Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Change we are told is a good thing, but it’s surprising how many people are resistant to it. Recently we went to a new format for our online newsletter. It’s the second change we’ve made in about four years.

Our original newsletter for KFIZ Today was pretty much just text that was e-mailed out to a subscriber’s list. It was meant to compliment the actual hardcopy we printed and distributed to area restaurants and businesses that was known as Fond du Lac Today. Due to the cost, time and fact that the copier we used to print Fond du Lac Today kept breaking down, we decided to do away with that and go strictly with the online version. KFIZ Today was born.

The format we then went to included pictures, links and much more than the original text version. Our jump to the newest format was a decision that was made to give us more control over the content and the ability to take care of any technical problems in-house. It also saved us some money on distributing a free newsletter.

Some people who preferred the old format, which allowed you to scroll down one continuous page, wrote e-mails to tell us that. We appreciate it. I explained to one such subscriber that it was like the Packers and Brett Favre. Once you reach a certain point there’s no looking back.

There’ve been so many changes over the years in Radio that I’ve learned to go with the flow. When I started out computers hadn’t quite reached their influence into studios yet. Now I work with two of them in my news studio and we have three of them in our main studio. I didn’t have a website to update, a newsletter to contribute to, and blog would have been a sound you made after eating something that didn’t agree with you.

I actually look forward to change. Yes it means having to adapt to something new or learn a new way of doing things. Sometimes change is forced upon you. Anyone who’s lost a job knows what I’m referring to. I got fired from a radio station in Park Falls about 15 years ago and thought it was the end of the world. I did everything that was expected of me, but it wasn’t enough.

As it turned out that’s how I ended up in this part of Wisconsin and eventually at KFIZ. It was a change for the better, but how could I have known that at the time?

Change is the very substance at the heart of our Presidential election. If you don’t care for it be among the 20 to 30 percent of registered voters who won’t be voting on November 4th. You can also keep your old calendar and ignore the fact that we’re moving towards 2009. Seems change is upon us whether we like it or not.

One change I do like is the change of seasons. Fall is one of my favorites and I’m thankful I live in a state where you can distinguish the season by the change in the weather. I’ll leaf you with that thought.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cousin Doug

I’ve never told you about my cousin Doug, but because the presidential race is as much about our economy as anything else; I think he’s worth mentioning.

I got to know him when I was a kid and we were living on Indian Lake in Manistique, Michigan. He and his family were from Illinois and vacationed there during the summer. He’s a shirttail cousin, but yes is related.

Doug’s a blue-collar guy through and through. His education has been through a variety of jobs. He’s had the same girlfriend for years. Both of them worked at Kohler in the Sheboygan area for some time. However he took other jobs in that city and she stuck with Kohler.

Recently I talked with him. He and his girlfriend, Allison, bought a home in Sheboygan and a cheaper cabin-like home on Indian Lake. They had the same dream as Doug’s parents who retired to a home on the Lake. However out sourcing caught up with them Doug trained for about three different jobs and only months into each lost them when the jobs were shipped overseas. She lost her job too.

The home they had in Sheboygan was razed and they are waiting for the real estate market to rebound before they sell that property. That could be a long time. Meanwhile they had to move into the small home on the Lake and are in danger of losing that too. The 14-year-old pickup truck he’s been driving is being repossessed because the payment they sent in wasn’t processed in time.

Doug says the company is welcome to it. It has 250,000 miles on it and isn’t worth the $325 payment. Now he’s training for a truck-driving job out of Manitowoc. He’s pretty sure that job won’t be shipped over seas.

Oh yeah recently he found out he has diabetes like millions of other Americans. At least he has that in common with many others.

A friend of mine last week told me too many Americans were living beyond their means and deserve what they got coming to them. She says she doesn’t know anyone who hasn’t bought a new car since 2000 and most families have two vehicles or more.

She wasn’t impressed by my story about cousin Doug. He’d give you the shirt off his back, but the problem is everyone wants a piece of it.