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And…We’re Back

September 28th, 2013

I’ve got the usual not-blogging excuses: lack of time, lack of enthusiasm, lack of anything to say. Blah, blah, let’s move on.

I went to my first public radio conference earlier this month. I spent an entire week in Atlanta, participating in a workshop for newbie radio program directors before attending the main conference. I had a wonderful time and learned a lot, but by the last of the seven days, I was beginning to understand what George Clooney’s character in Up in the Air¬†felt. (Minus the looking like George Clooney and the discreet sexual rendezvous with Vera Farmiga.) Living out of a hotel gets old, even with a Chik-Fil-A a short walk away.

One welcome difference between my public radio and television worlds is that while it took me several years of PBS conferences to be socially comfortable, here I felt at home in just a few days. Heck, by the end I was sidling up to Garrison Keillor, as seen to the right.

The most important thing I learned about the radio portion of my job was that I was looking at it completely wrong. When I took on my new responsibilities as “content director” for both WILL television and radio, I assumed that the latter wouldn’t consume much of my workday. I viewed it mostly in terms of program scheduling, and thought, “hey, the lineup rarely changes.” The program directors’ workshop disabused me of that narrow focus; the PD’s role is one of monitoring every aspect of the listener’s experience. Since I’ve returned from Atlanta, I’ve had to change the way that I listen to WILL-AM and -FM, and to be much more mindful of the sound and content of the station breaks.

Even though I’m working at the same place and doing many of the same things, I feel as if I’m embarking on a new career, and at my age, that’s something I didn’t expect to experience.



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