(originally appeared on KALX's fine radio program Bobbing for Lobsters")
STATION MANAGER, MR. ROBINSON
STEVE: Anyway, that's the story of my first - and last! - trip to Mazatlan. We'll be back after these commercials with the new single from Pantera. (There's a knock on the station door.) Come in, Mr. Robertson.
MR. ROBERTSON: Thanks, Steve. While you've got a break here, I'd like to discuss your on-air performance.
STEVE: Is there something wrong? I thought my first month at KOIT was going pretty well.
MR. ROBERTSON: Well, Steve, there is a small problem. You see, we've got a certain way of doing things here at KOIT, and I'm not sure you've quite figured that out yet.
STEVE: Is it the banter? Is my material... too political?
MR. ROBERTSON: No, Steve, it's not so much the content of your, er, banter. It's just that, since you've been hired, your afternoon shift has featured hard rock music, and a great deal of talking, while at KOIT our motto has always been "Lite Rock, Less Talk."
STEVE: (Steve makes a note) Less...Talk... okay, but don't you think the drive time listeners might be interested in a harder edge? I think there's an energy out there, during the commute.
MR. ROBERTSON: I hear what you're saying, Steve, but we're pretty happy with Lite Rock, Less Talk. (He holds up a chart) In fact, your show is the only one in our lineup that routinely violates the delicate 6:1 Rock-to-Talk ratio that KOIT was founded on. I think we may have to let you go.
STEVE: Do you think... do you think you could give me one more shot? I know I can do better.
MR. ROBERTSON: I'd like to, Steve, but your previous radio experience is less than encouraging. April 1999: You were fired from a Top 40 station for playing most - but not all - of the day's hit music. February 2000: You were suspended from Newstalk 740 due to your insistence on separating the traffic and weather reports.
STEVE: Mr. Robertson, it's just that "Traffic and Weather together" seemed so... trite.
MR. ROBERTSON: That's not all. Last week, when we had the Anita Baker ticket giveaway, you consistently awarded the free passes to the very first person who called! Not the 10th, not even the 98th! This simply cannot go on.
STEVE: Mr. Robertson, I'll be the first to admit that my style might be a little unorthodox. Maybe I think outside the box - hell, I live outside the box. But is radio truly just a tightly-formatted corporate tool, designed to trap listeners in a cycle of mindless consumption and obedience? Or, could radio be something more: something artistic, noble, even? A place for experimentation, and diversity, and freedom!
MR. ROBERTSON: No, you were right the first time. The whole "mindless consumption and obedience" thing you said pretty much hits the nail on the head. Go clean out your desk. (Steve leaves. Mr. Roberston sits in Steve's chair, puts on his headset, and begins talking into the mike in a smooth, KOIT voice.) Welcome back to K-O-I-T, where we're getting ready to kick off a nonstop block of hits from Babyface, Shania Twain, and Bryan Adams. But first, here's Chicago with "Hard Habit to Break."