take your answer off the air...

  • HorsesAss.Org: the straight poop on WA politics & the press
    progressive brilliance from the guy who pointed out Tim Eyman's nascent horse's-assedness
  • Talker's Magazine
    The quirky talk radio trade mag. Check the Talk Radio Research Project- it's not very scientific, but places on the top 15 talkers list (scroll down to Talk Radio Audiences By Size)) are as hotly contested as Emmys (and mean just about as much).
  • The Advocate
    No, not THAT Advocate... it's the Northwest Progressive Institute's Official Blog.
  • Media Matters
    Documentation of right-wing media in video, audio and text.
  • Orcinus
    home of David Neiwert, freelance investigative journalist and author who writes extensively about far-right hate groups
  • Hominid Views
    "People, politics, science, and whatnot" Darryl is a statistician who fights imperialism with empiricism, gives good links and wry commentary.
  • Jesus' General
    An 11 on the Manly Scale of Absolute Gender, a 12 on the Heavenly Scale of the 10 Commandments and a 6 on the earthly scale of the Immaculately Groomed.
  • Howie in Seattle
    Howie Martin is the Abe Linkin' of progressive Seattle.
  • Streaming Radio Guide
    Hellishly long (5795!) list of radio streaming, steaming on the Internets.
  • The Naked Loon
    News satire -- The Onion in the Seattle petunia patch.
  • Irrational Public Radio
    "informs, challenges, soothes and/or berates, and does so with a pleasing vocal cadence and unmatched enunciation. When you listen to IPR, integrity washes over you like lava, with the pleasing familiarity of a medium-roast coffee and a sensible muffin."
  • The Maddow Blog
    Here's the hyper-interactive La Raych of MSNBC. daily show-vids, freakishly geeky research, and classy graphics.
  • Northwest Broadcasters
    The AM, FM, TV and digital broadcasters of Northwest Washington, USA and Southwest British Columbia, Canada. From Kelso, WA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC - call letters, formats, slogans, networks, technical data, and transmitter maps. Plus "recent" news.
  • News Corpse
    The Internet's chronicle of media decay.
  • The Moderate Voice
    The voice of reason in the age of Obama, and the politics of the far-middle.
  • News Hounds
    Dogged dogging of Fox News by a team who seems to watch every minute of the cable channel so you don't have to.
  • HistoryLink
    Fun to read and free encyclopedia of Washington State history. Founded by the late Walt Crowley, it's an indispensable tool and entertainment source for history wonks and surfers alike.

right-wing blogs we like

  • The Reagan Wing
    Hearin lies the real heart of Washington State Republicans. Doug Parris runs this red-meat social conservative group site which bars no holds when it comes to saying who they are and who they're not; what they believe and what they don't; who their friends are and where the rest of the Republicans can go. Well-written, and flaming.
  • Orbusmax
    inexhaustible Drudgery of NW conservative news
  • The Radio Equalizer
    prolific former Seattle KVI, KIRO talk host speaks authoritatively about radio.
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« BREAKING...STAY TUNED... DIRE LAY-OFFS AT KIRO | Main | Dustin Hornby R.I.P. ?-2008 »

January 30, 2008

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abob

I love how Styble tries to make folks believe he was a big salary guy at KIRO. That idiot was making peanuts. KIRO did not want to pay the medical insurance costs for a guy who generated no ratings. It's that simple.

Duffman

He says 2005-2008, you say 2006-2007, which is it?

DT

Bryan, if you are reading this, please, in your next radio job, when you take a call, let the caller make their point before you talk. To often you would interrupt them after their first sentence, then you would go off on a tangent, and then hang up on them, without even letting them get to their point. You get distracted and sidetracked too easily. I'm not saying you need to let people go on and on for a few minutes, but just let them say 2 or 3 sentences and make their point. Listen for the POINT they are trying to make. You always get sidetracked by something they say that has nothing to do with their point.

I would think that is very basic, talk radio 101-type stuff, but apparently not.

shortmichael

How could cutting Styble from the line up be "budgetary" when they weren't paying him anything?

coiler

I see 2006-2008, maybe your confuzer isn't working, duffs. :0

abob

It is too little too, late to give Styble advice on how to become a better broadcaster. The radio career of Styblehead is DEAD-DEAD-DEAD.

wutitiz

KIRO is Seattle's progressive station. They progressively cut hosts' hours, leaving them to embarrassingly dangle until the plug is finally pulled.

storsie

Bryan was one of the few to openly call himself a 'NeoCon.' Invariably when that term is deployed, it is a label applied as a perjorative, not a self-ID.

That makes Bryan one of two things: a 'wannabe' (in gang parlance(ask Duffman)); or someone very high up on the NeoCon food chain, probably reporting directly to Rove. My money is on the latter.

It is a little too much of a coincidence that 'Bryan' was the sobriquet of that other known Neo-con, Bryan Suits. It would not surprise me at all if Bryan Suits was Bryan Styble's "boy." Don't be surprised Styble is LA-bound, the way having been cleared.

PugetSound

hey Storsie
so how many were up on the Grassy Knoll?

storsie

Laugh away, but let's see what happens. If BS & BS surface in LA, that chortle turns to chagrin, as it becomes undeniable that I know whereof I speak.

Bryan Styble

In answer to Sir Duffman's question posted above, the correct dating of my KIRO career is 2005-2008 (actually, it's 2004-2008, since technically I was hired well before arriving in the Pacific Northeast three years ago next month).

Inasmuch as accurate reporting about my KIRO work is rare herein, I'm not surprised the individual who signs this blog would shortchange me by a year in his headline. (After all, he also incorrectly declared me to have been fired with a sarcastic "RIP 2005-2006" headline in October 2006...despite the fact that I'd made it quite clear to my audience that the [previous] KIRO programmer had assured me that the shuffle was merely a rescheduling from overnights to a late-night slot.

Since the man who asserted that to me is Tom Clendening, the programmer whom I've most admired and trusted during my nearly two decades in newstalk radio, I wasn't surprised when a few weeks thereafter he made good on his word and awarded me my weekend show, which of course ran through this week and was cancelled by his successor today.

Since the man who runs this blog has repeatedly engaged in character assassination and downright mean-spirited, scatological "appraisals" of my KIRO work, I also wasn't surprised by that sloppy "reporting"...even though I'd already posted hereto a link to my own blog's announcement, which of course contained the correct dates.

What's weird, though, is this:

Why wouldn't a blog (which among its various efforts to complicate my career, if not my life, actually published my home telephone number and my supposed KIRO salary) that seemed oddly preoccupied with how much KIRO was paying me at least lay to rest that preposterous story about my working for KIRO for free?

While the majority of the readers herein may indeed agree with Mr. Abob and so despise my work that they therefore perhaps assume no one would be willing to pay me for it, the fact is I made more money at KIRO than any other of my dozen or so professional newstalk radio gigs around the country since 1989.

A lot more. In fact, from day one KIRO was generous enough to pay me more than three times what I received from ABC when I did an even longer overnight show at the network-owned WJR/Detroit. It's true that KIRO never gave me a raise; it's also true I never asked for one.

My hunch is the false story, often repeated by posters herein, that I was working for free at KIRO stemmed from the fact that I've often told KIRO audiences that back in Albuquerque I worked for a bankrupt, also-ran newstalk station which promised (perhaps in good faith) much money to follow, but which ended up stiffing me. So yeah, in New Mexico, I had to deliver pizzas at night to facilitate my local-celebrity newstalk radio alter-ego during the afternoon-drive.

If anyone is interested, I'm also quite puzzled as to why my KIRO work, easily the least-ideologically-based (and often even apolitical) KIRO talk show this side of Ciscoe's or Chef Douglas's, for so long drew such intense and ugly reaction from Mr. Hood.

Mr. Hood's postings over time regarding other hosts' shows have made it clear he sees newstalk radio through the prism of politics, which is a looking-glass through which my listeners well know I seldom peer, at least on-air.

So why did my little show (wherein listeners typically heard much more about science, history and the arts than they did my political views, which are liberal on many social issues anyway), find itself the target of such determined efforts herein to discredit it?

Sincerely,
BRYAN STYBLE/Seattle

www.RadioactiveSeattle.blogspot.com

mercifurious

Oh Jezus H Chuthulu on a crap-pot. Soooo much material.

"Since the man who runs this blog has repeatedly engaged in character assassination and downright mean-spirited, scatological "appraisals"..."

The funniest part about this - and part of the gag that we never let him in on - is that Styblehead is as serious as a heart-attack here. No tongue, No cheek. No former inside later. More on this later...

"...which among its various efforts to complicate my career, if not my life, actually published my home telephone number"

Moron. You gave this out to a listener once on the air. We printed it here. It's called getting a verbatim quote off of your show - Styblehead Boast to Boast.

"...and my supposed KIRO salary"

What salary?

"A lot more. In fact, from day one KIRO was generous enough to pay me more than three times what I received from ABC when I did an even longer overnight show at the network-owned WJR/Detroit."

Interesting fuzzy math trick here. Best illustrated in this story problem:

Lil' Bry earned a salary at 710 KIRO. He claimed that this amount was 3x the amount of his former ABC gig. At his ABC gig, Lil' Bry earned $0.00. How much did he earn at 710 KIRO?

"If anyone is interested, I'm also quite puzzled as to why my KIRO work, easily the least-ideologically-based (and often even apolitical) KIRO talk show this side of Ciscoe's..."

Chuthulu's unholy curse on anyone - esp. Styblehead - who name-drops the Avatar of green greatness - Ciscoe Morris. Ciscoe quakes and giggles at your blasphemy.

But Styblehead is still puzzled...

"So why did my little show (wherein listeners typically heard much more about science, history and the arts than they did my political views, which are liberal on many social issues anyway), find itself the target of such determined efforts herein to discredit it?"

You never did get it, did you Styble. *sigh*

Well, we didn't want to give this away because it was fun (at least for a while). But it's over now, so we might as well.

Your show was ridiculed because:
A.) It sucked (shocker!)
but more importantly:
B.) Because it was actually kind of funny when Styble got pissed and had Styble-tantrums on the air.

You gave us the goat - we took it:
Que Styble's greatest hits

* You went berserk at a battle of the talk-show host gig when Bla'M called you Styblehead - we took your goat.

* You went apeshit when Lou Pate encouraged callers to say "CRAP" - we took your goat.

* You went loco when I called in & finely quibbled with you about some Hedy Lemarr insignificance & then said the big-bad doo-doo word.

I often told BW & Bla'M that if only Entercom encouraged people to call-in and prank your show, it might just catch on. Ho-hum.

Oh, and this advice to future employers: Be sure to strategically send Styble on vacation every February ... or not?

So here's your goat, Styble. Learn to hold onto it better this time... or not?

It's been surreal. Later.
MN

abob

Styble suffers from verbal diarrhea even when he writes. He is such a wordy ass. It reminds me of the time he interviewed Michael Medved. Styble kept interrupting Medved to babble incessantly about Bob Dylan. Styble ignored the fact that Medved said he didn't know or care about Bob Dylan.

storsie

Merci torments Bryan. Bryan(scrilla(gang parlance for money(ask Duffman)) torments merci. And you still doubt that there is a connection here, PugentSound??

Bryan Styble

BRYAN STYBLE responds:

"Incessantly", eh?

This is why I like to distinguish between newstalk radio's few true "listeners" and the rest, who are mere "tuners": It so happens that there were but a couple citations of Dylan in that Medved interview on my show...and what the tuner-cum-poster couldn't know was that OFF the air, during breaks, Medved talked to ME about Dylan (having heard I was the Dylan go-to guy around the station), and even wanted a brief off-air overview of my experiences in company of the artist 1975-98.

Re Nate aka Mercifurious: his crowing about his (and whoever was in cahoots with him) contempt for my show is fine, but that hardly entitles him or anyone to squander the good will of listeners. Because that's what, among other accomplishments, a prank call does: it may only steal a minute or two of airtime, but that's of course multiplied by the thousands of ears lent to that insincere speaker. The people who select a serious station like KIRO for five minutes or five hours have the legitimate expectation that internet-guerrillas won't undermine what they're hearing with teenage misbehavior.

Of course, I accepted that risk when I elected to do my callers the ongoing favor of never screening for content. As it happens, over three years at KIRO I was stung by FAR fewer prank calls than I expected to be, given this website's mischief-making posters (who on several occasions a couple years ago even spuriously posted under my name). At least Mr. Hood posts under his own name (as I do, without exception here or elsewhere), unlike Nate aka Merci and any others who, in fine Stalinist fashion, flame only from the shadows.

Nate aka Merci inaccurately describes my demeanor on-air as often erupting into a "tantrum". That's absurd; KIRO would (and should) have fired me after three hours, not three years, if I even occasionally staged any sort of tantrum.

Fact is, I almost never get angry on-air (nor do I countenance it in callers). But of course I do routinely sound intense, sometimes inadvertantly...because like any decent newstalker, I'm passionate.

As for the potty language thing, I plead extremely guilty to having zero tolerance for it. I consider even mild scatology to be juvenile, and thus inappropriate on any so-called "heritage" newstalk station such as KIRO.

There are--or at least were--any number of KIRO hosts who, unlike me, don't drop callers merely for employing scatology or even worse. Some even use such language on-air themselves.

But I elected to conduct my broadcast differently, with only polite language (not unlike every show during radio's Golden Age), and if that's an additional reason for you to dislike my work, good for you.

But every radio professional realizes, and every BW reader should know, that EVERY show on EVERY station has some listeners who detest it, and also some listeners who love it (and the take-it-or-leave-it remainder outnumber, usually vastly, either impassioned group).

Many of my little broadcast's listeners--though never enough of my callers, for sure--insisted to me that mine was their favorite KIRO show. (Roughly the same number politely made clear that BW's distaste for my expository newstalk radio style wasn't unique to this blog.)

But whenever a listener told me how much they loved my work, I always reminded myself that they probably were just responding to the show's format or the knowledge the callers and I contributed to it; I seldom delude myself into thinking a listener actually likes ME, and in fact have often been brutally frank on-air about my limitations as a broadcaster, thinker and, most of all, personality. (That's an on-air modesty, by the way, that has been ignored in BW, with Mr. Hood and posters often claiming I seem to naively fashion myself as brilliant, all the while my show instead is proving its host is in fact a dolt.)

Re the telephone number thing: Yep, Nate, you're right, I'd be a "moron" alright, had I indeed given my home phone number out on the air.

But that of course never happened, though I did once answer my cell phone on-air in jest, barking into it (before waiting to hear whom I was barking at) something to the effect of, "Anyone who's got this number knows I'm on the air now--call back when the show's over!" [slam cellphone shut]--a spur-of-the-moment gag in response to my neglect in turning the phone off at showtime, and a joke that was lost on a couple BW posters who misrespresented it as my unprofessionally handling personal business at the office.

You people can continue to claim I have no talent and that my career is over--and you could be correct on both accounts--but you're fools to trade in demonstrative falsities.

Sincerely,
BRYAN STYBLE/Seattle

www.RadioactiveSeattle.blogspot.com

Duffman

Bryan you probably should have kept your show more timely by checking the MTS blog. Did you know that apparently Thompson has dropped out of the Presidential race?
Good Luck!

Duffman

Oh, and merci here's your goat back...he's been a good boy...has quieted down considerably. BUH-bye!! Hehe :)

'merci: party of two, your table is ready...oh, I'm sorry sir we don't allow goats in here...'

mercifurious

Like I said:
So here's your goat, Styble. Learn to hold onto it better this time
...or not?

Regarding the "On-air cell phone pickup":

You're conflating two incidents, Styble. A few months before the cell-phone pickup, you got all enamored by a fan, and said you wanted to have lunch with her - then gave her your phone number over the air. Smart.

But thanks for reminding us of the cell-phone pickup story - I had totally forgotten about that one.

Funny. Even after letting Bryan in-the-know about the Bla'M-fam Goat-trade, he still doesn't get it. Still as serious as a heart attack . Thanks for not disappointing us, Bryan

DT

Bryan, can you shed any light on the firings? The owner of this blog is suggesting Dori Monson played a large roll in who was fired and who got to stay. I would like to hear your opinion.

wutitiz

Bryan, your initial interview of Vincent B. was a thing of radio-beauty, and I'm kicking myself for missing the one last week. As I posted on the other thread, Seattle has entered a phase of bloated ennui, and was unable to sync w/ your energy and curiosity.

I would suggest staying in talk radio, because you have more talent than 90% of hosts, but find someplace that is in a growth phase, and is more dynamic. In the spirit of constructive criticism, I agree w/ those who say limit the digressions.

Good luck, Bryan.

chucks

Bryan
Thanks for your side of the story. Some posters here will never understand that there are always at least two sides. Hope you get another program here locally so those of us who did enjoy your show can hear more.
Nate!!! take that thing out of your goat. It is not a woman!

wutitiz

HAHA nice, Chucks. I could've comme up w/ that but couldn't make it through the intricacies of the goats/cell phone pickups/etc.

rev

Styble:

Twelve jobs in 19 years sounds like another way of saying "he can't hold a job."

Your KIRO programs could be used as a textbook example of things a talk host should NOT do:

1) Return the same pet topics as often as possible.

2) Don't let callers complete a thought -- interrupt as soon as possible and take off on a monologue tangent unrelated to the caller's subject.

3) Assume that you and your opinions and predjudices are the most interesting things you could possibly talk about.

4) When conducting an interview, don't allow the subject to stray from your pet subjects, regardless of the interviewee's interest or knowledge -- do whatever you can to impress the interviewee with your "expertise."

5) Adopt a limited number of catch phrases and use them as often as possible.

6) Don't ever use two words when you could use six or a dozen to accomplish the same thing.

7) Assume that your medium -- talk radio -- is as interesting to your listeners as it is to you; treat it as a core topic rather than a transparent vehicle for discussing other subjects.

8) Talk about other, better broadcasters frequently, in the hope that your listeners will think of you as part of the same class of competant professionals rather than as a wannabe hack.

Bryan Styble

BRYAN STYBLE responds, in annoying detail...

First to Mr./Ms. "Rev", then to a couple other posters as well:

You obviously don't understand radio, Rev. Or at least what the term "formatics" refers to.

My word-dense hosting style is also quite heavy on formatics (and perhaps too heavy, sometimes), but no good commercial newstalk radio style is ever formatics-free. (The EIB Network's sole show is probably the most formatic-laiden broadcast of them all...but then I would expect that, from the finest broadcaster this wonderful media genre has ever produced.)

Maybe the reason you don't understand the utility of formatics (or maybe even what they specifically are to radio professionals), is because you're more used to listening to public stations, where they certainly talk, and certainly talk about the news...but they sure don't practice what is known as commercial newstalk radio.

Not by a long shot do they. Nope, on NPR, hardly any need at all for formatics. In part, that's because there's no unfortunate need to drill the brand into the listeners' (and thus potential diary-holders') heads. This is because these broadcasters are not beholden to the ratings diaries. (Diaries which, by the way, are said to be often filled out by individuals who might, say, listen to KIRO for several days straight, but then when time came weeks later to catch up on filling in the appropriate diary lines, they think...and remember...and think...only to write down "KOMO".)

Heck, I've met people on the street, talked to 'em for several minutes or longer, and upon parting remind 'em, "One more time, what did I [repeatedly]say that timeslot was?" And he'd respond: "Uh...1-5 am...on KOMO, right?"

What's remarkable is how many BW posters seem to think there's a certain correct or quality way to do commercial newstalk radio, and that most other hosts just "suck". Except for Bryan Styble; no, he "REALLY SUCKS!!"

In fact, there's at least a thousand ways to do radio newstalk, and probably 700 of those styles are perfectly fine ones. (80s-Larry King and 90s-current Imus are prominent among the remaining 300 mostly-lousy ones, obviously.)

Few dispute Dave Ross has one of the most elegant styles anywhere, but Jay Severin [Boston]; Roe Conn [Chicago]; Sytman & Bose [Seattle, emeritus]; Erin Hart [Seattle, emeritus]; Rollye James [syndicated from Philly]; Thom Hartmann [AAmerica]; and Mark Davis [Dallas/FW] each have widely-disparate styles which impress me each in its own way as much as Dave Ross does darned near every broadcast.

It's true that expository styles like mine are out of vogue nowadays (outnumbered by conversational styles at least eight-to-one by my rough calculus). But I would have thought that would have given me added scarcity value with BW posters. But of course, that presumes BW posters were interested in giving my approach a fair listening. (When pressing my more severe critics off-air, as I often did, it usually turned out they heard a couple or three shows, and only a few minutes of those.)

Someone who favored the WJR version of Bryan Styble (still all-open-lines back then, but not so radioactive) so much that he somehow managed to catch pretty much every hour of every show I did in Detroit 1993-98 (including my midnight suburban WPON shows 1996-98!) is also a longtime newstalk pro pal. He still lives in Motown, and often reads BW.

The fellow recently told me, "I'm surprised that no one on BlatherWatch ever gives you credit for trying something different." He also, in 1998 wrote in a column (following my quitting the WPON show in favor of a big-money-but-short-term gig in Chicago in television news), that, [paraphrasing here], "while nearly every newstalk radio show brags in its promos how its unlike all other shows, in fact, there are almost always many similar shows out there. True originality is rare in newstalk radio, and Bryan Styble, who just finished a 6-year run on the Detroit airwaves at WJR and then WPON, has flown under the radar in terms of media coverage in this city, despite having a unique format, an original sound and a loyal fan base."

But the greatest tribute ever published about me was by a lefty Harvard man-cum-rock frontman who, after a two-hour in-studio guesting shot at WPON, wrote in his newspaper column, "Styble is one of the few people in talk radio who understands that a heated discussion need not be uncivil."

Like the other Detroit guy, I thought, or at least hoped, more BW posters might appreciate what I bring to the newstalk radio table. But instead, nasty BW postings started dismissing my KIRO work, sometimes in the most vile terms, almost as soon as this polite-to-a-fault-even-to-meanies guy started getting a lot of KIRO airtime. What-a-hick-from-NewMexico was a frequent storyline in 2005 BW postings about Bryan Styble.

Also from the outset, it was clear this website isn't NEARLY as much about newstalk radio as it is politics...or at least political newstalk radio. At least, Mr. Hood and darned near every one of his posters seems to see newstalk radio in ideological terms.(Whereas I'm so nonideological that, in 1984 in Los Angeles, I proudly voted for Reagan...and then also voted for Tom Hayden for State Assembly that same November night; how's THAT for bi-partisanship?)

No, never as a LISTENER, much less a professional broadcaster, have I EVER seen newstalk radio primarily in political terms. "The talk radio host who cares less how you vote than how you reason" isn't a mere slogan; no one has heard me try on-air to sway votes left or right; there's plenty of other shows which do that, many to the exclusion of everything else.

No, this listener loves or detests a newstalk radio show based not on whether I agree with its content, but on how the host conducts the show--how well its format was conceived, and how well the host executes his duties. (If I applied the criteria most BW types evidently employ, I'd merely love every show I agree with and dislike each I disagreed with. But that would be mindless, wouldn't it?)

In fact, as a listener I so de-emphasize what we in the industry term "content" that my hosting style ends up reflecting it. Thus I eschew "doing topics", as they say. That's where the host proposes a question regarding some news story, takes a stand on it, and invites the callers to sound off. There are many, many hosts who do that, some quite engagingly. (One of the best practitioners of that sort conversational style is KIRO's former late-night weeknight guy, Frank Shiers; it's also a format appealing to any host (UNlike Frank!) who, um, maybe is alergic to the sort of near-24/7 show-prep I required of me and which, as an open-lines guy, I feel I owe my audience anyway.

So, anyone who has listened to my supposedly unlistenable style of newstalk radio hosting (typically termed "train wreck" herein) well knows that I never "do topics".

What I DID do invariably was "Open Lines for Open Minds", often after an hourlong "radioactive" interview with some nationally-known figure ("with a name commonly recognizable by the educated" was my booking standard I used, finding and personally persuading nearly such every national name to do my show).

But I ALWAYS sequestered at least two hours for Open Lines for Open Minds every show, fielding unscreened calls (after inviting listeners to "book themselves as a guest on the show") on anything In or Out of the News, from Astronomy to Zoology, almost always downplaying ideology in favor of informational exposition.

Sometimes the results turned out great. Sometimes not. (Of course.) Often I was on my game, sometimes I was not. Frequently the callers were terrific, but more often they were...not.

Yet I'm supposed to take advice from radio know-nothings like you, Rev, who deigns to advise me on selecting "topics". There are many, many hosts who prepare for their shows in just such a fashion. Appreciators of my style favor the less-scripted approach I used on KIRO.

Then you, Rev, display utter chutzpah: you cite my having been hired, over nearly two decades, by a variety of newstalk radio stations large, medium and small (in each of all four Lower 48 time-zones), yet you mischaracterize that as being proof positive that I "can't hold a job".

Clearly you don't work in broadcasting, or probably any end of the entertainment or news media, else you'd understand that "market-hopping" careers such as mine (landing in San Francisco in the early 90s, Detroit in the mid-90s and Chicago enroute to Seattle in 2005) are more the rule than the exception in both broadcasting and print.

Lastly, you seem to be making a mistake that many (but by not means all) of my critics make:
confusing an open-lines newstalk radio format with an open-mike format at a stand-up club.

After I was lucky enough to stumble into the Open Mike Night MC gig at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood (Tuesdays, 1987-89), I gave every act their alloted three minutes; no matter how lame the performance, or how poorly received it was, as long as the comic didn't get hostile (as a few would), I'd ensure he got at least his full three minutes, uninterrupted.

But this is commercial newstalk radio...and I happened to be working at KIRO, the largest and most respected newstalk radio outlet west of Chicago and north of San Francisco. My, and any host's, obligation is to ensure every minute of airtime is devoted to information, analysis and/or entertainment. So, if the caller can provide it, I try (too often unsuccessfully) to get out of the way and only help the caller shine. But if he or she seems not, for whatever reason, up to the rhetorical job, then I quickly reclaim control, riffing off whatever the caller has just said that I might salvage on behalf of the audience. (You'd term that "interrupting" or "derailing" the caller, I'm sure.)

Or, to put it in gridiron terms this Super Bowl week, once the caller fumbles the ball, I feel obligated pick it up and try to advance it toward the goalline nonetheless (unless I can find a graceful way to lateral it back to him for "a concluding statement" or two), all prior to my being able to smoothly toss to the next commercial or news break, usually within less than a 20-second window, and also then hourly squeeze in the ID ("K-I-R-O Seattle", the precise regulation-stipulated sequence) and remind listeners we're back next hour, all the while verbally dancing around the network tone within a tolerance of about a quarter-second.

But, alas, Bryan Styble ain't on that football team anymore, am I? And maybe I'll never again be invited to join another such team, or even if so, maybe I'll then just end up as another has-been benchwarmer.

Oh, well, then Bryan Styble will have to have been satisfied with 26 years in commercial radio, the last 19 of which in AM newstalk (with seven of those at its highest level, 4 at WJR/Detroit in the mid-90s and 3 at KIRO). And THAT radio format just happens to be my absolute favorite media genre of all.

So this has not been a commercial radio career I'm embarrassed by, even if many of you BW posters think I should be ashamed of it.

Sincerely,
BRYAN STYBLE/Seattle

www.RadioactiveSeattle.blogspot.com
RadioactiveSeattle@hotmail.com

PugetSound

Thank you Bryan Styble. I found that to be an interesting comment. It helped me put some of this in context. To have done what you wanted to for 26 years is a pretty amazing run.
When -and I am sure it is only a matter of time- you get back on the air I will give you a listen.

abob

The most astounding thing about Bryan Styble is that he remains totally oblivious to how putridly awful he was on radio.

Duffman

Very forthright and quite frankly 'brave' of you to come on this blog (where you've taken so many hits) and explain where you were coming from like that Bryan.
Like Puts I think that following your passion like that for so long is commendable and you should continue. I would advise not totally discounting some of the more 'constructive' criticisms you've heard herein (& probably elsehwere) tho, as it can only make you stronger.
Keep your head up and going forward and remember that probably the last thing you'll NEVER think before you check out of this beautiful world is 'I wish I could have satisfied more folks on Blatherwatch'.
Again, good luck and I wish you the best. :)

LeeAnn

uh..."satisfied" them..how?

Duffman

cute sparks.

coiler

Holy shit! Styble had to come back and defend his 'show' which will probably will go down as the most overabused use of bandwidth possible. What an attention whore. Where were you before tonite?

mary

I will miss Bryan Styble and doubt if I will ever have a reason to listen to KIRO again.
Good luck, Bryan

rev

Just for the record:

1) I have worked in major market radio on and off since 1963. My work has also been heard on almost every major English-language radio service in the world (with the single exception of All India Radio), including all the American networks . I have every reason to believe that I "understand radio."

2) I know what "formatics" means. And I know what a positioning statement is. And I know that Styble misused and abused both concepts. Your abysmal ratings demonstrate that they're not enough to produce numbers for a bad program.

3) If, as Styble claims, the use of incessant slogans and "formatics" is essential to gaining ratings, isn't it odd that NPR affiliates in Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and many other markets are consistently among the top-rated stations in those markets? Arbitron does include non-commercial stations in their diaries and surveys; they list them separately.

4) "Unique style" does not automatically equal "good." Your presentation was indeed unique, but so is butterscotch sauce on a t-bone steak. If nobody else in the industry (where anything successful is immediately copied) uses a similar style, there's generally a very good reason.

sparky

This thread is similar to the never-ending farewell tour of the Judds.

sarge

rev: After reading Mr. Styble's above tome, I came to a completely different conclusion. I now believe him to be the best radio talk host in the Western hemisphere, if not the world. Either that or he's crazier than a tick...

Dub-dub

I know--Bryan can be the talk host, and Duffman can be the audience.

mgpg61

I'll miss your show Bryan...I don't know why they couldn't use you as a fill in instead of Tori

Bryan Styble

BRYAN STYBLE reponds, more briefly this time...

www.RadioactiveSeattle.blogspot.com

Poster "Coiler" wondered above why I've not posted anything until quite recently.

Implicit in his question is a very understandable inquiry: why would Bryan Styble refrain from posting ANYTHING anywhere on BlatherWatch from July 2005 until January 30, 2008, and then start posting repeatedly, including a couple exasparatingly-long essays [each found above]?

Simple: because I was honoring an ironclad pledge I'd made to management never to post on BW again while working for KIRO.

True, I made that pledge to the FORMER management regime at KIRO, the good people based in Philadelphia known as Entercom.

You see, I'd already posted a number of BW posts during Summer 2005, ALWAYS signing them under my own name.

(That's because I consider the anonymity ensured by the Internet to have Orwellian dimensions, and those who only flame from the shadows under aliases to be modern-day Stalinists.)

Anyway, naive guy that I am, I assumed upon first learning of BW that it was what it protrayed itself as (i.e., a blog covering Seattle newstalk radio). Instead, anyone could see that what it in fact was in those days was a cyber cracker barrel around which leftie Seattle newstalk listeners get together to commiserate as to how much they despise any newstalk host who doesn't despise Reagan.

That's right, the BW priority has always been 1-Leftism aka "progressivism" 2-politics in general 3-newstalk radio...
whereas in the Styble mind, the #1 priority is always open-line call-in radio, #2-music...while politics may or may not even make my personal Top 10.

So my BW postings were not political, any more than my KIRO broadcasts usually were. But the suit didn't talk to me much about that. Nor do I know what prompted this manager to counsel me on BW posting in the first place...though I'd imagine it was related to the fact that in 2005, BW was unrelentingly contemptuous of KIRO.

Not merely severely critiquing most hosts in the KIRO lineup, mind you, but actually campaigning for months against virtually all things KIRO, including that new guy Bryan Styble, late of Albuquerque newstalk radio, who had such a different sound it was clearly a wannabe rather than an experienced newstalk host. (Never mind the fact that the KIRO website described how Styble started in commercial newstalk radio in 1989 and had been heard in a half-dozen markets including the SF Bay Area, Detroit and Chicago prior to coming to KIRO.)

But that boss didn't raise the minor issue of BW denigrating his recent hire. This manager didn't even talk much about my being plagued by a couple BW prankster-imposters, who'd been posting spurious posts under my name and variations of my name. That of course had necessitated a bunch of ADDITIONAL postings, which may or may have sorted that out. (Some BW posters then even accused me of posting on BW anonymously MYSELF, and a few even repeated the suspicion a year later when I was NEVER posting ANYTHING thereon; not only is that against my principles, but cyber-incompetent that I am, I don't even know HOW to hide my name and URL here or anywhere else on the Internet. But that's okay--because hiding behind an alias is cowardly anyway, isn't it?)

No, the manager only mentioned BW briefly, merely suggesting that I not post anything on else on BW, period ("Just ignore them Bryan--that's the best approach for that crowd."). Well, loyal employee that I am, I more or less took that to be an INSTRUCTION to me that I not do so again.

Accordingly, during that conversation I pledged to that boss that, no matter how strong the urge to refute some of the nonesense alleged on BW about me and my broadcasts, I'd never post. And I never did while employed by KIRO, which of course lasted until noon on January 30, 2008.

That is, even when the Entercom regime was replaced by the Bonneville team a year ago, I continued to honor that original pledge...even though the suit I'd made it to didn't survive the Bonneville takeover.

So then, months after my pledge, when some of you BW posters falsely claimed a KIRO cleaning lady was harrassed by me, I didn't post the fact that I've NEVER SPOKEN A WORD TO THE WOMAN nor even seen her at closer range than 10 yards or so. (Not that posting that fact would have mattered to some of you posters.)

And, when BW posters claimed that KIRO made me work for free (so disliked by management was my show, was the usual reason cited for that absurdity), I still didn't post details disproving that silly contention.

And when BW posters viciously and preposterously claimed I support enslavement of blacks, and even organized a petition to remove the "racist Styble" from the airwaves, I didn't post on BW any of a dozen facts suggesting I'm a long-time civil rights movement sympathizer.

There were various other outrageous and sometimes vicious things said about me personally here (but comparatively little about the information and questions debated on my show)... but I never again posted hereto...until noon Wednesday, two days ago.

That was when I posted the link to my website, which announced the cancellation less than an hour after I was informed...and thus having the unintended effect of my scooping BW itself on this minor story about KIRO's triple-weekend-show cancellation... without my even setting out beat BW to the punch!

Sincerely,
BRYAN STYBLE/Seattle

www.RadioactiveSeattle.blogspot.com

RadioactiveSeattle@hotmail.com

chucks

Imagine that which Bryan says. Some little wiener posting as Bryan. Have any of us ever experienced that before? Yep, sure have.

abob

Bryan Styble stinks...good riddance.

AuthenticAndrew

I think Bryan Styble would have some luck if he did the Coast To Coast thing if he's trying to apeal to open minded people. It's not just format though, Bryan will never stay in one place if he continues to talk over callers and use 1000 words where ten or twenty would have accomplished the same thing. I've known other people like that who will hold you in as they slooooowly make a point, but constantly repeat themselves and reword endlessly and I seriously come within threads of hitting them in the face.

Bill

This is just God's plan for you Mr. Styble. Accept that he knows what is best for you, as you move away and get another job.

phormio

If you want to understand Bryan, you have to read "The Idiot" by F. Dostoeyevsky (no, that's not an insult).

This is a gross and myopic world. The beer-swilling, poly-wearing abobs and andrews will always beat up the Bryan Stybles, nonetheless, history eventally marks them as losers.

Loozertarian

There is something sort of sad about a guy who feels the need to explain himself - and at such length too - to his harshest critics on the heels of a career failure. Did Styble think he could win some hearts and minds among you with his earnest self-justifications here? Is he so unfamiliar with the concept of pissing into the wind? Far better to ignore the lot of you and be on his merry way, as his ex-boss had apparently advised him to do.

Not that your criticisms were completely unjustified. I would stop short of characterizing Styble's show as unlistenable, but I didn't ever manage to find anything in it that made me want to listen for very long.

That being said, the glee with which you people have ridden the guy has long seemed to me to be out of all proportion to his weight as an influential opinionator in this town. Monson and Suits at least have a certain stature as provocateurs (and therefore as targets); Bryan Styble, on the other hand, is in comparison to them what a mosquito is to an F-16 - hardly worth the effort to rouse oneself to swat him away. Yet you tore into him as if he had the potential to sweep liberalism out of Seattle forever. Very odd.

The man is no more than a middling broadcaster - quite indistinguishable from a thousand other journeyman radio guys in markets large and small - and the fluidity of his career arc (which is of course a polite way of saying he has to move around alot) proves that fact much more persuasively than your excessive bile toward him does.

Or am I missing something here?

joanie

I'm with you Loozertarian. I've been catching up and I'm feeling sort of awash in hatefulness. Aboob, you have contributed nothing to this blog since you started.

I'm sorry for all of those who were fired. I liked some and disliked others but but a diverse group you were.

Sure don't understand "tapioca" Phil still on the air...rather have Shiers to be honest - if the spot has to be conservative. While Shiers made me mad, Phil just leaves me wondering WTF? Then, I turn the dial.

Anyway, best of luck to both BSs and everybody else. You'll all be missed by someone.

Duffman

"I've been catching up and I'm feeling sort of awash in hatefulness."

Toto, may be joanie is not the tin man after all. :)

PugetSound

actually, i've always thought of joanie as having a heart...more like the Scarecrow at times if anything to follow the Wizard of Oz metaphor.

Duffman

Actually, me too Puts. When I first came aboard this blog both joanie and sparky were gracious, welcoming and accepting of me and helped me 'learn the ropes'. I will never forget that. It's taken time for them to grow to ignore me...but, alas that's progress. :)

Pete

Bryan, you had many Seattle listeners like myself that looked forward to your zany show in the evening. We will miss you in Seattle, and hope you reappear on another station here. I've sent feedback to KIRO. Don't listen to you detractors on this thread, no matter how good you are, there are always a few you can't please. But they were listening!

sparky

Not ignoring you, Duffman. I don't feel the need to respond to everything posted on here.......except for the fact that I feel compelled to say that Styble has done the most awesome impersonation of Stuart Smiley's Daily Affirmations, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!" that I have seen in a long time.

JanetMorrow

"the type of programming which, from the audience's perspective at least, is the finest variety of media of all"

Finest? from the **audience's** perspective? You've got to be kidding.

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