Terry Stevens' Point

  • Repeat offender Pt. I

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Remember a few months back when I told you that my commercial work had been nominated for a couple awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association?

    Guess who won?





    This is the second year in a row that my work has placed 1st and second in the Best Commercial Category.  I'm pretty happy about that.

    Of course, my work doesn't make it to air without a good sales team to back it up.  My thanks to Sarah and [GUY WHO USED TO WORK FOR US, BUT DOESN'T ANYMORE] for standing by my work and selling it to their clients.

    If you run or own a business, I can write some pretty good stuff for you too.  A word of warning, though.  If you want an award winner and money maker, you need to leave the creative to me and trust the sales person who sells it to you.  My work is always done in the best interest of the client and geared towards the interests of our listeners.  Compromising it with stuff that doesn't mean squat to the listener is only going to damage your chance at sucess.  Remember, one person's sauce is another's chum.  Call Dawn at 842-1672 so we can get together to figure out the best way to promote your biz.

    Let's listen to an award winner, shall we?

    You can hear the second place piece below.

    Be Cool,


    Fright in the Night

  • R.I.P. R.J.D.

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Metalheads are mourning today.



    Ronnie James Dio, July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010.  Pictured actual size.


    RJD was a elfin man with a BIG, BIG metal voice.  Most of his stuff was a little fantasy heavy for my tastes.  If I need a Dungeon Master's Guide to sing along, I'm probably not going to be into your tunes.  Ironic, no?  I enjoy metal and Dungeons and Dragons, but I can't stand them when they're combined.

    Anyhow, here's one of RJD's classics performed live:



    R.I.P., little metal legend.

    Be Cool,


  • In conclusion, it's inconclusive

    Posted by Terry Stevens



    It's an age old radio programming question.  Do people prefer longer stretches of music, or shorter stretches of commercials?  I used an idependent polling service to see if I could get a conclusive answer.

    The results?


    99 Males

    207 Females

    Which sounds better to you?

    Total    Percent

    145     47.4%   Song-song-ad-song-song-ad-song-song-ad-song-song-ad

    161     52.6%   Song-song-song-song-ad-ad-ad-ad-song-song-song-song





    Half a dozen of one.  Six of the other.


    Currently, we use the "song-song-song-song-ad-ad-ad-ad-song-song-song-song" approach.  Looks like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    I'll do my part to keep "ad-ad-ad-ad" listenable and relevant to your needs.

    Be Cool,


  • Rainy Days and Thursdays

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    The rain, it inspires:



    Sometimes, with disasterous results:



    Sometimes, with epic results:



    Sometimes, with Eurythmic results:



    Of course, a good woman can make a rainy day feel all kinds o' sunny.  Bob wouldn't back me up on this.  (He's still mad that I made fun of his Christmas album.)  Tom stepped up to the plate:


    Stay dry.

    Be Cool,


  • History and hope

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    A region in economic turnmoil.  The industry that once sustained it is disappearing.  Jobs are vanishing too.  People are facing the spectre of leaving the place they've called home for generations for the hope of a better shot somewhere else.  Children will leave the schools as they follow their parents.  Today's city could be tomorrow's shell.

    Sound familiar?

    A few nights ago, Anj and I got a sitter (Thanks Lindsey!), and took a walking tour of Wausau's Historic East Hill neighborhood that was hosted by the Marathon County Historical Society.

    All told, it was a really neat tour.  I've walked/biked/wandered through the area a few times in the past, but our guide was excellent at pointing out the little details and sharing the history that one can't pick up on one of my little jaunts.

    Our guide also got me thinking about something.

    Every fall, I assist the Wausau Paranormal Research Society with their "Haunted Wausau Tours."

    In addition to sharing all of the spooky stuff that happens in Wausau, these tours also share a bit of history about the area.  One piece of history that always stands out to me is Wausau's transition from logging town to full fledged city.

    Once upon a time, the timber industry was ALL Wausau had.  As that industry started drying up, Wausau's rich and powerful decided that they wanted to make sure the city would continue on even when the timber was gone.

    Imagine that.

    This group of men (mostly timber barons who were surely supported and counciled by some very wise women) poured their hearts and souls into the well being of the city they loved.  We're talking about the people who have streets and buildings named after them today.  Yawkey.  Woodson.  Stewart.  The biggest players in Wausau's game reinvested in the community.  They started new businesses.  They wheeled and dealed to get other entreprenuers to come to town.

    Without them, the city would have fallen into economic ruin.  The metropolis you see today would...not...exist.



    Instead of this...



    ...we woulda had that.


    Today, the Wausau area is facing some of the same challenges.  The story repeats itself in Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, Stevens Point, Merrill and just about everywhere else too.

    The paper industry isn't what it used to be.  After all, you're not exactly reading this in a magazine, are you?  The housing market is challenging to say the least.  Our globalized economy has created a rush to the lowest possible price, even if it means outsourcing the labor it takes to create the product.  Heck, even Harley's considering leaving the state.

    My question is, are there men and women who will step up to save their city?

    In this day of publically traded stocks, a thoroughly globalized economy and a prevailing "profit at ALL costs" business atmosphere, does that sort of man or woman exist anymore, or does everyone just pull up stakes, cut the workforce loose and retire someplace else?

    In this day where we don't have to shop down the street anymore because a world of goods is a mouseclick away, can that man or woman exist anymore?

    I know we have economic task forces, consultants, and other "throw tax dollars at the problem" items that our government puts together for the purposes of economic growth, but I've always favored the individual over the group when it comes to getting things done.

    Does that individual exist anymore?

    I believe they do, but they don't get much press.  If you are one, if you know one, please let me know.  I'd love to feature an individual of that sort in this blog.

    Be Cool,


  • Advertising sauce

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    A few Blog entries ago, I told the tale of my family's seemingly endless search for a nice place to live.

    Our current place is pretty sweet.  We have the upstairs of a nice duplex with enough room for us and our stuff.

    We also have neighbors.  Very nice Thai neighbors, an older couple and their 20-something year old son, who speak very little English.

    Again, my Thai neighbors are very nice people, but the language and cultural barrier creates some interesting situations.

    And scents.

    Thai cuisine packs a powerful olfactory punch.  Powerful enough to where we warn guests that they will smell some pretty funky stuff on their way up to our apartment.  On particularly funky days, we burn a significant amount of incense.


    A little more than that.



    No.  More.


    Yep, that's about right.


    One day, Anj was putting some stuff in our outdoor storage unit when the mother approached her and, through a series of gestures and a little English, asked Anj to help her move some buckets.  Anj, being the kindly soul that she is, obliged and lifted what ended up being some VERY heavy buckets to the indicated location.

    Once the buckets were moved, the mother motioned Anj closer then pointed towards the buckets and said, "Sauce."  Anj nodded and the mother, in an effort to clairfy what she meant, lifted the lid off of one of the buckets where Anj saw what can best be described as chum.



    And by chum, I mean fish guts.

    The smell was apocalyptic.  The mother smiles, says "In 2 year, sauce," then puts the lid back on the bucket.

    In 2 years, we're gonna need a lot more incense.

    About 2 weeks later, our neighbors were cooking something that smelled like 100% Grade-A awesome.  The smell was intoxicatingly good.  As we were headed out for the day, we passed our neighbor in the shared entrance.  She had her door propped open and was fanning out the smell.  When she saw us, she apologetically said, "Smell, oof." and held her nose.

    Cultural differences, you know?

    Here's the part where I tie my story into advertising.



    "Aw, not again."


    If you own a business, your culture "behind the counter" is different than the culture on the other side of the counter.  You know, where the customers are. 

    I know you have a lot of stuff that's important to your culture.  I know you want to talk about it in your ad, but if that stuff doesn't mean jack-squat to your potential customers, well...

    One person's sauce is another's bucket of chum.

    Luckily, our team of marketing pros can help you tell the difference.  Call 842-1672 and ask for Dawn.

    Be Cool,


  • Behind the scenes but 1st in line

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Over the weekend, we had some MAJOR technical difficulties.  The 4 to 6 inches of Global Warming snow that landed in the area took out the power to our transmitters and broadcast facility for a significant chunk of time.

    We lost the air, the web, everything.

    The reason we got back on as fast as we did?  A dedicated team of engineers and IT pros.  Let's meet them, shall we?

    First on the list is our engineer, Frank Zastrow.


    Seen here impersonating The Unibomber

    Frank is our resident MacGyver.  If you need a wicked smart contraptions, but only have a bunch of old electronic junk laying around, Frank's your man.


    Found in Frank's toolbox.

    When he's not trying to fix the latest item that Chuck Lakefield broke, Franks enjoys fishing and screening Chuck's calls.


    Next on our list is Neil Raddenbach, our IT guy.


    Seen here being surprised by a camera.

    Swap out Neil's "I" and "L" for an "O" and you have his gig spelled out.  He's Neo from the Matrix, navigating our computer networks and fighting off the baddies that would try to corrupt them.

    When Neil isn't protecting the Matrix, he's fixing up houses and hanging with his lovely family.


    If Neil is Neo then Tyson Hinsdill is Morpheus.


    See?  Just like Morpheus, except, you know, more caucasian...

    As our IT head honcho, Tyson tends to be on the road more these days getting our company's other markets up and running properly.  Protecting our stretch of the Information Superhighway (remember when people called the internet that?) calls for a bit of travel on an actual highway from time to time.  Still, he joins Neil in making sure that Central Wisconsin is running smooth when he's here.

    When Tyson's actually home, he and his lovely wife have a sweet computer gaming lounge where they "pwn noobs".


    Much as Neil and Tyson handle the hardware side of our operation, the software side of things is handled by Glenn Siegman.


    This is the only known photo of Glenn NOT staring at a monitor.

    As our resident software engineer, Glenn has been instrumental in keeping our websites in working order.  When we switched to the Version 2.0 look that you currently enjoy, Glenn was there to make sure the transition was smooth.  When stuff breaks on the sites, he's the guy to fix it.

    When Glenn isn't staring at a monitor he's...  Heck, I don't think he does anything else.


    Our final behind the scenes guy who deserves some credit for all of his hard work this weekend is our Director of Interactive, Brad Ludwig.


    Seen here being a good dad.

    If it says .com, odds are, Brad had something to do with it.  He oversees a staff of design pros and insures that our site are user friendly, attractive and functional.  Given the amount of web traffic we have on a daily basis, that's a pretty tall order, but Brad delivers.

    When he's not doing cool stuff with our websites, Brad is being a great dad for his son, Alex.


    We DJ types tend to get the lion's share of the attention around here, but make no mistake about it.  Our voices and blogs don't get too far without a great team of technical pros working behind us.

    May you get some appreciation for your work today.

    Be Cool,


  • The Ad for your Ad

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Last week, I used an independent polling service to ask a question.  Let's see how it turned out.

    315 Respondents

    96 Males

    219 Females

    Do you know what day, month and season it is, right now?

    Total    %           Answer

    153      48.6%   Yes, of course I do.

    12         3.8%     Nope! I'm blissfully ignorant of all sense of time and space.

    150    47.6%     Okay, Ter. I know that this question is going to lead to one of      

                                 your weirder blogs. I'm saying "Yes", but I know you're up to


    The results are pretty much what I expected.  Most folks know what day, month and season it is at any given time.  Yet, every single time the seasons change, I hear radio ads that start out like this:

    "It's spring."

    "It's that time of year again."

    "The flowers are blooming, it's getting warmer, blah, blah, blah"

    "It's spring savings/fever/apalooza time again!"


    I'll come right out and say it.  I have nothing to do with any ad that starts out with a line like that.

    A copywriting guru-type guy, whose advice I hold in pretty high esteem has a great saying that applies here: 

    "Your opening line is the ad for the rest of your ad."

    Take a look at those opening lines I posted up there.  Do any of them look like attention grabbers?  Nope, not a one.  They simply tell you what you already know.  The weather changed.  Big flippin' whoop.

    If you own or manage a business and run ads like that, please stop, call me at 842-1672 or shoot me an e-mail at terry.stevens@mwcradio.com, and I'll fix your ad free o' charge.  Seriously.  Especially if you're going to run on a station that I write for. 

    If you know someone who owns or manages a business, send them a link to this article.  (I've written a few others about radio advertising too that they might like.)

    You deserve better than "It's that time of year again!" for your hard earned advertising dollar.


    Stay warm this weekend.

    Be Cool,


  • If today's your birthday...

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    ...you share it with Bob Seger who turns 65 today.  You also share it with my daughter, Rosemary, who turns 7.

    Her catalogue of music is still a work in progress, but Bob has a tune you can enjoy today.


    Be Cool,


  • Literate Pop music

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    In a world when Lady Gaga and Ke$ha rule the pop charts (not that there's anything wrong with that), I sometimes find myself pining for a time when pop music was a bit more literate.



    Playing out a Jungian theory over the course of a great hook?  I don't know if Justin Bieber has that in his bag o' tricks.

    Be Cool,


  • May the 4th be with you

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    Today is Star Wars day (see the title of this blog).

    I love the original trilogy, tolerate the second one, can't get enough of the Knights of the Old Republic games, and think that The Clone Wars is pretty doggone good for a kid's cartoon.

    Even if you're not an uber-fan, you still might dig this bit I found on YouTube:



    May the Force Be Cool with you,


  • All he needs is a cloning device.

    Posted by Terry Stevens

    This guy needs to get in touch with a mad scientist.

    All he needs are a few good clones and he can tour the country as a Boston tribute band:


    Be Cool,