News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 20, 2012

RONN MOTT: Excuuse me! Disgruntled I am not

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — It looks as if I have awakened at least one of the large corporations that own most of the radio stations in Terre Haute.

A letter was written and published in the Tribune-Star last Sunday by Jack Swart, the latest market manager for Midwest Communications, and he has me, and my attitude about my career, wrong. I am not disgruntled. In fact, Jack, until your comments appeared, I have visited or done business with all of the people I have been separated from during the past few years. You should know that careers go up and down, and perhaps mine is not yet over. I don’t consider writing for the Tribune-Star a death knell to my career. I just consider it a path few radio men would dare to tread.

The NAB is a lobbying organization for all the large corporations that own radio stations. To say they meet for the good of the industry is like saying King Midas was worried about the safety of his gold miners. (That is how King Midas got rich, he had a gold mine.)  

I have been called foolish and reckless many times during my life at one time or another, and yet I have worked in the business for right at 57 years. I am proud to have been a part of radio’s growth and its importance to the community. But I worked for owners that were, for the most part, local, not being told what, where, and how to do it by corporate leaders hundreds of miles away.  

I’m really glad you said nice things about your CEO, Duke Wright, because I would guess corporate headquarters would have to approve of what you said. Now, I don’t know that for a fact, but it’s my educated guess.  

I don’t really know, Jack, how you would know I am disgruntled, or what, about my broadcast career. Because you don’t know me. You met me once in the lobby that serves your radio stations. The conversation lasted less than 90 seconds. You see, Jack, I’m a native of the area and I remember when conversations at coffee shops, the Chamber of Commerce, and the halls of government were often filled with talk about something some local radio station was doing. Today, it ain’t necessarily so.

P.S. Disgruntled people are not as cheerful as I am. In fact, many people who work for you will tell you I’m a pretty happy guy.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.