23 August 2005

Blogging on the Radio

One of CHRS’ slogans is, “You’ve got a nice face for radio.”

Biked uphill with the laptop on my back. I’m live on air right now at Fredericton’s campus-based community radio station, in the Master Control Room (or MCR), being the producer-host of another episode of my weekly Ashes, Paper & Beans: Poetry & Writing Show. I’ve been doing this show for over 10 years.

When I started here I was one of five co-hosts for this program, including one person who handled the technical side of production. We had to go through training to be able to operate the mixing board and equipment in MCR, to learn the rights and responsibilites of being a CHSR member and to become familiar with the station's Promise of Performance in its broadcast license from the CRTC.

In the great, proper tradition of spoken word radio programming (and in my training by now Station Manager, Tris Ward) I was expected to write weekly scripts for the show. The co-hosts didn’t like it: there was next to no room for spontaneity on air. But they didn’t contribute to the scriptwriting either. Over time they drifted away from the station and/or Fredericton. Some, like Jenn, went to university in other places. Archie chose to become a support person, an escort for a Guatemalan refugee who was travelling across Canada, fundraising, before they headed down through the United States into Central America and eventual return home (to determine if it was actually livable).

Outside the UNB/STU SUB, over Kilarney Lake and Road, I see cumulus cloud stacks that promise more thunder and lightning, rain for somewhere. Yesterday’s torrential thunder shower left the Nashwaak River a muddy cream-on-coffee brown. I saw it today while biking but I wasn’t, couldn’t focus on the river just then because ahead of me on the bridge were two Trails Coalition volunteers on bike patrol, and on the opposite side of the domesticated ex-train bridge talking with them while watching my approach in his handlebar rearview mirror was a city police officer also on bicycle. I passed through their gauntlet and biked further up the trail than I’d originally planned to. Didn’t want to rush back between them too soon, and they were gone when I returned to the bridge.

We’re going for it! Before the show tonight I was in an initial strategy meeting to explore what we might be able to do for CHSR at the fast approaching Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. I have had a media pass for this festival in years past, though not recently. The Program Manager will contact the Harvest office to see if CHSR is on the media pass list and, if not, to get us on there, and to determine what and how we can get content, especially interviews, music, clips for station Ids, for fill-in or regular programming. We figure that the CBC strike must have the festival staff and board more than a little freaked out. CBC is supposed to be the sponsor of four events including a live breakfast broadcast. What happens now with their sponsorship?

I’ve also committed myself to being a site staffperson for the New Brunswick Craft Council’s Fredericton Fine Crafts festival in Officers’ Square on the Labour Day weekend. Yes, this artist will work for money. Happens sometimes. Would be going there anyway, but for my pockets this is a better way to participate.

Have just heard from Steve Crocket, with the No Borders music show after Ashes, Paper & Beans, that he has regrettably given notice to discontinue his show. He’s just taken a teaching job in subject areas that he’s not previously trained to teach—Grade 9 & 10 Music Theory and Biology—so he’s going to need all his time for course prep and the actual teaching load. Good for him, getting the job. Too bad for CHSR, I’ve really liked his musical interests and the great stuff he put on air. He hopes to be able to squeeze in a few fill-ins until his new routine stabilizes. Next week is the last regular No Borders.

Now I’ll have to worry about the open space, the potential dead air that might be following me, until a new music program settles into the 8-9:30 PM slot. I might have to do some music fill-ins myself—wouldn’t be the first time; won’t the last.

T-shirt: Highland Radio 2005 “Radio Chieftain”
loc: CHSR 97.9 FM
temp: outside, mid-20s Celsius; inside MCR, at most an air conditioned 20 C

1 comment:

Kellie said...

Exciting news all around! On the Harvest Jazz as well as paying gig. Congrats!