I had the pleasure of producing and presenting news bulletins at one of my fave little radio stations over the weekend – River 949 at Ipswich – and I was amused by the difference between it,and my final ‘full-time’ station, Radio 4BC.
Now, before I go on, it is NOT my intention to ‘slag off’ in any way at 4BC – I left on good terms (at least I think they were good terms) – and I still, genuinely, wish the station well – even if I don’t agree with some of the decisions that were being made.
But as I beavered away in the newsroom at River today, I was reminded, once again, of why radio stations need to be more than just monolithic megaphones.
In case you are unaware, 4BC has recently decided to effectively ‘network’ its output from Sydney – it has a number of high-profile presenters who now have a huge loudspeaker to pontificate through – and there is a certain ‘samenesss’ about it all.
River, on the other hand, has one of the most quirky programming regimes I have seen in some time.
For example, a few weeks back I was startled to hear, at around 7:30 in the morning, “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads … not what I would consider normal Breakfast fare :-).
And this week, the station’s playing all the songs in its record library – in alphabetical order, no matter how contrary that is to all the ‘rules’ of programming.
It’s quite refreshing to see a station willing to just ‘give it a go’.
I also have to say, I’ve really been enjoying presenting a blend of local, national and international news for a change … most of my career has been at ‘National’ stations like NewsRadio, or presenting Statewide bulletins (a la 4BC)
It was nice this morning to be able to put all of these into a single bulletin: a local Ipswich council stoush, a nasty Brisbane assault, a missing person being found, Donald Trump on gun control, plus sports and more.
Because I wasn’t ‘answerable’ to a state-wide or National audience, I could afford to craft the bulletin for a specific, geographic location – and I’d forgotten just how much fun that can be.
Plus I got the chance to run one of my fave stories of the day:
And now, from the “well, that didn’t go according to plan” file …After 35 years, Motley Crue decided to call it a day, with a New Year’s Eve show in Los Angeles. Yes. Well. Their final show at the Staples Center was going well .. until drummer Tommy Lee’s rollercoaster drum kit malfunctioned leaving the rocker suspended upside down and calling for help from members of the road crew. No word on whether he shot them “looks that kill” 🙂