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Michael Tearson Celebrates Another Mile Marker on the Ride of His Life; 250th Marconi Experiment
  by: iradiophilly - Philadelphia, PA
started: 02/13/18 3:29 pm | updated: 02/13/18 3:29 pm
Legendary air personality, Michael Tearson is reaching another milestone this weekend with the 250th installment of the Marconi Experiment on streaming platform iRadioPhilly. Tearson was inducted into the Philadelphia Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame last year recognizing his decades of work on AM, FM, and streaming radio. We couldn't resist the opportunity to pick at Michael Tearson's fertile mind.

iRadioPhilly: Tell us about the special anniversary you are celebrating this week.
MT: This week's Marconi Experiment is #250 representing nearly 5 years of shows, all concocted out of my imagination and the music I have in my working library here at home. Next month, the 100th episode of The ATTIC will air, and I will note the 5th anniversary of first starting with iradiophilly!

iRadioPhilly: What inspires your show concepts these days?
MT: As for the show concepts, coming up with those is the most fun part of the process along with pre-production which entails researching (when necessary) for the selections and sequencing and timing out the shows before actual recording. Sometimes I revisit shows I had done for other platforms (WBAZ 2001-2009) and shows from 2010-2015. Other times I will create two separate versions of the shows, one for each website and have then run the same week. The ideas can come from anywhere, something someone says, a single track grabbing my attention with an idea of how to spin an entire show around that one.

iRadioPhilly: You've seen Radio's evolution over several decades. What strikes you as the most significant changes?
MT: To me the single most impactful change in radio was the 1984 introduction of the Selector computer program which allowed Program Directors and Music Directors to "script" the music for entire days at a time so the DJs didn't have to. This removed an entire generation of music and radio experts from participation in the contents of their shows. When WMMR was transitioning to this, then PD George Harris in a staff meeting once said, "This will give you more opportunity to focus on your PERSONALITY" [emphasis my own]. Of course one inevitable result was a regular diet of train wreck segues and an utter lack of musical continuity--and surgical removal of creativity from that key aspect of radio shows. I ask "Has radio improved or deteriorated since this development?" Answer: clear and inevitable deterioration--and the those most talented in this aspect of presentation were systematically removed from the air so they could not commit "human error" mistake decisions (mgmt.'s viewpoint). That artists essentially ceased having the opportunity to grow and develop careers, that the record companies' focus swerved inevitably to quick jolt hit singles where the (new and young) artist does not receive nearly as much compensation or participation in the profits ALL helped stem the tide of artists with the ability and opportunity to grow. The entire music world and society suffers as a result.

iRadioPhilly: Where do you see Radio headed over the next 10 years?
MT: As for the next 10 years, all I can say is radio whether terrestrial OR satellite has no appeal to me at all save news, traffic, weather and sports (in my case mostly baseball games in warm months). I never listen except in the car, and even there I am listening to CDs over 90% of the time. Radio continues to devour itself as it becomes ever less important and relevant. All the talk radio noise (nearly all of that right wing posturing) has helped coarsen the country and eliminate meaningful conversation as it fortifies the walls of division. I want no part of that ugly charade. In fact some years ago I turned down the chance to do some political talk radio as I saw that even one show as the surrogate Rachel Maddow raw meat I would be to right wing intolerants could permanently damage me. I turned that down with ZERO regret.

iRadioPhilly: Is Michael Tearson enjoying the ride?
MT: Frankly I am delighted to have the two platforms I have now, iradiophilly and radiothatdoesntsuck. On these I can try to keep alive the mostly dead idea of radio as art by doing the most adventurous and imaginative and occasionally challenging work I have ever done. My philosophy for the shows is "Give me an hour, and I will give you a ride." Neither terrestrial nor satellite radio even tries to engage like that. They have become wallpaper at best. The medium can do so much more--and doesn't even try any longer.

Listen to Michael Tearson's Marconi Experiment on iRadioPhilly's The Plateau on Saturdays at 8am and Sundays at 6pm or on demand each week as a podcast!

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SEE ALSO: Michael Tearson Returns to Airwaves on iRadioPhilly with NEW Marconi Experiment

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