A phone conversation that occurred one Saturday morning:
DJ: (answers hotline) Hello?
Myself: This is Paul from Radio Engineering Services, you called the answering service and said you are off the air?
DJ: Yes! The red bat light is flashing and everything!
Myself: Okay, did you try to put the backup transmitter on?
DJ: No. I didn’t want to mess anything up.
Myself: You are off the air; I don’t know how things can be more messed up than that
DJ: (laughing) Okay, you’re right.
Myself: Do you have the directions for the backup transmitter?
DJ: Yes, they are right here
Myself: Okay, go ahead an do that, I will call the local engineer and see if I can get him out to the transmitter site, then I will call you back.
DJ: Okay, thanks.
The good news is the backup transmitter came on and they were back on the air. It is also nice to know that the station has a live DJ on Saturday morning at 7:00 am, many do not. The main transmitter power outage was likely due to a utility company transient, the area had suffered an ice storm the day before and they were out restoring power that morning.
At least this was a real emergency, I used to get calls at home that the headphone jack on the console was loose. I took the home phone number down after that.
I have been following a video blog called “Real Russia” which has the stated goal of portraying life in Russia “as is, no BS.” This is a quick video of Radio Mayak, a state owned/run radio network in Russia. The network originates from Moscow but has a local morning show in various cities. This video was taken in Ufa (Уфа), which is the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan. It is a little beyond this blog post to describe the political divisions of Russia, if interested, one can wander around in Wikipedia and figure it out.
According to video host Sergey Baklykov, Radio Mayak has been on the air since the USSR days, which explains the very cool (and retro) interval music played at the end of the video.
My take away; radio is radio. Morning show personalities appear to be universal. Radio studios have missing ceiling tiles and wiring hanging down no matter what country they are in (excepting perhaps Germany, but maybe there too). Except for the language spoken, this could have been any radio station in any city in the country.
In case you are living under a rock and haven’t seen this, here is Ted Williams:
Homeless for ten years, living in a tent next to a highway and doing voice over work for $1.00 per line. Almost like working in real radio for one of the big three consolidators. Anyway, I can’t think of a more humbling life experience, he seems to have kept his sense of humor and I hope that he lands that gig, God knows, some local radio station could use that talent.
Rumor has it the the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered him a good job. Hopefully things will work out for him.