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After radio bashing, breakfast with new owner

It was 7 in the morning when I left WCAP after my radio interview last week, and I was feeling a little shaky. Maybe it was the caffeine from the coffee or an adrenaline surge from the verbal fistfight I’d just had with hosts George Anthes and John McDonough. For those less stout hearted, predawn pugilism might have been enough to call it a day. For me, it was just the beginning. I headed to the Memorial Auditorium to settle my nerves by having breakfast with the Lowell Plan and about 350 local business, media, and community leaders. As soon as I walked in, I ran into Fred Faust, broker, co-board member at LTC, and apparently radio listener. Fred greeted with me an exceptionally excited (and I thought somewhat sympathetic) hello and immediately steered me toward a table and “someone I had to meet.” It turned out to be Clark Smidt, soon-to-be co-owner of WCAP. I was excited to meet Smidt, not only because I had just survived radio bullying, but because I had a few thoughts to share with him. We found out we had gone to sister schools in Boston’s Back Bay—Smidt to Boston University and me to Emerson College. I bragged about Emerson’s great radio station (WERS). He agreed and mentioned by name a former station manager we both knew. I reminded Mr. Smidt that LHS students were in walking distance and to keep Lowell High in mind for student internships. We talked about whether radio had to be nasty to attract listeners. He said you can have “provocative” radio without being overly negative (wouldn’t that be something). On the way out, I ran into Mark O’Neil, Sun publisher, and he said: “They were mean to you today.”  As I walked to my car, I couldn’t help thinking how ironic and hopeful life was sometimes—then again, maybe it was lack of sleep.

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