Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More Adventures in Radioland

My name is not a household word. There is no Stuart Vyse entry in Wikipedia. I have never been a guest on Larry King Live, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, Face the Nation, or Access Hollywood. My photo has never appeared in Time, Newsweek, People, or Us magazine. I have been quoted in the New York Times, but my books have not been reviewed there, my opinion pieces have never appeared in its pages, and no profile of me has been published in the New York Times Magazine. Mine is not a face many would recognize, and I have not been the subject of much water cooler conversation outside of my little corner of the world.

But today I got to pretend I was a celebrity.

After taping two recorded segments about my book Going Broke for a satellite radio channel, I was asked to do a “celebrity promo” to be aired before newscasts. I was given a number of script options to choose from. One was the following:

”Hi, this is Dr. Stuart Vyse author of Going Broke: Why Americans Can’t Hold on to the Money in New London, CT, and every chance I get, I listen to [satellite radio station].“

Because this statement would have been close to—or, in fact—a lie (I have no access to satellite radio and had not heard of the channel in question before being asked to appear on the show), I chose something more benign: ”I’m Dr. Stuart Vyse...and you’re listening to [satellite radio channel].“

What a kick! The enormous fragmentation of the media today—hundreds of cable TV channels, thousands of radio stations, and untold numbers of internet outlets—has made it possible for a humble psychology professor from a small liberal arts college in Connecticut to become—yes, it's true—a celebrity. Andy Warhol was right. If you have any toothpaste you’d like me to hawk, just give my people a call.

1 comment:

SV said...

I must amend this post. Although the statements above were true at the time I made them, in August of 2008 I was a guest on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer.