Goodbye 2016... and Happy New Year!
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
I met Perry Michael Simon twice a week this summer. At the Podcast Movement in Chicago, and again the next week at Conclave in Minneapolis. He proved to be the person who was not afraid to identify the elephant in the room. If you want to solve what ails you in this life, you need to identify the elephant in the room and either loves it or learn to live with it. You can't always get rid of it because... it's an elephant.
We spent our time talking about his year-end column from AllAccess.com which sums up 2016 as being a year without much change for news/talk radio. Which is shocking considering what happened. We also spent some time talking about podcasting and what it holds for 2017.
This podcast was made possible with the support of Pepper Prep. With the new year upon us, now is a great time to get your radio show or podcast off to a good start with a free trial of Pepper Prep. We had Shika Rebecca on for Episode 5 of our podcast series, and she does a great job in getting the right material for your show. You can hear her segment by clicking here.
So 2016? Why all the celebrity deaths?
Here’s my theory. The ’80s are to blame. we are entering into a period when most of our Generation X cultural icons are inching close to Freedom 55. Not everyone in the ’40s sees 50, even more, don’t see 60, and if you get to your 70’s and 80’s – that's a bonus! We express shock and amazement over our icon's passing because we fell in love with them through repeated media exposure. In the ’80s, there was an explosion of media choices as we moved from 3 and a half networks to 30. Everyone became a star, there were more stars to love and MORE of those stars. Remember that celebrity tabloid culture also took off. We could watch and listen to music together with the same way – experience events like Live Aid, and we all bought the albums and listened to them the same way. Shared experiences for everyone! Consider Michael Jackson. No one was bigger than him. 40 million albums sold.
Given the way media has evolved, there will never be a celebrity as big as him ever again. Most of the passing of icons in 2016 featured two notable quotients: Fame in the ’80s when shows like Entertainment Tonight accelerated celebrity stardom into the stratosphere, and EXPOSURE in the billions. George Michael, Glen Frey, Muhammed Ali, Carrie Fisher, and Prince certainly fit that category.
Then there are those who fit into the hundreds of millions category: Garry Shandling, Natalie Cole, Gene Wilder, Alan Thicke.
As crazy as it sounds, let's take the time to thank the living. Betty White, Jimmy Carter, Keith Richards; and those 80’s icons like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, even Duran Duran, whose fame rivalled that of Wham.
If 2016 has taught us anything, when you listen to your favourite song on the radio or watch your favourite icon on your tv or tablet, do it with gratitude.
By the way, if you think that's hoaky, silly or impossible - there was THIS.