|Alisa's tweet that prompted this block was "THIS RT @eliztesch @ralphgarman @kevinandbean #BringBackLisaMay"|
Frankly, I don't understand why the station is letting a bad situation get worse with every passing hour.
When the announcement was made on Friday that two of the show's veterans would no longer be part of the show, people immediately took to social media calling for a boycott until Doc and Lisa were asked back. Sadly, Garman's on-air response to this was "go ahead, leave." Those words were delivered not in a matter of fact way, but with anger as though fans were ungrateful, spoiled little children having a temper tantrum. Not only did Garman's words sting for many fans, but they alienated them even more.
The thing is, fans would have revolted if any of the show's personalities had so unceremoniously been let go. If listeners had received that same news about Ralph, there would have been an uproar. Because, it wasn't just about loving Lisa May, it was about loving the morning show family that so many fans have spent 10, 15, 20 or more years with.
It was about inside jokes (butthole week, anyone?) that go back 12 years. It was about routine, familiarity, and an on-air family that fans started each and every weekday with as they got ready for work in the morning or were stuck in traffic. A family who laughs at Kevin's "this is not how you run a life" goofiness, jokes about Bean's love of IHOP and his New Music Tuesday routine, cried as Ralph lost his son and marvel at his ability to do amazing impressions and hysterical bits, smiles when hearing Lisa's laugh and appreciates the sweetness, kindness, and balance she brought to the team, and looked forward to the biased and sarcastic news updates from Doc on the Roq that you can't get from any other news guy out there.
Regardless of whether fans had ever met them in person, these people were extended family to so many loyal listeners. Family that many folks stayed connected with long after they left LA, thanks to the wonderful invention of podcasts.
Despite six days of fans posting to Facebook, not one official reply has been given to any comment or post from an unhappy listener. Despite six days of tweets to the show's Twitter account and those of the other morning show members, fans still feel as though they're being ignored.
Countless listeners have posted to social media to say they're done with the show and will not listen anymore. However, the saddest part is that the morning team is just seeming to accept this. They're not fighting to keep their fans.
|Tweet sent to Kevin after this listener was blocked by Ralph.|
Unfortunately, that acceptance is only coming off as indifference. Indifference to the fans who have been with them through so much, the fans who wear their t-shirts, the fans who have their bumpers stickers on their cars and fridges, the fans who have bought every single one of their Christmas albums, and the fans who would slather their meals with Kevin & Bean Gravy if only the FDA would let them.
This problem, at its core, isn't that there was change. It is how that change occurred. Aside from three major bombs dropping all at once, which was horrible planning on someone's part, this problem is about the station not being upfront. Had they just said, "hey, we feel like it's time to start doing something different with the show so Doc and Lisa's last day will be in two weeks and we'll be bringing in Allie, who you guys know, to start doing more bits with Ralph, coming up with contests, and other cool stuff to make the show more fun," fans may not have been happy, but it would have been honest. Lisa and Doc could have gotten a proper send-off and listeners would have had the chance to transition to the new show without all the hard feelings.
For the record, I love Kevin and Bean. I always have. (And, yes, I've had a crush on Bean that whole time. Do not judge me.) I've listened for 24 years and stuck with them through the changes, but those changes were different; not like this. And, at this point, I fear the damage is irreversible.
I hope the guys can come back from this, I truly do. Please, give your fans a reason to believe in you again.
A Loyal Fan and Longtime Listener
(Ralph, you can block me now.)
* UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Ralph's rant about upset listeners on Friday was edited out of the podcast. Click HERE to access the K&B archive which has the complete show.