Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the broadcaster who meant well

I arrive at Learfield at 5 am, ready to work, ready to be the sports guy. I get to my computer, ready to gather the news. I open Microsoft Word, ready to write my broadcasts. I have two, one minute broadcasts that I'm supposed to record by 6:15, and Bill informed me of the best strategy; get into the booth at 5:45 to record them, which obviously requires already written broadcasts to read. I get about three sentences in, and look down at the time. Oh no! 5:38! I had spent about 25 minutes just staring at the screen, my eyes still glazed with a heavy film of drowsiness and inexperience. I want to reach for the coffee machine so badly, but, alas, I've given up caffeine. I speed it up, and I get into the booth around 5:56, my heart racing.

I record my first broadcast for the Nebraska Radio Network flawlessly. I cut it up and mix it down (broadcasting lingo, you wouldn't understand). 6:05. I record my Missourinet broadcast, with a few hiccups, but it's serviceable. I cut it up and mix... something in my mind clicks. Oh no! At the beginning and end of my Nebraska broadcast I had recorded, "Good Morning, I'm Jon Allison with sports on the Missourinet!" I go back into the Nebraska broadcast and record the correct lead-in and out... 6:12. Okay, I can do this. I go back into the Missourinet broadcast and begin the cutting and mixing at the speed of light. Finished... 6:16! That's it. Too late. I'm finished. I'm done. One whole minute of dead air. I clench my teeth and my fists, and I curse as loud as anyone would curse in a sound-proof booth, over and over. and over. I leave the booth with my head down... but then I realize: I've got a one minute due by 7:15 and a two minute that goes out at 7:20. It's time to screw my head back on and get to work.

I write my broadcasts and get into the booth with plenty of time... flawless, really this time. I wait and listen from them on the radio. Everything's fine. sigh.

I later admit my 6:15 defeat to the other reporters. They take a second to respond, which proves that I really had fudged it. They proceed to tell me that 'it happens' and 'it's not a big deal', and that it's not dead air that went out; it's just the previous day's 6:15 that went out (which is only slightly better than dead air). I take comfort in the fact that the lead story is still the same: the Royals lose.

From then on, I never missed a broadcast. A couple of them went down to the minute, but when I got them in, it felt like... like... coming home. Unfortunately, I didn't get to bring in a brewskie to prove my manliness. Instead, in between my noon and afternoon broadcasts, I went home and napped.

Following is a video (because I can't figure out how to post an mp3 using blogger) of my first ever broadcast from my first week at Learfield back in January (have pity on me... it was 6 in the morning and I was so much younger then), followed by one of my broadcasts from this weekend. I think you'll enjoy the difference.

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