April 2014
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Friday Funnies: Frantic calls

Back when radio stations still had DJ’s, one would occasionally get the frantic “We off the air” call:


Nowadays, the unemotional monotone computer generated remote control voice says something like “Alarm, status channel 16, WXYZ silence…” or better still, the answering service.

In some ways, I miss the old days…

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12 comments to Friday Funnies: Frantic calls

  • Do you have a particularly memorable and/or amusing story about one of these panicked distress calls?

  • Paul Thurst

    I think the best one was when a bat flew into the studio building trapping the female DJ outside. Happened in the mid 90’s, the DJ’s used to go out back to smoke. The evening DJ (7pm-12am) was nice enough… she went outside and propped the door open. I remember there was a big light by the back door, which attracted a lot of bugs, which attracted bats. So a bat flew into the break room then down the hall to the studio. Said DJ completely freaked out, ran outside and shut the door, locking herself out. The CD expires, dead air, silence sensor going off; she ran next door the the motel and called me at home. I think the phone call was something like this “You’ve got to come, we are off the air!!!” Fortunately, I only lived a few minutes away. When I arrived, she explained what happened and I think I said something like “Oh for God sakes.” I walked in the building, past the bat fluttering around in the hall way, put another CD in the CD player, then herded the bat outside. That was not as easy as it sounds, but eventually, I got him (or her) into the break room, then opened the outside door and out the bat flew.

  • Ha! That’s great, thanks for sharing.

  • Elliot E

    I locked myself out of the tv station once during a sig break.
    The door slammed durung a wind gust.
    My better half saved the day,in their bathrobe:-)
    At least that 1 hour reel of 2″ tape on the machine held up without a tweak it so often needed for an hour playout.
    hey,that’s almost 40 years ago!
    All are none the wiser,until now!

  • Elliot E

    Truth or dare folks,if you’re young enough to remember but far enough away from your youth to remember with a smile!

  • chuck gennaro

    Does it count if it was my fault?

    A few decades ago when I was a jock, I had sign-on duty one weekend.
    I carefully set my clock radio to 4am, then slept until the phone rang at 6:30.. “why aren’t you at the radio station? We’re still off……”
    There was of course no radio station for the clock radio to wake me with until I signed it on. Genius.

  • Bill Frahm

    Way back when I also did a Sunday shift but was working my way to full time engineering. The AM went off. CE calls and tells me he needs some help swapping out a 10 hp blower motor. I call the PD to fill him in and he gets PO’ed that I’m leaving the studio before my shift is over.


  • Kevin C. Kidd, CSRE/AMD

    Not a frantic call but… How about the note that a local engineer found stuck to his door upon returning from lunch.

    “A funny sounding foreign feller called several times and kept repeating something about an alarm on channel 3”.

    A site with an old SineSystems RC had gone off and the old synthesized voice had tried to get the jocks attention.


  • Bill Frahm

    You get fired and the damn thing calls you for a year! But, someone’s changed the admin password.

  • chuck gennaro

    “A funny sounding foreign feller called several times and kept repeating something about an alarm on channel 3″

    Heh. My sons used to tell me the robot was on the phone.

  • Steve Brown

    I did some contract work for a station general manager who had appointed himself Chief Operator and thought he knew quite a bit about the technical operations of the station. He had me program the Burk GSC3000 remote control to call him with alarms. One day he called me and said “I got a call from the transmitter and you might want to swing by to check things out–there’s a problem with the pod bay doors.” I did check things out, but had to laugh at his ‘diagnosis’ of the problem, because I had programmed the sign off message on the Burk to say “The pod bay doors are open, Dave. Goodbye.”

  • Paul Thurst

    Dave… Dave… my mind is going… I can feel it.

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