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Save Dave: Twitter campaign rallies around Sirius XM's Ron and Fez producer

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There’s a campaign brewing on Twitter that really ought to be highlighted, if only because it shows the power (well, potential power) of the site. Dave McDonald, a producer on the Ron and Fez show on Sirius XM (and part-time inventor), needs a raise. He needs a raise because he has a growing family to support. But let’s not even bring up personal reasons. The man deserves a raise because he’s a fantastic asset to the Ron and Fez show and to Sirius XM as a whole. Without a raise, Dave will have to leave the show, which is incredibly disappointing. He’s a producer of the highest caliber—competent producers don’t grow on trees, otherwise terrestrial radio might not be as dead as it is today—and yet he earns little more than an intern. If this were 20 years ago we might see picket lines forming outside the Sirius XM studios in New York, but because this is 2010, fans have turned to Twitter to send Sirius XM management a very clear message: Save Dave, Pay The Man.

The rallying symbol for the Twitter movement is the above illustration, created by the eminently talented dregman. It evokes memories of the iconic Hope poster of candidate Obama and the equally moving I’m With Coco campaign from earlier this year. While candidate Obama eventually became President Obama, Conan O’Brien can now look forward to a solid one-hour block of time on basic cable. There’s different degrees of success.

The Save Dave campaign, after an initial period of waywardness and disorganization, seems to have found its footing under the superintendency of Mikey Boy, a longtime friend of the Ron and Fez show. Random, misguided tweets along the lines of “hey sirius, you jerks, pay dave or else!” gave way to standardized hashtags and work-friendly—and re-tweetable—slogans. These includes the titular tweet of the campaign in Save Dave as well as We Are Loud, We Are Proud, We Love ESD [for East Side Dave, his nickname].

The role of the Davepound should not be discounted. The Davepound, for those unaware, refers to McDonald’s more vociferous fans—analogous to co-host Fez Whatley’s Whatley Posse. The Davepound has bombarded Twitter with messages of support. Distinguished Davepound member Opie, of the Opie and Anthony show, also on Sirius XM, tweeted the following two days ago:

.bbpBox14496214031 {background:url(http://a1.twimg.com/profile_background_images/43858818/Blackberry_sep_09_101.jpg) #e8f1f7;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

Completely agree with @DavePound :Sirius needs to give @eastsidedave a raise. He’s a valuable asset to the Ron & Fez Show. #savedaveless than a minute ago via web

This tweet has been re-tweeted numerous since then. With any luck, Sirius XM brass will have noticed it, and others like it.

#savedave #esd #sirius #siriusxm #davepound #paydave are all part of the Save Dave campaign.

Is the campaign working? That’s something only Sirius XM management knows for sure, but the trends look promising. Early last week, when McDonald announced that Thursday, May 27, would be his final day unless his requests were met, the mood on the show and its affiliated online outposts could be described as bleak. When asked today where he put McDonald’s chances of being given a much deserved raise, fellow producer Pepper Hicks (and winner of the 2009 CrunchGear Satellite Radio Award for Personality of the Year) put the odds at 6.5 out of 10. Given Hicks’ generally glass-half-empty disposition, I think we should feel confident with that number.

Twitter’s a fine tool to let the world know that you’re eating lunch, but can it affect people’s lives? Can it help ensure the continuation of excellent, excellent radio and the stabilization of one man’s situation tenuous? Here’s hoping.

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