Yesterday, we broadcasted from three locations in the Chicago area:
Ryan Walsh and Dan Repay announced the first two games. Sam Michel and Peter Krukowski announced the last two. Christina Cortez and Jimmy Mullaney took care of the video engineering.
2. Midlands Wrestling Tournament, Hoffman Estates, Illinois. John Slivka, our wrestling guy, went to the tournament at the Sears Center. He did Facebook Live updates on Region wrestlers who made it to wrestle in college. It’s a prestigious tournament. You can go watch his videos if you want.
3. WJOB studios at the Purdue Northwest Commercialization Center. As all of this other stuff was going on, we still had normal programming from the studios.
At all three locations we had technical issues. This resulted in dozens of texts coming my way. I dealt with many of the texts, but you will be proud to know that at no time did I leave my family to go fix things.
I did, however, spend some significant time on my phone texting and then going to Facebook and then going to my car to listen to the radio and then texting some more. I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to be the guy texting at the kitchen table when my cousins are in from Los Angeles and Knoxville. I don’t want to be the guy asking –
“Hey, uncle Danny, I know that you’re serving dinner right now, but do you have a laptop I could use to deal with a couple of technical issues at the station?”
I am, of course, that guy. It’s part of living a life of local radio. It’s the video mostly that causes the technical issues. If we were just doing radio, things would be a lot simpler. But that’s not the modern world. The modern world is live video. We are leaders in that world, which is good. We are learners in that world, which is challenging.
At the Highland basketball site, they couldn’t get sound from the audio mixing board into the new Apple laptop that we bought for video streaming games. At the main studio, we also had sound issues. We recently upgraded our Wirecast software to the 8.2 version and they were having trouble getting the sound to work on Facebook Live and Twitter video. Oh well.
Actually, the least of our technical problems came at the Midlands Wrestling tournament, where sometimes wrestling reporter Slivka was broadcasting. He’s new to the broadcasting world but not to the wrestling world and just needed a few questions answered.
In all of this, note that I did not leave my family to go fix things. Not once. It was a little embarrassing when my uncle Danny and my cousin Cindy’s husband, Brien Delich, sat down to watch the South Bend Washington game and there was no sound. If you want, by the way, you can hook your laptop via an HDMI cord to your TV and watch high school basketball on WJOB in your living room.
We did just that. As mentioned, nephew Alex plays for South Bend Washington. After a while, we got the sound fixed and several of us could sit in my uncle Danny’s living room watching the game. My cousin Scott was sitting under the basket, so my uncle Danny had a great idea.
“Hey, can you tell your camera man to zoom in on Scott under the basket? Let’s see if he’s chewing tobacco.”
So we did. It’s one of the perks of owning your own radio stations and your own growing video company. There he was, my cousin Scott, sitting under the basket slyly spitting into a cup. He thought he was getting away with it, but the camera doesn’t lie.
Meanwhile, back at the station, Rick Kubic and Tony Panek and Shamari Walker worked feverishly to fix audio for the Facebook and Twitter video. But to no avail. I could have driven through the snowstorm to help them out… but no way.
In the end, back at the studio, they were forced to do it old school, which means they did their shows on radio only. It’s a sign of the times that if you do your show on radio only, you feel like you partially failed. Let’s just accept it that we are no longer radio but something more than radio.
Three technical issues. No JED. I don’t mean to speak of myself in the third person, but in the end I got to spend some time with my cousins. Monaca Brown is in from Burbank, California. She is the daughter of my mom’s brother, Dennis, who died nine years ago from cancer. Dennis went to Purdue Calumet, got a construction degree and went on to be project manager at some big builds, including the Palace at Auburn Hills. He built a huge prison outside of St. Louis and the football stadium for the Tennessee Titans. He could build big things, but what he couldn’t do was beat cancer. I have no doubt that his cancer had its roots under the old nine-span bridge in the Frogsville section of Hammond. That’s where my mom and her brothers grew up. Their childhood playgrounds were a railyard, a chemical factory and several junkyards. They all died early from cancer. Their siblings Danny and Joanie are still around. Lots of cancer. Lots of death. You feel it at the holidays.
Cousin Jason Brown was also in town. He used to live with Alexis and I and the girls and Steve after he graduated from Michigan State. He needed a little time to figure out what to do with his life. I didn’t even know that he has a daughter, Harley, who is four years old. Harley played quietly with her dolls as Jason and I caught up on things. He writes advertising for an agency in Knoxville.
That should do it for now. I guess that I really just wanted to show to the three or four of you that I could stay away from work no matter what. Believe me, there were times yesterday that I nearly got in my car and drove down to the studio or to one of the remote sites. But I didn’t. As I told you before, I forsook my family for 18 years as a futures trader in the pits of the Chicago Board of Trade. Trading came first. Many times I left family dinners to drive up to Chicago or go into my trading room in the basement. I won’t live that life again. Besides, the more that I allow people at WJOB to figure things out on their own, the better off we all are. It’s the day before New Year’s Eve. Enjoy yourself.