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Randy Michaels Does George Carlin 112 Better

Tribune CEO Randy Michaels has the world's biggest thesaurus.

George Carlin only ever identified seven words you couldn’t say on the radio. Tribune CEO Randy Michaels–formerly of Clear Channel–has identified a full 119 of ’em that he recently banned from being used on the company’s flagship news/talk station in Chicago WGN-AM. None of these words or phrases would get a station in trouble with the FCC. It’s just that Michaels and WGN news director Charlie Myerson think that using “flee” to mean “run away” or saying “bare naked” makes the announcer “sound like you’re reading, instead of talking.”

Chicago media blogger Robert Feder leaked the internal memo announcing the verboten verbiage, taking Myerson and Michaels to task for this “petty and insulting micromanaging of subordinates.” See the full list at Feder’s blog.

My guess is that Radio Randy just started the list as a way to get his mental juices flowing, and once he hit 50 figured it was too great not to share. You know, it’s difficult to be the CEO of a bankrupt media empire, and sometimes you just have to show the troops that you’re thinking about their world, too. Maybe next he’ll sign up to do an episode of Undercover Boss.

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One Response to Randy Michaels Does George Carlin 112 Better

  1. Jennifer Waits March 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    This list is INSANE. I was just trying to image what it would be like to be a DJ at one of his stations attempting to memorize all of these forbidden phrases. Granted some are irritating phrases or bad grammar, but clearly others are just pet peeves.

    After scouring the list, I was also surprised to not see the phrase that I’d like banned (since it’s incorrect grammatically): very unique. Arg!

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