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Monday Memo: “And The Winner Is…”

| April 19, 2021

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — WHAT IF “The Oscar goes to…” you?

As you take the stage, cameras zoom-into other nominees in your category fake-smiling, and the timer begins: Green, then yellow, then – as the band gives you the hook – red. This Sunday night, you too will wince, because some winners are as verbose and ill-prepared as some radio talkers and DJs.

“The envelope please…”

If you do happen to be a nominee, here are “9 Tips for Your Academy Award Acceptance Speech,” from my 2014 appearance on Laura Smith’s cool “Saturday Night Café” show on WABC:

Radio righties: Your next-day take can include sound bites of political speeches by lefty winners you love-to-hate. MAGA-minded callers will certainly join in; likely badmouthing Robert DeNiro, who isn’t even nominated this year, but will toast in hell for trashing The Dear Leader.

Like the Super Bowl and the Inauguration, the Academy Awards telecast is one of those few moments so many of us still witness in real-time. So be sure to celebrate if overnight ratings are down from last year. Another perennial gripe – “I haven’t seen ANY of these!” – may fall flat this year, after theaters were closed and streaming soared.

My favorite moment each year?

It keeps me awake until the back-half of the show, the poignant “In Memoriam” montage of moviedom greats who have passed since last year’s Oscars. Many are unfamiliar names, the choreographers, costume designers, and others who make movies so special. Others saluted are stars you might not realize we’ve lost. May they rest in peace, their work will live forever, and we can find it on-demand.

Radio’s RIP policy could be more thoughtful.

  • I love “American Top 40” re-runs, each a time capsule. And I chuckle aloud when Casey’s affiliate shout-out includes a former music AM since-gone-talk that’s now a client station. My goal prepping for that WABC hit was to walk-in as-story-rich and well-scripted as what Casey Kasem did each week all those years.
  • And the reconstructed Wolfman Jack shows oldies stations play often keep me in a parked car with the key on Accessories. He’s immortal.
  • But it saddened me last week – two months after Rush Limbaugh’s death – to hear him voice a commercial, offering a 50% discount – “not the usual 40%” – when I enter the Promo Code “Rush.” That very morning, email from LegacyBox offered me 60%.

Holland Cooke is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page). He is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And HC hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice