Can Entercom Kill The Radio Star?

NO! Nor can they kill the Waist High star! Bastards.

For those of you that have been concerned about Waist High lately, please know that your cards, prayers, and letters have meant so much. She is doing much better now. Just yesterday she was able to keep food down for the first time, she is no longer mumbling incoherently, and her doctor has said that the tremors will subside in a couple of weeks:

(vanguardweekly.com) Particularly painful, and THE GREATEST LOSS TO THE PORTLAND AIRWAVES, was the cancellation of The Rick Emerson Show (the only live local talk host in his 9 to noon slot), whose singular voice and irreverent brand of social commentary virtually the sole lifeline tethering Portland radio over an automated abyss raised Emerson and his band of merry media outlaws to cult status.

Emerson's jaundiced eye and sharp tongue took aim at, and skewered the broadest-possible cross section of cultural icons from Britney Spears and Michael Jackson to George Bush, the Pope, war, cars, television, cannibalism, guns, boobs, Catholic schoolgirls, aliens, life in the Northwest, convenience stores, and all things Rock 'n' Roll.

In his caffeine-fueled dismantling of popular American culture, Emerson was joined by a cast of regulars including news legend Tim Riley, aforementioned producer Sarah Dylan, weekend Fuel host and former producer Matt Peterson, weekend Ground Zero host and long time friend Clyde Lewis, Kyle the intern, and frequent guests Jen Lane of Barfly Magazine, Scott Daley of filmfever.org, Jolie from Corporate Accounts Payable, Kristen from Accounting, Aaron Geek In The City, and many, many others.

The phrenetic and funny Emerson separated himself from the smarmy jokesterism of the typical radio morning show host with his style, intellect, an acerbic wit, and an encyclopedic knowledge of modern times.

Was Emerson too hip for the room? Too hip for Entercom perhaps, but Rick's fans are smart, and deserve smart radio. Entercom's decision to pull the plug leaves Portland-market radio like a party balloon: beneath the shiny, fragile veneer all that remains is stale air; a poor prize for a fanbase who's loyalty is legend and who's number is legion.

But Rick Emerson will not go gently into that good night it seems: His website continues to be updated, and he offered fans this message the day after his firing: "...I'm sure we'll meet again, but never doubt, even for a moment, that YOU made The Rick Emerson Show what it was. Without you, I'm just some angry guy rattling pencils on a street corner downtown. (Speaking of which, where's my tin cup?) You are the reason, the inspiration, the motivation, and the reward for everything we did, and everything we will do in the future. Never give up, never give in, and never, ever let the bastards grind you down. I love you all."

When contacted for comment, Emerson added "Let everyone involved know that they are not taken for granted. Given all the listening choices they have, that they would choose our show is a compliment of the highest order."

Fans aren't giving up either. They have already begun their campaign to return his program to the airwaves of Portland.

Coffee Cup Crusade

The Coffee Cup Crusade, started by a coterie of bloggers who lamented the show's demise, asks listeners to drop off a coffee mug (or three) at the Portland headquarters of Entercom Communications, until recently, the home of Max 910 and the notoriously-caffeinated Emerson. Adding inside each mug a note reading, "I need my morning fix. Bring back Rick Emerson."

As of Tuesday afternoon, message boards, like the one at www.geekinthecity.com, hosted by show regular and "go-to geek" Aaron Duran were overflowing, and many posters were requesting driving directions, which they received, along with an admonition to keep things civil:

"We don't want to cause any trouble," said one fan, "we just want our show back. This is about family."

Rick Emerson and company are obviously searching for a new home, and are encouraged by their track record: "The amount of money, the number of people, the sheer number of unhinged lunatic fans that we brought to advertisers, that we brought to venues for our live events, it's only a matter of time 'til that finds the right home," said Emerson. "Anyone who wants a huge band of alcohol-laden crazies with money to spend should contact Rick Emerson."