Richie’s Take On the Countryfest Relocation Decision
I have been completely incommunicado this past week or so. I was on vacation out of the country, so I had little online access. But I did see a lot of comments on Facebook about the recent decision to move Countryfest to the Times Union Center, and I thought it was my duty to throw in my two cents, for what it's worth, so here goes.
I've had the distinct distinction of working at WGNA for over 23 years now. If I were to list all of the changes I have seen, I could fill twenty blogs. Each time there is has been a "shake up of the comfort zone", as it were, I've reacted in typical "me" fashion: I reject the idea, then I calm down and reflect upon it, then I tell myself, "give it a chance and see how it works out", and then very shortly after I forget that it even happened.
In the late '80's the morning show I was on was called "The Breakfast Flakes". I loved that name. The show did well and folks embraced it. By the late 90's a corporate decision was made to dump the name and just go with our own first names. I was upset, to be honest. Why change things? I thought it was a mistake. After about a year, I forgot all about it after the "Sean and Richie" moniker was adopted.
We've had station jingles that I was very accustomed to years ago. All of a sudden they get updated on us from "above". I'm always annoyed by the new jingles whenever they come out to be honest (for the first 3 or 4 days). Then, out of the blue, I'm OK with the change and quickly forget.
I know these are small changes. Moving Countryfest to the Times Union Center is a huge one, I will readily admit. We've done it the same way for 20 years. But a decision like this I'm SURE was not made without careful research and deep thought, so I too am willing to embrace it and try some "out-of-the-box" thinking.
It's a little scary to me, but I now am the oldest person in the building at Townsquare. I'm probably 20 years older than our new General Manager. The older you get, the more resistant to change you should be, right? Well, no.
I think that the older you get, the more you find that change happens whether you are ready for it or not, and you have to be ready to think differently and try new ideas or you will quickly die on the vine.
I can only ask you folks who are adamant against going to give it a chance and be open-minded. This will be a combination indoor-outdoor event. It could just possibly become the best of both worlds- especially if there is bad weather (could our long stretch of luck run out finally this year? It's been a weird one so far).
I think it could also be a safer environment, much better traffic control.. the list goes on.
This is your old fuddy duddy Richie signing off. (Why do I have to write on a laptop? What ever happened to the good old notepad? - never mind!)