Sometimes you meet a person who's one thing to strangers and another thing to friends. Marty Gold was one such person. On air, he went overboard to express emotions that many citizens often feel: rage and frustration. Off the air, he was a friend to every student who helped with his show. He asked about our course load, offered help where he could, and was excited to help us learn how to operate the sound board. He frequently asked me if I had any classmates who wanted to learn, or if there was any way he could help us with our studies of radio.
At first, I was deeply alarmed when I worked for his talk show. He said a lot of things I strongly disagreed with, in ways that seemed rude and exaggerated to me. But many of those he spoke out so fiercely against were invited onto his show and did attend - Mayor Sam Katz being the most notable one. Watching Katz and Marty joke around off-air was encouraging; it reinforced to my mind that the anger was "just for show" and that Marty would welcome even those who called to tell him he was outright wrong - just as long as he knew people were thinking about civic issues and starting to be more aware of what goes on in their city.
The accusation that there was no student involvement in his show alarms me. No students were asked if they were involved in his show. One of my classmates would have shown up to operate the soundboard for Tuesday's show, had she not found out via TWITTER that it had been cancelled. The first-year students who opped for his show weren't asked or told about the cancellation, either. Another classmate who often appeared as a student commentator on his show wasn't told either. And I, volunteer news director for the station, was not consulted.
I've been told that Marty's spot took up a convenient time for students. And even though most classes end at 5pm and his show went from 4 to 5:30pm, I'll agree that some classes end earlier and so that statement is valid. But Marty did provide opportunities for students - students who went on to have their own shows and to teach others, like I did. Students who weren't consulted before a decision was made.
As a longtime volunteer for KICK FM, and a PR student, I feel that we volunteers are an important internal audience who should have been given a voice. And I also feel sad for Marty - at the end of the day, he's a person with feelings too, and he genuinely did want to help any student who wanted to learn about radio. I feel that he is a loss to the college's radio station.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion of his show - there are days that I changed the station while he was broadcasting, too, if I didn't see eye-to-eye with him on a topic. But looking beyond that to the advertising he brought in for the station, the live-remote broadcasts he did that I assisted on, and his interest in helping students, I see opportunities lost.