Business Proposition or Threat – Get The New Shot Or Lose Your Old Job
The COVID conversations come at us from all corners. As a News/Talk radio station we get bombarded with volunteer information every day and we actively seek out as much information as we can find. A fairly recent industry development is a distressing "wokeness" by some major radio companies (not ours - Townsquare Media) resulting in suspensions, firings, and scrambling apologies by hosts hoping to hang on to their jobs for saying things that didn't square with the new enlightenment. Not exactly the groundbreaking, earth-shaking, free speech, edginess for which some radio stations became legendary.
Radio Ink Magazine
Which brings us to Radio Ink, a radio broadcasting industry trade magazine serving management in the radio industry in the U.S. and in 43 countries worldwide.
This post is heading for the COVID numbers I shared on the show this morning so stay with me a little longer and we'll get there.
First thing to know is that radio is all about numbers. Sales numbers, audience rating numbers, music recording rating numbers, etc., and now, in some cases, vaccination numbers.
Climb Aboard The Band Wagon
In today's edition of Radio Ink, a gentleman by the name of Bob McKay shared some COVID numbers and urged all readers to get the vaccine. Radio Ink says Bob McKay’s radio career included working in Boston and Riverside. He is now president of an automotive marketing company who started his article saying "First, props to Beasley, Cumulus, and Radio One for leading the way regarding vaccines for their employees. Companies like these are definitely taking a proactive approach in helping our country to get ahead of this horrible pandemic."
Make no mistake, he is applauding the threat made by those companies to fire their employees if they don't get vaccinated. He said he has provided "hard data" to make his case. But if you read the article it has little to do with stopping the pandemic. It's about keeping individuals alive and their health insurance costs down. They are reasonable individual goals and I will assume he has the industry worker's best interests at heart but he comes up short. That leaves "Dead Air" as we say in the radio industry.
Look It Up - Unsettled Science
McKay continues, "This pandemic is not about rights… it is about responsible behavior. ... Do your part. Get the vaccine. You will be helping to slow down the pandemic. And you will be helping to save lives, possibly including your own."
Again, he says he has provided convincing hard data but read for yourself to see that what he provides is a case for "each individual" to weigh his or her own chances of serious illness -- without data of any kind that indicates that individual vaccinations will protect or save co-workers' lives or in any way to help stop the spread of the virus.
I wouldn't have run the piece....but to their credit, Radio Ink offers a counterpoint opportunity to Bob Mecham, owner of Rich Broadcasting in Idaho. His article begins, "The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is requiring you to be vaccinated in order to attend the convention. And, more recently, (radio groups..) Cumulus, Radio One, and Beasley, have jumped on the mandated vaccine bandwagon in order to continue working for their companies. Here are my thoughts."
This Vaccine Protects Whom and How?
His thoughts are based on his research that I shared on air this morning. I'll hit a highlight or two and encourage you to read both articles and then you can decide for yourself who makes the more convincing argument.
Bob Mecham points out:
Vaccinated individuals who do become infected have just as much viral load as the unvaccinated, making it possible for them to spread the virus to others.
74% of people infected in a Massachusetts COVID outbreak were fully vaccinated. You are seeing similar numbers in other states.
Face masks have never been shown to prevent or protect against viral transmission.
The viral tests that are used to determine if a person has COVID -19 are not designed to tell you what variant is causing the infection....how do they know that you have the Delta Variant?
Mecham presents a lot more data and asks some really important questions...you owe it to yourself to check it out. Here's hoping all decision-makers in radio and business, in general, will read, consider, and adjust their personnel threats and mandates accordingly.