October 15th, 2008 5:33 pm | by Byron Beck News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

Scoop EXTRA! Talking TV with AM Radio's Rick Emerson

Tags: media
On page 32 of today's edition of Willamette Week, Scoop dishes the dirt about radio jock Rick Emerson's latest "position" (and, no we are not talking about doggie-style.) It's his gig as the new host of Outlook Portland, the early morning news show on the "CW," KRCW-32.

We had hoped to add a a couple of pithy quotes from the AM jock in the print edition of the paper, but we ran out of room. And frankly, Slick Rick is a bit of a gabber. In an effort to address his ever-growing fan base (it's a freaky army of thousands) we decided to run his interview on wweek.com.

Here is what the "delicately featured" Emerson had to say:

Willamette Week: Why did you take the gig?
Rick Emerson: To paraphrase Gene Simmons: When I'm 90 years old, sitting on the front porch of a nursing home, taking my meals through a straw, I want to be able to look back and know that I pushed it as hard as I could, that I pushed it as far as I could, and that I never took anything for granted. From the radio show to movies to music to television—when someone says "What about that? Did you do that?" I want to be able to say "Yeah...I did that." When all is said and done, you can't really ask for a better summation of your life.

Will it stay political?
I have a great deal of latitude, so the show will focus on whatever strikes my fancy, as long as it relates to Portland in some way. We've already talked about the smoking ban, about making a living in music post-MP3, and, for lack of a better phrase, "What the hell is wrong with 82nd?" We've got a Halloween-themed show coming up, featuring some of the folks from the Clinton Street Theater's Rocky Horror Picture Show cast, and we'll be doing a show on recession-proof industries, such as stripping and bartending. That said, It's 24 minutes of whatever I find intriguing, so the boundaries are pretty far and wide.

What's the difference from radio to TV?
I'm still getting used to the idea that you can stop and re-do something if you make a mistake. On radio, you just plunge on ahead, and you hope that your hiccups are outweighed by whatever you do next. Additionally, depending on the subject, I sometimes have to reign in my natural tendency to lecture people. I don't lack for opinions, and I have, to put it mildly, a big mouth, so I occasionally have to stifle my inner-know-it-all. Less Howard Beale, more Charlie Rose, I suppose.

What do you plan to do with the show?
I reject the idea that news, current events, or local issues have to be dry, dull, or otherwise tedious. There's something to be said for catching people off guard, and giving them an entertaining, unexpected jab in the intellect. So, my goal is to make this show compulsively watchable; I want to articulate what people of all stripes are feeling; I want to vocalize the questions, concerns, incredulity, or frustrations that are lurking out there in the zeitgeist...in what (author) Andrew Vachss calls "The Whisper Stream."

What has it been like so far?
Apart from resetting my body clock a few days a week, it's been a smooth transition from radio to TV. I will say, however, that as nerve-wracking as it can be to listen back to yourself, watching yourself raises things to a whole new level of neurotic. The show's producer, no doubt trying to prop up my fragile performer's ego, told me I had perfect features for television—"fine, delicate features" he called them. I'm not entirely sure I believe him, but with HD broadcast of the show just around the corner, I'm thinking about hiring an assistant whose sole job is to airbrush me every five minutes.

Outlook Portland airs at 6:30 am Sundays on KRCW-32 (Cable Channel 3). The Rick Emerson Show airs 11 am-3 pm weekdays on 970 AM.
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