Betty Wants a Radio Job

Wow. Betty Loren Maltese quit her hostess job at Salerno's.  Too little money.  She wants to be a radio host.  

I wonder what Chicago area station will open its airwaves to Betty?  I am sure some bottom feeder will try to capitalize on her notoriety. Jim Laski has a lovely radio perch at WGN.  His Chicago accent and street grammar, street cred of jail time, reformer label (so common after one is caught)  all make for a fascinating stew for the ears.  Time will tell if he captivates the audience of Chicago's very own WGN.  Maybe Betty can co-host.  
I have to say, this felon-rescue program messes with my mind.  My husband worked in radio for years, and venerated the medium's ability to connect people with stories and observations.   Some of life's experiences resonate with universal notes.  They are fun to talk about, disagree about, and share.  Jail time for assaulting the public's trust?  Not so universal.  
Not every one with the ability to talk is equipped to be a talk show host.  Not every one with vocal chords deserves a show.  I hate to put a pin in Betty's dream, but is radio the new half way house ?  Whatever happened to the intimate, magical connection that made the drive to work an aural carpool?  How many want to carpool with a woman who used a town as her piggy bank?  Is there a Cicero station for her supporters?  Maybe she should start there.  

I am sure she has stories.  But enough to captivate large numbers 20-25 hours a week?  

I am sure she is street wise and tough.  Are federally licensed and moderated facilities the new safe haven for those who breach the public's trust?   I think it is preposterous and presumptuous of Betty to think we want her to rise up as a visitor in our ears and cars.  We didn't miss you, Betty.  Maybe you should stick to guest shots.  Maybe you should discipline yourself to write a book. Then those who venerate you or believe you can reach out to help you.  The rest of us do not need to make the effort to avoid you on our presets.  
When I was a teacher, I came across many parents who believed they understood the job of educating because they had been students.  Spending time in a desk does not equip you to teach.  Reading does not make you a writer, nor does doodling make you an artist.  
Sweet Betty, ears and a mouth do not equip you to be a good radio host.  I can see the appeal of a job that does not require make up or an orange jump suit, but you insult those who value radio when you reduce it to a parole placement.
On the other hand, I bet you were a hell of a hostess, Betty.  But the really hard work, and better money in a restaurant comes from waiting tables. It might just be a job you could grow into. In Illinois, a felony conviction means you can never get a liquor license. Maybe Salerno's wanted to protect its license by keeping you away from the serving of spirits.   
It is ironic that a radio license from the FCC requires less compliance with the the law than bartending.  There is always Felony Frank's hot dog stand to check into- it's dry.  
Sometimes there are no shortcuts. Let's hope the Chicago station managers see it that way. 

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  • "You go, Girl".......well said!

  • I love this:
    "Spending time in a desk does not equip you to teach. Reading does not make you a writer, nor does doodling make you an artist."
    Didn't her parents ever tell her that you should not quit one job until you have another lined up? Isn't $216 better than $0?

    Great article, as usual, Janet!

  • How about putting her on with Blago? I'm already accustomed to avoiding that program.

  • Janet, you are a great writer and I enjoyed this post. I grew up loving radio so much that I spent 15 years of my life doing radio news in Chicago. Now...I am so angry and frustrated at what corporate America is doing to radio, all in the name of its survival. As ridiculous as it sounds for Betty to be on the radio, it will probably happen because it will generate temporary interest until Betty falls flat and boring (just as Laski is proving to be). She'll turn up as a fill in host on WLS or WGN and eventually get a full-time gig. Hey both stations are pretty short on female hosts these days, so they'll do it in the name of adding a woman's voice. Pretty pathetic, but let's see if it happens.

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