Awhile back I was asked if I had any big bloopers in my radio career. YES, too many to mention in this blog, but here are a couple that stand out to me:
#1 When I worked at KXJX in Pella (Now Lazer 103.3) I had to do a New Years Eve broadcast from a bar that is no longer in the square in Knoxville called Kelly’s. It was a nice place to have brew or something to eat. Kelly’s was a bit of a pioneer in terms of being a “sports bar.” I remember watching the Iowa Hawkeye’s in The Rose Bowl at Kelly’s. The manager of Kelly’s hired me and KXJX to do the broadcast to bring in the new year. My job was to interview people as they came in the door. This was before the advent of the 7 second delay that you might hear radio stations talking about. One couple came in and, it was pretty obvious that they had been enjoying a few “adult beverages.” As the male half of the couple came up to me I asked him his name and he said “are we on the radio?” I said “yes, we are” to which he said NO SH*T!!! I quickly took the microphone away from him. It’s a lucky thing for me that the Station Manager looked the other way that night.
#2 The other time that comes to mind was when I was at my first radio job after broadcasting school, KWBE in Beatrice, Nebraska. Our FM station was KMAZ and it was 100,000 watts. This means that the signal covered a big area of the Nebraska plains. I was running the control board for the boys basketball playoffs. The challenge from me was to play the commercials for the regular game and in between quarters I was suppose to switch over to get updates on another play off game. These games were broadcast over phone lines back to the station and unknown to me I had the mistakenly turned on the phone control on, on the control board. The plan was for the guy at the main play by play game intro the other guy during the quarter breaks. When the guy called from the game where we were going to get quarter break reports he said that he couldn’t hear the station where he was at so he wouldn’t be able to get the cue from the main game guy to which I said “OH SH*T.” The phone lines started ringing. The owner of the station called me on his 2 way radio because he couldn’t get through on the phone lines. He asked me what happened and I explained the best I could. He asked me to type out to letters of explanation. One for him and one for the FCC and put it on his desk. I remember being so scared I would lose my job that I called my Mom back in Newton to ask her to get the guest bedroom ready. He was a tough boss when it came to this sort of thing because in the main radio studio he had a sign up that said “If There’s Any Doubt In Your Mind, Don’t Do It, Don’t Say It, Don’t Play It.” The next day I was sure he was going to fire me. He called me into his office and he said “have you learned your lesson?” I said that I had and with that he said, “get back to work.”