DelGiorno departs

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This week's column in Urban Tulsa Weekly is a farewell salute to KFAQ's Michael DelGiorno, who wrapped up his 17 years in Tulsa media last Friday and is now holding court on Nashville's WWTN:

Many readers' brains may explode as they read the following sentence, but it's true nevertheless: Politics and public dialogue in Tulsa are better off for Michael DelGiorno's tenure here.

Here's a bit of newspaper trivia you may find interesting. Writers don't write the headlines or cutlines for their stories. Those tasks are performed by a copy editor. At times the copy editor also adds text to provide a smoother transition between paragraphs or to provide some explanation that he feels the reader may need. Deadlines being what they are, I don't get a chance to see those changes before I see them in the paper. Those kind of edits don't happen often, but there was one this week. Here's what I submitted:

There was a niche to be filled, and DelGiorno, a conservative Republican and Southern Baptist, persuaded Journal Broadcast Group to let him step in and fill it.

Here's what's in the paper:

Until DelGiorno began to exploit the obvious. Just like some transplanted Tulsans discover fertile, virgin soil in untapped treasures (much as coffee table book author Michael Wallis discovered as he began cultivating interest in Route 66 with his "Mother Road,") there was a niche to be filled, and DelGiorno, a conservative Republican and Southern Baptist, persuaded Journal Broadcast Group to let him step in and fill it.

The phrase "began to exploit the obvious" reminds me of Roger Clemens's record-breaking 20 strikeouts in a game against the Seattle Mariners. Some baseball fans dismissed the accomplishment because Clemens did it against the worst team in the American League. But every other pitcher on every other team had faced Seattle. If it was so easy, why hadn't anyone done it yet?

As for Michael Wallis, I'm a fan, and as someone who loves Route 66, I'm glad he traveled the road and gathered stories and photos when he did -- so many of the people and places are gone now.

MORE: Here are my earlier thoughts, and the comments of other bloggers, about the changes at KFAQ. And Tennessee political blogger Bill Hobbs has taken note of DelGiorno's arrival in Nashville. (Also, Hobbs is looking for center-right political bloggers in Oklahoma. Drop your recommendations in his comment box. I've already sent along my list.)

(Also, fixed the number of Clemens's strikeouts. 19 in a nine-inning game was the record he beat, held by Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, and Nolan Ryan.)

FOR NOW at least, you can still download the podcasts of Michael's farewell show, which included replays of many of the best radio cartoons from the show:

Preshow, Hour 1, Hour 2, and Hour 3

The song with which he ended the final broadcast, "Build It Anyway," by Martina McBride, was an appropriate and touching ending.

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7 Comments

Paul Uttinger said:

I prefer the version you submitted to what was printed.

Thanks for the lesson on copy editors. I wondered why you would add the line about Michael Wallis. Now it's clear to me -- you didn't! For a change that broad, I think the editor should have let you know before publication or at least inserted an "Editor's Note" into the paragraph.

I enjoy reading UTW, and as far as know, they have published anything I've sent them verbatim as submitted. Your column would have made more sense to me without the editor's extra words.

MichaelBates said:

The editor would probably say if I turned my copy in earlier there might be time for me to see the edits before it goes to press. [And the editor would have a point. -- Ed.]

Greta said:

Hurry up & try to get someone to fill his big shoes. That guy is awesome. We have a DelGiorno down here in NOLA too - makes me think of him:)

No kidding, Greta? :) (For those who don't know, Michael's father, Bob DelGiorno, is the long-time morning host on WWL in New Orleans. The apple did not fall far from the tree.)

I think Gwen Freeman and Chris Medlock are off to a good start. No one can replace Michael here, but I don't think anyone needs to. There was a need here, he was the man for the moment. But the moment and the need has changed, and it was time for him to move on to a new challenge and for new people with different qualities to continue the mission.

sbtulsa said:

i enjoyed michael's enthusiasm and witness. i wish he had not had the problems he did but that's life.

i have listened to him on line in nashville. he seems to be on his best behavior so far. wish him well.

i would like to see gwen do some more radio cartoons.

Eric F. Scholl said:

Although I enjoyed his rants (which seemed to be about everything and anything that didn't fit into his idea of a perfect world), it could be said that he was loud, obnoxious, self-righteous and rude to his guests.
Certainly, there was no shortage of ego.

And though I respect his chosen faith, I found it difficult to believe that he really walked the walk, based on his personal demons, which included the so-called “research” he was doing at local casinos.

Is there a need for this type of radio jock?
Perhaps.
There will always be people on the far right and left that feel they are being marginalized by the other extreme.
Bill O'Reilly rightly calls them "ideologues", a description that seems to fit Mr. DelGiorno quite accurately.

It is my hope that the next jock shows a bit of fairness, understanding and compassion without trying to proselytize their personal beliefs upon a listening audience.

sbtulsa said:

peronally, i think people ,like mdg are needed in the media. at worst they are a point of reference against which to compare other opinons. at best they may contain original ideas.

del g was incredibly tough to listen too. bates kept things sane when he was on. gwen tried valiantly to do the same.

hope his travails here made him a better person. olahoma is not a wasteland.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 25, 2007 11:33 PM.

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