If you’ve ever been a freelancer, or known one, in any field, you understand that clients come and go. Just as every coach in professional sports is hired so that he can be fired one day, every freelancer who lands a new gig knows that it’s going to come to an end one day.
My favorite freelance gig ended last week.
One fine day in 2008, I got an e-mail from a guy I didn’t know, asking if I’d be interested in contributing to a new website that would be going live in the next few weeks. It was for the new incarnation of the old WNEW-FM, New York City’s pioneering album-rock radio station, which would be heard over the air on an HD channel in New York in addition to streaming online. CBS Radio, the station’s parent, wanted a lot of new content on the station’s website every day, and they wanted me to write some of it.
Over the years, I never got a satisfactory answer regarding how they came to hire me—a bunch of people involved in the project were apparently talking about websites they liked, and somebody was a fan of this one. After I sat on the e-mail for a couple of days, trying to decide if it was some kind of Nigerian e-mail scam geared to radio geeks, I accepted their offer, and I’ve been at it ever since—until last week.
This is not my first rodeo, so when I got word that CBS was shutting down the WNEW site, it wasn’t a shock, exactly. I am sorry to lose to lose the rare opportunity of being able to write whatever the hell I want and get paid for it, and to perform my Green County shitkicker routine in front of a large audience. The people I dealt with—CBS guys, the blog’s editor, fellow writers—were great to me. But nothing in radio lasts forever.
Because I was posting every day (sometimes twice a day), it was necessary to work ahead. That means I have a few things in the can that won’t see the light of day over there, so I can share them with you here. You’ll start seeing that stuff later this week. A couple of the leftovers are installments of regular features I was writing for WNEW, and I may keep those features going at this site because they’re fun to write. Plus, since the readership here is used to my gasbag tendencies, I can go on a little longer than I could at WNEW, where I tried to keep things to 300 words or less.
This post is pushing 450 words already, and that’s enough. More later in the week.