NMC/Radio and Records eChart main column
as published in the 7/26/02 issue of R&R
The radio stations may have treated him as a paraiah, but the fans never left his side. The Greaseman is back, both on the air, and on the Net.
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The Greaseman, whose real name is Doug Tracht, has slowly been building his station list back up after a faltered attempt at syndication through Westwood One several years ago and a highly publicized firing from his local morning show. Since then, he's reinvented himself, and has hooked up with a business partner and fan, Jim Townsend, to bring his show back to life both on the air and via one of the most popular feeds on Internet streamer Live365.com.
His new station in Washington, DC marks a return to the city in which he's best known, and offers fans a second streaming outlet on the Net for his show. "I think it's fantastic that WGOP is so behind my show, and so involved in the Internet. It's great to be back on in DC," said Tracht, whose distinctive voice and unique vocabulary affected the way hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians speak.
Tracht's persona and over the edge style landed him in hot water two years ago when an offhanded comment about Lauren Hill and her music got him thrown off the air and out of a morning gig. He's spent time reflecting, apologizing and rebuilding his show. His fan base never went away, messaging each other via IM and e-mail with any morsel of news on his possible return and building web sites in homage to their hero.
Laura Canotti, PD at DC Radio 700, Birach Broadcasting's WGOP, said, "We stream his shows and archive them, with the support of national advertisers. We see that as a great way to let his spread out fans keep in touch." Grease was amazed at their tenacity: "There are several cities in which I've built up a big fan base from past jobs, such as NYC, Philly, LA, and San Francisco, and soon, with video streaming, people will have their lumbering ditty boppin' daddy right on their lap tops."
Canotti confirmed that WGOP plans video streaming of the show from local DC venues, and reveals that her read of Grease's fall and redemption led to her immediate revamping of the station's lineup to include him as their new morning animal. "I think it's a travesty what happened to Grease. Reading that article about him really touched me. To think that people have the kind of power to break a man like that is pitiful," Canotti said.
To stream Grease, search for "Greaseman" on Live365.com, or log on to www.dcradio700.com.
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