Rip And Read


The picture reminded me of mornings when I was growing up and Dad being the first one in the kitchen with coffee and the radio turned on —- LOUD.   Glad those days are over!

Speaking of radio, there’s a term called  “rip and read.”  It is used in the American TV and radio industry for someone who has essentially no talent.

So, if you get a news copy that is written like this …

Markell, 100-yard dash – 8’ 7”  Broad Jump – 11’ 10”

Russell, Shot Put – 10’ 11”

Turner, Javelin – 5’ 42”

 … then it is not written properly.  Actual sports/news copy is always spelled out, never notated.

And the reader is out to dry —- like this guy.


Boy, am I nervous!  Come on!  Get a grip 

“Hello, everyone, today in sports, Melbourne High over the Ridgeway Rockets …” 

What the …?  They’re all in quote-mark symbols … who wrote this copy?  I’ll do the track scores first.

“Markell went two for two with the 100-yard dash in 8 pounds, seven ounces.  Also, the broad jump at eleven minutes, ten seconds.

Crap!  Let’s see … shot put, javelin … yeah.

“Russell —- shot!  He threw for 10 minutes, 11 seconds.  Turner, 5 pounds, 42 ounces with the javelin.”

I gotta get outta this!  “Over to you, Frank.”

“It’s Bill … you drickin’ frummy!”


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37 Responses to Rip And Read

  1. Dear Cuzzin Kent,

    Glad I wasn’t drinking when I arrived, all 4’11.25 inches of me, (sigh) to the last line. Copy that. Kicker back. We got us a convoy. Good morning. L’chaim.


    Cuzzin Shelley

  2. I miss the radio. When so much had to be imagined, especially in sports commentaries 🙂

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Reminded me of the film Anchorman and the use of the promoter. Funny because it is based on reality.

  4. neilmacdon says:

    It was even more fun when they pressed the mute button in order to swear, and the mute button didn’t work

  5. Tannille says:

    Not everyone has talent but most believe they do. I’d say radio is harder than it seems?

  6. Anita says:

    I get to hear the car-radio while driving.
    Miss its presence at home. Much has changed.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Anita! Thank goodness!!! I have been reading your stories but my comments never seem to reach you, or do they? It seems they are on a different blog platform that doesn’t allow me to do so. Anyway, I used to listen to the radio, but I prefer my own CD’s. I don’t listen to the radio anymore.

  7. Nice inventive roller coaster of a read!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    • wmqcolby says:

      HI, Susan! Thanks for reading. I like reading your stories, but blogspot won’t let me comment. How do I adjust my settings? I didn’t know I could do that. I have the same problem with Anita. Anyway, yes, it was fun to write since I was in the industry for many years (TV).

  8. Dale says:

    That was a hoot and a half, Kent!

  9. wmqcolby says:

    Ah, Dale … the “Muse Kicker.” I had that happen to me in high school. The competitive speakers my senior year did the morning announcements over the intercom. I had the dubious honor of reading the track scores and they had no differentiation, just those tick marks. Hey, what were they expecting anyway? They didn’t write the copy correctly, so … In fact, as I was leaving the office, a call came through from the wrestling coach saying, “Kill that guy doing the announcements!” I didn’t know how bad I goofed it until I got to my fourth hour class! They were laughing like crazy! One kid said, “It sounded like it took the guy 5 minutes just to make the shot!” And he posed like a shot-put-er and moved REAL SLOW. What a riot! Hard to believe that was 40 years ago. Wow!

    • Dale says:

      How the hell did I miss your reply?
      Muse Kicker, eh? I’ll take it!
      That is too funny. I admit to stopping to figure out the feet and inches, seconds and parts of seconds…

      • wmqcolby says:

        So did the announcer! 😀 Yeah, you kicked my Muse who obviously went out for a beer and never came back. Maybe it was meant to be YOU are the Muse. After all — got another story out of me. 😉

      • Dale says:

        Well now… It’s nice to inspire…😉

  10. trentpmcd says:

    “Russell —- shot! He threw for 10 minutes, 11 seconds.” Yeah, Russell did great. Those things are pretty heavy and most people can’t get passed five or six minutes… lol, thanks for the chuckle. I’m sure I wouldn’t have done better if I was that nervous..

  11. Very creative and humorous story, and how embarrassing for the guy reading the stats. But, I think it wasn’t his fault! Fun read.

  12. ceayr says:

    Got to say, Kent, that I am as confused as the announcer here!

  13. Memories preserved in words never do fade away! Lovely perception of the prompt W!

  14. wmqcolby says:

    Thanks, Ashana! I just dovetail on a theme.

  15. James McEwan says:

    This reminds me of the commentary for a horse races, where the commentator gets his riders mixed up.

  16. Brilliant! My favourite radio memory is ventriloquist Peter Brough and his dummy Archie Andrews, Ventriloquist? Radio?

    • wmqcolby says:

      Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy were on radio in America. And … YES! I DO know about those two, Peter Brough and Archie Andrews! I have a book called Ventriloquism For Beginners and there is a picture of them in it as well as Arthur Prince and Jim, Terry Hall and Lenny the Lion, Johnson Clark and Hodge, etc. I got the book back in 1973 when I was about 11 years old. It was written by Douglas Houlden. Ventriloquism was a hobby of mine as a kid.

  17. Sandra says:

    I used to be a big fan of radio. It required that extra imagination that I miss today, now that our airwaves are full of propaganda. Who would have thought it? The radio never goes on in our house now.

    • wmqcolby says:

      Same here. In fact, it used to make me think it was weird for our newspeople to come into work listening to news radio. Of course, I can understand it’s like getting ready for the day because they would go on within the hour. For me? No! Since I worked early mornings for many years, I wanted silence. I’d much rather listen to music, actually.

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