Here’s one of those “only in radio” stories I’ll be telling on myself for a while…
It should come as no surprise that radio stations are driven by computers playing a playlist of music, promotional announcements, and commercials. Right? Right.
This makes it easy to record something repetitive… like the weather forecast… and just drop it into the computer at the appropriate point in the playlist, right? Right.
Well, it should be easy. When you’re paying attention.
Each element of the show has a name (we still tend to call them “cart numbers” after the old cartridge tapes that us older folks remember from the pre-computer days)… and this is where I got into trouble.
I recorded the weather on cart WWX-1. There’s another cart, WX1, that is a “bed” for those times we do the weather live. Cart WX1 is just the music, it runs over a minute, and is designed to be used under the live DJ, and cut off when the DJ is done.
So when I dropped the weather track into the playlist around 2:15 today, I meant to put in track WWX-1 (pre-recorded current weather) but instead put in WX1 (weather bed), thus letting my listeners get a minute of Oldies’ instrumental theme music instead of the actual weather forecast. Anyone who says this is an improvement will be thrashed soundly. Of course, the track played while I was taking a… um… “break” up the hall and so I didn’t realize what happened until I went back over the log of which tracks had played and found… the wrong one.
This is the closest thing radio has to bloopers, folks…
So if you were listening this afternoon around 2:15, that explains that.
And if you weren’t, why not?