Radio Industry Hijinks…..

So, about half an hour ago, I was delighted to a phone call from a listener, and in shoot form…I must post about it. Not because it made laugh in a good way, but in a “shake-my-head disappointingly” way.

A person decided to call and ask if they could speak to Keith Urban. When I proceeded to tell them this is a station ran on satellite and we don’t have anyone IN STUDIO…what do you think the next thing was out of their mouth? If you guessed “Ok, not a problem”…congrats…you are WRONG! The next question WAS…and I quote…”Can I speak to Keith Urban? Do you have his phone number?”

Ok, let me get this out there. We are an independently-owned station in the middle of a backwoods town. We stream our programming like any other independent, through a feed that is in a big time city. The only time anyone is on the air over here is mid-day, and that is only our Operations Manger, for a 3 hour time frame. Second, I HIGHLY DOUBT ANY SORT OF CELEBRITY would make the rounds to this station. The big name musicians only go for the big name towns and the big name stations, the most we get are up and comers or even locals trying to get a career started, even one-time big names, not any star power artists though. Third, what makes you think that because I run audio I know Mr. Urban’s phone number? Nice try…and it gets better.

Not even 10 seconds after I hang up…the phone rings yet again. Same person, disguising their voice…asking me if I can hear them sing a song!!! Sorry, twice in a minute you call, I am on to you…and I know where this one is headed. I have been around the block. I am a fan of prank calls, not to mention used to do them in college back in the “day”, seems like you are pranking…grounds for an immediate phone drop. Must be a post-Thanksgiving Sunday craziness going on. But I am on to you…do know that one.

The radio industry…wow

So this week marks 4 years for me since I started working in the radio industry. Now, I am not one to toot my own horn when it comes to issues, but TOOT freakin TOOT! After what I experienced today, it makes me wonder.

Now I have had issues at this station in the past, but they are all pretty minor. Heated words with co-hosts over their own miscues and fuck-ups, things not playing when they should, getting told not to pour my own “feelings” into messages left for the program director over issues for certain shows that piss-off the hosts…yep, this one in my opinion, takes the cake.

We have what they call a remote…on-air location that they broadcast from live. Now considering the fact this is an independently-owned station, two channels (AM & FM) in the same building (which looks like a run-down mess), and throw in the fact that you have one person (because let’s face it…the longest-tenured board operator/audio engineer…only other one besides me, quit over their own stupidity) trying to do both channels, it’s going to be a disaster. The AM station had a live show until 12, and it was just finishing up. The FM was in a commercial break, but it ended too soon apparently. We SHOULD have something to let you know its off the air…right?

But wait….there’s more! Doesn’t the station manager call at the stroke of noon and begin to bitch because (a) it was off-air, and (b) his remote host was supposed to be “calling in, but didn’t”?…and that is apparently the fault of yours truly! So let me get this straight…your remotes only have 3 spots per hour…the host did his 3 spots…and you wanted more? Did you bother saying anything about that to either? And then, you proceed to run me down for it? I’m sorry, this is my first remote in over 8 months…you have a new format, it is your job as the station manager to say something to your audio people, let them know what is going on. It is also your job to fill them in on any thing and everything. Do I need to remind you of how you got new computer equipment a month ago and didn’t bother saying anything? There was important stuff on there that I had recorded! Even programs that had to be aired, I had to dig into my email account and redownload them…took 30 minutes to find the files too! And the person who does up your playlists? When I mention that spots are outdated…nothing. Certain days playing a playlist the day or two before? Also mentioned and nada!

Here is a stunning revelation of an idea…hire another board operator. I know you don’t feel like shelling out an extra 9 dollars to someone to push buttons, but when you have a show on one station and a remote on another….don’t tell your board operator that “the remote is more important” than a show that is about to go off the air…especially when your host tells me he is calling in at a certain time…definitely unprofessional this place is at times.

Let the next chapter begin

Well, it finally happened. Two days ago. I was in the middle of running a shift when the supervisor asked to see me. I was thinking “Oh no, I’m in trouble now…what did I do?”. As it turned out, it was just a little more to let me in on some changes going on at work, BIG changes.

In two days, not even 42 hours from now, I will be saying goodbye to the store I have been at for 12-plus years, and moving on to a different store. The emotions have been high since then. I am leaving a store I am familiar with, people I have known since practically forever, and those who have seen me grow up…to a whole new location. A new cast of characters. And a new way of doing things.

I consider it a blessing though. A change in scenery is good, as is a change in pace from the everyday norm. I am going to miss my fellow crew, and my friends I have made there, but the challenge is welcome. The next chapter in my life is about to start, and I am ready to make the most of it. BRING IT ON!!!