I’m Out of Radio Again

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Prior to getting into the teaching biz, I had an illustrious OK career in radio. I got out in 1999 after 25 years in the talent and programming end. I thought that was it, until I was asked to fill in for two quarters as the Interim Faculty Advisor for Bearcast, the University of Cincinnati’s student Internet radio station. That time officially ends Saturday, March 22, in what seemed like the blink of an eye.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t have a lot to do. The student directors and staff members ran the station very well on a day-to-day basis. I presided over the weekly meetings, occasionally dispensing some real-life experience and knowledge so that they and the station could grow. I also performed admiministrative duties like approve purchases and put out the rare fire.

The highlights of my tenure:

We decided on an automation system that will be used when live DJs are not on. Right now, we “loop’ some CDs. We’ll sound a lot more professional in the off hours after it’s up and running.

The students picked a new logo, which will be officially licensed by the university. It will be unveiled in the near future.

The station hosted some very well-attended promotional functions on campus and at neighborhood businesses.

Some neighborhood businesses agreed to run the Bearcast stream on their in-house audio system.

Some of the students took a field trip to world-famous Internet radio station woxy.com to observe how they do radio.

I gave them some tips on streamlining their shows so they don’t ramble, a common symptom of college radio. I played some airchecks from some of the local rock stations, and played one of me on the old 96 ROCK from 1985. They got a big kick out of it.

We had a very productive discussion about profanity on the air. Some of the DJs were dropping F-Bombs and other similar words. The majority of the staff members don’t think it sounds professional, and wanted to impose penalties on DJs who did that. The consensus was that even though Bearcast isn’t bound by FCC regulations, it is a representative organization of the university. I found their views surprising and refreshing. It has nothing to do with censorship or prudishness. They want their station to sound better.

I learned a lot by working with these fine young students of radio. They are very mature, they are good, rational decision-makers, they get along well with each other, and they are serious about their studies and their careers. I will miss working with them. There’s not much else to say.

Hopefully, I’ll come back as a guest lecturer in future quarters. Their permanent advisor, Dr. John Owens, will be back from sabbatical. He won’t have a thing to worry about with this group!

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