[BLOG] It is now a well-known phenomenon in radio land: radio DJs who are sick at home. Not least because they are overworked or stressed. Think of Coen Swijnenberg, Sander Lantinga, Rámon Verkoeijen. Niek van der Bruggen was once sick at home during his Qmusic days, partly thanks to the heavy hand of Iwan Reuvekamp, then program manager at the Flemish hit giant. He wanted to make Niek something different than he is and that is certainly a recipe for exhaustion. Now something similar seems to be happening with our Niek, who has not been heard on 538 for a while. Sick at home, the story goes. But why? Let’s dive in.
Before the return of Dave Minneboo as program boss at Talpa Radio and 538, Niek van der Bruggen was a celebrated man at the station. Was fully heard in the daily programming, was involved in the music and relaxed with program leader Coco Hermans. Some say it’s a bit too tasty, but we’re not talking about that now. And then there was that ‘incident’ at the farewell party of Barend van Deelen who left for 3FM, first a blunt statement on the radio and then something with tires that were punctured, causing people to whisper that Niek had to take the train back home. Then Dave Minneboo returned to the Bergweg with his impressive box including indestructible wheels and Van Der Bruggen was stuck in the evening. But he was also asked to fill in. Especially after the sudden departure of Coen Swijnenberg: then our Niek ended up in the lunch slot 12-2 pm, which he did not without merit. More pace and less personality than Swijnenberg.
It therefore seems logical that Niek is CO€N’s dream successor during lunch. Only one problem: at 538 they also read these columns, in which I have been advocating for daily programming with three-hour blocks for years. Two hours is way too short for a jock and also for the listener. Because that deejay is going to try to give everything he has that day in just two hours, between the endless commercial breaks, with the result that it is a different circus at every turn on 538. With Lindo it is not too bad and at 10 with Diergaarde too, they just let the music do the work, but other jocks often turn it into half a personality show in which they find the music an annoying interruption. Swijnenberg leads the way, but Labrand also has to be careful that he does not forget why he is there: adding nice accents to the music, not long stories about trips to New York and how things are going at home.
Rumor has it that finally the blocks at 538 will become 10am-1pm and 1pm-4pm during the day, Lindo until 1pm and Mark after. Also saves money and a deejay, which they don’t have much of anymore anyway. This news must have also reached Niek and if it is the case that he was ever promised that he will be the next to return to the daytime programming instead of in the evening, then I already know what that does to your state of mind. Especially if you feel like you fought your way back into the game in the months before by working double shifts. If he is smart, he will call his old radio boss Iwan to at least see what is possible with JOE. Or else just the old process of reintegrating and politely saying yes and amen to your current radio boss. One thing is clear: despite the exodus at 538, you should not expect the company to treat you with kid gloves. Anyway, who would have expected anything different from Talpa Radio, where the whole bonus story with DJ Rob van Someren is still playing. The verdict in that lawsuit appears to be in early December. Maybe a nice, general new slogan for John de Mol’s radio company: for you ten others! Participate well, don’t complain, otherwise the door will open.