The Worst Job In Radio

I seldom put an entry in the blog knowing Helaine will see it and smile, but this is one. Helaine and I share a heritage in radio and this is a story about radio.

Back when I did mornings in Philadelphia, radio was the big gun at wake-up time. I haven’t done comparative snooping, but I would guess most people at home now watch TV while getting ready for school or work. Maybe I’m wrong? There is certainly a higher percentage watching TV than there was when I got out of radio, 25 years ago.

I loved doing mornings. There was a great deal of freedom to do and say what I wanted (which in those days was less edgy than what’s done today, though hopefully just as entertaining).

My job was great every morning, except after a snowstorm! In those days, before automated TV crawls, radio stations read ALL the school closings.

In the Philadelphia region, this was accomplished through the use of an (even then) old teletype which would spit out a list of numbers. Each number would correspond to a school district or individual school. Everyone knew their own personal code.

The morning of the snow I’d spend most of my on-the-air time reading from the list. “Number sixteen twenty seven, closed. Number sixteen twenty nine, closed.” It was tedious and tiring.

It actually got worse the next morning when closings weren’t as clear cut. “Number sixteen twenty seven, two hour delay, no morning kindergarten. Number sixteen twenty nine, one hour delay, no after school programs, afternoon kindergarten report at 11:00 AM.”

That second day, the list could take two or three times as long to read!

I don’t expect they still do that on the radio. Television is much too capable of handling this faster and more efficiently… and the Internet is an order of magnitude better than that.

I still miss radio, just not when it snows.

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