Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Death Of Douchelord Radio

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We started our little Blog Talk Radio show, Douchelord Radio, this past September. It was intended to be like a "black Howard Stern" type of show, with each person playing a "role". My role was that of "douchebag host". Along with "Robin Quivers" & "Baba Booey" types to round out the core cast.

We also had a "program director" (PD) role we created for the show. The purpose of this role was to give the rebellious "douchebag host" an adversary. The PD was to try to get the host "under control" & dictate what he could say on the air. We also had 2 "regulars" who would call in during the show.

This was basically all our first serious go-round at a viable radio show, even with it being on Blog Talk. I had previously been a guest on, or listened to shows on Blog Talk. Most of them just sounded like chat lines with people having jumbled phone conversations. We wanted our show to come off like any morning show you'd hear on commercial radio.

I was passionate about this. So I found, uploaded, and edited all kinds of funny sound bytes. For example, our "PD" had a very thick, twangy Southern accent. Whenever she spoke extensively, I'd play "Dueling Banjos" in the background. She admitted that while she legitimately hated it, she understood it was hilarious and good radio.

For our "Baba Booey", his role was to get stories & interviews but somehow fail or screw up the assignment. Then I would chastise or yell at him. I'd call him a "monkey" and play screaming chimpanzee sounds when he spoke. Again, he knew this and understood it was funny radio. We also agreed to do a "beef" scenario. This worked to the extent people hit us both up to try to help squash it.

I can't speak for the rest of the cast, but I received a lot of positive feedback on our shows. Our number of listeners increased weekly. We came up with ideas like doing the show on location from a nightspot, here in VA. That particular show was a bit of a mess, with the sound issues. But, it still did some of our best numbers. I received very minimal negative feedback, although I knew we were still learning and had a long way to go before the show would be what I envisioned.

I think it's relevant to note that I was in a relationship with our "PD" when the show was started. My mother passed away in October. This was on the heels of my father's passing in July and a cousin passing in August. Honestly, I had been looking for ways to end the relationship. I just wasn't feeling her anymore.

I think she believes it was because I wanted to be back with my estranged wife, whom I've been separated from for 2 years. The reality was, she was close to my mom & felt she owed it to her to look out for me. Especially since I have no other family in this area. My soon-to-be ex-wife would also come around & help look after my mom (who was very sick) when I was at work sometimes. There was never any talk of reconciliation, no "get some for old time's sake" situations. None of that. Simply put, my ex and I are mature enough to be friends now. It took a while. But, that's where we are.

Of course, I couldn't do the show the week my mother passed. But, I encouraged the rest of the cast to go ahead with the show, for consistency's sake. Our "PD" was to fill in as host. In her defense, she had issues downloading a new browser to her computer. As a result, the show started about 30 minutes late. The show did abysmal numbers, the worst of all the existing episodes. I ended the relationship after that episode. No, not because that show sucked. But, because it was time from my standpoint.

At that point, we agreed personal was personal & business was business. We could co-exist for the good of the show. At least, that's what was told to me.

Shortly after this, I get a phone call from the "PD". She tells me how the cast felt I was being unfair to them & how people didn't like a segment on the Joe Paterno/Penn State situation. A cast member told a very heartfelt account of molestation and how it affected the relative who was molested. At that point, the show took a serious tone, for once. Again, the feedback I got was positive, saying how it was good to see us take a stand against child molestation.

As far as the cast members, one of them, who NEVER calls me, only texts, called to thank me for allowing her to be part of a great show. I thanked her for being a great cast member and said the show doesn't go without the cast. I can't very well sit there and talk to myself.

That's pretty much the way I spoke whenever I referred to the show. I always said "we", "us", or "the cast". It was never, ever about me. When I was trying to think of a name for the show, I asked for suggestions. Most said "The Big Tango Show", "Thug Rock Star", or things to that effect. I wasn't doing that. I didn't want it to be about me, like that. I always tweeted the cast from the show's Twitter account, saying they did a great job. I was definitely about the team.

So, after that phone call, I sent an e-mail to the entire cast. Basically, it said that my interest was in the show being the best it could be, and that I would really like anyone that had issues with me or the way I was hosting the show to come to ME, so we could get it rectified. I never came off as overbearing, or a bully. No one responded to the e-mail. Life went on. We did more shows.

Fast forward to this past Thursday...

Twitter blew up last week, because of a photo shoot here, in the 757. This photo shoot was to be an "Industry Insider" shoot. All the movers & shakers in the Virginia entertainment field could be invited to get free photos professionally shot and use them for promotion. It didn't quite go as planned and there were some questionable model selections as well as creative directions, when it came to the shots themselves.

The photographer is a friend of mine, and I know the main subject of the Twitter ridicule. We all agreed for them to come on the show and clear the air about why the shoot went the direction that it did. I asked questions then allowed the cast to do the same. I thought it went well. I received tweets saying that people were entertained, while the interview was in progress. The interviews, questions & comments pretty much took up the 1st of our 2 hours on the air.

2 days later, I get this e-mail from our "PD"...

"I have some constructive criticism and feed back. Please take this for what it is. Several of the cast members called me after Thursdays show with complaints about you. I explained to them it puts me in an awkward place when these concerns are voiced to me and not you. I was going to do a conference call but I'm gonna be in Memphis and Nashville this coming week for my job and also I didn't want u to feel you were being ganged up on.
In my opinion I think the shows intro needs to be redone. It should not say "live from the 757" cause 3 of ur cast members aren't there. Also the picture on the blogtalk page needs to come down and everybodys name needs to be listed. That I can go in and fix.
That interview Thursday should had been radio gold. There was no fuckery I felt like until I got on the line. If ur goal is to be the next Howard Stern that's not how he woulda handled that interview. I thought the interview sucked and it was entirely too long. That is the feedback I received from the people I had listening. Several people told me they got bored and cut us off. Not everyone had seen the photo and didn't even know what was going on. {Listener) tweeted me during the show and said "is he seriously tryna make sense of this?"
(Regular} was bored during the interview. She text me several times during saying if she was gonna be on hold she was gonna hang up. She also said she didn't sign up for this and Douchelord Radio used to be fun. She said she will go back to callin in at 10pm or not at all. She also said she doesn't like how u cut off certain topics but my solution to that is we have our own show coming and it can be done there.
{Regular} also called me. He said there are 2 reasons his participation is limited. One when he calls in he's working. He doesn't mind making the time but it takes 30 mins or so for him to get on the line. Basically he's taking a break from work to sit on hold every week. Also {regular} said our show is not living up to its name. There is nothing Douchy about it and the show is getting to serious. He also said he had Dawn Richards from Danity Kane ready to hang out with us and u passed for the interview over that photoshoot that in the opinion of the cast did not come off so good.
{Cast member} called me at 1am after the show and his complaint was you never let him speak and also you are going to far with the beef with {Cast member} and Tango because u bring it into real life when its supposed to be only on the air and twitter. I'm not gonna get into whatever personal between u and him with u supposed to meet him somewhere Thursday night and not showing up.
Now this next thing I'm about to say comes from a place of love and concern. You are being called "David Ruffin" behind your back by everybody. I seriously heard it from all 3 people. It was funny but its not. Its not cool that everyone is saying that you have let this go to your head. I know you and you are not this person that you are giving us and you probably don't mean to come across this way. We all care about you as a person, but from what I'm gathering you are being found difficult to work with.
I hope you take everything that was said for the criticism it is and maybe we can sit down and figure out a way to make the show better. We know the show can be good. The first 2 shows were amazing but the cast with the exception of Sdot(and that's cause she didn't call me) feels the show is currently suffering and not growing. Like I said earlier this puts me in a weird place cause I feel like these concerns shoulda been voiced to you and not me, but everyone is more comfortable talking to me for some reason.
I think u should listen to an episode of Russ Parr, Tom Joyner, Michael Baisden, The Breakfast Club and also Howard Stern. Pay attention to how those shows are run. That's what I did. I picked a character off of Russ Parr to mimic.
Going forward let's try to make DoucheLordRadio the best we can.

-{Program Director}"

Now, the only changes I made to that e-mail was taking people's names out. I did that because once I announced that I was blogging about the reasons I quit the show, a couple of them got in their feelings.

I can't lie. I was hurt when I 1st read this e-mail. My eyes literally watered. I immediately replied to it with, "Easy solution. I quit." The reply I got from our "PD" was "And that is fine." That's the last communication I had with her.

The next thing was to reach out to the cast and find out why they felt like she was saying, but not talk to me about it. Especially after I had sent an e-mail asking them to do so. I BBM'd one cast member. He said he wasn't unhappy with me. Just how the show wasn't "douchey" enough, at times. The example he gave was the aforementioned Joe Paterno segment, citing that "it could've been so much fun to joke about". I said on the show that we don't condone child molestation or even joking about it. Everyone seemed to be in agreement, at that time. This cast member also said, "Dawn (Richard from Diddy Dirty Money) and Ophilia (a model who was on one the "Real Chance Of Love" seasons) DM'd me asking me when, but u told me not this week, so I scratched it." *blank ass stare*

I replied, "Had you told me DAWN RICHARD, from damn Dirty Money wanted to be on our show, I woulda been like 'fuck that photo shoot'" There was some more back & forth. I can provide the BBM, if necessary. Basically, he was saying he'd been complaining to our "PD". But, it wasn't that big of a deal, and he didn't think I should quit the show. I told him I was disappointed that he would go complain to the "PD" instead of talking to me, ESPECIALLY after I sent the e-mail asking for them to do so.

I know. That part is getting repetitive. But, you'll soon see why...

He says, "I dnt even be reading all emails.. I get so many in a day I just click to open all of them."

Alrighty then...

Next night, I announce that I have some shit to vent about on Twitter. I immediately get an e-mail from another cast member saying, "I saw a few tweets and hope there won't be a blast session on Twitter or FB from any of the cast members."

I replied, telling her I was disappointed for the same reason. Went to the "PD" instead of me. Her response: "I personally thought feedback should've gone through T because you know her better than u know me. But er uh...yeah that may have been a really bad idea...lol. My bad! Just try and be cool and don't go on any rants. Please?"

*staring wide-eyed at the camera*

This cast member also stated that she didn't know about any email that was sent out until recently and didn't know what was said in it.

You see why I keep repeating that I was disappointed that these people went to the "PD" instead of me? There's a pattern here...

This cast member also felt it was wrong of me to address this issue on social networks & blog about it. Why wouldn't I do that? I don't have shit to hide. Plus, I feel like I owe it to the people that support me or the show for them to know why things are the way they are.

I called another cast member to find out how they felt. He admitted he thought it wasn't fair that he didn't get to participate in the "Photo Shoot" interviews. I explained to him that since he was using a different phone, I didn't recognize his number on the switchboard and forgot about him. I'll own that. He understood. He also said he didn't fully read the e-mail I sent out, because once he realized that it didn't apply to him, he pretty much disregarded it. I know this person and hang out with him on the regular. I believe he would've come to me, instead of calling our "PD" who lives in Louisville, KY.

The pattern here is, everybody either half-ass read the e-mail I sent, or didn't read it at all. All this shit could've been avoided. My hurt turned to anger when I found all this out. Why THEE FUCK would you not read an e-mail from the host of a show that YOU'RE A DAMN CAST MEMBER OF???

Instead, people went running to someone who had NO power to begin with, like she could spank me, or some shit. I also believe a lot of shit in the "PD's" e-mail was exaggerated, or plain made the fuck up.

Another common thread was the "I didn't know all that" replies. So, again... WHY in the BLUE MONKEY FUCK would you not ask before you go complaining?

Nobody admitted to calling me "David Ruffin", although the above e-mail says all 3 complaining cast members called me that. Somebody is straight-up lying. I don't have the time, nor inclination to know who. I'll let them figure that out.

I apologize for the length of this blog entry. But, all the info is relevant. I didn't do it to cause trouble, or "expose" people. I did it because the supporters of the show deserve to know what happened.

The "PD" issued an e-mail saying the show will continue. They will change the title & retain the cast. She also wants to do a tribute to the former host and hopes I will call in & participate. Nah. I'm good on that.

I will be back on BlogTalk Radio soon, with a new show. Hopefully, those who supported Douchelord Radio will enjoy this one even more. It'll be better because I learned a lot from doing this show & the bullshit that caused me to leave what I loved to do.

I am going to mention one name. HUGE shoutout to my "sis", Sue. As soon as my tweet hit about leaving the show, she immediately called me to offer support. No one else from the cast did that. The convo ended with "Where are WE going? What are we doing?" That meant EVERYTHING. I love her even more for that.

Tweet me with any questions. I'm sure there will be some. Aside from giving names, I will pretty much answer all. Thanks for bearing with me. I know this took a good chunk of your time.

You be the judge...