In all my years in radio, I never decorated my office at the station with personal items. No memorabilia, no family photos, no elaborate adornments of any kind — only tape cartridges and reels I used in the production and archiving of show segments.
That’s because I knew how mercurial the business was and how easily management could yank a show out from under me. Even if I was under contract (which I almost always was), they had to pay me, but they didn’t have to play me. That happened only a few times in forty years but, combined with the times I told them I was leaving for another position, I always wanted to be able to pack up and get out in a hurry — even in the places where I was successful enough to have a run of many years.
I knew that, as much as I might have liked the people I worked with or for, changes of ownership or management could impact my status — or that of any of my colleagues. I used to tell them that if the station was ever sold and the new bosses held an all-staff meeting that started with, “We wouldn’t have bought the place if we didn’t want the people who work here,” well, it was time to start updating your resume and looking for a new job. I was usually right.
That’s not to say I never had a bond with the places I worked. Most of the time, I was proud to be on the air and wanted the public to know it. I was loyal to the brand every day I was employed. But when the time came to part ways, for whatever reason, I viewed severing the relationship like a Band-Aid that had to be pulled off quickly.
Thus, I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief when I saw the photo above. That’s Mason Schreader, half of the Mason & Remy morning show team at WIL/St. Louis, showing off his new tattoo of the station’s logo. He got it because he lost some wacky bet on the air. Unfortunately, only a week after he was inked — while the tat was still healing — he was fired. I don’t know why, and it’s none of my business. Meanwhile, his old partner, who he’d worked with for years at WIL (and, before that, its country competitor KSD-FM) is still on the job, paired with a new co-host.
Asked what he’d do next, Mason told Joe Holleman of the Post-Dispatch his only future plan was to sleep late.
But I bet he also did a Google search for tattoo removal companies.