Before we came to Canada, I used to be on a weekly radio program. The radio station was Radio Novi Sad, now called Radio Television of Vojvodina and the program I was on was called Radio Bajt (Radio Byte). The format of the show was simple. Do some computer topic or news bite, play a cool song, do some more news – repeat until the hour is done.
I was a regular contributor at the age 15 and I was there almost every Sunday doing my 5 minutes of the show for about 6-9 months.
If you’ve never been to a radio studio, it looks very much like on the TV’s Frasier, but the control room is much bigger and studio is much smaller and covered with spiky foam things. There are windows to the outside, but the were usually shut with three sets of windows to keep the noise out.
Around the table there are 4-5 microphones, a mixer/phone board for the host of the show and sets of small little metal posts by each of the mikes. The posts would patch your microphone to the control room speakers instead of broadcasting it live and you could hear the control room at the same time. I was warned never to touch the little posts when we were on the air since it would broadcast screechy feedback on everyone’s radios.
One week, someone brought Metallica’s "black" album and everyone was in the control room listening to the song. It was on this new fangled new CD medium and they could actually play it on the radio directly. So they did.
I was the only one who stayed around in the studio and I could hear that the song was ending. I was praying that someone that had more broadcasting experience would come in and pull me along to do my segment, but no one was making a motion towards the studio door. I started panicking, but I had chosen an article to cover from a magazine.
I can do this!
I could see the sound guy counting me down with his fingers. Five, four, three, two, one …
silence for a split second…
"Microsoft has announced a new release of an operating system. The new feature in Windows 3.1 is the addition of vector fonts for the display of letters. Up until now, the shapes of letter were…" I slid into the pace and delivered my segment without too many umms and uhhs.
I went on for 4-5 minutes and then I ran out of material. My brain stopped. The horrible silence ensued. We were broadcasting dead air! And there was no one to save me.
After about 10-15 seconds guys in the control booth realized that I was out of material and played the next song. To me, those 10-15 seconds felt like hours. And once the song was playing, people got back into the studio, congratulated me on the first solo segment and then gave me a secret how to fill those 10-15 seconds while the sound guys is lining up the next song. You start doing the call sign "You’re listening to Radio Byte on Radio Novi Sad, …"
So next time you’re out of ideas or things to say, at least you’re not doing it on a live broadcast program.
Please check out these other all-star bloggers in the 2010 Summer Blogging Challenge. Cliff – Peer Pressure Works, Chad – The Grind, Kelly – ‘Round the Bend, Kim – In Desperate Need of Entertainment, Kyle – Teacher, Tinkerer, Farmer, Geek, Liam – In the Now, Brad – Kick Me Out Soon, Tammy –Tam I am, Erron – From The Inside Looking In, James – Feelings of White, Shaun – Expedition of Truths, Janine – Because