Thursday, October 12, 2006

Changes!



I've been working in radio long enough to have seen some interesting changes. There's always going to be changes in personnel. Our host of Backstage Live on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ Joe Scheibinger recently announced his semi-retirement. He's had a tough time with his voice and had to go through surgery, which he passed through with flying colors this week.

That of course opens the door for changes. To paraphrase something I read my first year in radio. No one is indispensible. If you take a teaspoon of water out of Lake Winnebago no one will notice a significant change in the water level. That's not to say that Joe isn't unique and he'll be back from time-to-time.

Aside from the change in personnel a radio station is constantly undergoing changes in technology. Most of ours over the past few years have been associated with computers. More than six months ago our News and Sports went digital. What does that mean? Well, it means that we now record interviews, games, etc. on digital recorders and upload it into a computer. There it's edited and put into programs that allow us to play it back on a computer and out over the air. Maybe that doesn't sound like much of an accomplishment, but now we can review hours worth of recordings in minutes for the best possible quotes and moments.

You can now hear some of that sound on our homepage at KFIZ.com (www.kfiz.com). I'm still not that comfortable with the term podcast, but it's a way you can hear the newsmakers and sports stars put things in their own terms. I kind of like it because through our KFIZ Today newsletter I occasionally hear from someone who grew up in Fond du Lac, but now lives in Texas or England, even Australia and is still keeping tabs on what's going on at home. For them it's an added attraction and you as well. Plus you never know when that next million dollar soundbite ("Today is a day that will live in infamy," "We've just received word from Dallas..") might be something we can share with you.

Vinyl records,cart machines, reel-to-reels, cassettes, digital audio tapes, minidiscs, compact discs...now MP3s. There's certainly been some changes in the way radio has brought you sound over the years. Now the blessed computer has become one of the ways we can do that. I'm not sure what is next, but can hardly wait to see.

How much has radio changed over the years? Consider the picture included in this blog. It's the first mass produced radio from the Marconi Company. Yes that Marconi and this particular model was made in 1922...the year KFIZ first started broadcasting. My Mr. Marconi haven't we come far!