Yes folks, that is the new face of country music media.
Syndicated Clear Channel “country” radio DJ Bobby Bones proved to the world this weekend that he thinks his listeners are stupid. He first set them up on Twitter by talking about how he was headed to the dentist for surgery and shouldn’t be trusted with his phone while under sedation. Then on cue, he posted a bunch of purposely-mispelled tweets like he was still tranquilized, hinting that he may spill the beans about radio secrets and and behind-the-scenes dirt on other radio personalities in his placid state, even going as far as evoking the memory of his dead mother. And then, of course, later he apologized and blamed it all on the drugs.
The whole charade was an embarrassing attention grab, and a truly unfortunate development from an individual that despite his skin deep knowledge of country based off of the last 11 month’s of pop country’s Top 40 fare since he was transferred from a pop station, seemed like a genuine dude. Part of Bobby’s problem is that he won’t stop talking about how real and genuine he is, shielding a personality that seems to be gripped by irreconcilable narcissism and a raging need for attention.
As the centerpiece to Clear Channel’s plans for a nationally-syndicated country music radio network (he’s already heard on 50+ stations), Bobby Bones and his sideways hat have become the scourge of the country music airwaves. It was somewhat of a risk for Clear Channel to put their chips on this unproven personality, and so far the results have been mixed at best. High-profile blowups and a recent flirtation with leaving radio for television must have Clear Channel wondering if Bones is meant for country radio, or radio at all. Though his ratings are high in certain markets, more for his shock jock “what will he say next” appeal than anything else, so is the level of disapproval with his new school approach.
No better example than the news that last week four billboards at $2,150 a pop appeared around Nashville offering the simple message “Go Away Bobby Bones.” The billboards were paid for by an organization called “Anti-BOBBY BONES” that bought a three week run on two sides of two separate billboards in Music City where Bobby’s WSIX-based syndicated show is broadcast from.
Barely even a year into Clear Channel’s Bobby Bones country music experiment, and the man is ruffling more feathers than a 747 flying through a pack of seagulls. Maybe this is what Clear Channel wants, but if their overall goal is to unite country music fans under their new media empire, they can’t be alienating large segments of country fans like Bobby Bones seems to take pleasure in doing on a daily basis.
UPDATE: Bobby Bones has requested I ad a link to the video of him at the dentist office: http://youtu.be/bQXki6vkn8E