Thursday, April 23, 2015

3.13 BREAKING NEWS: Requiem For A Peacock


Alas, poor NBC. I knew it, Steve Nation, a network of infinite possibilities.

As I will chronicle in my upcoming book, I had the pleasure to craft a 92-page ode(term paper,to be exact) to the National Broadcasting Company during my tenure as a Media Arts major at Long Island University. I honored the legacy of founder David Sarnoff who clearly believed in the hard work ethic and, employing the resources of the New York Public Library, NBC, its then-parent company, RCA, Disney, and various competitors and international broadcasters, retraced its steps from radio pioneer to "The Full Color Network." As time went on, I became an investor in NBC through GE Capital and its current owner. Comcast/NBC Universal, and I continued to respect NBC's ouevre, from TODAY and NBC NIGHTLY NEWS (before Brian Williams) to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SEINFELD. NBC's cable networks MSNBC and CNBC each represented a different side of the political aisle, but they both continued the tradition of Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw, and many others.

This year, Comcast/NBC was getting ready to acquire Time Warner Cable, spun off from its famous communications giant namesake. and explore the unlimited horizons of the digital age. Today, I was shocked to hear that after much opposition on Capitol Hill, the NBC/Time Warner merger has been tabled indefinitely, and with it, an NBC compatible with this brave new world aborning. There's another earthquake about to hit DC, and it will be caused by Sarnoff spinning in his grave. How will NBC's far-flung family, from its news networks to regional and national sports channels to its award-winning Sprout kids' channel even survive now that it has been told that it, and TWC, star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet, can never live together?

Granted, they have existed as separate entities up till this point and they will continue to do well in the future, but the future of communications has been changed forever, and NOT for the good. The  NBC/Time Warner merger should not be allowed to die! It can only HELP people! The NBC Peacock's feathers deserve to shine brightly over TV screens around the world, regardless of what a few backward-thinking know-nothings have to say.

Thoughts?

Steve out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

3.12 PLAY BALL!

Ladies and gentlemen, Winter has left the building.

FINALLY!

For those of us in the US,and Canada,  and our brave men and women who can only follow the game on Armed Services Radio as they protect our rights and liberties overseas, baseball is back, and with it, the promise of spring and a glad goodbye to the dismal weather and ill feeling of the past six months.

Already in New York, the Yankees have risen like the legendary phoenix from the ashes of a dismal season made even sadder by the departure of team captain Derek Jeter and avenged a 19-inning defeat at the hands of the Red Sox by defeating them in the rubber game of an exciting homestand at Baseball's Home Office in the Bronx and swept the Tampa Bay Rays at their home park, Tropicana Field, (HOME OF MUSIC FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED!), and the Mets have returned to Citi Field in Flushing, Queens after scalping the Braves in Atlanta while cultivating a winning streak unlike any in their history. Would a Subway Series be too much to ask? Hope not!

In other news, it's time to send a long-overdue shout-out to Todd Pettengill, who many of you may remember from his ads for Cabin Fever Entertainment, his TV shows WWF (now WWE) Mania, Dish Nation, and Come Dine With Me, and, of course, the many phone scams he perpetrated on WPLJ Radio here in New York. I had the pleasure to see the Toddster at 'PLJ and NASH FM 94.7's "Best of the Tri-State" show at the Affinia Manhattan hotel across the street from Madison Square Garden, and since I followed his former partner Scott Shannon from 'PLJ to WCBS-FM, I was worried that he would call me every dirty name in the book, but, quite the contrary, he was genuinely happy to see me. His new partner, Jayde Donovan, is also a very nice person, and it was also fun catching up with Executive Producer Joe Pardavila, also known as the Monkey Boy. (LOOOOONG story.) Of course, it was fun meeting all the various event participants, although there are some I'll never patronize, (Best Pizza?!? Best Gym?!? Best Cupcakes?!? My trainer would kill me!) but meeting Todd and Jayde was definitely the highlight of the evening. (And the fact that he loves this blog doesn't hurt either!)

Time to close the door on this edition, but check out http://www,steveonbooks.blogspot.com for the first episode of the greatest blog since, well, this blog, STEVE'S BOOK BLOG! It will change the way you read books forever! (Or, at least, get you ready for Steve's Book, coming soon to a bookstore, library, or website near you!)

Steve out!


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

3.10 Fooling Around Just Before April

Two years ago, the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the non-profit educational division of The Madison Square Garden Company that unites government and educational figures with members of the MSG family, staged "Garden of Laughs," a benefit comedy concert hosted by sportscaster Bob Costas and featuring athletes and entertainers introducing the greats of the comedy game.

Last night, the new Garden tradition was renewed, as longtime Ranger fan Steve Schirrippa (A Ranger fan, a  fellow Steve, a proud New Yorker, and a funny guy. I LOVE HIM!) took the reins and introduced another all-star comedy card featuring HBO star Bill Burr, DAILY SHOW alum John Oliver,the "Mike" of MIKE & MOLLY, Billy Gardell, the former Mr. Jessica Simpson, I refer to Dane Cook,and one of the voice actors of the upcoming Disney/Pixar feature "Inside Out" (a major emotion picture) as well as an author and playwright, Lewis Black. (The star of MSG's talk show 4 COURSES WITH J.B. SMOOVE was originally scheduled, but he had to cancel at the last minute due to a death in the family.) On hand to introduce the various acts were Whoopi Goldberg, Daryl McDaniels (the DMC of RUN-DMC, the famous rap act from the 80's), former New York Rangers Rod Gilbert and Adam Graves, comic actors Michael J. Fox and Will Arnett (the former Mr. Amy Poehler), and the voice of MSG Networks, Al Trautwig, who, in one of the evening's rare serious moments, introduced the real stars of the evening, a few of the kids who benefit from the Garden of Dreams' after-school programs. Longtime readers of this fine blog will know that it was suggested by Nicole Vranzanian who worked for the Garden at the time, and I have seen footage of the Foundation's talent show at Radio City Music Hall as well as kids fulfilling their dreams of interviewing actual athletes (in basketball and tennis) for special programming on MSG and on the Gardenvision video monitor. These guys do a great job and they truly deserve your support. For information and to donate, visit http://www.gardenofdreamsfoundation.org. You (and the kids!) will be very glad you did.

As for last night's "Garden of Laughs,"it was truly a group effort, as usual competitors such as Sports Radio 66 AM/ 101.9 FM WFAN and ESPN Sports Radio 98.7 FM and the New York Post and Newsday teamed up as principal sponsors along with Garden sponsors Chase and Delta and Turner Construction Company as well as in-kind donors Time Warner Cable, AMC Networks, Showtime Networks, (where you'll be able to see the finished product, for the exact date and time, log on to http://www.sho.com ) and the Prudential Center, including the New Jersey Devils. (The Rock stepped up to the plate and let MSG's WNBA Liberty play on their home court while the Garden was being transformed.)

The best bits of  the evening were Lewis Black's comprehensive description of his trip to Copenhagen, John Oliver's ruminations on Superstorm Sandy, (He was watching NY1 and saw a guy waterskiing while NY1's reporter kept imploring the viewers to stay indoors.) Australia (founded by the UK as a penal colony. He thinks Britain should have built a barbed wire fence around the coast.) and US stick-to-itivity. (Nothing says F.U. like a spike in Halloween dog costumes while Europe is drowning in debt.) I had to go out for air when I heard Dane Clark talk about porn, and Billy's argument against Walt Disney World (He agrees with their claims it makes adults feel like kids because his grandpa said, "Gotta pee." and his kid said "Gotta pee.") didn't sit well with me, but other than that, I had a great time laughing my troubles away in the knowledge that I was also making kids happy by helping the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Laughter is indeed the best medicine, and this evening was the strongest relief for depression you could get without a prescription!

Until next time,  remember the immortal words of the legendary Bozo T. Clown and...Just. Keep. Laughing! AND....



Bye,Buckaroos!
Steve out!

Friday, March 27, 2015

3.9 Hey, Steve, Why A Book? (An Excerpt from the Soon-to-be-Published "Steve's Book")

Before we go any further, I would like to address the questions that, no doubt, are on most of your minds:

Why are you calling this book "Steve's Book?"

First of all, "Gone With The Wind" was already taken, and second of all, it's all about brand extension.

Some of the greatest businessmen in American history, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, M.S. Hershey, and the New York Yankees organization, established themselves with a successful product, or, "built their brand," and extended it to other products and services that would keep them in the public eye. In the space of two years, Steve's Blog has been read in more than twenty countries and territories, and it ain't over until I (or you) say it is. "Steve's Podcast," "Steve's TV Show," "Steve's Radio Show," and even "Steve's Movie" are even more possible brand extensions.

Everybody's writing a novel. Why don't you?

If everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?

Seriously, there are a lot of great novels and I've read a lot of them, but there's a VERY good reason why I've written this book and not a novel:

I can't be a fictional character.

Lord knows I've tried. I tried to be an award-winning newsman from Buffalo who moved to New York only to be busted down to the mailroom, but I was rejected.

I tried to be a beauty queen (through the miracle of fiction) who tried to carry out her royal duties only to be demoted to messenger by the owner of the pageant,but the so-called friend I gave the manuscript for her summer reading pleasure lost it.

I tried to be Archie Andrews in a story concerning Betty and Veronica trying to snare our hero by dropping a dollar bill on the ground and shouting, "HEY, YOU DROPPED SOMETHING!" but guess what Archie Comics did to my story. Yep, they dropped it.

I tried to be a super hero and save the world from the evil Howard Klimberg, but I kept getting sent to detention. (I didn't have a great power and I was greatly irresponsible.)

The truth is, I feel too comfortable in my own skin.

Let the other writers hide behind their creations. You paid for "Steve's Book," you GOT "Steve's Book," made from Steve's 100% natural opinions with no artificial characters. If you want a stimulating plot and larger-than-life characters, buy somebody else's book. If you want comments about movies, TV, sports, politics, and, of course, books from somebody like you who knows what you've been going through, welcome aboard.

Just strap yourself in, make sure your tray tables are in the upright and locked position, and get ready for a trip to SteveWorld. It may not be Disney World, but, hey, it's not WestWorld.

Hope you enjoy the trip!


Monday, March 23, 2015

3.8 TOOT TOOT! Or, In Which Our Blogger Blows His Own Horn

It's sad but true...In the 24-hour news cycle, "If it bleeds, it leads." Which makes it even better when you can lead with some good news. Ironically, this good news concerns SB 3.7, wherein I said goodbye to a master of reporting news, good and bad, Lisa Colagrossi. While it was hardly a happy occasion, I AM happy to report that not only can you find a link to the blog in its entirety on http://facebook.com/ScottShannonWCBSFM , (Yes, True Believers, I have been linked by the Man himself, the Broadcasting Hall Of Famer, the rammin' jammin' Michael Scott Shannon, and not only did he apologize for reprinting it without permission, and not only did I forgive him unreservedly, but he also said it was a beautiful post. Do I have great friends or what?!?) but this particular post is (Drumroll,please.) THE MOST-READ POST IN STEVE'S BLOG HISTORY!

Look at the numbers, folks, 345 page views in the United States alone, 4 in the United Kingdom, 2 in Canada, and one each in Germany, Israel, Lebanon,Singapore,Russia AND Ukraine! To be perfectly honest with you, boys and girls, I was worried that readership of this blog would be limited to the US in general and those markets Lisa called home. Thanks for proving me wrong!

You may have heard me say it before, but I'll say it again: Scott Shannon is not just the consummate radio professional having worked his way up from the South to the Big Apple, the world's toughest market, but he is also a guy who truly cares about everybody who listens to him, who works with him, who makes contact with him in one form or another. While Imus and Stern get all the press, Scott has more talent in his little finger than they have COMBINED! His positive reaction to my blog is the greatest vote of confidence a guy can have!

Ladies and gentlemen, I know there are a gazillion blogs on the internet. I just thank you for reading THIS blog and I look forward to your continued support.

For now, friends, this blog is over. Thank you again and GO IN PEACE!

Steve out!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

3.7 BREAKING NEWS: Time Runs Out For A Ranger Fan

The name Lisa Colagrassi may be unfamiliar to many of you outside the USA, but to many of us in New York, Cleveland and Orlando, she was like that next door neighbor who was never afraid to tell you what was happening, looked out for her kids, and took her work seriously, but never herself.

Lisa reported the news on television stations in those markets, but she made a name for herself on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News. She immediately sprang into action right after the tragedy of 9/11/01, and covered everything from the Sandy Hook massacre to financial news. She also filled in for weekend and morning talent on local newscasts and anchored ABC 7's coverage of the 2014 Columbus Day Parade.

Not only was she proud of her Italian roots, but she was also a proud hockey mom and a devoted fan of the New York Rangers. (She even put on the mask and played goalie for her Facebook page!)

Like the Energizer Bunny, Lisa kept going and going until last Thursday when a brain hemorrage ended her career forever.

This blog sends its sincerest condolences to all those who were pleased to work with,know,or be related to Lisa Colagrassi. The clock has run out on one of the biggest fans in "Rangerstown,"and the world is a sadder place now that she's out of the game.

Steve out.