So many pots, switches, buttons, knobs..what 'dis do?

Matthew Osborne
Tue Jan 2 10:13:56 EST 2007

On Thu, 28 Dec 2006 20:55:22 Daniel Billings wrote:

> It is not just the big guys that have these
> problems.  JJ Jeffrey's Big Jab
> sports station is broadcast on three stations,
> including AM 900 out of
> Brunswick.  95.5 and AM 1440 are the main stations
> and the Brunswick feed is
> an after thought.  From time to time, the station is
> unlistenable.  I'm not
> sure how they feed the audio to the station but
> something happens that makes
> the whole station sound like you have slightly tuned
> out of the station.
> One time it went on for days.  I sent an e-mail.  It
> was fixed the next day.

    I also have a story to contribute here.  The
actual station involved as well as the person involved
in this matter will remain nameless.  Back in 2000,
this station used to carry the 2-hour version of the
syndicated rock show "Flashback" on automation.  A
particular board operator was assigned to run a
countdown show on a much larger sister station during
the same timeslot.  This board operator was the only
person in the building at the time, and was also
expected to "keep an eye" on all the other stations to
make sure they remained on the air and operating
    Soon after taking over this shift, in between
running the countdown, they noticed that the same
second hour of Flashback had run for 3 weeks in a row.
 They notified engineering and programming, who
inititally just blew them off (engineering also showed
the board operator how they changed the Flashback
program CDs in the jukebox automation system they used
to ensure that the show was being properly updated). 
The following week the same thing happened again, at
which point the board operator started to ride
engineering about this a bit more persistently. 
Although they didn't let on to the board op initially,
it appeared that they finally listened to the station
during Flashback and also noticed that something was
indeed wrong.  
    After a couple more weeks of wrangling, all
parties involved were a bit surprised to find out that
a previous engineer, while trying to cover up a
mistake they made while programming the automation
system, had slipped a Flashback Hour Two CD someplace
else in the jukebox, and put a hack in the automation
system scheduler to always run that second hour
instead of the correct Hour Two CD.  Further,
engineering realized that this situation had been
going on for quite some time BEFORE this board
operator had noticed it (although they would not admit
how long, the board op figured it was likely going on
for a couple years).  They told the board op that they
were the first person in all that time to actually
notice that something was wrong, meaning that nobody
ever really paid attention to, or even listened to the
station in question.

    So this is not at all an uncommon situation, and a
final note from me on this story - this particular
situation occurred in a much larger market than most
people might think.

                            Matt Osborne
                            Schenectady, NY

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