I’m a radio guy. It’s in my blood. When I was a teenager, I begged for a spot as an intern at WLIR on Long Island. They finally caved in and let me into the studio.

‘LIR was what was called a “progressive rock” station, and it had all the trappings of what you would expect from a rock station in the New York market in the 70s. I used to joke that the song “Sex and Drugs and Rock & Roll” was their theme song. But there were other sides of the station. Some you would expect, and one that surprised me.

WLIR knew what their market was, and worked it like crazy. Lots of live concert broadcasts from My Father’s Place. Hall & Oates, Bruce Springsteen, L.I. favorites The Good Rats, and so much more.

One sunny summer day, the station did a full blown, no holes-barred remote/fundraiser for a local hospital. It cost the station owner a huge pile of cash to pull it off, not to mention the late hours we all poured into the effort. But that didn’t matter to us. We were able to raise lots of money and awareness, and make a difference for those in need in on Long Island. I never forgot that.

If you know us here at BAM, you’ve heard us refer to some our colleagues in the media business as “our media partners.” To become a media partner (instead of “the media”) the media has to demonstrate to us that they’re in the business for more than just the money.  A demonstrated effort that shows that they’re interested in doing what’s best for our clients usually seals the deal.

But there’s something more, something that you wouldn’t think would make a difference to us in our roles as media buyers. Dedication to the community. For the most part, the TV and radio stations in the markets we work in excel in servicing the public need. I’m not referring to stuff like live remotes at car dealers, but real roots community stuff. Here in CT, we’re fortunate to have a few radio groups stand out and shine in the way they “do good.” One of the best is Connoisseur Media. This Westport, CT based group owns 42 stations in the midwest and the northeast, including some great stations here in Connecticut.

Connoisseur’s Connecticut stations include WPLR, STAR 99.9, 95.9 The Fox, and now 102.9 The Whale (formerly WDRC-FM). From toy drives, to extensive coverage of superstorm Sandy, and even a radiothon to raise money for a local children’s hospital, Jeff Warshaw’s group is a standout, always there to help out the community. A true media partner.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention some other great groups here in Connecticut. Our friends at iHeartCBS and Cumulus have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication.

Finally, I’m not trying to imply that the reason that these stations exist is to give, give, give. They are businesses. I’m a proud capitalist. If a business isn’t profitable, they can’t be charitable. So support your local broadcasters (and ad agencies).

Long live live and local radio!

Here’s a short video I received earlier today from one of our media partners at Connoisseur Media.