What, you’ve never heard of Kidd Chris? Well … that would explain his abysmal ratings. He was, until this past Friday morning, the low-rated morning drive radio host at Philadelphia rock station WYSP-FM. But the honchos at CBS radio had had enough, so they canned him.
Fortunately, for Kidd Chris’ career, they didn’t fire him over his low ratings. At least, not officially. They fired him over a racist song parody (and trust me, it was hideously offensive, so we’re not linking to it). However, the song parody aired multiple times almost two months ago! Does moral outrage just move slowly at CBS or was it a convenient excuse to get rid of someone who couldn’t deliver an audience?
Regardless, Kidd Chris now gets to move forward as someone who is “controversial” rather than someone who is “incompetent.” He’ll try to follow in the footsteps of Stern, Imus and the Greaseman, all of whom have been in trouble for the controversial things they’ve said or done on the air, only to ultimately turn the controversy into a bigger paycheck.
Granted, Kidd Chris is a minor league version of these shock jocks, but the point is that, in a marketing sense, he is perfectly positioned for his most important audience – the program directors who might hire him. These are people who love controversy. Truly, this is a gift from the career gods.
Kidd Chris, if you’re reading – and God knows you’ve got the time – here’s the formula for rehabbing your image:
1. Take the summer off.
2. Around mid-August, sit down for an interview with one of the radio industry publications and say you’re sorry.
3. A week later, have your agent float rumors that you’re up for the morning drive gig at stations in at least two cities.
4. Accept a morning job in a second tier market – Hartford, maybe. You know, some place where it’s easier to impress listeners and build ratings. Oh … make sure you have a window in your contract at the end of the first year.
5. Do a newspaper interview in the new market and explain that you have learned your lesson … that you love radio … and that you’re going to deliver a KICK-ASS SHOW!
6. Do the same show you did in Philadelphia. Try to offend a different minority group. An FCC fine would be helpful.
7. At the end of year one, armed with the upsurge in ratings, split for a job in a top 10 market.
Perhaps a triumphant return to Philadelphia?