Those who read the radio column in the Sunday Daily Oakland Press are probably aware that I have always felt that radio gives far more to television than TV gives to radio. When Dick Purtan hosted the 19th annual Salvation Army Radiothon live from the Oakland Mall on Friday, they invited ALL of the local TV reporters. Each were given an enormous amount of air-time. Each TV station did brief cut-ins from the broadcast at the mall throughout the day, which was good. Too short, but certainly appreciated by the hard working staff from oldies WOMC-FM (104.3) and the Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Fund.
What was embarrassing is the fact that when the Radiothon ended with a huge finale and a celebration for raising a staggering $1,808,440 in one day to help Detroit's under-privileged, NO local TV station felt it was important enough to report the GOOD news with a field reporter. Shameful. FOX 2 (WJBK-TV) ran less than 30 seconds of “b-roll” from the big finish, but no live shot. Over five minutes of that same newscast was devoted to a porno video made by Kid Rock. Sad.
Even worse was the omission of both WDIV-TV (Local 4) and WXYZ-TV Channel 7, neither of which had even a camera there for the amazing finish of the largest amount of money ever raised by a single radio station in the history of the industry! Channel 7 did run a few clips from their mid-day visit for 38 seconds. It is simply unfair for these TV folks to get so much showcasing on the radio, and then give back so little in return. This is especially bad when it's realized that Dick Purtan's daughter JoAnn is an excellent reporter for Channel 7. His son-in-law, Neil Goldstein, is the news director at Local 4 so he splurged for 49 seconds of voice-over b-roll. Unbelievable!
As a lover of radio, I say to the AM and FM community, stop sucking up to the tube, until they learn how to return the favor. Meanwhile, we in the newspaper business will sincerely congratulate Dick Purtan and Purtan's People on a job well done.