On Friday, it became apparent that KBFR had sort of spun out of control (if control is the right word).
So I shut it down. Fired everyone, cleared the schedule, locked up the van. Just a playlist off of a computer running until I decide, is KBFR something worth continuing.
What the hell happened?
Glad you asked: We had DJ's saying fuck (and cunt, motherfucker, shit, cocksucker, nigger, faggot, etc. etc. you get the idea) at a rate of 200 times an hour, PER DJ (with 4 DJ's). It was getting so bad I was getting daily emails from long time listeners asking what happened to the station they loved? It had gotten to the point where people simply couldn't listen to it unless they were alone. No WAY would they try at work or at home with kids around.
We asked folks to moderate, and got a strange response: Hey man, this is FREE SPEECH, you can't tell us not to say fuck!
Well, we didn't. We asked for moderation. Use profanity in context. Like: That fucking idiot george bush killed 5 more kids in Iraq today. Vs: Did you see that fucking faggot fucking standing on the fucking mall looking like a fucking asshole cunt and fucking licking the pole? Fuck man, fucking pitiful. Someone should fucking give that fuck some fucking money.
I am, sadly, not overstating this.
This became a big issue, mostly around free speech, which we wholeheartidly support. Somehow, gratuitous use of profanity morphed into free speech along the way and we became the potty mouthed bad boys of radio. Howard Stern would cringe listening to some of the crap we were putting on air.
Then, to top it off, several of the DJ's started dissing the station, on air, and it's leadership (the folks that do all the work to keep it running). When asked to moderate THAT, they did even more of it.
Sadly, it was done with good intent, and truly horrible execution. Sapphire, our most active and hard working pirate, quit on Thursday because of this disrespect of the station. Her view was if these guys didn't respect the station and wanted to complain about it on air, it was time to move on. No hard feelings.
The problem is, she was putting in 20 hours a week holding it all together. Of the 6 people we consider our Captain's Council, 3 had quit (including Sapphire) in the last month.
Something's very wrong in KBFR land.
So, time to hit reset. End it in it's current form. No station. No shows. Nothing. Not even sure, today, if it'll come back up. I'm going to take this week to think about it and decide if this is really worth doing.
When you ask reasonably for someone to moderate something that's pissing off your listeners (causing them to complain) and you tell your listeners calling in to fuck off and change the dial if they don't like it, you've got to wonder if these folks really need to have a voice on air.
And when you tell them it can bring the FCC down on you even quicker and they ignore it, and when you tell them the FCC has YOUR name (me) and what they do is tattoo'd, personally, on your butt for the FCC to go after, and they ignore it, you gotta wonder: Is this shit worth it?
Right now, no. We'll see how it feels in a few days.