I didn’t leave the office until about 7pm tonight and just before going out the door I walked down the hall, all the way from one end to the other and thought about all the parts that make up what we do every day. There was still plenty going on. The “On Air” lights were on outside two studios.
In the WBOI studio, Bill Forsythe was kicking off his Nightflight Jazz program. Bill’s fairly new to the station, as volunteer jazz hosts go, and I like his style. It’s a real commitment, doing a weekly program in the evening, and I’m impressed with how much our hosts care about the art form. Our jazz audience, like that in so many regions, is diminishing so who knows what the future will bring. But on this particular Friday night, there are good sounds coming from that studio out to the universe. Internet streaming, with all its challenges (playlists, logs, music rights . . .), does let our programs go everywhere someone has an internet connection and that makes it bigger than the air it travels through.
The light was also on outside the Production Studio, a little studio where we do off air work, nuts and bolts kind of things like underwriting spots, editing news stories, laying down music beds, that sort of stuff. Tonight our membership manager (and journalist), David Hunter, and Andy Welfle, managing director of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective and member of our Community Advisory Board (and journalist) are recording stories with other citizen journalists as we continue to work on Citizen Wayne, an idea in development that we think is going to be awesome when it’s ready for prime time. People from throughout the community are submitting story ideas, writing the stories and then recording them and we hope to have a pilot program ready before too long. Think This American Life . . . OK, not exactly, but the idea is the same. There are stories and we can all tell them.
During the day today, before the night shift came on, we dealt with transmitter difficulties, hosted a Midday Matters about baseball and music, wrote grants, analyzed more of the pledge drive, dissected pieces of the web site, wrote sponsorship proposals and looked at menus for the wine tasting, tried to come up with a few more location possibilities for the StoryCorps mobile unit, thanked people for gifts (thank you!) and responded to complaints.
All that matters tremendously. Nothing would go out from those studios if all that activity wasn’t happening to support it.
But in the end, as I walked through the hall on the programming and production end of the building, I had to think, watching Bill stack up his carefully selected CDs and Dave and Andy inviting members of our community to record those stories, all those supporting activities, which include, by the way, almost everything I do on a daily basis, are just that – supporting activities.
What matters most is what happens when the “On Air” lights come on. What happens there is what matters to you and it’s what matters to us.
Thanks for helping us make it happen.