I have a lot of guilty pleasures, probably more than innocent ones, but among the guiltiest is redandnater.com a local broadcast message board. It is a place where usually anonymous broadcast professionals, very disgruntled ex-broadcast professionals and some appalling idiots re-staff, re-program TV and radio stations and spare nothing in insulting the talent of well, uh, on-air talent and the twits who hired them.
According to redandnater’s deep thinkers Joe Soucheray is mailing it in, Tom Barnard is a washed up hack/genius, John Hines, (based on his first day), is never going to cut it on talk radio, every sales manager on every local station is a putz and a bastard, so is every program director, (except KSTP’s former PD, Joe O’Brien, who is regularly proposed as the salvation for every programming screw-up the town has ever endured). It is also a place where “fecterated” (?) is an all-purpose slur.
If you know anything at all about the characters getting torched on redandnater you are also convinced that radio and TV are doomed in the Twin Cities market … if even half of the board’s contributors are actually employed in the business … because they appear to be utterly clueless about what to do to invigorate either medium other than re-creating personalities and formats that were hot in the ’80s.
Anyway … like every other unmoderated board, redandnater has been plagued by the usual wretched few who aren’t content just to sound profoundly stupid, but have to add a dollop of racism or porn-hound sexism for worse measure. So a few days ago, Eric Redlinger, the board’s co-creator/primary supervisor announced that he’d post the IP addresses of the worst offenders if they didn’t knock it off, pronto.
Outed for racist stupidity!? On the internet!? It’s the fall of friggin’ Rome!
Actually it’s more like one average guy’s stand for a little goddam civility. Maybe you can’t make people b e smart, but you sure can shame them out of transmitting their closeted phobias.
“I posted one, today,” Redlinger told me when we chatted this afternoon.
He says the board gets about 167 hits a day on 21 different topics. (Sample: “Tom Barnard’s Act Has Grown Old” — 46 posts.) And that in terms of cash flow, “We make very little, if none at all.”
For a day job Redlinger runs a production house, RedCommunications.tv. But he did a term at KFAN until getting canned five years ago, pretty much simultaneous with starting up redandnater. (The “nater” half takes the very low profile. In fact, “he may or may not exist”, Redlinger seems to like to say.) Last year Clear Channel regional capo, Mick Anselmo, memorably ordered his staff to lay off redandnater, at least on company time. (Anselmo’s sales honchos, a few select program directors and Clear Channel in general take a constant, merciless beating).
Redlinger’s personal guesstimate breakdown of knowledgeable broadcast professionals to blithering idiots is, “About 20/80, with the idiots leading the charge.” He believes his I’ll-post-your-IP threat has at least temporarily flushed out the most racist, sexist blitherers.
“That crowd wants nothing to do with having their identity
revealed in any way. I don’t like to do it. When we said we’d post everything and not censor anything, and we meant it. But when it gets as ugly and hurtful as some of that stuff was, it drives off the people you created the thing for, the people who want to exchange information or just gossip.”