CH CH CH CH CHANGES… TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE.
Some people really love change. I’m not one of those people. I liken myself to a tree. I grow roots and branches and stay planted in one place. I bend with the wind, lose an occasional branch, but stay healthy in the core. I withstand storms, heat waves and the season. But I stay rooted.
Friday will be my last day at WSTC/WNLK. For so many, those stations have been an institution in their lives, part of their regular, everyday routine. Tune in in the morning for traffic, weather, news. Tune in in the afternoon to me, if so inclined. For me, for so many years, those station signs on the Post Road beckoned like a mirage in the desert. Practicing law, I dreamed of a more interesting life, a life on the radio.
Gathering the guts to walk into that station in 2006 was a process that took years. Having already spent thousands in re-educating myself at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, I had squirrelled away thousands more to finance myself for the adventure of getting on the radio. Radio time costs money. Today the price of entry means that hosts are usually buying their time and defraying their costs by selling their own advertising. It wasn’t what I expected the business to be, but I embraced it anyway. I wanted so much to get my voice out there that I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen.
Eventually, the show became so popular that my business arrangement changed. In January of 2010, Coxradio moved me to a daily drive-time show. I could proudly say I was earning money doing a job I loved.
Broadcasting is a calling. People who “get the bug” never want to do anything else. But one of the first things you learn is that talented, hard-working people get fired all the time. All the time. The reasons are varied; the station sells, the format changes, the company needs to cut costs. Occasionally, the reason is personal, but most often, it’s not personal at all. It only feels personal because when it happens to you. But if you are going to succeed in this field, you need to be that tree that bends with the wind. You need to withstand the external changes while clinging to the reasons you got behind the mike in the first place.
I was so happy at WSTC/WNLK that I never would have left. I was Mary Tyler Moore, and our station had its own cast of lovable, irreplaceable people. I like to think that I was not complacent, that I was always working harder to create a better show and move on to different, larger platforms. But now that change has been forced upon me, I realize that there was a whole world of wonderful broadcasters that I had never met. Meeting, greeting, negotiating, flirting with opportunities that are presenting themselves- all of it is so much fun. I am having so much more fun than I did practicing law on any day, at any time. I am so grateful for all of it.
On Sunday, we will no doubt have our own last, group hug. We will say au revoir but never goodbye. Broadcasting being the business it is, we may find ourselves working together again. As for me, I’ll take a few days off then get right behind the mike. Stay tuned for details. When I figure it out, you’ll be the first person to know.