Friday, April 04, 2008

Saturdays With Mike

Sometimes I wonder if radio is the last holdout where dj’s are regularly required to work six-day weeks. As long as I have been in the business, and it’s been quite a while, many of the daytime weekday staff also pulled a Saturday shift.

[This is another of those “late one day” posts, written tomorrow, so to speak.] I’m listening to my favorite station right now, courtesy of the Internet, Toronto’s CHWO, better known as AM740, and the 3-7pm jock is doing middays. He sounds live, but you never know; these days he could be voice-tracked, at home and watching a hockey game.

The life of a disc jockey is one of regularity. If your shift is 10-to-2, then those are the hours you work, regardless of what holiday it is – including Christmas. Well, at one station where I worked, you had somewhat of a reprieve: each person’s shift was reduced to two hours and the slack was taken up by the poor evening announcer who normally worked 6:30 to sign-off. He got stuck with 3:00 to midnight.

Nine hours at the mike. Or, as we call it, the mic.

You figure the average dj can fit in six records per half-hour, along with whatever else you have to do in that time. Seven, if you are good and can keep up the pace, which you can’t over a long period of time. That’s six times eighteen. So you are selecting and cueing up about 100-110 cuts of music over a nine-hour period. Welcome to the exciting world of radio.


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