MY OWN PERSONAL TASTE OF TNA INCOMPETENCE
Every word of this story is GOSPEL. No exaggeration necessary.
TNA comes to Rostraver Ice Gardens near Pittsburgh April 9. TNA is advertising with my radio station, WXDX-FM. Good move, because my audience is very wrestling-friendly. The account’s ad rep told me ticket sales for the event increased significantly (by TNA standards, anyway) once the spots started running. Good.
TNA asked if I’d interview a wrestler. The options offered mostly lacked sizzle, but I picked James Storm. I like his work, I like his promos, I like his character. We agreed on Tuesday, March 29 at 5:30 pm. That’s me sacrificing, because the Penguins were scheduled to play the Flyers that night in an Atlantic Division showdown. But it was the time agreed upon.
On Monday, March 28, I used a taped interview to fill the last half-hour of that day’s show. I was sitting in my office at about 5:40 pm. I got a message to call Alicia, a TNA PR flack.
Alicia: "I’m sorry, James won’t be able to make it today."
Me: "Today? He was scheduled for tomorrow. Tomorrow at 5:30 pm."
Alicia: "Well, he can’t make it today. We’re taping TV, and he’s in the first segment."
Me: "Right. But he’s supposed to be on TOMORROW at 5:30. If you like, I can send you the e-mails from your company confirming that."
Alicia: "Oh…well, we can TRY for tomorrow at 5:30, but we’re taping TV then, too."
Me: "OK…but you already confirmed that time via e-mail. Look, there are a couple things you should hear: One, I’m doing YOU the favor, not vice-versa. I don’t need this for my show. Two, every time I schedule a guest with WWE, they give me a time, and a performer, and it goes off like clockwork. So I need to know FOR SURE if James can call at 5:30."
She hung up. A TNA PR representative reacted to a quite reasonable request by HANGING UP.
I called the ad rep and had him cancel the interview. I’m more successful at radio than TNA is at wrestling. No need to let them jerk me around, especially when WWE doesn’t.
Part of the value in an interview is promoting it in advance, both on-air and on-line. Alicia’s uncertainty/confusion/incompetence made that impossible. X amount of listeners tune out when a fake wrestler is my guest. Advance promotion can help make up those numbers by attracting wrestling fans. James Storm as a "surprise guest" is worthless.
Actually, Storm as a scheduled guest is worthless, too. Few have heard of him, or TNA. Like I said, I was doing an advertiser a favor.
I considered that my past criticism of TNA might have derailed these best-laid plans. If so, well…YOU SURE SHOWED ME! I’ve also written some extremely critical things about WWE, but WWE is always very helpful in situations like this. Jerry Lawler was my guest last week, and it went off without a hitch.
WWE is in business to do business. Plugging ‘Mania on a big-market drive-time radio show that dominates the key male demographics is good business.
That was my own personal taste of TNA incompetence. I’m willing to forgive and forget, though, and plug TNA’s show.
Velvet Sky. In studio. April 8. I pick her outfit.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing WZMarkMadden@hotmail.com.
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?