FARGO - It may come as a surprise, given my smooth delivery and calm demeanor while always serving up level-headed commentary on 970 WDAY, but hosting a solo radio talk-show is hard work. Really hard work. For me, anyway. In fact, it's exhausting and time-consuming.
You might say all-consuming, if you care about quality. And I do.
Doing a radio show that might draw listeners and interest advertisers takes preparation, planning, organization, thought, energy (so much energy) and great guests. In all, hosting a three-hour talk show on 970 WDAY took up a great portion of my work day, five (or six or seven) days a week. And I still, frankly, didn't feel like I was giving it enough attention.
That's because I still needed several hours a day devoted to my column writing and blogging for The Forum, where I wanted to churn out a minimum of three or four columns a week. Writing a decent column, at least one that includes reporting and original thinking as opposed to regurgitated opinion pieces, also takes preparation, planning, organization, thought, energy and research.
You might say it's all-consuming, if you care about quality. And I do.
Neither of these pursuits, hosting a talk show or column writing, happens by magic. Each takes the time and energy devoted to a full-time job. At least for me.
You see where this is going, right?
Something had to give, as they say too often in the sports world. That thing, for me, is radio.
My last day of doing a show on 970 WDAY will be Friday, Nov. 16. I will continue to write columns and blogs for The Forum and our company's media products, in addition to moving more deeply into the oncoming digital world with my own podcast and perhaps an online video show.
Hey, if my radio amigo Jay Thomas can do something as cool as his new car-based video show "Rides with Jay Thomas," then certainly I can turn a passion into content and revenue for the company. The only question is which passion I should pick: fishing, golf, food, beer or travel? Maybe all of them?
I know this: While radio became a daily duty for the last 10 years (something I never, ever, envisioned me doing in life) and I think I became OK at it, writing has always been my career passion. In order to pursue it in a deeper and better way, I made the decision to end my radio show.
My podcast and other digital duties will be worked into my column writing as they best fit, as opposed to my writing being worked into my radio schedule. If you enjoyed some of my radio friends you regularly heard like Clay Jenkinson, Thomas Ambrosio, Dick Bremer, Tony Mariotti and Jerad Newgard, you still might be able to hear or see them. Just in different formats. Stay tuned.
And, of course, 970 WDAY will still be there as it has been for almost 100 years.
I've been incredibly fortunate to host my own shows on heritage stations like WDAY and KFGO. Some radio lifers only dream of those opportunities. I understand how lucky I was to get them (thanks to Scott Hennen, Joel Heitkamp and Mike Kapel).
I'm looking forward to committing more time and effort toward writing. And I'm excited for the digital future and how we deliver information. I hope to make you excited enough to read, listen or watch what I produce.