I usually don’t work the morning shift at the radio station; my boss Maynard Meyer has done this since the beginning of time. He calls his morning shift “Meyer in the Morning.” Last week for a few days I had the opportunity of working the morning shift. I have worked the morning shift at the radio station before so it is nothing new to me. However, it is very different than spending my day in sales and broadcasting sports.
You need to be a very organized person, which I am not. Let me take you through the process of working the morning shift at KLQP radio. The radio station is basically run by computer, the music and programs are all programmed into the computer. Some of it, mostly music, is generated automatically and some programs you need to put in manually. Every commercial, song, promos, news and weather has to have a computer number. For example, every time you hear a commercial, it will have a number like 93231. That number comes from your purchase order you turn into Kris the office manager and she enters that number into the computer and it is transferred over to the studio computer that is called the log.
Ok, I am getting too technical so I am abandoning writing about the technical part. Working the morning shift means you need to be at the station by 7 o’clock. You need to make sure you have recorded the local news and obituaries that are played every morning at 7:30. Also every day I do a local sports report and that plays at 7:20. Then at 7:45 is the Area Calendar which you can either record or do live, it is a program telling what is happening around the area like school, church and community news. 8:15 is the Appleton/Milan News and I call Mike Meyer in Appleton and he lets us know what is happening in the Appleton area, at 8:40 we call Dawson for the Dawson news with Terry Overlander.
In those two hours between 7 and 9 o’clock, you need to make sure the commercials, songs and the recorded material are all played at the same time every day! People that are listening rely on the news coming on at 7:30, then they know that they should be going out the door for work, so you never play the local news at 7:45, it needs to be 7:30.
The morning shift also includes answering the phone or greeting people when they come in the studio. You are constantly adding and subtracting items from the Rummage Report or the Entertainment calendar. Also getting the birthdays and anniversaries on the air is very important, and updating the weather every half hour and hour. Doing farm market reports is always interesting. We also put on the air lost dogs, cats, or horses, or maybe someone found a wallet and brought it in to the studio. Last Saturday we mentioned that someone had found a dog wearing a Christmas sweater and was looking for the owner.
It is never boring working the morning shift at the radio station. I am always amazed at how well organized Maynard is and how he makes everything work so smooth. I don’t think people realize how much work Maynard does in the mornings. It is way more than just talking into a microphone. I really enjoy working the morning shift, it is always something different and I like the challenges it brings. It also helps that I am a morning person so I am ready to get after it!