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Re: WTIC (AM) studios moving out of Hartford & WBZ glitches

In a message dated 7/31/99 1:12:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
mwaters@mail.wesleyan.edu writes:

<< IMO, it's pretty unusual to hear such a steady pounding of on-air remarks
 criticizing a radio station's management. >>

in any station, the off-air remarks would probably be funnier, but less 
suitable for air! <g>
and another <g>... wish i could hear Bruce Stevens' version of events.  the 
man is master of sarcasm... dripping, dry, downeast Maine meets big city 
humor.  he was as slick and smooth as they come back in 1982. at WGAN, he was 
bashing management on-air long before it became the standard form that we 
find on radio everywhere.  good for them!  (unless, of course, you're my 
boss, in which case, i totally agree that the airing of the family secrets is 
not proper fodder for an on-air broadcast.... )

irt the other thread on WBZ's tech glitch/problems...
Bruce was doing pm drive in Boston when they brought in the touch-screen 
system, which at that time fired the insta-carts in master control for spots. 
 jingles and tunes were still played manually in ITC cart decks in the 
studio.  he was just as merciless then, as was Maynard.  and whenever they 
could double-team engineering (which, by the way, came up with that system, 
and they really, really did a great job) and management over the initial 
problems, they would...  (me, i was a wimp then... being the new kid, i 
didn't dare.).   <g off>

but if the staff are dealing with a new or reconfigured software system, and 
the staff in the station's master control are doing seven things already (as 
most are...), it's tough to be as quick on the uptake to help correct a 
problem.  the master control ops at WBZ are probably:  screening phone calls 
for talk hosts, grabbing feeds, taking direction from hosts and anchors 
waiting live hookups (phone or sat), making sure traffic reporter is ready, 
oh, and here's Elliot Abrams standing by on ISDN 4...  they're usually very 
very busy.  
again, keep in mind that most of the "double audio" problems come with the 
uncertainty as to whether or not the audio from the traffic (SmartTravler 
/Metro/ Shadow...whoever they are this week) is actually coming.  if you 
listen carefully, as i do cuz i'm in the car for two hours at a whack and 
have nothing else to do, a "double audio" situation usually, but not always, 
follows a two-count.  ("24 hour traffic network... one ... two.... ) then the 
studio person needs to just roll with their next event.  unfortunately, by 
the time the anchor decides it's time to move on, the traffic person gets 
his/her machine to fire.

there is a bit more to on-air tech glitches than "system software problems" 
or "not caring about the problem".  WBZ should be concerned if, once the mics 
are dead, there is not a flurry of expletives from the booth.  we, who hit 
the buttons and do care, know it sounds crappy, and vow it'll never happen 
again.  til the next time.

chuck igo