing about his WKRP glory days. It was near Thanksgiving, so he gave us his best on-air recreation of his classic quote from the WKRP turkey massacre episode. He was thankful for having such a good run and for still acting and portraying fun characters.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
-Jack Monson

Oh, the humanity!
-Les Nessman

.

Now Playing: Pearl Jam’s TEN

29 Mar

In Heavy Rotation this week on my iPod, phone, CD player, or turntable while writing this blog:

 

Pearl Jam Ten

Pearl Jam – Ten
1991

 

Twenty years ago this week…what!?!?! Twenty years? Yes, on March 27, 1991, Pearl Jam began recording their Epic debut, Ten.
 
While Nirvana’s Nevermind was first, I’ve always preferred PJ’s Ten as a much more complete, and overall better album.
 
Give it a listen again you may find that the layered sounds give an even darker feel than you may have remembered. I guess that’s what 20 years of light hip-hop and shiny happy alternative-so-called-rock has done to our popular music palate.

.

 

The Greatest Thanksgiving PR Stunt of All Time: WKRP

22 Nov

The holiday reruns start now! Here’s a re-posting of last year’s Thanksgiving post, with a new list… 
 

Arthur Carlson WKRP

"As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly." Click image for video clip.

   
Several years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Gordon Jump, aka Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson of WKRP in Cincinnati. He was passing through town on a PR tour for Maytag (he was the Maytag Repairman in the commercial campaign at the time) and did a live studio interview at the radio station I was programming.
 
What a pro! Mr. Jump was a PR person’s AND a media outlet’s perfect interviewee: he promoted the Maytag event for which he was the guest, and also was open to reminiscing about his WKRP glory days. It was near Thanksgiving, so he gave us his best on-air recreation of his classic quote from the WKRP turkey massacre episode. He was thankful for having such a good run and for still acting and portraying fun characters.
 
In honor of the late Mr. Jump’s spirit of thankfulness for lasting in his chosen industry, here’s a new list of just a few of the folks in the PR and Social Media Marketing industry I am thankful for meeting, collaborating with, or working with in 2010:

@PaulaBerg                  @kamichat                       @geoffliving

@cldegoede                 @_LaurenShapiro_      @cgflood

@Engage121                @JackSerpa                     @nperold

@reynmorgan            @evelyntimson             @emailfray

@kristinepfeiff            @AllisonB023                @PaulSegreto

@jeswal06                    @terrimcculloch           @StoryAssistant

@chuckhester             @JessicaNorthey          @jillianmk

@rebeccafoss              @brandjournalist         @prsachicago

@acappellamedia       @shashib                        @shelholtz

Andy Griffith and The 3 Stages of Social Media Engagement

12 Nov

As we begin to wrap up a year of explosive growth in Social Media usage and engagement, I’m seeing many Social Media Marketers moving into new stages of their own involvement. It reminds me of similar changes of audience engagement by one of the all-time great story tellers.
 
I speak, of course, of Andy Griffith’s portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry!

 

Stage 1: Over the top and finding our way

At the start of The Andy Griffith Show, Andy’s depiction was the same as the characters he had been playing on stage and screen and in his popular monologues and comedy records for the previous few years. Andy was over-the-top, absurd, and loud. It’s what Andy knew how to do to get attention and laughs. 
Andy Griffith

Stage 1 Andy: All Laughs

 

We dig into our own history of past success and use those same tactics when launching our social media engagement. Sometimes it fits, but more often than not, marketers need to tweak their voice and role, leading to…

  

Stage 2: Getting down to business and finding our role

After the first season or so, Andy realized that it would be best for the show if he played the straight man and let those around him get the laughs. His decision to pay it forward catapulted the show into legendary status.

Andy Griffith

Stage 2 Andy: Paying It Forward

 
The character of Andy as the normal and wise hub for the crazy Mayberry citizens’ shenanigans is a great role model for how Social Media Marketers should carry themselves within their online communities. Be the Andy by helping solve your connections’ business problems, mediating different point of views, and most of all promoting others before yourself.

Note, many so-called Social Media “Experts” or “Gurus” are the equivalent of Deputy Barney Fife. They take credit for others’ heroics, crow about their own expertise, and obsess on the tools of the trade rather than the message. Barneys don’t really make a community worse; in fact, they can be funny. But in the end, we’re just laughing at them. 

 
Stage 3: Getting annoyed by and tired of those around us

It would be best if you as a Social Media Marketer could stay in a perpetual stage two. Toward the end of The Andy Griffith Show’s original run, Andy’s character further developed into a role that you don’t want to be. These episodes are easy to identify as they are in color and “Angry Andy” is constantly irritated by the dimwits around him.
   

Andy and Aunt Bee

Stage 3 Andy: Annoyed

If you feel yourself getting easily agitated by the day to day engagement with the Goobers and Aunt Bees in your online communities, it may be time to stop and to move on to new challenges.
 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 51 other followers

%d bloggers like this: