If you were listening to 89.1 yesterday you might have heard some interesting things. What’s up, you might have said to yourself. Who’s making the radio today?
Some starts and stops. Underwriting credits read all together instead of nicely spaced throughout Morning Edition. Some late newscasts and a weather report in an odd moment.
Here’s what happened. The computer in the broadcast studio crashed. Big time. And everything, absolutely everything except the live broadcaster’s voice, is run by that computer. And yesterday, being a holiday, even the broadcaster was set to run by that computer. And . . . it crashed.
The fact that we heard anything at all, except maybe the infamous jazz music that comes on when we have silence for more than a minute, is due to remarkable work by Ed Didier, our engineer, and Kevin Kreigh, our program director. I admit that when they tell me what they did, it means very little to me, but they kept things running.
What it really means is that nobody took the easy way out. Nobody said “It’s a holiday. Labor Day, on top of that. Let’s bag it and come back tomorrow and fix it.” It’s an example of what goes on here, day in and day out, with a small staff that knows their stuff.
You’d have missed it, right, if they hadn’t kept it going? If Morning Edition hadn’t shared news, info, and arts and culture with you? If there had been no Diane Rehm? If it had only been music, even fantastic music, you would have felt like something was missing?
That’s the message we’d like to get across as we approach our fall efforts to raise the resources needed to keep the station running every day. It isn’t just technical glitches and break downs that can trip us up, but lack of resources can do the same. In fact, when we’re running short of resources we have more technical problems because it’s harder to keep things tip-top when we’re “cash choked” (thank you, Steve Linsenmayer). The whole “circle of (radio) life” thing.
We miss it when it’s gone for even a bit, this public radio programming. And it’s great that each of us can help make certain that when you punch that preset (you do have us preset, don’t you?) you’re going to hear just what you’re eager to hear.
So big thanks, NIPR staff extraordinaire. And thanks to you, for funding the bubblegum and tin foil, and the real parts, too.