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.

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