This is Rob Long with Martini Shot on KCRW.
I was in a meeting the other day with a network television executive. "Hey," he said, "I listen to you on KCRW every week driving home."
"Thanks," I said.
"For what?" he asked. "I didn't say I liked listening to you."
Which I understood. What I do for four minutes every week is tell stories about the life of a writer in the entertainment industry, and as everyone knows, a good story has a hero -- that's me, by the way, and a villain -- that's the guy in the big office who listens to me every week driving home to 90049. Which isn't really fair, of course. The great, frustrating thing about the entertainment industry is that there aren't really any true villains, just people behaving in as rational a way as they can to an irrational business. So I try to be evenhanded.
And then I asked him, "So, do you subscribe to KCRW?" He shrugged. "I already have a computer...and a trip to Hawaii."
Now, this is a guy who until a few months ago was preparing to file a copyright-infringement lawsuit against YouTube for showing people stuff without paying for it. I pointed out to him that listening to KCRW without subscribing -- even if you've already got a cool Mac, even if you're already heading off to Hawaii -- is a lot like watching illegal YouTube downloads. Not legally, of course. But morally.
"Just subscribe," I said, "and if you win the computer or the trip, or get any cool dividend gifts like CD's or books. You can give them to your terrified assistant, the one you yell at everyday. And you can listen to the eclectic music, incisive news coverage, and only slightly irritating commentary with a clean conscience. You know, assuming you have one."
"Look," I said, "you subscribe to KCRW at the, for you, highly ironically-named Angel level, and I'll try to be more...sensitive...to the perspective of a Hollywood executive. I'll stop taking potshots and making snide remarks. Deal?"
We shook. He subscribed. You can, too. Just call 800-600-KCRW. That's 800-600-5279. Or online, anytime, at KCRW.com.