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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WHAT TIME IS IT?...Coverage of Glenn on BreeFM

Glenn Rubenstein, live on BreeFM @11pm EST, Wednesday.

It is without a net. It is off the cuff. Glenn has done the "real" radio thing before. Back when he did the show with Leo Laporte they would drive in early and prep for the show. They had a "lunch box computer" with a built in screen. They needed a satellite uplink. Today most music stations are completely automated. You can tell if there is a generic radio DJ because they get a "feed" from a larger station.

Alternative rock and urban is not quite as cookie cutter. However, with pop radio it is very common to use a "feed". In the last 20 years you could argue that the most sustained growth is "butt rock". Country radio has always done well. Contemporary rock stations do not have a long shelf life. Glenn loves looking at industry growth and trends.

When Glenn was young he sold a bunch of video games in order to buy a Sega Genesis. A lot of the parents began to ask him for advice. Glenn's mom told him he was good at it and since he was good with English she suggested he pitch the local Petaluma newspaper that he write a game column. He actually wanted to get into video game design. Back in 1990 you could not go to school to design games. Surprisingly Glenn heard back in a couple of days and they liked the sample he sent in. The video game thing was just beginning to explode. Glenn became a columnist for the Argus Courier with a circulation of around 10,000. He was only 14 and was not paid. He knew he could buy or rent the games but he called up the editor in chief (Andy Eddy) of the game magazine he read and got some advice and contact numbers. His column ran every Saturday. Two months later Glenn was looking at the San Francisco Chronicle and his mom pointed out an article similar to what Glenn had been writing and suggested he send in one of his articles. Carla Melanouchi, the author of the article called up Glenn and was impressed with what he had done. Carla covered video games but was really not a big fan of them. Glenn really hit it off with the editor in chief and they talked about games. Glenn pitched the 12 games of Christmas as a feature story idea and was told to go for it. The Sunday Examiner Chronicle had a circulation of over a million and might have been as much as three million at the time. A week after Christmas Glenn was going to CES and suggested that he file a report from the show. Nintendo was going to be debuting a lot of the super Nintendo stuff. His dad took him. The report went really well. His CES report included coverage of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sega was delighted to see it get prominent placement in the newspaper. Larry Cramer asked Glenn if there was enough to write a weekly coverage article. A year later Glenn dropped out of high school because he was busy with games, conventions etc. Glenn wrote for the Examiner for 9 years but the syndication people thought the game industry was just a fad.

By Glenn's 15th birthday he had become a columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper. Glenn's mother encouraged him to send stuff to radio stations and that led to Glenn meeting Leo Laporte. In 1993 Leo suggested a radio show about computers and that is how Glenn got into radio. Some of his teachers did not "get" what Glenn was doing. In 10th grade, the busy schedule of his career was conflicting with school so he graduated early by taking the Proficiency test, which is a high school equivalency diploma.

Glenn's List of Misty-Eyed Moments

TEASE: last week Glenn said he would keep a running tally of times when he cried during the week. Glenn is sentimental but it is made more extreme due to a medical reason regarding glands and moisture (it affects the threshold for tearing up). When we come back we will talk about:

THE LIST!!!!!!!
1. The episode of This American Life with narration by Johnny Depp
2. The passing of broadcast journalist Tim Russert...it is weird to have someone in TV news that is so likable. Glenn likes Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan although he does not agree with their political views. Tim passed away last Friday and Glenn challenged anyone to watch the Tom Brocko coverage from the NBC offices in Washington DC.
3. Rocky Balboa movie....the speech at the end to his son. It is an emotional journey. The first two Rocky movies were largely a young man's story about how hard he could hit. Rocky Balbo is an old man's story about your ability to survive and leaving your mark. What does it mean to make it through that.

...the list was shorter than Glenn expected.

Something that made Glenn laugh: In Europe the seasons are 6 episodes long. The UK series Peep Show. It is a bit like a modern day Odd Couple. The show is so wrong. Peep Show raises the bar. It stars actors David Mitchell and Robert web. They are the two actors who also do the "mac ads" in the UK.

Go see the Incredible Hulk! Surprisingly solid movie and really enjoyable.

Here is the archive of of stories from LG15 TODAY concerning Glenn's radio show on BreeFM.

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