Almost daily, I am asked about my job on 97.9 Lite FM. How the songs are chosen, where I get ideas for stories, and most frequently, what's it like to be a radio guy? I'll tell you what it's like to be a radio guy: very strange.
If I were to set up a camera in our studio, you would not see interns rushing in with things to talk about on the air. You would not see people staring in the hallway window, watching the magic happening in that relatively small space. You wouldn't see neon lights, beautiful women, and shelves of records lining the walls. You'd see me. And computers. And air. Before me is a soundboard that controls what you hear and how loudly you hear it. There's a computer full of music from the past three or four decades. And there's a microphone. Those are the three tools in that room that allow me to do my job.
Even though I have walked into that very familiar studio hundreds of times over the years, it's still a very strange feeling when I shut the door to start my show. I don't have any idea who is listening. I don't know how many people are listening at any given moment. I don't know what people are doing while they are listening. But I turn on the microphone every weekday with full faith that people are listening, and will enjoy the next four hours.
Think about it. I sit in a room by myself. I dim the lights for a little bit of atmosphere. I talk to myself, by myself. The walls are padded with foam sound insulation. Peering into the studio, it could easily look like a scene from "Silence Of The Lambs." And with every day being a different four-hour show, I am searching for entertaining things to talk about, wracking my brain until I pull my hair out. As you can see from my Kojak hairstyle, I do a lot of pulling.
I hope you enjoy what you hear on 97.9 Lite FM. Spencer and Mandee are mighty giants of the morning and midday. As always, feel free to get in touch with any of us on our Facebook page. Follow me on Twitter, at twitter.com/justintate. I want to hear from you...unless you're a jerk. Then go find Spencer.