Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Grand Opening Grand Equipment Grand People

I went to the grand opening of the new digs for CJOB, Power 97 and Groove last night. I was looking forward to the event for a number of reasons: one, I worked in the old building on Portage Avenue for seven years reporting, anchoring, hosting and producing; two, I knew I'd get a chance to see many former colleagues and former students; three, I'm always curious to compare the equipment being used to what we have at the college.

The new space is mostly bright and open and colourful. After talking to a lot of my former colleagues, many are happy about the number of windows and the fact that they can now actually see daylight. In the old building the Power 97 folks were in the basement, and that's never good. The newsroom, however, is in the centre of the building, so the news people don't have a window to double check the weather before they go to air; something I know from experience is a bad thing - just try going to air once telling people it's sunny (because that's the latest forecast from Environment Canada) when it's starting to rain. Holy phone calls.

I appreciate all the chances I get to see my former colleagues. We always do a quick catch up on what's going on in the industry, we talk about how they're changing as the new media (which ain't so new anymore) demands changes. And they always ask if I see any potential radio talent at the college.

The equipment, of course, is all digital. They use iMediaTouch to program all the stations. They use ProTools for production. The news software is Burli, which works on the same principles as KLZ NewsRoom, which is what we have at the college. I've felt for a few years that the equipment we use at the college is better than what students will see when they actually get out there. I'm not feeling that way any more.

All in all the new facility indicates that radio is thriving in Winnipeg. For Corus to spend the kind of money they did to move the stations to Polo Park proves that.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Might as well take advice from Oprah

Went to the church of Oprah Winfrey last night. Unintentionally. I was flipping stations and landed upon OWN, Oprah’s new network. The show that was on was Oprah Presents Master Class, which is essentially head shots of Oprah giving advice and talking about her life and the God she believes in.

It was mesmerizing except for the fact that there seemed to be five minutes of content, six minutes of commercials, five minutes of content. You get the idea.

Oprah says she got her start in radio where they offered her a job after hearing her read some news copy (the disc jockey, she was visiting offered to tape her reading so she could hear how she sounded). The next thing she new there were a number of executives in the room offering her a job.

Well the rest is history as they say. But the message she conveyed over and over was that the reason she has had so many successes is that she stayed true to herself. She told an amusing story about how initially she tried to be Barbara Walters, but then she realized she wasn’t happy and that only Barbara could be Barbara. Once she figured that out, the floodgates opened and it was the beginning of the empire.
She very honestly admits that she was the best she could possibly be at everything she did. And no matter what, no matter how much pressure she got from other people, she stayed true to her core beliefs. One piece of advice she imparted was be the very best at what you do; she said if you’re the person that makes French fries at a diner, make the best French fries and people will notice. Simple huh?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No tears from this class

Well the end of college is in sight for the second year Creative Communications students. And although it makes me a little sad to say good-bye, the radio class of Media Production Majors doesn't look too unhappy.

Here's a montage produced by Jeremie Wookey that highlights what a listener can expect to hear when students run the show Mondays on 92.9 KICK FM.

PSAs for Children's Wish Foundation

Two 2010 grads of Creative Communications, Gina Nasuti and Karine Drieger, who organize an event to raise money for the Children's Wish Foundation in Winnipeg, visited my radio Ad class and offered them the opportunity to write and produce PSAs for the charity. The winning entry would run on Hot 103. There were some excellent PSAs. Here are two. The one that got chosen to air on Hot was Mike Choi's.

Client spots that aired on 92.9 KICK FM

This past year my radio Ad students met with clients, determined their needs, and then wrote and produced spots. Here are some that impressed the clients and aired on 92.9 KICK FM


Halloween piece

Now that we're almost at the end of the college year I've had a chance to listen back to student projects and wanted to share some of the best. This piece was written and produced by Ad Majors Maeghan Heinrichs, Jennifer Hanson and Berea Henderson. It aired on 92.9 KICK FM on Halloween.