The best blog in Canada. Probably the best blog there ever was. Comments are my own and not necessarily those of an employer. Because I am retired and do not have one.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Post 2126 - My Sunday
I have received several feedbacks from several folks who have written to tell me where they are in the world. There is still plenty of time to get your "ballot" in. The person who writes to tell me where they are in the world and that place is the furthest away from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, then you win something from my vast collection. No vhs tapes, though. They're gone. Still have some cassettes, though.
I have 3 more audio files to transcribe in the Bobby Mac interview. I think you will really like it. He reveals a side of himself that his listeners would find hard to believe. I look forward to sharing it with you.
Uh, let's see here. I did several loads of laundry today. The laundry room is next door to my home office. I'd throw some delicates and foundation garments in the washing machine, transcribe an audio file or two, and then remove the clothes and hang them up to dry.
I realize this is about as interesting as watching grass grow, but it has been one of those quiet, restive weekends that I don't have enough of any more. I do hope that I have many more of them in the coming months.
Guess that's it for tonight.
See you tomorrow. I know all 4.7 of you can't wait.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Post 2125 - Bevboy Has a Challenge For You!
I had time to think today, most notably during the 3 hour window during which I washed the dishes. I did this little game once before, but didn't get many responses. Let's try it again.
I am just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I know that at least 4.7 of you read this blog, every day. While I can examine the stats for the blog and look this up, I think it would be more interesting if you just told me this information.
I would like to know when you read this blog post, where you are in the world. Are you in Nova Scotia? Some other province? Some place in the States? Overseas? Mars?
You can let me know this information in a number of ways.
1. You can leave a comment on this blog post. It just requires you to have a google account, as I do not permit anonymous posts (that stupid troll 2 years ago ruined it for everyone else.)
2. You can reply to the tweet that the publication of this blog post will generate.
3. The tweet mentioned above automatically updates my Facebook status. You can reply to that FB status.
4. My "Fans of Bevboy's Blog" page will also be updated with a link to this post. If you "like" that page, you can leave a reply there. I check that page several times a day.
5. Or, you can send an email to this address.
I will send a mitt full of "Bevboy's Blog" business cards, the latest version (hot off the presses!), plus a book of my choice from my vast collection, to the person who writes from the furthest away as the crow flies.
Don't assume that you won't be the one to win if you live in Halifax. If you're the only one who replies, and you live across the street from me, then you win.
The contest begins at 9:30PM ET on September 29, 2012 and ends on the Canadian Thanksgiving (October 8, 2012, at 9:30PM ET.)
Come on. Let me know who you are, and more importantly, where you are! I have to know!!
See you tomorrow.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Post 2124 - Weekend
My back is better. I can get around quite well now, as long as I don't do something stupid and try to pivot to put tapes in a series of blue recycling bags and then dragging/carrying those bags up the stairs.
Meanwhile, Patricia's back is sore. I ended up taking her home at lunch time and got permission to work from home this afternoon, to save a trip back to work.
After work, I checked in on Patricia, who was resting comfortably. She eventually got up and got something to eat and returned to bed around 9:30 She will probably sleep soundly through the night, as I will, soon.
I also mowed the lawn. The grass was so high that if I hadn't done it soon, the family of pygmies down the street would have asked if they could move to my front lawn and live out their lives.
The weekend is here, and I am bound and determined to finish transcribing the latest Bevboy's Blog interview. Darn me for being so unproductive lately.
I will report back on how much work I get done, this weekend.
Hey, it's bed time. You know what that means. Time to grab Newbie and head off to the old Schlafzimmer, there to hit what my dad always called the fart sack. I'd give my left winky blinky to be able to hear him say that just one more time.
See you tomorrow, my pretties.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Post 2123 - Thursday
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Post 2122 - Training
I favoured my back today, which is to say I didn't make any sudden moves and stood up and walked carefully. By day's end, though, I was pretty bushed, and my back was beginning to ache. Patricia and I had dinner at Michael's next to my work.
After that, we drove to Summer Street, there to attend the mandatory training for Hal-Con. We are both volunteering for the con this year. We will probably be pretty busy all that weekend, but I am looking forward to it anyway. I have fallen away from volunteering in recent years. An early series of posts in this blog discussed the reasons why I stopped volunteering for most things. You can go back and read all 3 parts of that series, and then realize that if I were to write about that today, I would do it in one part and not three.
Here's part one. Here's part two. Here's part three.
Yeah. I know. Early days. It's like looking at high school photographs of one's self.
Anyway, if I volunteer for anything now, it's for mostly selfish reasons. I volunteer for Operation Red Nose every year because my cousin was killed by a drunk driver in the year 2000. She was 23 years old. Had just had a baby. And was out walking with some girlfriends when a drunk driver slammed into them all and ended up killing her. If I can play some small, tiny, infinitesimal part in keeping those people off the road, then I am happy to do so. I am being selfish in doing this.
Likewise for Hal-Con. I attended Wolfcon a few times in the 1990's and found it very interesting. For many years there was no convention in these parts for those of us interested in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, comics and all that stuff. When it returned in 2010, Hal-Con was being done right. I attended it with a media pass in 2011, and this year I am stepping up to the plate to help my friend Shane Wilson out in any way he wants me. Well, within reason of course. I still have my dignity you know.
The training lasted about 90 minutes. There was a lot of common sense stuff that still needed to be spelled out for the mostly young volunteers there. They don't have to worry about me transgressing the rules. I am too old to do most of the things they mentioned and still be able to work a full volunteer shift the next day.
By the end of the evening my back was starting to get a little sore. I took a pain killer when I got home, as well as a muscle relaxer. It will be an interesting night of sleep. Patricia will have to pour a bucket of cold water on me to rouse me in the morning. Maybe even 2 buckets.
Two more work days this week. Will I make it?
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Post 2121 - Bevboy's Back (and Bevboy's Back!)
I have spent the last week since seeing my doctor on the 18th, pretty much resting and taking the drugs offered me by my physician. They included pain killers and powerful muscle relaxers which made me sleep a whole lot. Even when I was awake I was tired.
I stopped taking those muscle relaxers on Sunday because I didn't want to become addicted to them and I don't think they were required any longer. Maybe I was wrong. There are several of those pills left and I hope I don't need to use any of them.
I have been off work for more than a week now. I return to work in the morning. I will struggle to remember everyone's name. Let's see here. At least 50% of the women have names that have a "J" sound, as in "Jane" and many others. If I have to reach for a name, I will just say, slowly, "Hi, J...", and then be cut off when she says hello to me in return.
The men's names may be a little harder. They're all over the place. "J" names and "D" names and "K" names. If I forget any monikers, I will just say, "Hi, buddy!" to each of them until the names come back to me. They should, after a month or so.
Newbie is in the bed next to me, stretching out and waiting to get his belly scratched. In return, he will scratch the exposed flesh on my body until blood is drawn. Tell me again why I keep him around. Please!
See you tomorrow.
(It's great to be back!)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Post 2120 - Bevboy's Blog Hiatus
I'm still having quite a bit of pain. I am on some muscle relaxers and pills to address the symptoms. I am off work for the balance of this week to recover.
Sleep doesn't come hard but it is difficult to sleep through the night without a flare up. The meds I'm taking mean I shouldn't be driving or operating heavy machinery. So much for using my laser printer.
My policy is that if I'm too sick to work, I'm too sick to go to Toastmasters and too sick to write blog posts. My readers have to suffer like I do. Luckily, there are only 4.7 of you.
The next few days will be about resting and getting better. Thank goodness for video on demand.
I plan to resume the blog on Sunday the 23rd.
(That was a promise. Not a threat. Just so you know.)
See you then.
From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!
Monday, September 17, 2012
Post 2119 - Spoke Too Soon
Well, it did.
I mentioned that I moved a bunch of old vhs tapes out of the house on Friday. Filled 5 big blue bags with them, dragged them upstairs, then outside, and then into the car of the guy who was accepting them. All that stress and strain hurt my back. I had hoped it would get better during the weekend and didn't really write of it then.
However, this morning I was in such pain, and it was getting worse, that I emailed in sick and arranged a doctor's appointment which will be Tuesday at 10:30.
I slept most of the morning and then carefully sat in a chair all afternoon, with a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel and pressed up against the part of my back that was complaining the most. That plus a Robaxacet got me through the day. I feel better tonight, but will still keep my doctor's appointment in the morning.
I'm glad I got rid of those movies on Friday, but the attendant pain and discomfort only reminds me that I'm not getting any younger and that I need to be more careful with how I bend and lift stuff. I usually am, but I worked so hard on Friday and underestimated how heavy the bags would be and how hard it would be to get them from the rec room to upstairs to outside to the guy's car, that it took a whole lot out of me.
I will see what the doc says in the morning. But I should be good to go.
At least, I hope so.
See you tomorrow.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Post 2118 - Sunday, Sunday!
Once again, I missed the Stan Carew show on CBC radio. It is apparently one of the most popular radio shows in the entire country. At times, upwards of 40% of all radios in the Maritime provinces are tuned into his show. I love listening to it, but in recent weeks, I have slept in to the point where I miss most of it. Damn me and my sleep requirements.
I tackled the dishes this morning. Took a while. Quite a while. Holy frig. Another few minutes and my fingers would have pruned up to the point where I could have become a hand model for the California Raisins. After they were done, I cleaned off the stove because Patricia tells me I miss that chore a lot. I also threw out the old coffee maker this morning because it had disappointed me one time too many. I spent 45 minutes this morning trying to brew coffee in that thing, but no amount of cleaning the basket that the water goes into would make a difference. Gone. We have another coffee maker that's a lot better. Pressed it into service this morning and it prepared the coffee perfectly within 5 minutes. Great stuff.
Patricia returned mid afternoon from her BOW, Becoming an Outdoor Woman. They have chapters of this all around the world, apparently. She loved it. Had a great time. She did things in the outdoors that I have never done and likely never will do. For dinner, we foraged for pizza and garlic fingers.
Watched "The Lincoln Lawyer" this evening. I had my annual shower, so I should smell decent for work tomorrow and maybe even the day after that.
Life is good.
Which means that I'm waiting for life to kick me in the ass sometime soon.
See you tomorrow.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Post 2117 - My Saturday
Patricia remains at that Outdoor's Woman thing today. She returns on Sunday. This means that the stuff I didn't get done the last couple of days, has to be done today.
Saturday morning I took myself out to brunch. Afterward, I drove around and chanced upon some yard sales. I bought another radio. It was cute and only one dollar. I bought a tape measure for 25 cents. They keep disappearing around here. And I nearly bought a flat screen computer monitor, but the guy couldn't find the near-proprietary power cord for it, so I backed away. Instead, I bought a couple of non-powered usb hubs for a dollar each.
I have had a quiet afternoon and evening. I have rested to help control the pain I feel. I am just hoping I feel well enough in the morning to tackle what has to be tackled.
I'll let you know... tomorrow!
Friday, September 14, 2012
Post 2116 - Well, That Was Fun
The trip from my house to the Q studios barely took 15 minutes. I was told to show up at 9:45, and I made sure I was 5 minute early, because that's the way I roll.
Bobby greeted me. When he is out of "character", he's a different guy, very polite and well-mannered, almost conservative in his behaviour. He led me into studio, where I met BJ Burke and BJ Wilson.
I got a bunch of pictures of Bobby, and I will download them to this computer on Saturday. I was taken into the news room and saw my friend Kate Peardon, late of K-Rock, late of Newcap, and very recently late of Hal FM.
I don't know all the details. I just know she was hired to be a morning co-host on that fine station. Within 2 weeks, she was gone, having quit. Within days she was back on the air at Newcap. She works weekends and as well is a full-time student at NSCC. She must have been filling in for someone this morning.
When Kate left suddenly, they removed her bio from the website. The bio for her and Sheamus used the very same questions I had used on Kate Milton and Jaclyn Irwin last year, those questions having been supplied to me by Dan Barton. Sheamus was the sole morning host there for maybe a week. By the day after Labour Day, he was moved to Afternoon Drive, and Frank Lowe was ensconced as the morning host. It's official. Hal FM has gone through more morning hosts than I have pairs of socks in my sock drawer. And I like socks.
I got the pictures. Made my departure. Promised Bobby I would work on the interview this weekend. Got some breakfast.
I returned to the house. A guy would be coming here in the early afternoon to pick up my commercial vhs tapes. This meant stuffing a couple hundred movie tapes into 5 different blue bags and dragging them up the stairs and awaiting my friend's arrival.
Carrying that crap up the stairs nearly did me in. By the time Tony got here, and I saw he was using two canes this time, I knew that I would have to get them to his car on my own. Which I did.
The tapes are gone. He will share them with friends and relatives of them. And, no, I don't want to get into how much I paid for the damned things. They weren't free, and some of them were pretty pricey. I don't know how much I paid; I don't want to think about it too much.
After Tony left, I was zonked, so I took a nap, waking up around 3:30 when the phone rang. I will be spending hundreds of dollars on my car in early October. Is it too late at night to sigh? No? Good! Sigh!
I have had a quiet evening at home. Newbie is behind me at the other computer desk in the box he claimed for himself. And I will be turning in shortly.
Saturday will be a day for cleaning around here. At least, that's the theory. I may do nothing at all. Really tick Patricia off.
I'm a little devil, aren't I?
See you tomorrow.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Post 2115 - Short And Sweet
I'm off on Friday. Hope I'm not sick all weekend.
See you tomorrow.
From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Post 2114 - My Thursday
If you don't have vacation or every 3rd Friday, then you have my sympathy. I'll think about you on Friday.
I am booked to go into the Q104 studios on Friday to get some pictures of Bobby Mac. They will accompany the Bobby Mac interview that will be coming out in the next month or so. Bobby has a lot of provocative things to say, and I am looking forward to sharing those thoughts with my readers.
Patricia will be out of town for the weekend, participating in an outdoor's woman session out Mosquito Bite Harbour way. This means I can walk around the house naked or in Patricia's foundation garments. Unless Newbie puts them on first and gets spit all over them, in which case I'll have to make other plans.
I have promised Patriica that I will clean out my car this weekend. if I don't, she has threatened to take pictures of the contents of the back seat and post them on Facebook. I do have some standards and some pride, so I will go through the mounds of garbage that have accumulated in the months since I last cleaned it out. I will probably find things I thought I had lost. Maybe that submarine sandwich that I began eating in March and threw back there with the intention of finishing it, will be found. If it hasn't turned, I can resume consuming it. Or maybe that $5000 cheque I misplaced will be located. I earned that from being a man whore on Citadel Hill last summer.
What can I say? I needed the money. Don't judge me.
Anyway, I will have a busy weekend, and I am looking forward to getting to it.
Time to turn in, and enjoy my Friday!
See you tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Post 2113 - Oops!
The numbering should be correct going forward.
I have received a little feedback from the Christina Fitzgerald interview. I would love to have more, but I suppose the reality is that these interviews are a niche thing at the best, and a time-consuming fetish at the worst. I will continue to do them until and unless the interest dies out, which it may before I know it.
I bought another laser printer today. It is another Samsung. In this case, it is an ML-2010, and it is about 7 years old. A linux machine will just recognize it's there; a Windows machine requires drivers, and I wonder if it will even operate under Windows 7 or 8. I don't care as it will hang off a linux machine.
I couldn't resist buying this printer. It was 25 dollars on kijiji. The price went down the other day to 15 dollars, and he would deliver it. He delivered it to the Superstore across from my work. We did the exchange. And I have a decent laser printer for 15 smackers. Other than a fresh toner cartridge, it seems like a printer that can last me for a number of years, as only 2377 pages have emanated from that printer.
I can't resist a bargain. They are my Achilles Heel. My kryptonite. My donair.
Trying to watch "Anger Management", starring Charlie Sheen. He left "Two and a Half Men" for this crap? How much are they paying him?
Newbie's looking for some loving. Guess I'll call it a night.
It's a night.
(Haven't I done that joke before?)
Monday, September 10, 2012
Post 2012 – Interview with Live 105’s Christina Fitzgerald!
Christina Fitzgerald Interview
June 20, 2012
We decided to meet for dinner at Rani's Curry and Roti Stop on Green Street in Halifax. Christina had never been there, and Patricia and I had, a few times. While the food was excellent, and the company even better, it was still a mistake to go there and conduct an interview. After all, it is difficult to speak through a mouthful of seared flesh.
Pull up a chair. Smoke 'em if you got 'em. Pop a cold one. And enjoy the latest Bevboy's Blog interview!
1. How did you get your start in radio?
Christina Fitzgerald: It’s funny. I didn’t ever think I was going to get into radio specifically. When I graduated high school, I took some time off. Did some travelling. I decided to go to King’s College here in Halifax.
Bevboy: For journalism.
CF: For journalism. Print journalism, actually, was exactly what I wanted to get into. I was taking one Journalism class a week; the rest of my classes were religion-based or Ancient History. I had remembered when I was high school that I’d looked at a Radio/Television program offered by the NSCC. I thought, "Hey, maybe I can go do that for two years, come back, finish my Journalism degree at King’s. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be a [print journalist] or on camera. Whatever."
I started the program. At the time, it was a brand-new campus over in Dartmouth.
BB: This was the first year for that program in that building?
CF: The very first year. The people at Newcap Halifax came over to check out our gear, because at the time, we had the newest gear in Halifax. They wanted to see it. The promo director was there; his name is JD Desrosiers. I introduced myself to him and said, "Hey, if you’ve got any free work for me to do, by all means, hook me up on your street team and I’ll do it."
So, I started doing that with him and started having a lot of fun in radio, especially in Promotions. Within the first month or two of school, I switched completely from wanting to do journalism to full-fledged radio.
BB: Had you had any aptitude for radio before that?
CF: No. I mean, I always enjoyed radio. I’d always been a radio fan, but had never really thought about it that way until I started working with them.
BB: Oddly enough, JD Desrosiers became your PD after a while, didn’t he?
CF: JD and I have had a long-standing professional relationship. He’s like my radio dad. I started there with him at Q; then, eventually, did stuff for Kool as well. I left for a stint in Newfoundland, still with Newcap. While I was there, he gave me a ring and said, "Hey, I’ve jumped ship. I’m over with the Evanov Radio Group. We’re starting this brand-new station. I’d love for you to come over and work with me. What do you think?" My bags were packed, and I was gone. So, we worked together again.
BB: Cub Carson told me that the morning co-host came down between you and Floyd.
BB: They chose Floyd. Were you disappointed by that at the time?
CF: I wasn’t. I was doing a radio gig over in Newfoundland. I was doing a morning show then. I hated getting up. I still hate getting up. I am not a morning person. It’s ungodly for a person to get up at 3:30, 4o’clock in the morning to go to work every day. I knew I would have more opportunities to expand myself outside of just doing on air if I wasn’t in the morning show, which I was very excited about. So I was like, "Yes. Let’s do it. Let’s get back into just being a single radio host and see what that’s like."
BB: And you were hired to be the Music Director as well?
CF: Not right away. For not even quite a year, I think, I was just doing my show. Then, they approached me and said, "We need someone to help out with music. Would you like to get your hands dirty with that? See what it’s like? See if you like it?" So, I started helping out and volunteering my time. I really enjoyed it. They obviously thought I was doing a pretty decent job. They said, "We’ve got the Music Directing gig. If you want it, it’s yours." I’ve been doing it ever since.
BB: Is it a bit more money on top of your radio show?
CF: Yes. The salary went up. I’m working a 9-5, which is funny for someone in radio to say, "I have a 9-5 gig!" But, that’s essentially what I have. Obviously, when there’s more stuff going on, you work longer.
BB: We’ll get into what your duties are later on. I was discussing this with Patricia. I sent you an email. When I interviewed Gary Tredwell in 2009, there was this lady getting off shift at K-Rock in New Minas [as we arrived]. Gary told me that this woman was working for Newcap in the city and driving down to the Valley on weekends to do a shift. That turned out to be you. I didn’t make the connection until just a few days ago. How was that arranged, that you would work for K-Rock? Was it just Saturdays, or Saturdays and Sundays?
CF: Saturdays and Sundays.
BB: Working 7 days a week.
CF: When they say, "Pay your dues", that would be one of the times where I was definitely trying to "pay my dues". Monday to Friday I was in Halifax working as a Junior Co-Ordinator for Q104 and Kool FM.
BB: What does that mean?
CF: Basically, it was assisting JD, who was the Promotions Director with any task that he’d need on a daily basis and working Street Team stuff as well. Gary approached me -- because I was within Newcap already-- and said, "I know that you’ve essentially been doing Promotions. How do you feel about on air?" It was something I hadn’t really done outside of school and doing some co-ops. It terrified me at the time, but I’ve always been a person that, if you’re really bad at something, you should probably jump in full-force into that thing that you’re not very good at, and that terrifies you, to get better at it.
I was really thankful for the opportunity. I said, "Of course. I’ll do weekends." I am pretty sure it was 8 months that I did that. Something like that. Friday nights there would be gigs for Q or Kool that I would work. I’d drive back to the Valley and be on the air at noon. It was insane. But all things that have led me to where I’m at now.
BB: And, you would have followed Neil Spence. Right? And Julia Kirkey.
CF: Yes. Neil and I, and I know you’re going to ask me a question about Neil, always seem to find each other somehow. It’s weird. When I was in school, he was taking Recording. So, we were at school at the same time. Then we started working together at the same time. We got other jobs. Now, we’re working together again.
BB: Excellent. Is there anything else you want to say about your start in radio?
CF: I think that a good point to bring up for people who are getting into radio is: It’s an awesome job. It’s a fun job. But, it takes a lot of work, and I sometimes think that students just getting out of radio college, or who are still in radio college, think that they can just jump in full force in a medium market like Halifax and be on a morning show. It’s really not about that. It’s about working for free and getting any opportunity you can. Take an OP gig. Take a Street Team gig. Do Reception to fill in if you need to at the radio station. You want people to know you; that’s what this business is all about. It’s 50% the talent that you bring to the table. The other 50% is who remembered you, and wanted to hire you based on the fact that you’ll do absolutely anything.
BB: And don’t piss anybody off.
CF: Try your best not to piss anyone off, because you never know whom you’ll work with again.
2. What is the best piece of professional advice or criticism you have ever received, and who provided it?
CF: It’s funny that Gary Tredwell is now going to be my boss again. My first on air shift, he was my Program Director. One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got was when he did his first air check with me. He was telling me the do’s and the don’t’s. He took a listen to a couple of my breaks. He gave me some feedback.
Before he started doing that, he said to me, "Every single PD is different. They’re going to like different things. Everything I say to you, I want you to take with a grain of salt. No matter whom you’re working for, if it’s K-Rock under Newcap, under whatever, you’re always yourself. When I give you advice on how I’d like you to sound, obviously take that and respect that because I’m your boss. But, make sure that Christina comes through every single time." And, that was the best way for me to start doing an on air shift. I hadn’t really thought about it that way before. So, one of the best pieces of advice is from my soon-to-be boss again!
BB: What specific things did he say to you?
CF: While air checking me?
CF: It’s funny. I can’t wait to do my air check with him again. I was so new then. A lot of the stuff was basically how we could say things without saying so many words. Keeping things a lot shorter. And, better ways to approach a break. Instead of leading into this this way, or leading out this way, maybe you should switch it up and do something that’s a little slicker.
BB: By break, do you mean a commercial break?
CF: Well, when I stop the music and I talk about a certain subject.
BB: He wanted you to use an economy of words. Use as few words as possible.
CF: Yes. Use as few words as possible. Or, he would give me suggestions if I was talking about a funny story about a bank robbery or what have you. Maybe there would be a different way for me to lead into talking about it and to lead out from talking about it. "Oh, you took this approach. That was funny, but maybe you could have taken this approach. That would have been just as funny." Just suggestions on different ways of doing things.
BB: Would you follow all that advice to the best of your ability?
BB: Do you still try to do that?
CF: Yes. Yes. Any time I’m given an air check, I try to implement whatever my PD at the time has told me into my next day’s shift. They’re my boss!
It’s interesting, having different Program Directors. You get a different point of view. So, you’re always thinking about a couple of different ways that you could be approaching talking on the radio. Which is good!
BB: What advice did JD give you? Or Rob Johnson?
CF: Rob was gone before Live 105 launched. JD was great. He knows me really well, so he always wanted me to bring more of my personality through. He was really concerned about me sounding like myself on the radio. Which is always great, because you don’t want to sound too polished. You don’t want to sound too out there, either. But you always want to make sure that people know or feel like you’re talking to them in a conversation, instead of you being on the radio.
BB: All right. It wasn’t that radically different from...
CF: No. Most Program Directors want similar things from you.
BB: Are you looking forward to working with Gary again?
CF: Yes. I am very excited about working with Gary again. It’s going to be awesome.
BB: Maybe he’ll have a big Live 105/Energy 103 party at his house this summer.
CF: If you’re going to be the one who gives up his house for that, then I’ll be there with a case of beer.
3. The "Megan Edwards" question. You lose your iPod. I find it. What songs on it would surprise me the most? Are you a closet Country fan or something?
CF: No. Dubstep, though, which surprises a lot of people.
BB: What the hell is that?
CF: [laughs] It’s very dj, electronic...
CF: Yes. Deadmau5. Skrillex. Pretty Lights.
P: He didn’t know who Deadmau5 was until I told him.
CF: Ah! Nice! I listen to a lot of dubstep, actually. It surprises a lot of people
BB: Anything else?
CF: I have Classic Rock roots from growing up in the Valley. In the Valley, you pretty much listen to Classic Rock or Country. And, that’s it. My dad has a huge vinyl collection. He’s always been into music. He plays absolutely every instrument. I grew up on music. I’m a music lover.
I honestly don’t listen to Country. I definitely get into some songs in Top 40 that I can’t get out of my head. "Call Me Maybe". Everyone knows that song, right? It’s a core guilty pleasure.
BB: All right. Are there any other guilty pleasures when it comes to music? I watch "Dancing with the Stars". That’s my guilty pleasure right there.
CF: TLC is a guilty pleasure for me. "Jagged Little Pill". Pretty much any strong, female singer, I’ll either love them or they’re a guilty pleasure that I rock out with the comb on top of my bed, alone, or sometimes with people.
BB: Shania Twain?
CF: I never really got into Shania. Too Country for me.
4. What are the typical duties in the job of Music Director, other than your daily on air shift?
CF: Well, I get there at 9. From 9 till 2, I’m focusing only on my on air, most of the time. I’m answering emails and all of that stuff. I get those all day for music. After 2o’clock, on a regular day, I will schedule the next day’s music. I go through each hour. People think, "Oh, you hand-select every single song." It doesn’t work that way. We have a program called Selector, that we give different rules to. "I’d like to start this hour off with a Gold tune, and then a current tune, and a Canadian tune." It does a lot of the work for you. It’s more of a finesse. You’re going through the log and making sure that it flows correctly afterwards.
That’s a normal day.
BB: Are you the one who schedules the same song for 7 o’clock in the morning? One thing I’ve noticed about Live 105 is that, 7 o’clock in the morning, several days in a row, the very same song will be played.
CF: You’re probably thinking that you’re hearing it at the same time. Our Currents, which we play the most of (they’re in different categories, so there’s a Heavy, Medium and Light rotation). So, when something’s in a Heavy Current rotation, like a song that’s charting that’s really popular, it’s playing throughout the week more than the other Currents are played. You’ll hear it more. But, there’s a chart that I look at which has all of the music [that we play]. We schedule it so that it doesn’t show up at the same time every single day. But you’ll hear it so much that you think you hear it all of the time.
P: Well, there was a while there we were hearing Gotye.
CF: Gotye still plays all the time.
P: Bev and I get into the car. The song comes on. I’m saying, "Oh, it must be 7 o’clock! Yep. It’s 7 o’clock."
BB: When Floyd and Jeff show up in the morning, and they’re presented with their playlist, that’s something that you would have devised, or the Selector software would have devised for you.
CF: Yes. Selector schedules, and I schedule over top of it. Then, my boss in Toronto and I (and Gary will now do that as my boss in house) will have a weekly music meeting. We’ll listen to a bunch of new music, new tracks, decide if we want to add them into our station. We move music around, so once something goes through Heavy Rotation, we might move it down to a Medium or out completely. We make those decisions based on charting, based on what we know works for our station.
BB: What journals do you follow for charting purposes?
CF: I look at Mediabase. I look at all of the Modern Rock stations across Canada. A couple in the States, but unless it’s some new song that everyone’s been adding in the States, it’s not something that I truly focus on. The Edge is a big one for us. Sonic. We’ll look at what they’re doing and base it around on what we should be doing. But, then again, it’s a different market, and people like different things.
Obviously, I work with music reps as well. They bring me music of their own. We work with bringing artists [to the station]. We have a Live Hive upstairs, this music room that’s amazing.
BB: I haven’t seen that yet. I’d love to see it.
CF: It’s very, very cool. We bring acts who come into town into our studios to do the interview and to do a couple song sets upstairs. It’s really fun. It’s a really cool job.
BB: You said music reps. Record companies knock on your door and say, "Can we have a conversation about this latest artist we’d love for you to consider playing?"
CF: Yes. And they’ll introduce me to new music. They’ll let me know when releases are going to happen. So, if there’s a big band like Foo Fighters or Red Hot Chili Peppers or Offspring, major bands for us, we’ll know ahead of time if they’re going to release a new single. We’ll get on top of it really quickly.
BB: I know that ... who does "Rope"?
CF: The Foo Fighters.
BB: You and the Q broke that song on the very same day, but you broke it one hour earlier than they did. You were at 8 o’clock, and they were at 9.
CF: It’s funny sometimes. It’s like a challenge for who can get it first, and who’s going to play it more. The funny competition in everything, right?
BB: Did you know they were playing at 9; therefore, you jumped them by an hour?
CF: We wouldn’t know. We would have no idea when they were going to play the song, if they were going to play it at all. Unless we had an inside mole, which we don’t. We’re in the dark.
BB: It was just happenstance that you guys played it the same day and you beat them by one hour?
BB: And, it was kinda cool.
CF: It was cool. We’ll own that one. We’ll have it.
BB: OK. Is there anything else you want to talk about your job as a music director role?
CF: I think we covered most of it.
BB: Is a music director a management position? I know that a Program Director is management. Your GM, Trevor Romkey, is management. I hear the word "director" and I think, "management". But, you have no hiring or firing power, do you?
CF: No. Technically, I’m in the management realm, but I’m on the bottom of the totem pole. I manage the music. That’s the only thing I have a say on. But, if different people at my station, different on air jocks, were putting in their own music in their own hours, as a music director I can say, "No. You can’t play that song. Don’t mess with the music I scheduled for you."
BB: People are professional. They wouldn’t do that.
CF: No. They don’t do that. They’re really great, actually. They’ll come to me with music that they are interested in or even ask me, "Hey, I wanna drop the song ‘The Hour’. There’s a good tune I can put in its place." They’re great.
BB: You accept suggestions [from staff].
CF: Yes. Absolutely. Because things happen in your show. Even though I’m timing each show out, you never know how much someone’s going to talk, or how little. They may have to change a song for time. And, they know what’s in the regular rotation as well, and what’s in the same categories and that sort of thing.
5. What is one thing about yourself, that you’re comfortable discussing, that would surprise your friends?
CF: This is a tough one.
BB: You read the questions over. Right?
CF: Yes. I don’t really know. I’m honestly an open book. I don’t think that anything, even if my friends didn’t know it, it wouldn’t surprise them that I did it. I think it would be weird for my friends to see me in a work environment, though my work is very fun and we have a lot of fun doing my job. There are some times when I mean business, which they don’t ever really see that part of me. I think they would be surprised that sometimes I’m professional. Sometimes I crack the whip a little. So, maybe that would be the only thing. But other than that, my friends really know everything about me.
6. Please say something about the following people:
CF: Floyd is awesome. Floyd really represents Live 105 in a really great way. You asked me earlier if I was disappointed in not getting the morning gig. I was definitely not disappointed for not having to get up any more. But, because Floyd was the person who got the gig. She’s perfect for that role. She’s got her own fan base that loved her anyway. It’s cliche to say that she’s a modern rock chick, but she really is. She’s really cool to work with. We have a lot of fun working together. If you ever hear them come on, between 9:30 and 10 o’clock, I’m usually in the studio with them. If they’re in full laughter mode when they pop the mic and you don’t know why, it’s probably because we’ve been cracking jokes in the song before, and we were in tears. We’re dying laughing about something. So, she’s awesome.
BB: This is stuff you can’t repeat on the air, sometimes?
CF: No. I shouldn’t even repeat it now.
BB: All right. How do you feel how Floyd handled the transition from Cub to Jeff?
CF: Excellent. It was flawless. If you listened to the departure of Cub... We were out doing "Catch A Ride", when Metro Transit was [on strike]. We were driving people around. I’d actually been out that morning doing that. It was really cool, because I was hearing radio at its purest form, in the car, like everyone else. I was listening to Cub say goodbye. She’s crying. I’m crying. It was great.
Again, Jeff just swooped in. They already had a relationship, which is so important for co-hosts to have that chemistry together. I think there are similarities to Cub and Floyd with Jeff and Floyd. But, it’s different, and it works. So, it’s been a good transition.
BB: How was the transition for you? Did you notice anything different?
CF: It doesn’t affect my show necessarily. But, again, it’s all been good. We have a really good family atmosphere there. We all loved Cub. We all loved Jeff. And, we all knew Jeff already, because of him being over at Z at the time. So, it wasn’t awkward, or getting to know someone, or the firsts of everything, because we already knew what we were getting into with him.
B. Kate Milton (K8)
CF: It’s funny. I obviously know K8 through the industry now. But, when I first moved to Halifax (I was going to Kings at the time), Z103 had just launched. I was like, "Oh, awesome! This new radio station." It was so cool to have a real Top 40 dance station in Halifax.
I used to start my evenings out, at 19, listening to Z103. K8 was on evenings then. I honestly thought she was the coolest person on the planet, forever. She was my idol back then. I was like, "Oh, I have to meet this girl! We have to party. We’re going to be best friends. She’s so awesome."
I guess, though I didn’t know I was going to get into radio then, in the back of my mind, when I started the Radio Television program I was like, "I want to be like K8! If I ever do on air, I want to be like K8!" Which is cool, to think about now.
BB: How about when you met her?
CF: She’s cool because what you hear is what you get when you meet her in person. She really opens herself up and lets people know who she is on the air. When I met her, she was exactly the same way. Which is really refreshing because sometimes, people are different. Radio is a funny industry where sometimes people can be really open when they’re on a microphone, because they don’t see the people whom they’re talking to; and can be really reserved when you actually meet them in person. She was just exactly who she was on the air.
BB: I really enjoyed meeting her last year.
CF: She’s got a really good energy.
CF: Yes. She is.
BB: "That bitch has balls!" [laughter all around]
Have you guys ever hung out?
CF: Not really. No. We’ve been at the same place before, but we’ve never really been like, "Hey, K8. Let’s get a shot of tequila somewhere. Maybe we will now!
C. JC Douglas (everyone knows him, right?)
CF: JC is part of my original radio family. As I said before, I started my career over at Q104 and KOOL, Newcap Halifax. So, JD [Desrosiers] was my boss. JC was JD’s boss, which was awesome because, if JD got mad at me for something, he’d huff about it for a second. Then, JC would come in and get mad at JD about something. It was like, "Ha ha ha!" It was awesome that way.
I love everyone over there, JC included. I was actually really upset when I left, because I felt like I was just this kid starting out who didn’t know anything. I still didn’t really know a lot when I left, but a heck of a lot more [than when I started]. They gave me amazing opportunities. I stayed in contact, still do with JC. He’s given me really great advice about what I should do with my career since leaving Halifax. When I was in Newfoundland, before I came back to Halifax to jump ship to go to Evanov, he was one of the people I wrote because I wanted to know his opinion. I wanted to know what he thought. What should I do?
BB: "Oh, they suck. Don’t work for them!"
CF: No. He wasn’t like that at all. He was really open-minded and really took where I was at in career into consideration and gave me some amazing advice. To this day, if I’m going to make a career move, he’d be one of the people I’d contact and ask, "Hey, is this a good idea? Do you think this will work out for me?"
BB: Really? If they offered you Drive on Live 105, if Scotty left for example [Bevboy Note: This interview was conducted before Scotty Mars left Live 105], would you touch base with JC and say, "What do you think about this?
CF: Well, maybe not in that circumstance because I’d be like, "Yep!" But maybe moving. "This person has offered me a job in BC. This is what it is. Do you think I should do this?" I would definitely email him and ask him.
D. Neil Spence. Your buddy. My buddy.
CF: As I said before, it’s like we’re connected somehow. We would find each other in the world of radio. And, we’re both Valley kids. I guess we started out with the same roots.
BB: He’s from Coldbrook, and you’re from Centreville.
CF: Yes. So, we went to different high schools. We didn’t really know each other, growing up. I don’t really remember Neil. I’m sure we were at the same parties, doing the same things at some point.
BB: You’re about the same age?
CF: We’re the same age.
BB: You’re 24-ish.
CF: 25. We’ve seemed to work at the same places, doing similar stuff. Maybe we’re related and we just don’t know. Maybe he’s my long-lost brother.
BB: He considers Julia Kirkey to be his long-lost sister.
CF: Yes. He and Julia had a really awesome relationship when I worked with them at K-Rock. There was a lot of back and forth, but love beneath all of it.
BB: There’s an unpublished Julia Kirkey interview. She was saying that has a lot of affection for Neil, but they fight like brother and sister. He would play pranks on her when she was on the air.
P: They were challenging each other by fighting all the time. There’s that ingrained respect.
CF: Totally. And, Neil and I work well together, too. He does all of the local interviews. So, he does a bit of the music directing side of his job as well. Nobody else gets to do that. He gets to go through a bunch of demos from local bands. Each night there is a feature called Live Underground that we do. We talk about music a lot. We actually go to the same shows all the time together, because we’re both really into doing that. So, again, he’s my brother from another mother and father.
BB: Going back to your job as Music Director, I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, but Wednesday nights at 11 o’clock, Scotty Mars does this show, this metal show.
CF: Yes. And Scotty does that all by himself.
BB: You’re not involved with that?
CF: No. That’s something he wanted to do and start. It’s called "Louder". It’s a heavy rock, heavy metal show. No one else around here would be playing...
BB: Playing Kittie.
BB: I like Kittie.
CF: And that’s Scotty’s main type of music. That’s something he’s really passionate about. It adheres to our audience. There’s a huge metal, hard rock fan base that listens to Live 105. Every Wednesday night from 11 until midnight. And it replays Saturdays from 12am to 1am.
BB: Do you offer any advice on the show?
CF: Music reps will bring me some songs that they suggest. I’ll suggest them to Scotty, but by no means am I ever like, "You have to play this." Every once in a while, I’ll put my 2 cents in. But, to be honest, that stuff is way over my head. I don’t listen to it. I don’t have a huge knowledge about it. So, it would make no sense for me to help him out with it, because I’d be like, "Well, there’s a lot of yelling in this song. I guess that works."
BB: Yeah. It’s not heavy metal like KISS. It’s metal where they’re screaming when they sing.
P: Scotty’s a metalhead.
BB: I have some albums by Kittie. I like them. But the way these women scream all the time. It’s like going to Frenchy’s.
CF: [laughs] That’s a good one.
BB: You can have that one.
CF: Thank you.
BB: And you’re a Valley girl. You know about Guy’s Frenchy’s. Of course you do.
E. Jeff Cogswell
CF: Me and Jeff together are two of the most inappropriate, disgusting people...
P: I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that one!
CF: ... ever! The things that we talk about! My mother would honestly take a bar of soap to my mouth. And, it’s not the way you would think. It’s not dirty. It’s just gross things. Like, we’d literally talk about poo and snot. It’s almost like 12 year old boys are talking to each other all the time. I don’t know why.
BB: He’s 39 years old.
P: But he talks like a 12 year old boy sometimes. You just scratch your head and say, "Oh, my God. Did he just say that?"
CF: If I had to compare my immaturity to anyone’s, it would probably be to Jeff Cogswell’s. We’re on the same playing field.
BB: Had you known that before you met him?
CF: Not until he started working for Live 105. When he worked over at Z, of course we would see each other at work and we would chat. But we were never really one-on-one. We didn’t have any lengthy conversations. But, it was immediate. As soon as he took over for Cub, the second or third conversation we had went disgusting. I’ve met my disgusting double.
P: You should tell her that story about the guy at work. He got robbed.
BB: A guy at work got robbed. They broke into his apartment and stole his big screen tv and all the good things. Adam was laughing. He goes, "And the best part of it was, the toilet was full of shit!" Apparently, when you break into someone’s house, you get this rush of adrenaline and it can make you go to the bathroom. The toilet was just piled up with shit.
CF: "Did you try to flush that?"
BB: Adam goes, "We threw out our toothbrushes." He didn’t know where they’d been.
CF: Good plan!
BB: The way he told the story. I laughed for 10 minutes.
F. You supply a name of a person you want to discuss.
CF: I’ll talk about my roommate, Ruby Carr. She works over at Energy 103 [Bevboy Note: This interview was conducted before Ruby left Energy 103 and bounced over to The Bounce. She’s the Drive girl there. It’s just funny how radio works out sometimes. That’s why I’m going to talk about Ruby.
We started radio school together. That’s how we met. We became friends pretty much instantly. When I say that I worked for Newcap and KOOL, she was right there with me. We were the two together. We did the Summer program together. We did everything together. In radio, yes, you end up working with a lot of the same people over and over and over again. Similar to Neil, we seem to always end up in the same building as well.
We were at Newcap together. I left for Newfoundland. She got the job over at Z at the time. Started working part-time with them. I got the call to come back. And, we started working together again. Now, we live together. We work together; we live together; we’re really good friends. And, that’s sometimes how it works in radio. It’s funny that way that it all turns out that you pretty much spend you entire life with somebody in radio.
BB: Are you the kind of women who trade clothes?
CF: Oh, yeah. It’s like open business when you’re friends and girls. My closet is your closet and vice versa. If you get mad about it, then unless you’re going to wear it to an event, I don’t really care, because I’m going to steal your dress. You just have to get over it.
BB: Men don’t do that.
P: It’s a woman thing. Everyone should have a friend either named Ruby or Phyllis.
CF: Ruby is an awesome name. She gets compliments on her name all the time.
BB: Why "Phyllis"? What’s the big deal?
P: I don’t know. There’s just something about "Phyllis".
CF: Ruby and I have left a bit of a legacy, though we didn’t think it would be this way, at NSCC. To this day, Dave Bannerman still talks about a show that we did together. It was called "Afternoon Delight". We said, "Hey, Dave. We have this idea for a show. Can we do a show together outside of the shifts that [you give us when we’re in radio school]?"
It was supposed to be a dating/advice show, so you can only imagine where that went sometimes. Two of our part-timers at Live (Morgan and Dexter) who just got done the radio program. They say, "Oh, Dave still brings you guys up all the time. He talks about ‘Afternoon Delight’". We’re like, "Yeah!". We just got to really dick around on the radio together and got good grades. Sorry, Dave!
BB: Was it really racy radio?
CF: Sometimes, yes. It played in the cafeteria at our college university!
BB: OK. Give me an example. You can’t just leave me hanging like this.
CF: We would talk a lot about guys and girls and the pick up lines that they have, or ways that they approach each other to how they are in bed. Stuff like that. So, wherever your mind will take you, we either thought about it or said it on the radio. College radio, so it was fine.
BB: You can use cuss words there?
CF: We tried not to, just because we were in radio school. We were taught at the time, "Don’t swear in front of the microphone." Which is a good lesson. It happens.
7. Is there an underserved radio format in Halifax? What is it, and why?
CF: Well, there’s not enough polka music.
BB: I was going to say polka! Frank Yankovic can’t get the time of day.
CF: I think we’re doing a pretty good job now. You’ve got Country. You’ve got Top 40. You’ve got Modern Rock. You’ve got Classic Rock.
BB: Five years ago, it was a different story.
CF: Exactly. I think we’ve definitely evolved from that. I’m surprised that there’s only one Country station.
CF: If someone was smart, they would swoop in and attack that format. They’re just hanging there by themselves, doing awesome, because they’re the only Country station. Maybe not "underserved", but not competitive enough.
P: There used to be more than one, right?
BB: Well, 780 KIXX. But, it was an AM station playing much older Country music.
CF: It was Classic Country.
BB: But, if you talked to the people who voice tracked for it -- Bobby Mac, and all these other guys who worked for Q104, they say, "I had a great time voice tracking for them."
CF: What was Bobby’s name? It was hilarious.
BB: I don’t remember. [BB Note: Read the Bobby Mac interview for the answer to that question!]
It was astonishing to hear these guys on 780 KIXX. And, sometimes, it would be live. On a Saturday afternoon, they would give a current temperature or something.
8. Tell me about a couple of on air mistakes you’ve made.
CF: I haven’t said anything too bad. Never dropped the F-bomb, which is good.
Whenever I am talking to Street Teamers. When we have boot camps for Street Teamers, or when I talk to new radio students, I always tell this story, because it teaches you not to swear, ever. When I was a Q cop for Q104, during the summer program, we would have to do callbacks to the station.
We did a sponsorship with Tidal Bore Rafting in Shubenacadie. We went down and were doing callbacks. We weren’t doing one an hour or two an hour like you traditionally do. Every fifteen minutes, there was one. We pre-recorded them. We called into the jock who was on the air and did our callbacks.
At the time, it was Tom Bedell. I called back and said, "Hey, I’ve got one of these every fifteen minutes for this entire hour. Do you want me to hammer off four of them, in a row? That way, I don’t have to call back every fifteen minutes to you." He was like, "Yes. That would be perfect! You do that."
So, I go. I do my first one. I’m fine. I go to do my second one. I try to say "Shubenacadie". I’m like, "Hey, this is Q Cop Christina. I’m down at Tidal Bore Rafting in Shuba.... Shiva. Blah blah blah. Ok, Tom. I’m just going to start again." I just started talking again.
Tom obviously got himself distracted doing his job. When he went to edit mine, he just looked at the wave forms. I hadn’t stopped talking, so he didn’t see a break in the wave form. Fifteen minutes later, I hear on the air, "Hey, this is Q Cop Christina. I’m down at Tidal Bore Rafting in Shuba.... Shiva. Blah blah blah. "
I’m mortified. I’m so impressionable. This is the only thing I’ll ever do on the air, right? I ripped the radio off. I’m like, "Oh, Noooo!" It’s so sad. But then, in turn, my bosses at Q104 thanked me for not swearing after I messed up. Because, if I had said, "Shuba. Shuba. Oh, fuck!" and started over, that would have aired. That would have been really bad. It was good that I went, "blah blah blah", and that was it.
BB: Would it have been bad for you, or Tom?
CF: I think Tom was the one who got in trouble, if I remember correctly. I got praised for not swearing.
So, that’s my big mess up. Knock on wood. [she knocks on the wooden table]
P: That’s pretty mild compared with some of the ones who talk to us.
CF: You mess up every day. That’s what you do, right? No one talks perfectly, all the time. It would be incredible for me, it would be unbelievable for me to meet someone who said they’ve never messed up. And, it’s just a matter of picking up and keep going. If you mess up your words, or you say the wrong thing, who cares?
BB: If you call attention to it, it’s that much worse.
CF: Right. And people don’t notice if you mess up and just keep talking. They won’t say, "Well, she slurred that word". Well, maybe they do. I don’t know. Naive!
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
CF: I’m a very go-with-the-flow type. I’m also a firm believer in radio that you should never, ever be good at only one thing. I’m brand new to radio still, even though I’ve been doing it for a few years now. And, already, I have a background in Promotion, a background in on air, and now music directing as well.
BB: How long have you been music directing?
CF: Just over a year. About a year and a half.
So, now that I have those 3 things, in the next five years, how can I expand that? How can I do more in radio? So, going somewhere else wouldn’t just be about money for me. It’s more about, "Is this a better market for me to work in? Am I going to get more exposure? Is there something new I’m going to learn when I get to go to this job?" And, those would be the reasons that I’d do something else. So, in the next five years I hope that the "3 stack" that I have on my resume expands some. And, as long as I’m still doing radio, and I love it, it doesn’t really matter where I’m at in 5 years, as long as I’m still mentally where I’m at right now.
BB: OK. It’s considered to be the top of the line if you’re doing a morning show.
BB: And, I’m not sure how the salaries work, but I get the feeling that people who work on a morning show are paid somewhat more than people in other day parts.
BB: I’m not going to get into numbers, but would you ever want to get past your hatred of getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning to do a morning show, if that opportunity came up?
CF: It’s like when people ask you, "What would you do for X amount of money?" Right? If someone was going to offer me money that I couldn’t say no to, then I wouldn’t say no to it.
P: How many zeroes are going to be on the left side of that decimal point?
CF: And, it’s not horrible. If the worst thing about your job is getting up early, it’s pretty awesome. And, it was different for me when I was in Newfoundland. I actually worked an 8 hour shift. I wasn’t off the air. I wasn’t out of the station until 1 o’clock. Most morning show hosts get to leave around 10 o’clock.
BB: What would you do the last 3 hours?
CF: Well, it was a super small town, Corner Brook, Newfoundland. So, I did the morning show. They didn’t have a PD in house. They had a general manager. They had part-time staff. No Promotions at all. I’d just come from Promotions. They were like, "Oh, if you have any ideas...." So, for a few hours I would brainstorm with people there about promotional ideas and talk with the Sales rep. And, then, I voice tracked the Afternoon show. I did a live request show and then voice tracked the rest of the day. It was like "All Christina, All of the Time."
BB: People must have thought, "She must be so tired!"
CF: Exactly. But it was awesome for me because it was like, "Do a show. And, then, do another show." Every single day. I think I was there for 7 months before I got the job offer back in Halifax. So, in 7 months, I went from doing just 2 shifts on a weekend to doing 2 shows a day, for 7 months straight.
BB: Were you the only live jock at that station?
CF: Me, and my co-host in the morning. And, then, the weekend people were live as well.
BB: What station was this?
CF: It was the K-Rock.
BB: Very lightly staffed. So, the K-Rock in New Minas was comparatively heavily staffed.
CF: Yes. Two completely different [stations]. Most people start their radio careers working for a small market first, and then expanding. I sort of did it the opposite. Just from the location of my campus, volunteering for Newcap and getting involved, that I started my career with the glamour of Q104 and huge rock shows, and going to everything for free. It was awesome. Obviously, it is still amazing, but I think that going to Corner Brook was great for me, professionally, because I realized that it’s not always that way. And, it’s not always a big rock show and a big fun time. Sometimes it’s small, and you’re just there literally to get better at your craft. And, so that was my opportunity. That was the light in going to Corner Brook.
BB: In 5 years’ time, you hope to be building on this foundation that you’ve developed.
BB: Do you ever see yourself as a Program Director?
CF: Yes. I think so. People tell me I should be a Program Director a lot. I think that’s when I get bitchy. [laughter all around]
BB: There aren’t that many female Program Directors.
CF: No, there really aren’t. It’s definitely something that I’ve thought about. Right now, I think it’s important for me to really get into my craft and get better at what I do and get some knowledge behind me, because when you’re a Program Director, you’re giving guidance to other people. And, right now, almost everyone I’ve worked with has been in the industry longer than me. It’s not that they wouldn’t respect my opinion. We all talk openly, anyway. But, I think it’s important to have knowledge behind you in order to guide people working under you. Maybe in my thirties.
BB: It’s a long time for you. It’s in the past for me. Gee, thanks.
P: We all have to hit our stride sometime. Ours is behind us. So there!
BB: If you did want to become a Program Director, there’s no course to become a PD.
CF: It’s experience.
BB: You work your way into it somehow.
CF: Yes. You do. A job opens up. People look at your resume and say, "OK.". I’ve done this, this and this. Gary has Production under his belt. Again, he’s stacking his resume. The best Program Director is going to have knowledge in every single department because they know how it all works. It all has to work. It isn’t just about your on air jocks, or your Sales department, or your Promotions. It’s about all of those things coming together so that you can put the best product out as possible.
10. What are the kinds of questions a candidate for an on air position at a radio station can expect?
CF: I’m the worst person to be asked this question, because I’ve really lucked out in radio. I haven’t technically, really had a formal interview for any job.
BB: They just offered you the job?
CF: Well, Live 105, yes. It was JD. I had already known him; I had already worked with him. He didn’t need to go through the interview process with me because he knew exactly what I had to offer. So, he was, "Hey, I want you to do this job. It’s yours if you want it."
When I went to Newfoundland, I applied through our company. They flew me up and had a chat with me. But, it was really casual. It wasn’t anything too major. And, again, Gary contacted me about doing weekends because it opened up on K-Rock [New Minas]. We didn’t really have a formal interview process either.
The things that I guess I would ask someone if I were a PD in the future, I would ask a lot about their personalities. You have to be a big personality, so what are you going to bring into your show that makes you stand out from other people in the market? If it’s a Drive shift, how are you going to be different from Scotty Mars, from JAX, from Tom Bedell, from Ruby Carr? What makes you, you on the radio? What are the different things you have in your show that you’re going to bring to the show? Different bits that you do? Different personalities that maybe come along with you? All of that stuff. How well you work with others is important in radio, because we all have to work together, even if we have our own shows.
BB: There’s one studio, and a bunch of people share it.
CF: Exactly. "Are you messy?", would be something I’d ask. Some times our studio is disastrous. It’s like, "I am not your mother."
And, sometimes, getting a job is who you know. The best thing to do is to get some important people to recognize you and chuck them on your resume as contacts and get them to talk highly about you. That’s really important. That will help you go really far.
BB: It happened last year where the computers died in your building or something. [Cub and Floyd] did a call-in show.
CF: There are back ups to all of that. But, if that happened, if you just go off the air, we have a back up system, a back up cd of music. If our computer messes up and all the music that I scheduled doesn’t work, we have a back up that way. Nowadays, it’s really "Radio for Dummies". Before, when it was vinyl, you would have to go from track to track. Now, it’s all computerized; it does it all for you.
BB: But, if your studio became unusable for some reason, do you have a back up studio? Is there some place you could go to? There must be a Production studio you could jump into.
CF: Way to make me freak out! I don’t know. [CF and P laugh]
BB: I think, at K-Rock, Gary said that if something happened to the master control room, they could actually broadcast from it.
CF: I assume that yes, we definitely have something set up. I personally have no idea where that is. Watch. Tomorrow, you’ll jinx me on my show. The studio will blow up while I’m in there.
Have you ever experienced unemployment since you finished your studies?
BB: You’ve always had work in radio.
CF: Yes. Since I finished the college, I’ve been in radio the entire time.
BB: Full-time, pretty much?
CF: Yes. When I was doing that stint when I was working every day, I was technically in 2 places, part-time. But I was probably working more than probably anyone, full-time. [laughs]
11. Bonus Question courtesy of... Neil Spence!
How much of your real personality do you/should you show on the air?
CF: I think, a lot of your own personality. I mean, it’s all up to who you are and what you want to portray on the air. I think the most successful jocks open up and let people into their lives. People listening to you want to know you. They want to feel like you’re their friend and that you’re talking to them. The best jocks make you feel you know who they are.
Floyd, for an example, does a really good job of this. I know that because my friends fall under the category "new radio listeners". There really wasn’t a station before Live 105 that they really liked, so they’d listen to their iPods or they went on satellite or whatever. Then, they started listening to Live 105. My friends, on a weekly basis, will be like, "Oh, did you hear Floyd talking this in the morning? Floyd’s arm hurt. Is it feeling better?" Honestly, they think that they know her and that they’re friends. That’s amazing. Later in the day, they’re thinking about whether or not her cold’s got better. Or, "I wonder how her plans that she had, that she told everyone about, went?" Stuff like that. So, yes, you should definitely open yourself up.
There’s things that you’re not going to want to share. People are private no matter what. You don’t have to tell them everything about you.
P: You don’t want to have a stalker.
BB: Well, I’m sure that’s happened. But, it must be a fine line sometimes, what to share and what to hold back.
BB: If you have a partner you can have a conversation and say, "Honey, do you not want me to talk about this?"
CF: I’m sure there’s some marital fights that happen over people who are in radio, and their kids. I’m not married with kids, but that would be brilliant show prep. One of my roommates is in radio. She gets it. I definitely use stories about living in an apartment, because everyone’s been in their late 20‘s with roommates. They know what that’s like. So, real life stuff relates the best to your listeners because it’s happened to them. They’ve gone through it, too. You’re stuck in traffic somewhere. They’ve done it; they’ve been there.
You have a crappy weekend. You break your heel downtown. You get in a fight with your boyfriend. Your parents do something that makes you upset. Everyone’s been there before. If you share that, they feel that with you because they have the same thing going on in their lives.
BB: They feel an affinity for you.
CF: Right. Exactly. So, open up yourself. Tell people about your life.
BB: But hold stuff back that makes you uncomfortable. You would never say, "Gee, I can’t stand living in my apartment on South Street."
CF: No. I wouldn’t. Some people do. Some people get that into it. We’d never do anything that disrespected my friends or family. I’d never, ever do that. But, again, it’s all in what type of jock you want to be. There are jocks who will just say everything.
P: Shock jocks.
BB: On the Q, they...
CF: Lay it out.
BB: When I talked to Bobby Mac, when he’s not "Bobby Mac", he’s a normal guy. He’s that bombastic on the air; but off the air, he’s just a regular fella.
CF: Sometimes in radio you get to play a character. It’s all in whatever job you want, or how you’re portraying yourself. I say, "Be yourself", but your radio self or alter ego could be something completely different. If that works, then why not roll with it?
BB: It’s served him very well.
CF: It has. Absolutely.
BB: Christina Fitzgerald, thank you very much for the last hour and a half. It’s been lovely meeting you. I appreciate your time.
CF: You fed me, so what else could I ask for?
CF: Thank you!
BB: It was my pleasure. Patricia, stay awake. It’s time to get some pictures.
CF: I put her to sleep over here. She’s snoring over here. How am I supposed to do a show if I’m putting her to sleep?
P: I’m not your demographic.
BB: Thank you.
CF: Thank you.