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A Broadcasters Nightmare


Once in awhile I 'll have two of the same recurring dreams. One is that I'm at a radio station, on the air using only vinyl records to play music when suddenly one of the turntables stops working. Keep in mind I have only two turntables and there are no music on carts or reels in this dream. It is a dreaded feeling that broadcasters sometimes had to face back in the day of vinyl. Another dream I have is accidentally leaving the mike open and having unwanted studio chatter go over the air.

This can actually happen and does! While I was working at WFAS-FM in White Plains, New York, I was doing a Love song show. Listeners would call in their song dedications. I recorded some of the calls to air several minutes later. One time I recorded the call, thought I turned the mike off and continued my conversation with the caller. She was telling me that she was "screwed" my so many other guys who don't have their "shit" together. I finally ended the call and saw the telephone light up. Listeners called me and said that my entire conversation had gone over the air!! You could imagine how I felt. My stomach was churning and didn't know how I would be able to finish the show.

This takes us to last Saturday afternoon. I usually voice track a day or two of shows for Edgewater Gold Radio ahead of time. Suddenly I noticed some feedback from the mike which has never happened before. Now, I'll let you in on another little secret. Sometimes when I have to do re-takes several times, I get frustrated and will use an expletive to get my frustration out.

I then get a call from a listener informing me that my last hour of voicetracking went over the air including the expletive. I was extremely embarrassed. I thanked him so much for letting me know. I had to find the source of the problem. I didn't know where to begin. Sometimes when technical things go wrong in radio, it's very difficult to discover the source of the problem. I found nothing! I moved some wires and moved the mike and suddenly the problem was corrected. It seems that some wires were crossed causing the sound card to send everything out to the monitor as well as over the internet to the air!

I will be very cautious today as I voicetrack tomorrows show! There is a 2 to 3 minute delay for the signal to get to the air so I can test some of the voice tracks first. I'll do one voicetrack, then turn on the station, wait a few minutes to see if the voice track goes over the air! By the way, there will be NO expletives today!!

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