Sunday, November 30, 2008

Future Superstar

Someday, when my niece Maddie - already an expert drama queen who has wrapped her daddy around all 10 of her fingers at the age of 4 - is a superstar, you can say you knew her when.

She and I were frosting brownies at the beach house last week, and she composed a lovely song about how the brownies were for dessert, not for dinner. (Which is a very important thing to know.) Of course, once the camera came on, she clammed up, but I did capture a glimpse of her child brilliance:

video

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blogging from the Ocean

Technically, I'm a block from the ocean. It's cold here... we saw snow in the mountains. (Paula and Sandi... remember our trip to Pigeon Forge, and my "love" of driving through the mountains at night? Yeah... multiply that times Gary driving... )

However, our trip to the Western North Carolina Nature Center was a success.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Running away to the ocean

Next month, my parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They told us last year that they wanted to do a family vacation with all the kids and grandkids. In throwing out suggestions (mine being the ocean, somewhere warm, and somewhere Southwest flies) we wound up in Myrtle Beach, SC for all of next week.

I've never been to Myrtle Beach (probably because it doesn't have a major airport and it's 10 + hours away) so it should be quite the experience. 4 of the 13 of us are under the age of 4.

The Zoo there doesn't look very good, but there's a big one on Asheville, NC on the way there that has not one, but TWO kinds of wolves, and there's an aquarium in MB that I've got media passes into.

Other than that, it's going to be a lot of laying around and being lazy. I'm ready for that. We're leaving tonight after work and driving to Knoxville, will be at the ocean by Saturday night.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here's how much Gary loves me

My husband, the rocker, who doesn't listen to country music with the exception of George Strait, bought himself a little ringtone package for his phone, which includes a bunch of Nickleback songs... with the exception of my ringtone.

When I call, it plays the Statler Brothers' "Do You Know You Are My Sunshine."

I have phone envy.

I am shopping for a new phone / pda. (Note to self... get one that will play real music when people call.) I'm very intrigued by this new Blackberry Storm that comes out on Friday.

Last night we tried to go phone shopping and I was overwhelmed by all the options. Slide out keyboards... touch screen or not... smartphones... mobile web...

Do you have a PDA that you love? I'm a Verizon customer... looking for something that will let me check email, open Word and Excel docs and take pictures. Suggestions?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

592,304

Well over HALF A MILLION people went out and bought Taylor Swift's CD the first week. By comparison, that's TEN TIMES what last week's #1 country cd, Brad Paisley's Play, sold at 53,697 in it's first week. HUGE.

The second most popular country CD at the cash register this week -- Rascal Flatts Greatest Hits. 38,812. Just a little bit of a gap.

Go Taylor! This girl WORKED for it, she was everywhere. And obviously it paid off. Which reminds me, I didn't share the story I got on CMA day when I walked in with Taylor's mom.

We were both at the check in place at the same time, getting our bags searched, and I started chatting... she was telling me how excited Taylor was about the night. Then I told her I'd seen the pictures of Taylor at Walmart in Hendersonville at midnight the night the CD was released. (Check The Tennessean if you haven't seen them.) Andrea said that was a 21 hour day for them... they'd been up in NYC doing one of the morning shows that morning... did some press appearances in NY... then flew back home and went straight from the airport to the Walmart, because she wanted to go buy the cd at home. (Very cool!) We laughed though, because Andrea was with her the whole way, but she didn't quite have the 18 year old energy for it that her daughter had! I hope she's now had a chance to get some rest. She's earned it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Road Construction

At last, I have a little time to take you behind the scenes of creating the single biggest country music radio channel in North America -- The Highway. (Although I should note, we were already Top 3 at least before the merger.) I'm so excited about what's been created, and how all of our jocks have this massive audience to talk to every day.

This is part of my personal journal, entitled "The Journey" that I wrote while in the middle of a very long, stressful month that at one point didn't look like it would have a happy ending for me. Technically, my ending is still unwritten, but I'm happy to have made it through the complete lifespan of XM as it's own entity. I was contacted by one of the country music trades last week asking if I was ok and saying they'd be happy to help put out my new contact information. (Which is what they do when someone loses a job.) What's that line about 'reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated?' I tell everyone - I'm going to keep working until someone tells me to stop. LOL So far they haven't. So here's a little peek into my world lately.

This was written 11/5 - a week before convergence.

- J.

From the outside there's a lot of "oh this channel is staying, that channel is going" assumptions about what it all is going to mean. The reality is, 98% of the rumors are wrong. Most of the music channels switched over to our programming system, so even though a channel name (Prime Country) came from Sirius, the music database carried over from US Country, so on that channel, it's exactly the same except for new production. As many of you know, I never liked the USC name, so I was particularly pleased with that decision.

EVERY channel had to have their entire production library re-done. Bluegrass Junction might still be around, but nothing could say Bluegrass Junction on XM... or Track 14... or use our nifty, 7 note audio logo. (There's still hope it will be back, but there are copyright issues that still have to be cleared.) I worked on production for a solid week... and even after I'd gone through everything and wrote, re-wrote, dug up soundbites, and tasked it to the production team, I'd discover pieces that I'd completely overlooked.

Obviously, my vantage point only encompasses what I see in the country neighborhood. I can't begin to imagine how they dealt with things - and continue to do so - in the talk world. There are still contracts to be worked out, shows that have gone away that may or may not return based on whether a deal can be worked out, and every channel continues to be a work in progress.

As I've mentioned here, the message board rumors on what was supposedly happening with The Roadhouse provided nightly entertainment for me.

The Roadhouse has been completely rebuilt. This is what Kyle Cantrell has put hundreds of hours into over the past several weeks. He has built, completely from scratch, the classic country channel that neither satellite service ever had. It is incredibly pure. For those who don't know, Kyle spent years at WSM-AM and the Grand Ole Opry, so this is a labor of love, but also a matter of reputation and personal pride for him. I'm so excited for everyone to hear the end result!

I've saved the best story for last - the naming of The Highway. Early on in this convergence process, Jon pledged to keep the Highway 16 formatics... not only was this his baby, but it was the better brand, the stronger shows. However, we thought we were going to have to move to a new channel number, possibly Highway 60.

One night, I had a dream... and in my dream, I told Jon that a great name for the new channel would be "The Highway" because that way if it had to move again as this merger stuff shook out we wouldn't have to rename the channel again. So the next day at work I told him about my dream. He wasn't too crazy about the idea, he liked identifiying the channel name with the channel number. A couple of weeks later, he learned that the channels would NOT be numbered the same on both services, and voila, The Highway was born.

The funniest thing to me though, is how very unobservant our listeners (YOU GUYS!) are. For the past couple of months, going back as far as the Darius Rucker Driver's Ed, and everything since, we've dropped the "Highway 16" out of our specialty shows, as well as references to the "XM" studios or the "XM Nation." It's JUST been "Driver's Ed" or "ShortCuts"... with casual references to hearing things "here on the highway." In reality... that was so those shows could run again... "here on The Highway!" It forced me to completely re-think my writing... and no one even noticed. Yet the new channel name was right under your nose!

So... where do we go from here? UP! I'm crazy giddy excited about the possibilities. We are the biggest outlets for our respective formats anywhere. Our audience almost doubled overnight. For the Sirius gang, it more than doubled. For the air talent that survived, it's an incredible opportunity to be heard by more people than just about anywhere else, including most syndicated radio. When we encore a Highway 16 show... it's brand new to half the people hearing it. It's been a tough road, and is probably going to get tougher for a while, but I'm so proud to be a small part of this awesome team of programmers. I hope you love what they've put together for you half as much as they've loved creating it for you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I'm exhausted - and it's Taylor Swift's fault

This weekend, for the first time in the past few weeks, I didn't have to go in and work on Saturday. I had a real day off. I didn't even have a show or two that I had to write on Sunday. In fact, I didn't even bring home any production to write, shows to edit or photos to caption. I was merely going to relax and think about anything BUT mergers, new channels or websites that need to be updated.

Friday night I took a couple of benadryls after dinner (I'm sick again... or maybe still... I can't keep track) thinking I'd be going to bed nice and early. However... I made a fatal error in judgement that caused that plan to fail.

I gave Delaynie the new Taylor Swift CD Fearless.

Now... this in itself wouldn't have been a bad thing. She was listening to the music while she was cleaning her room. She cleans better to music, she tells me, so I'm thinking this is a win win situation.

After a while Delaynie comes downstairs and starts talking to me about the music. She loves lyrics where the girls aren't like everyone else, when they laugh at the girls who think they're so cool. This is the kid who had me custom order the phrase "Dare to Be Different" from Uppercase Living for her bedroom wall, because it was her "motto." Taylor is the poster child for daring to be different, after all how many high school freshmen were going to Music Row writing appointments? Delaynie can sense all this, and she love love loves Taylor.

It was after a nice musical discussion about the content of the album, accompanied by looking up lyrics and sharing some scoop (thanks to ShortCuts!) I knew about the pictures that I made my fatal mistake.

I told Delaynie about the secret. Secrets.

Secret codes. In the lyrics.

Big mistake.

Big, BIG mistake.

Not that she couldn't know about the secret codes - the actual revelation that they existed was not my mistake.

Telling her about them at 9:30 at night was the big mistake. BIG. Silly me thought it could be a "hey, here's something for you to do tomorrow, now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed" kind of factoid. Because after all... I was going to bed early. Catching up on some sleep.

Ha. Ha ha ha HA!

Not.

1 o'clock in the morning. That's when I finally insisted that she stop the madness with just a couple of songs left to decode. And that is why I was completely exhausted the rest of the weekend.

I do have to admit... her enthusiasm about trying to find all the letters was adorable. And a little contagious. She'd get so excited when she'd get one figured out. For those of you who don't know, Delaynie has really bad eyesight - even with her glasses, due to a defect that can't be corrected. And those lyrics are in little bitty letters. After a while I made her go get her magnifying glass, but even then, those capitol "I"'s were tricky!

I have to admit, there are worse ways to spend a Friday night then giggling with your daughter as you google "Love and Theft" because you can't stand not knowing what that means. It was probably the most fun I'd had in a month. And Delaynie's already planning to write Taylor a letter about it all.

But get this... in the process of this detective work, she of course decided that she had to get her best friend Hope the CD for her birthday the next day so that Hope could decode all the secret messages too. We had already gotten her a Hannah Montana shirt, so I casually asked who was cooler - Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus.

"Well I've never met Miley, but I feel like I've got a connection to Taylor because we've talked. So other kids probably think Miley is cooler, but I know that really, Taylor is."

Delaynie told Hope about the secret codes, so I'm sure one night soon, my friend Dianne is going to lose sleep while her daughter tries to find all those capitol I's. And she too will be exhausted the next day.

And it will be all Taylor Swift's fault.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CMA's... the Morning After

As much as I'd love to go back to bed... I must grab a shower and go in for at least a half day of work.

Much to chat about later... for now let's go with some overall recapping. I didn't get to watch much of the last 45 minutes or so of the show because it was busy in the press room, so I'm hoping my husband recorded it.

I didn't think there were any major surprises in the winners... with the possible exception of Lady A... that category could have gone several different ways. I liked the dual host format. Was pleased with the number of artists who did press... (although I'm shakin' my finger at Sugarland.) Jay Thomas has done a great job of using my audio on the air this morning.

I have to give huge props to Chris, my intern, who was back in the studio activating audio and putting the display information on just as fast as I got it edited and uploaded. He saved me from having to go upstairs and work after the show, or worse yet, be in at dawn this morning.

Yay for interns!

So, overall -- what did you think of the show?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dress #9


... has appeared in the press room.


She got all sappy!


No Sugarland or Strait at the winner's mic. Interesting.


I'm off to party hop!

About to get slammed!

Ok, Eagles, then Shania with the EOTY... then I'll get the big batch of winners....

Sugarland
Brad
Carrie
Entertainer

Going great so far, my intern is up in the studio activating audio as I upload it.

In Walks Lady A

Hillary looks gorgeous

Ok... she's gonna make me cry.

Hootie in the House!

And in the press room.

Ok.... I just LOVE him. He went on and on about how he couldn't believe he got a performance slot, even though he wasn't nominated... about all the artists in the audience watching him... how thrilling it all was for him...

Love him.

Barbie Doll Carrie

I swear, she gets more beautiful in every outfit. They could do a whole line of dolls off her outfits tonight.

Strait sent his producer Tony Brown back to the press room. Maybe he'll come back later.

T H U D


Rascal Flatts just walked in.
They made history tonight... tied with the Statlers for most consecutive Vocal Group of the Year wins.

8:29 New Barbie Outfit

Love this outfit on Carrie.

My Reba prediction came true... not much of a surprise by now. Haven't we been here, done that by now?

Cheering in the Press Room!!

Yay for Lady A! Look at Mike Dungan looking like a proud Papa.

Hillary a second generation CMA winner. Not a lot of those I don't think.

Cruising Through the Blogosphere

Ok you MUST go read The Tennessean's blogging. I love Peter Cooper. From here on out, I'm just going to link to their blogs.

I am intrigued that Kid Rock came off more country than Jason Aldean... despite his song having "Country" in the title. Did they edit the "smokin'" reference on tv the way they do on FM radio?

Barbie Doll Carrie

2nd outfit lasted 27 minutes. Carrie is now wearing a pink toga.

I'm not sure about Justin (former Nash Star contestant / current Miley Cyrus boyfriend) playing Prince Charming to Taylor Swift.

I need to watch the tape of her performace. I shouldn't blog during performances.

So far, Joe The Strummer is the highlight of the press room.

Rodney Atkins...

... had no special guest. So much for the "narc." I do like this song though.

The Tennessean staff is in the row in front of me... I need to go check and see what they're blogging about.
(Beverly Keel is the blonde... Peter Cooper right in front of me... winning the award for Journalist with the Best Hair.)

Rascal Flatts won Best Vocal Group. They haven't come back to the press room in years, so looks like it's going to stay quiet back here for a while.

Odd that they're not teasing the Special Guests in the show, after all the promo hoopla in advance.

Miscellaneous Backstage Trivia

XM's Production Company - Effanel Productions - is doing the sound on the awards show again this year. So far it sounds great. These are the same guys that did Artist Confidential.

Mary Kay is all over the backstage. The ladies room has perfume bottles on the counter... I just tried some "warm amber" or something. It's quite lovely. I don't normally wear perfume, but I do like this.

Still no winner in the press room. It's crazy dark back here, by the way. We need desk lamps. The boxed lunches have arrived.

Carrie's first outfit lasted 35 minutes. Look for her to be wearing some ridiculous multi-million dollar amount of bling at some point tonight. I can't remember... diamonds... emeralds? Someone google for me.

Lady A rockin' the house. Look for their CD sales to skyrocket this week.

Jona - Brad is doing a fabulous job. He looks very nice in a dark suit. I hate that you can't see it. Martina on stage now (Not crazy about her outfit!). Rodney Atkins up next. There is ZERO Springsteen buzz backstage.

OH -- they just showed Darius.... which reminds me. Jon Anthony saw him at a restaurant last night and asked if he'd had a chance to hear his Driver's Ed episode yet. He said "yeah, it was on again today!" Pretty funny. I put him on so our new Sirius listeners would have a kick ass show their first week on The Highway.

Song of the Year

Stay -- Jennifer Nettles, songwriter

She's sitting with their manager, FYI.

1st Award

Single of the Year -- George Strait "I Saw God Today."

Hmm... will George come back to do the press room?

Most years he doesn't. But he did last year, so we'll hope.

Next award to be given out after Kellie Pickler and Alan Jackson sing (and 100 people line dance!) IS Song of the Year. More often than not... Single and Song go to the same tune.

Stay tuned.

Pre Show Awards **SPOILERS**

Pre-Show winners... don't read further if you want to be surprised when they flash this up on your screen for 3 seconds.

Musician Of The Year - Mac Macanally
Video Of The Year - "Waitin' On A Woman"
Musical Event of the Year - "Gone, Gone, Gone" - Robert Plant / Alison Krauss

Shania has been spotted, as has Reba. Billy Ray and Miley are here, as is Miley's squeeze, Justin Gaston.

Rundown

<--- Here's the view from my seat.

Brad and Keith kick off the show.

Rodney comes about 45ish minutes in... not listed with a special guest -- sorry.

Brooks & Dunn have a special guest about half way through, on their performance of "Cowgirls Don't Cry." Hmm.... who would be a cowgirl special guest?

Kid Rock comes after Taylor Swift. Someone make sure he stays away from that lovely young lady. They're going to sweep through the top of the first hour.

Keith performs solo after Album of the Year... then Carrie. She should hit around the top of the 2nd hour. Then Female Vocalist.

Eagles close the show -- I'm shocked it's not Kenny. He's 3rd to last.

Sharon -- Trace is next to last performance.

A special guest is presenting the Entertainer of the Year -- you know that has to be Shania.

Any questions I can answer?

Checked Into the Media Room!


Yikes... I forget how many media people show up for this thing. I went early and got my spot (since it's right downstairs in my building!) and am back upstairs getting ready to change.

There has to be 80 media outlets in this room. I'm estatic with my position -- 2nd row right on the aisle, so I'm dead center. The whole rehearsal hall area of the arena has been turned into a maze of media stations, places for the artists to sign things, goodies to be picked up... and there are more people running around wearing headsets than are in the Secret Service.

I walked in with Taylor Swift's mom, who's every bit the doll her daughter is. Got a great story for you, but first, I have to go roll my hair in curlers and change clothes.

I have a pre-show party... will be back around 6:30 Central Time.

The Lights Are Out, But Everybody's Home

Complete madness has consumed Music City today.

First off... there was a gas leak downtown... a couple of city blocks are completely filled with fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances. This is taking place about 2 blocks from the Sommet Center, where the awards show is being held.

Completely unrelated, we think... an NES substation has blown. Downtown is without power for the most part, including the bat building and the Hilton. You can't get food anywhere. Fortunately, the arena has some serious backup power, so the lights are back on here, and sound check is still running.

It's also raining.

More news as it happens.

Happy CMA Convergence Day!

LOL - that's what I've been calling it around the office.

Any questions, comments, or concerns about the day, the new channel lineup, the weather in Nashville (supposed to rain) leave them here and I'll check in as I can.

I should be able to blog from the press room tonight.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Johnny & June

Up late listening to the switchover.

Last song to play on America -- Johnny Cash "We'll Meet Again"
Last song to ply on X-Country - June Carter Cash "Will the Circle Be Unbroken"

A neat fact I discovered today after I posted about the September 12, 2001 postponed channel launch... I looked up when the national launch actually happened.

November 12, 2001. We were on the air exactly 7 years. Very cool.

Chevy CMA Kickoff Concert Is Underway!


Soundcheck Update

Lady A, Kid Rock and a female I didn't recognize have soundchecked so far today... Keith Urban on now. Amy Paige and I disagree on whether Kevin Costner did his own sound check on the Chevy stage this morning. She thinks he had a stunt double. If so, he sure fooled all the little old ladies lined up taking his picture.

It's very overcast out there, but so far, no rain. It's gonna be a COLD show out there in the November night!

WOW -- Mega Breaking News

Superstar Reba McEntire has signed with the Valory Music Co. The move reunites McEntire with Scott Borchetta, president & CEO of Big Machine Records and the Valory Music Co.

11/11/2008

FIRST OFF -- Do not forget the Chevy Kick off to the CMA's - heard live on Highway 16 today beginning at.... 5pm Eastern.

Checkin' in from Music City.... busy day at the office yesterday! Listened to Kenny, Jason Aldean, Carrie, Trace and Miranda do sound checks through the arena walls. No sound of special guest, unless you count the spirit of Bob Marley, whom I presume was there on video tape.

Trace came by the studio to cut a Release Day Rest Stop. He's such a great voice to put on the radio... his reads were perfect the first time, his soundbites were funny or poignant, or both.

Jon cut a Driver's Ed with Randy Houser yesterday, lots of great programming coming your way. Today my first project is building a Taylor Swift ShortCuts.... her record label didn't release the music in advance, so we had to put the show off until after the album hit stores. No worries, I'll get the show built -- nothing else going on this week right?

Lots of parties last night -- Kenny did a "surprise" show at Tootsies, Kevin Coster was a few doors down at The Stage, and Blake Shelton lit the fire to showcase his upcoming CD Startin' Fires. I went to Blake, and then came home and helped Delaynie with a school project. Good BBQ, probably the best meal I'll have all week.

Just between us... I'm a little sad today. I remember watching satellites go up via webcasts... I remember the launch that was supposed to happen on September 12, 2001 and had to be postponed... I remember the list of first songs played on each channel... and I remember hundreds of guests that have come through our studio when we were a brand new company, from Willie Nelson, John Conlee and Loretta Lynn to Pat Green and Jack Ingram (before they went mainstream) and Bruce and Charlie Robison.

As excited as I am about what we're going to unleash tomorrow, today I'm listening to people do their last shows and I'm a little sad to say goodbye to the past 7 1/2 years of Radio to the Power of X.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reporting in from the Sommet Center!

Happy CMA Week! Things are bustling here as they build the Chevy Stage before our very eyes... cardboard figures of Rodney Atkins, Jason Aldean and Lady Antebellum are leaning against brand new Chevy vehicles, and 5th Ave. South is partially blocked, so I don't recommend driving by.

I've put the staff here on alert to be listening for a "Special Guest" to be soundchecking. Not 10 minutes after we have that conversation, we hear familiar music start blaring through the arena... and then those well known words...

It's 3:30 in the morning... not a soul in sight...

My intern, who knows almost nothing about country music, exclaims "Oh my God is Garth the special guest?"

Umm... no. He was just the warm up act... on CD... testing the sound system. He was shortly replaced by Kenny Chesney and The Wailers, doing their run throughs.

More news as it happens.

Friday, November 07, 2008

It it was in the newspaper... it must be true

Now that there's a 3 page full color ad in USA Today talking about our new programming lineup, I can tell you for certain that you're getting new music channels on your favorite satellite radio service next Wednesday. And I can't WAIT!

On one hand, I've been in more meetings in the past month than I've been in the past year. But I'm really excited, because there are things being done that are long overdue, and I think the country fans are being served INCREDIBLY well by this new offering.

I can't speak to things outside of the country neighborhood (I got anything I know from reading the ad - they didn't release the new lineup to the staff, oddly enough) but I'm really excited for y'all to hear everything we've been working on. And working, and working, and working on!

I do want people to take into consideration that this new lineup really is a merger - and it's working well. Even though a channel may take the name from one company, it's often being programmed by someone new, 100% of the production had to be redone, the best shows survived, the best air talents were kept, we're making new friends and most everything is being programmed out of the XM databases (thank goodness I didn't have to learn a new system on top of everything else!) So give it a listen before you draw any conclusions. We're excited that our listener base will almost DOUBLE (more than double when coming from the Sirius side) and everything is new to half the audience.

For the record, the Sirius staff that have come over to the XM facilities and had to learn a new system and work for a new programming team have been great. Nice group of guys that have been fun to hang out with, and they take turns making the coffee.

By the end of the day tomorrow, I plan to have everything I'm involved with ready to go for the big rollout on Wednesday. Then on Sunday, I HAVE to find something to wear to the CMA's!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yet another reason why Taylor Swift ROCKS.

You must spend 5 minutes checking out this awesomely adorable Taylor Swift video clip. It's being heralded because she has this funny littlle Barbie doll moment where she slips in some 411 about her celebrity breakup, but for country fans, it's more impressive for all the people she gets to promote her upcoming album. Alot of those were done backstage at the CMT Giants show. Anyone who can get George Strait and Alan Jackson so do liners for them clearly has something going!

Check it out - and don't forget, we've got Taylor on ShortCuts the weekend of November 14th!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Joy to the World

Now that Halloween is over, I've decided I'm going to decorate the studio for Christmas. It's about time, don't you think?

Ok, I have a good reason for listening to Christmas music tonight, and stringing up Christmas lights tomorrow... Faith Hill is coming in to record a ShortCuts for her new Christmas CD, Joy to the World.

As my husband (who deep down inside I'm quite certain would have preferred that I'd taken the merger severence package) was grumbling tonight over my coming home only to work some more, I blared the title track through the house. "Joy to the World" (the church organ version, not Faith's) was our wedding recessional, 15 years ago next month.

Soundscan for last week

#1 - Toby Keith - That Don't Make Me a Bad Guy (90,617)
#2 - Rascal Flatts - Greatest Hits Volume 1 (88654)
#3 - Kenny Chesney - Lucky Old Sun (41,228)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Delaynie's Quote Du Jour

"Tonight will be in the textbooks someday."

Cue the Brooks & Dunn!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Late Night Ramblings

It's been a while since I late night rambled. Lots to ramble about, if my brain can unscramble enough to ramble.

I sat in NINE channel meetings today. Nine. (Not all of them country.) My eyes began glazing over, I know it. I tried to figure out a way I could secretly be writing a Faith Hill ShortCuts while Jon was reading channel descriptors to us off of PDF's, but I figured I'd get busted.

Saturday I went in to the office and worked a few hours, and Kyle Cantrell was there. Not much of a surprise, I'd stopped in the previous Saturday after doing my 5 Mile and he was there then too. I don't know how long he was there the previous week, but this Saturday he was AT the office at least 10 hours that I know of, and then he went home and knocked out some more work. Have I mentioned that I just can't WAIT until I can tell you what he's been doing?Y'all just would not BELIEVE how painstakingly he's been dedicated to this. Oh my goodness I'm so excited - for all of you out there that will soon get to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

My project of late is something called EPG. Would you like to guess what that is? Nothing related to EPT's. Electronic Program Guide. If you go look at, say the Highway16 Web Page, you'll see the scrolling guide that talks about what's on at specific times tonight. I update those with the episodic show information normally (like ShortCuts / Driver's Ed for 16 or Studio Special for 14) which is a very simple process because the bulk of the work was already done for me. Well this week I've been building those grids from scratch... I've got 4 of them done so far... 2 more to go I think. I saved the 2 channels I know the least about for last, LOL.

I also do the top of the page info with the schedules / show highlight information on them. I updated those today with upcoming SC / DE information, they will go live tomorrow. It's funny, because I read on one of the fan message boards today how we'd outsourced our website. Not only are the same in-house people building it that always have, but the programmers have a lot more control over it now than we did even a year ago! In fact, one of the things I did not long ago was add the Taylor Swift and Sugarland photos to the Highway 16 rotation -- and moved Keith Urban up to the first position, just because I wanted a little change.

Ramble, ramble, ramble. Jason Michael Carroll was in our studio last week... I served him and the A&R guy from his label a beer. New ShortCuts on the way from Mark Wills, Taylor Swift, and Blake Shelton. We recorded Taylor FOREVER ago. In fact, I need to go re-edit it, because she talked about how on election day she'll be voting, but she actually wound up voting early, because she'll be in LA tomorrow. Storme Warren hosts that show, which airs the weekend AFTER the album hit stores. (Her record label told us no one was getting the album in advance, so we couldn't do our usual XM WORLD PREMIERE before the CD was released. So if y'all hear the music anywhere this weekend, please let me know and I'll storm 16th Avenue.)

It actually wound up working out better for us that we held it, because that meant we had a spot open for Mark Wills... although it pushed Blake Shelton back a week late too.

What else can I tell you? What else do you want to know? Kevin Costner has a new country CD out... I've gotten it in the mail but haven't had a chance to listen to it.

OH! Oh oh oh. OH! CMA's are next week. Here are some things you need to know:
Chevy CMA Kickoff Concert -- live on Highway 16
Tuesday November 11th.
Hell. I updated our website today and completely neglected to put that on it. Ok, just sent a note to our web team.
Any way -- Rodney Atkins, Heidi Newfield, Eli Young Band, & Kevin Costner & New West. I'll get the time and put it up on the website tomorrow. ;-)

AND... if by chance you are traveling and can't watch the CMA's, you can hear them LIVE next Tuesday night on XM 11 -- Nashville. I guess I need to try to get that on their webpage too... although I'm not sure I have access to that one.

Crap! I just realized I don't have anything to wear to the CMA's yet.

Delaynie doesn't have school tomorrow... so it's going to be a "take your daughter to work" day for me. She does have to go on Veteran's Day (which my husband has off) but not on Election Day. What's wrong with that picture?

I've pretty much decided I'm not voting. Let's face it... the way our electoral college is set up, the popular vote doesn't count anyway. Tennessee is a red state, so if I vote for Obama it won't matter, and if I vote for McCain, it won't matter. So why stand in line?

Go ahead, sling arrows if you must. But I'm not passionately for either candidate and I'm throroughly disgusted by the whole political process. We can raise millions of dollars during a rotten economy to pay for negative political advertising, while people go hungry and live under bridges. The whole country is messed up.

Here's an idea for the next president: Reform election laws, make every vote count, and make this whole process much shorter and cheaper.

I'm Producer J. and I approved this message.

And I'm gonna delete any comments that bloviate negatively on any political candidate, so don't.

UPDATE -- Ok, I voted. And it was kind of a cool feeling to vote in such a historic election, so I'm glad I did. No lines at my polling place, walked right in and did it.