Tuesday, November 27, 2018

ROBBLOG #754- Radio Daze


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.
Sad, eh?

These are my very own Online Stations broadcasting today.
Check out www.swisssh.ca or look to the right of this Blog
Just a couple of weeks ago a Toronto station's entire morning and afternoon show was canned. An Edmonton morning show in the same chain also let go. That's the way in Radio. Over the years I made it through two such cuts.
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.

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