Luke Burbank will throw out the first pitch at tonight's Mariner's game. "Awesome" will be the cry to about 900 "10's" (fans) who have already bought the tickets and will fill a couple of sections at Safeco Field wearing TBTL t-shirts.
TBTL? It's Too Beautiful to Live (KIROFM m-f, 7-10p) the hard-to-describe, weeknightly show/community/talk-romp that chronicles the lives, tastes, and Millenial Gen pop-cultural blabbin'-tary of Burbank, Jen Andrews, and Sean DeTore.
(photo: Luke at the bat)
It's calculatedly "awesome," and "amazing," and if you can't take that, well, you can go listen to Dr. Laura (KTTH m-f, 9p-12a).
We're old around BlatherWatch and we get that we don't get it but we're conscious enough to know: there's something extraordinary going on here. And since TBTL isn't political talk radio, BlatherWatch peeps don't like TBTL and gripe about it at every opportunity. (It would be fair to say that TBTL peeps don't much like BlatherWatch, either.)
And yes, Burbank is deeply envied in some radio quarters; the skepticism runs bitter as old coffee as TBTL's survival continues to surpass their scoffingly low expectations.
But TBTL is racking up the peeps! The "10's of listeners" as they call them gave the show a 3.0 in the 25-54 money demo putting it 10th in Seattle in the time slot -- higher than anything they've had since the Wayne Cody Sportsline days. (These ratings were in the book before KIRO's move to FM which is expected to slash KIRO numbers all the way around. But TBTL may be the most likely to succeed on FM: they're younger audience were already over there).
Radio & Records recently featured Burbank as one of the 10 new radio talents to watch.
Radio's in flux right now, and the show is being watched closely by the armies of radio consultants, programmers, mini-gurus, and media journalists trying to suss out radio's future. What's impressive is that Burbank and company are being downloaded at about 200,000 downloads a month. KIRO webbies say it's about 2/3's of the total downloads for the big site.
The 10's are nothing if not avid. They range from all over the world; this large Internet community has got TBTL's foot wedged firmly in the door of new media.
(photo: Luke, Sean, Jen)
Nobody's making money at this yet, but there are rumors of a TBTL podcasting ad deal in the works. Wouldn't take many of those to make this little low-overhead show pay.
In this era of lowered expectations, it's pretty impressive to see an event of 900 ticket-buying fans at a radio promotion. (Remember the former King of Seattle Talk Radio Dori Monson's 'block party' that turned out to be just an afternoon gust?).
The show is going on two years old now, the doom-sayers have been wrong. Not bad for a show about nothing, As they say, "TBTL isn't for everyone, but maybe you're not everyone."