1010 WINS Gives Me The World

By the time you read this you may already know the verdicts for John Edwards and Dharun Ravi. But as I sit here anxiously awaiting the fate of these two guys on this rainy Monday morning in New York, I am wondering how you receive your news in the age of the Internet.

I have been relying on New York’s all news radio station 1010 WINS for as long as I can remember. I first listened to WINS on my clock radio, then my boom box, then my shower radio, then on my laptop when radio went “live” on the Internet and today on the apps on my iPhone and iPad.

I don’t leave home without access to 1010 WINS. WINS is the nation’s oldest all-news station in the country, broadcasting in that format continuously since 1965. Known on-air as “Ten-Ten Wins”, the radio station is now owned by CBS Radio. I used to feel sorry for people who lived in cities without an all news radio station. It is just so uncivilized. I grew up in New York where 1010 WINS was around as long as I can remember. Their slogan, “Give us 22 minutes and we will give you the world,” basically sums up what the station does. You can tune in any time of the day or night and within 22 minutes you know exactly what is happening in the world of politics, sports, weather, entertainment, business, music, pop culture, crime, traffic, accidents and deaths. They don’t miss a beat.

Alan Freed, an icon in Rock n Roll, got his start on 1010 WINS

I could never understand when someone claims they get their news from The Today Show. The Today Show? You have got to be kidding? The Today Show doesn’t give you the most up-to-date information on every topic. It gives you the side story after the news happens.

Now through the Internet you can experience what I have all these years. I listen to the station wherever I am in the world. Yes, sometimes it is disconcerting when I am in Europe to listen to the weather in New York, however, this is still the most efficient way to get world news. From the minute I wake up in the morning, to the time I go to bed at night, I tune in every few hours from my app, from my computer, from my bathroom radio. Remember, all you need is 22 minutes.

Even in the age of the Internet, 1010 WINS still beats out any other form of news including CNN, Associated Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, etc. By the time they put out the alerts, which are pretty quick, I have heard the news on WINS. News happens all day long. WINS reports it almost instantaneously. I am willing to debate this with anyone who wants to challenge me. In fact, I am pretty sure that Internet aggregation took its cue from 1010 WINS because the radio station was the first to rely on other news formats to gather information. They have original reporting, plus they find important and interesting stories from TV and print publications. The whole premise is to be the centerpiece of news delivery. That is the same platform that Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Yahoo, and everyone else has adopted.

If you are an Internet baby or someone who is trying to reinvent yourself in the digital age, I really urge you to tune in any way you can. You will be one of the most informed people in any conversation you have. I am sure you have heard from anyone who is involved in the Internet that “Content Is King.” That means that without meaningful information, your Internet site is meaningless. The same holds true with how people perceive you. I am spelling out the easiest way to multi-task and be informed. You are welcome!

MY DIRTY LITTLE SECRET

I have to admit this in the first line of my post. I listen to audiobooks. I listen to them on my iPhone, iPad and iPod, whatever device is accessible at the time.  It has changed my life. I never would have experienced James Michener, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Walter Issacson, Stephen King and lately, Joyce Carol Oates, if I didn’t belong to Audible and other audio book clubs. You can poo poo me all you want. I can hear you now, “There is nothing like sitting down with a book and reading it yourself page after page.”  Let’s not get into a discussion about printed books versus eBooks at this time. We can save that for another discussion.  Yes, reading a book with your own interpretation and visual sense is a very satisfying and rewarding experience. I still read books and I also read several newspapers each day (okay maybe peruse). Also, six online blogs (Huffington Post, Mashable, AllThingsD, The Daily Beast, CNET, Tech Crunch) and countless news, entertainment and specialty magazines. There isn’t enough hours in the day to cover all this, do my job, shower, dress, make phone calls, see friends, exercise, watch TV or a movie, read and post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

However, there is always time for an audiobook. I listen while I am on the treadmill (yes I know it doesn’t show), in the car, the subway, on a flight to wherever, waiting for my doctor, a business appointment that is always late, in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, when I knit, on the beach, in the park and during long walks. It is just marvelous. It is a different kind of experience than reading the book yourself. Frankly, I think you capture more. You hear stuff your eyes can’t capture, especially from the authors who read their books themselves. I remember when I listened to Harry Markopolos reading “No One Would Listen, A True Financial Thriller.” That was his book about trying to get the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take a meeting with him so he could expose Bernie Madoff. I almost fell off the treadmill when I listened to the part about his paranoia that Bernie was going to have him killed. He bought a gun, barricaded his home and was always on the lookout for thugs.  I was laughing a little too much. What was very serious to Harry was somehow humorous to me, since we all know that Harry was not even on Bernie’s radar screen most of the time. I don’t think you could have picked this up through the written word. Maybe, but it was pretty remarkable hearing Harry describe his emotions.

I also don’t feel I would have grabbed the highs and lows of what Joyce Carol Oates describes in her book “A Widow’s Story,” the immediate experiences of widowhood. I felt her 13 months of pain, anguish, terror and depression. Very few authors write like Oates. She describes peeling an onion like an exhilarating experience. You don’t want to miss a word. I tried reading her in the past, but didn’t have the patience to comprehend what she had to offer. I can do it now because I’ve learned to appreciate her every word. I was so involved in her story, that I got very upset when I found out that she had remarried  13 months later, but had left that out of the book. Her publisher defends her in a story in the New York Times, saying that her subsequent life had nothing to do with what she went through after the death of her husband, Raymond Smith. Hmmm!

I can go on and on about the virtues of listening to an audio book, but I have gone way beyond the limits of how long a blog post should be. Tomorrow I will tell you about the intricacies of belonging to an audio book club and other personal experiences I’ve had listening to James Michener and even,  I hate to admit, Steven Tyler.