Your radio horror stories

Yesterday radioinfo reported on Greg Burns’ first day at work on Nova 9.69.
Fitzy and Wippa stitched him up by arranging an alternate feed to be played to listeners, leaving the station’s overseas appointment believing nothing was working in the studio.
You couldn’t help but watch without your heart pumping and butterflies in the stomach, perhaps taking you back to your first day on air or even the first shift you paneled for an OB or your first ever cross.
All have the potential to go wrong.
So knowing that, radioinfo’s Kim Napier asked around for your horror stories.
I wouldn’t call it horror,” recalls Jason Mclean. “But it’s funny and some were horrified.
“It was my 1st shift in radio at a station in Tweed Heads called ‘Easy Listening’ 97…1st song logged was missing. The night guy said when a record is missing, to replace it with another. I took that literally, saw Van Halen’s ‘1984’ album sitting in the corner and put on ‘Jump’. Picture this, the VO says “…. the relaxing alternative, with more of your golden memories, on Easy Listening 97″, then into the intro of Jump. I still laugh at that.”
Probably is part of an easy listening playlist these days Jason.
SCA’s Sam Vallins’ big opportunity was a horror story.
20 minutes before the shift was to start, I was given the opportunity to fill in on national workday after the jock called in sick,” he says.
“Being the only announcer available I quickly whipped up my headphones, jumped into the studio, lined up my personalised intro and waited patiently for my first ever national shift to start. 9am came around on the clock, I fired off my opener only to be greeted by the sound of silence.
‪” Desk wasn’t on air. 10 seconds of silence across the network followed by a break that sounded like I was about to have an aneurysm.”
Chris Sewell from Star FM in Dubbo recalls working in the Albury hub and filling in for Truck Radio.
Whoever was last to leave during the day hadn’t set the alarm properly and when I went to come in a bit after 11 to start at midnight, the alarms went off!
“They were ear piercing, even locking myself in the studio I could still hear it,” he says.
“I thought maybe I’d entered the code wrong so went back outside to try again, it locked me out of the building. Security finally came, I got into the studio a minute before the show started.”
We have all done this Teej Fender, “…saying the previous station’s ID on the next one I worked for, which I did at just about every station the first week I was there including 2NX on 2CC”.
In fact, I did something similar on Adelaide’s FIVEaa over summer saying what a gorgeous day it was in Hobart. I wonder what the listeners made of that!
Hang on, Teej has remembered something that’s made him shiver.
“When I was young and very green at 2RE in the early 80s, we used to do an OB every Friday from a Shopping Centre.
‪” A very basic makeshift studio was set up at each location and we’d take our records and a reel to reel with the ads down. We had to be really careful not to leave the channel open after the break played on air.
“The breaks were recorded in their entirety, including jingles on the tape – we just cued to the next break.
‪” About half an hour into the 4-hour shift, one of the very old turntables crapped itself, the tech couldn’t come down and the Manager wouldn’t let me go back to the studio.
“So I had to talk in between every song. Only in the game about a year and I had to think up something meaningful, either local and/or entertaining to say after every song for the next three and a half hours!
“By the end of it I was resorting to explaining how we “cued” records, how we listen to the ends of them to know when to come in etc.
‪” That was a fun afternoon.”
And educational Teej.
If you have any horror stories from your early days or at new stations please share them.
We can all relate.

          Kim Napier

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