I do feel sorry for all those Oshawa, Ontario Autoworkers who may be out of a job when the General Motors plant closes next year.
How many thousands of people will be unemployed? A major downturn for the City of Oshawa and area and I know because I lived next door in Pickering once upon a time and worked in Radio in Oshawa- two stations, as well as Durham at CHOO Country Radio.
It was a lifetime ago but GM was an integral part of the community.
GM was everything and Gawd help you if you drove a Ford or a non-Canadian made car. You'd get the middle finger salute when stopped at a light while driving down Taunton Road. My friend Lynda who also worked at these statiuons had a non GM car and she always spoke of rude encounters of the GM kind.
Now, I read that the PM and even Ontario Premier Doug Ford- who only got 40% of the vote and won a majority, are getting all talky-talky trying to save jobs.
I know that's big and I am little but no one from any government tried to save my radio job the day I walked into a Manager's Office at a radio station and asked-
"How come I'm not on the schedule for next week?"
The Manager looked up from his desk for a minute and said-
"Because I don't have anything for you."
He looked back down at his desk and continued to do what he was doing.
I walked out.
That was almost my radio goodbye
No one cared that I was without a job.
Apparently there was no money and no room at the inn.
A government department didn't infuse money into that station so I could keep my job or new jobs could be made.
Not at all.
I was on a contract and because I was over the magic age of 50, nobody in radio wanted me.
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It's not easy to find a new job in radio but no government department stepped in with an infusion of cash or help either.
I did work at one other station afterwards but that only lasted another year or so because youngsters would work for less than an "older" man- namely me and I got pushed around. Actually pushed closer to the door.
I didn't make a great wage to begin with and there was no pension. That's something that I tell young folks who ask about going into broadcasting today.
There's no security and plan for your future retirement.
I did work at another station that was the reason Orillia, Ontario got a second FM station a few years back. It was because of a guy named Nick who started a station without going through all the "proper" channels. He was legal- sort of, until area stations complained. The big boys knew the little station was getting listeners. Nick wanted a community station so very badly. Finally, the CRTC said he had to shut down and apply through proper channels. He did and several more did. I was at the CRTC hearings and Nick lost. A company that already had several stations won.
Fuck the little guy.
So, that was really my last terrestrial station.
It was in the next year that I started Swisssh- almost 12 years ago now, from a home studio and eventually Starlite.
How long will these stations last?
I don't honestly know but they both survived the moved to the Island and right now they are both in the Holiday Mood.
Am I getting rich?
I don't get a dime.
I pay my own way with servers and my yearly SOCAN fees for music.
If I had a few hundred thousand, I'd even consider hiring a voice or two. Going "live" on air more and maybe even making a difference with my style of radio.
I am proud of both of my stations and you know what?
I did it all by myself with a little technical help from Charles and help from other radio friends- like Heather and Don who were also displaced long the way.
If Justin is reading this or any other Government-type person and you've got a few thousand dollars laying stuffed in a drawer, you can cut me a cheque today or drop off the drawer's contents.
I'd be ever so glad and thankful.