Radiogurl a la Carte

Friday, May. 06, 2005
Quickie Updatey

Ack - it's been a wee bit INSANE this week. Love the new job but have moments when I wonder if I'm in over my head. Then I realize that I'm probably better equipped than the average bear radio person to deal with it. The station is operating on a party-deejay type automation program. Definitely not meant for on-air broadcast, but it's kept it on the air for three years, so I will adapt.

However, I can now absolutely understand why the boss was so anxious to get me here. Jiminy Christmas... The previous manager (and I use the term loosely) was only working from 6am to 10am most days, and half of the time was leaving before even that. There were no records kept, client calls went unreturned, sponsor commercials weren't updated and sometimes weren't run at ALL...

Needless to say, it's been pandemonium this week. I've just been trying this week to get organized and get the hang of using a VERY unprofessional system to both do a live show and to manage the automation for the day. It's a lot more labor-intensive than it should be, and the format doesn't help.

The song library (the stuff that actually plays on-air) is about 8000 songs. That's eight THOUSAND. Typically a station plays anywhere from 800 to at most 1500. My previous boss had a library of about 3500 and we thought that was pushing the limits.

That makes it REALLY tough to format the music because I frankly don't know a lot of the stuff here. A lot of it is album cuts. I don't mind - the music is great. We're talking about everything from Santana (rocking to that now) to Count Bassey. We've got specified dayparts during which we run blues, light classical pieces, and oldies light rock; the rest of the day it's a hodgepodge. But there is NO way to format the music except to drop in every song manually, which is frankly more time than I can allocate to the job.

Things are going to remain frantic for probably a couple of more weeks yet. This weekend I've got to sell out everything in Globe and finish moving what I am keeping (which won't be much - I rented a furnished place and other than my computer and one small table, there is no room for anything in terms of furniture.) The following weekend this station is doing a live remote and I'll have to be on site.

I am being told to treat this place like I own the radio station. I have to tell you, it feels kind of weird to actually be the boss. While I had been running the previous station for months, I still ran the final word on anything through old Boss. It was really a formality, but still... Here, other than a few critical points, I have the final say on everything. I met our bookkeeper for the first time a couple of days ago and she was nervous, afraid I'd fire her on principle. (A former manager did just that and she was later re-hired.) I pointed out that if she gave me reason I would of course have to let her go, but I certainly wasn't arriving with that in mind!

I gather former managers here have been on power trips. I don't have time for power trips - there's too much to do and I have ALWAYS believed that the best managers appreciate their key people and treat them accordingly. If someone screws up royally (and repeatedly,) that's one thing - but to fire an experienced crew the second you walk in the door? Not a prayer, baby, not unless there's evidence that they're robbing the place or something comparable. Aside from the simple common courtesy angle, in a small town it's too tough to find qualified people to fill an opening.

I know it happens - I just never had any personal experience with the phenomenon and I'm not about to instigate the practice here.

I still don't have an Internet connection at home - will be calling today to find out what is and isn't available in that department and how long it'll take me to get it up and operating. I am not planning to get a land line phone so dial up isn't even an option. (Notice how I'm crying over that fact?) Cell service here still has some dead spots but I think overall it would still be the better way to go. There are a couple of broadband options in this area - but I don't live right in town, so again, I need to call to see what's available and what isn't.

I will try to get in and read diaries sometime next week, there's absolutely no way I can do it today.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )