Monday, August 31, 2009

31 AUG 09: Back In or Move Out

We could have gone in several directions for a topic today -- but then a couple of e-mails arrived Sunday with a similar theme. They involve Columbus media, but you'll see they really deal with much more. Let's start with a free plug:

Just wanted to let you know that I have a new sports radio talk show called "The Drive" starting tomorrow morning. The show will be on from 6am-9am every Monday. We will be talking mainly about high school and college football, with some Braves and Falcons thrown in. Ya'll tune in and give me a buzz. I don't care if you give me a hard time, I just want to hear from some callers. Don't know the number yet, but you can also text or email me. Text at 7063297190 or email at

Catch us on 1460 or tune in online at

Craig S. Howard

This is the same Craig Howard who caused a fuss on a Cable TV of East Alabama talk show, by bringing up Phenix City Council pay. This new show beginning today will be similar -- only now he can bring up the pay of Mark Richt and Nick Saban.

The WHAL-AM "Fox Sports Radio 1460" web site didn't mention Craig Howard's new talk show Sunday night. Maybe Clear Channel managers aren't posting "The Drive" until they're sure WRLD-FM "95.3 the Ride" won't file a lawsuit.

(Speaking of WHAL's programming - did you know The Jim Rome Show has writers, who prepare some of his "rants?" I found help wanted ads online in recent weeks seeking a writer, and asking for sample rants. So Rome may not really be burning - it's his staff burning for a pay raise.)

Back in May, Craig Howard indicated to me he wanted a private family life while he sold billboard space. But then he started blogging for, and now he'll host a radio talk show. There must be something magnetic in those media microphones, which keeps pulling people back to them.

But while some people come back to the mike in Columbus, others are going away. That brings us to this e-mail, inspired by Sunday's topic:

Richard, Since you have worked for local television for years maybe you can explain to us viewers why reporters don't seem to stay long in Columbus. It seems that as soon as they learn to pronounce the names of local streets, schools, etc. they are gone. However, the on-air employees for WSFA in Montgomery never seem to change. What's the difference between Columbus and Montgomery? Just wondering

Hmmmm - I think the reason goes beyond the fact that Montgomery has a Costco store.

It's common practice in television and radio for on-air personalities to start in small "markets" or cities, and move on to larger ones. In most cases, the larger city offers more money and fame - but there are exceptions to that. My supervisor in Enid, Oklahoma radio years ago was shocked to learn he could easily top my salary in Kansas City. I wouldn't dare say every industry has its cheapskates....

It happens that the new national rankings of television markets came out a few days ago. It shows Columbus at #128, unchanged from a year ago. Base realignment could move the area up a few spots - so that explains why the local media are so happy to see NCR coming to town.

Laurie Bernstein is moving to Pensacola, Florida - which combines with Mobile to be among the top 75 TV markets. You may have wondered why many news reports make it sound like Pensacola moved across the state line....

(By the way, a source I tend to trust claims WRBL's Jennifer Serda is moving in a different direction. She's supposedly heading to Savannah, which is around #95 on the TV market list. Serda must not have seen that TV Guide Network series, about the news people there longing to move away.)

Montgomery's TV market ranking isn't far above Columbus, so I think other factors are at work here. Perhaps WSFA pays its staff members more - or the news team considers Montgomery a better city for settling down and bringing up a family. It's hard to believe, considering Montgomery doesn't have a pro hockey team.

To be honest, most TV reporters who come to Columbus dream of going to Atlanta or Birmingham for better pay or a more interesting atmosphere. But isn't that true with plenty of other local workers? We heard it about police officers in recent years. And even Mayor Jim Wetherington tried working in Atlanta for a while, before hurrying home to a Christian school.

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E-MAIL UPDATE: Speaking of which -- our weekend InBox also had a suggestion from former Columbus police officer Brent Rollins:


Are you keeping count of how many Columbus Police Officers are getting arrested? Now you know the REAL reason Chief Boren fired make me look like I was an idiot. It's going to get worse.

OK, since you asked -- based on our unofficial blog archives, the arrest last week of Keith Levallee makes four Columbus Police officers handcuffed this year. They join one high-profile Columbus attorney and an assistant fire chief. But the good news that the mayor isn't talking about Fire Chief Jeff Meyer being "salvageable" anymore.

Mayor Jim Wetherington admitted on WDAK's "Viewpoint" last week that several of the 100 newly-hired law officers have "washed out" of the police academy. Host Mike Gaymon declared that a good thing, since those people won't get into trouble on the force. The bad news is that some of them could apply to become security guards at Peachtree Mall.

Let's take one more message, which goes back to Sunday's main topic in a way....

Lee county Alabama is a mess with the road signs

The Blue background signs are county roads and county maintianed.

The Green Background signs are NOT COUNTY APPROVED roads and NOT Maintained by the county ( even through they have a Lee Road number on them, for 911 purposes).

If a road sign has a Actual name on it - it is inside a City limit area .

As for the signs not at intersections, most in Alabama do want to be found ( we love wonderers, some make it out, some do not, -- ha ha ha )

Hmmmm -- why are people laying low in Lee County? Sooner or later, the people with secret meth labs will have to come out and visit a dentist....

Thanks to all of you who write us - and now let's check a few other weekend items:

+ An adviser to the "New Day Campaign" told the Ledger-Enquirer Muscogee County Superintendent Susan Andrews "will be the face of the campaign" for a school sales tax. Will be?! The three-week campaign already is one-fourth over. Andrews needs to put on some running shoes, and show the deficiencies at Kinnett Stadium.

+ WTVM showed 50 member of a Wynnton neighborhood group forming a "prayer wall" along Rigdon Road. The group prayed for an end to local crime -- and also prayed against litter. That litter prayer might be even tougher to answer. Should God make empty cans and bottles stick in people's hands, until they're around a garbage can?

+ Organizers of a mass home-building project in Lanett announced a section of U.S. 29 along the state line will be named the Millard Fuller Memorial Highway. I hope people don't get the wrong idea about this, and leave nails along the roadside.

+ Instant Message to Tedy Bruschi of the New England Patriots: I'm reading online that you'll retire today. Best wishes to you -- but do you realize what this means for many football fans? Drinking games based on your last name may never happen again.

The number of unique visitors to our blog in the first half of 2009 was up 11.1 percent! To advertise to them, offer a story tip, make a PayPal donation or comment on this blog, write me - but be warned, I may post your e-mail comment and offer a reply.

BURKARD BULK MAIL INDEX: 344 (- 14, 3.9%)

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author -- not necessarily those of anyone else in Columbus living or dead, and perhaps not even you.

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