John “Sly” Sylvester Madison’s Worst Radio Personality
I am shocked and saddened that once again the radio antics of John ”Sly” Sylvester are making news. WTDY can not be a proud place to work this week.
I am upset about the actual antics that took place this week, and also about the larger issue of what passes for radio entertainment these days. The latter point is one that often gets talked about on this blog.
I worked in radio too, and can confirm I never once crossed the line of decency. I provoked with news stories many issues that needed to be highlighted, but never did I make people want to throw a radio across the room. Guns, teen suicide, AIDS and other topics were ones I researched, reported, and produced while working in radio in the mid-1980′s. While the station had feedback from the audience none wanted me to apologize.
If only radio could be like that again.
That Sly has made so many outlandish and unprofessional on-air comments over the years and continues to hold a broadcasting job is most remarkable. That says far more about WTDY than the folks who live in Madison.
But I must add at the end of the day it is the listening public that needs to be held accountable for the likes of Sly who continue to broadcast on the nation’s airwaves. Too few citizens step up and demand the public airwaves be better used. Too few listeners demand that a more common-sense tone be attached to the list of responsibilities that station owners need to abide by.
What took place this week was totally unprofessional in every sense of the word.
Sly’s recent comments about Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch performing sexual acts to win favors, or his out-of-the ballpark words about her colon cancer, were just God-awful.
To me they were unforgivable. Period.
On September 30th, when Rebecca Kleefisch and Ed Thompson were making news about their separate fights with cancer I wrote, in part, the following.
We know that both Kleefisch and Thompson are trying their best with the political battles currently underway. Now they also have to fight a more personal battle with a far more aggressive opponent that never plays fair. Worse yet they have to do part of that in front of the public at election time. If ever there was a time for some ‘space’ to be granted, these would be two perfect examples of when it should be offered with no explanations needed. I think the human needs for both of these people far exceeds any political requirements. Period.
I wish that Sly had come to the same conclusion. There are times when we all pitch a hardball, but there have to be times when we step back and show some class and common sense. I tried to do that regarding Kleefisch and Thompson last fall.
Sly seems to think that all of us in radio land are nothing more than a point in a ratings book so to get more ad revenue for WTDY. However, I find in my conversations over the months that more and more listeners are turning off the garbage of AM Radio and moving to other listening alternatives. The latest outrage from Sly can only add to the exodus from WTDY.
I will say the same thing I have stated before when writing about John “Sly” Sylvester.
I expect radio personalities to be like my guests in the house. I like good talk, humor, and spirited conversation with ideas that conflict with mine. But I do not want, and will not tolerate, the most base of shock jock type rancid talk just because some radio station has an itch for a rating. I wish to be thought of as a listener that deserves respect, rather than just a notation in a ratings book.