As I sit here at the computer writing up this blog, I realize this is the second time I’ve at the radio station in the last 8 hours. Yes, I was here last night. No, my internal clock isn’t all messed up. I was here for a tour.
Nadine, a cashier from the No Frills store that I stop by everyday, asked me if it was possible to give a radio station tour to the Scout group that her son belongs to. Hey, as long as I’m home in bed by my usual time, no problem! The only problem was how to make the tour interesting for the group.
The radio station doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that it did in the old days. Gone are the records, cd’s, carts containing all the commercials that were always stacked sky high in a control room, and the like. Stations are now, more or less, sterile looking environments. There are microphones, computers, and a control board. That’s about it. All of the music and commercials are on hard drive and pop up on a computer screen. It’s actually kind of a boring place to be if you’re not working. However, I decided to make it seem as exciting as possible.
At 6:45 the troops started arriving and by 7, a dozen of us we were on our way through the bowels of the radio station. The first stop was Century Studio, which is right on the corner of our building and overlooks the intersection of 12th and Rose, downtown Regina. It’s a beautiful studio and a lot of fun to work out of. After that it was off to the CKRM studio, which is nestled in between the other two stations in our building. All three are lined up in a row along a hallway, and aside from the station logos on each door, look just about identical.
Nevan Chamney was working our studio last night and was a gracious host. Sometimes it’s a pain doing a live show when you have people in the studio, let alone a dozen of us. Thank you Nevan. We even made it on the air!
After that it was off to the production studios, the Flea Market/Sportscage studio, and the newsroom. We finally wrapped things up in the most important part of the station, the lunchroom, where my daily coffee awaits me every morning at 3! I love that room!
I remember as a young kid growing up in Lethbridge and going to the radio station to pick up a prize I had won. I would be at the front desk just hoping and praying that one of the announcers would come out to the lobby. A good friend of mine had a sister that was going out with John Charles. He was the afternoon announcer at CJOC, where I would make my start years later. My friend and I would just stand at the front door waiting for John to come and pick his sister up for their date that night. We couldn’t believe it…John Charles was saying hi to us.
Do people still get excited coming into a radio station and meeting the personalities? I’d like to think that bit of magic is still alive and is as exciting for others as it was for me all those years ago. To be honest though, being in radio is a bit like being a hooker. You do the same thing day after day and people still think you lead an exciting life!
To the Scout group from last night, I hope you enjoyed the tour!