September 21st, 2009 at 02:47pm
5AA Adelaide’s Bob Francis is a bit like Stan Zemanek on steroids. He knows where the line is, he knows how to negotiate it, and he knows how to get his audience to respond in a way which doesn’t involve official complaints. Put simply, he is a professional shock jock who could teach a few people in the radio industry a thing or two.
Bob stirred the pot last week when a woman named Sylvia called him to give him a piece of her mind, which resulted in him responding with a string of “insults” from which The Sunday Mail decided to remove most of the letters. In fact, the way the article was written, you’d think Bob had rung up the local seniors club and abused them for breathing, when in reality the woman gave as good as she got and is probably younger than Bob.
But enough of my interpretation of it, judge for yourself (viewer discretion is advised…you know what to expect).
It is wrong of me to put Bob Francis and Kyle Sandilands in the same category because, quite frankly, one is a media professional with a well-honed sense of what his audience expects and tolerates, whilst the other is an arrogant buffoon who keeps blindly yelling at a potential avalanche. There is a mild similarity of style though…and I think Kyle could escape from the current witch-hunt (a deserved witch-hunt) if he were to learn a thing or two from Bob Francis. Firstly, he needs to be seen to be targeting an older demographic, which probably means he should take a night shift…secondly there is a significant difference between having fun at the expense of somebody else, and having fun with somebody who is getting as much out of it as you. Kyle needs to learn to master the latter and stop doing the former.
Kyle could make it as a shock jock, but he needs to seriously reconsider his act first.
Anyhoo, back to Bob, I was surprised to see a University lecturer being quoted by a newspaper who actually made sense…maybe I just far too used to them all droning on about global warming.
UniSA communications lecturer Dr Jackie Cook said the foul-mouthed exchange “should not surprise anyone”.
“Conflict creates good radio,” she said. “It’s performance, it’s persona, it’s not him, and sometimes they push it a bit far.”
But of all of it, Bob deserves the last word on this.
“It’s after nine o’clock and under the rules of radio you can do almost what you like,” he said. “She was harsh on me, I didn’t say a thing. I let her go and she kept having a go.”
Francis said Sylvia’s call “lit up the switchboard” and was “one of the best calls I’ve had”.
“She made my day. I wish that would happen every night of the week, I’d have the best bloody rated radio show in the world,” he said.
“It was absolute entertainment and if anyone didn’t like it they can go and get f—ed,” he told the Sunday Mail.
No more need be said.