Drex jumps in the deep end
Justin “Drex” Wilcomes has made the jump from FM to AM in Canada and it’s not AM music, but AM Talk.
You might recall Drex got himself into a bit of trouble last year at another network, when he asked Canadian Premier Christy Clark what she thought of being a MILF.
His new boss, Ian Koenigsfest, brand director of AM programming at Corus Radio told The Globe and Mail, ““He comes at things from a different angle, and if we have an opportunity on night-time radio to be irreverent, brazen and bold and do it in a smart and savvy way, he’s the guy who is doing it.”
For the last few weeks Drex has been doing weekend shifts for the AM Talk station he will be doing nights for fulltime from September 2, being CKNW.
A few weeks ago, Drex did his AM talk shift in Townsville back to Canada, in his own words (as only Drex can) here is how he covered the gig – some 11,000 plus k’s away. Thanks for letting us share it Drex.
Broadcasting From Another Country
It’s not something I ever imagined doing, but when you’re given the opportunity to broadcast from another country… You take it!
While here In Australia for Mom’s 60th… Mom being the north american way to spell it, Mum for you Southern Hemisphere grammar nazi’s. I had the fortunate luck to do the weekend show on CKNW that I cover more often than not. Before I left Canada Ian; the CKNW Brand Director, asked me to cover the weekends for the entirety of August. Not one to shy away from talking into a microphone I said yes, then realised that I would be on the other side of the planet, some 11,265 Kilometres from home.
I mentioned to Ian that my friend Blair (Woodcock) with whom I’d worked with many years ago was now the Program Director of a few radio stations in the city and he would be able to facilitate the use of his studios so we could do the show from there LIVE back to Canada.
The reason I knew that is because I had worked in the very same building some 12 years prior. And while there couldn’t actually believe the amount of spare studios this building had. It was build back in 1999 for the express purposes of networking radio shows from one major regional city into smaller markets where it was hard to keep air staff for longer than the length of a sneeze. In fact their opposition stations lease studio space in the building because they don’t have their own facilities yet.
So Blair went to work with the help of Matt (Paton) getting me set up in “Studio 5″ It is situated between the 4TO FM Studio, The Home of “Pricey For Breakfast” a larger than life North Queensland character that has been in that radio market since Michael Jackson still had pigment, and the 103.1 HOT FM studio, the home of “Cliffo & Bec” a fun FM duo show who are newly paired and getting plenty of laughs.
The time difference is a killer, 2-5pm Saturday and Sunday Vancouver time is 7-10am Sunday and Monday Australian time, So I had to be up early, something that I hate having to do. It’s just not natural. There’s a reason morning radio people are weird, this is it.
It’s incredible technology, as you can see from the picture above it’s a stock standard radio studio, but the magic behind the scenes is how we were able to go LIVE from Townsville.
I can sit in that room and talk back to Canada, Luke and Roman my two technical board operators can talk back to me, and so can Devon or Grace the Producers.
The technology is called a Tieline, It is mainly used by radio stations for outside or remote broadcasts to sell the latest washing machine from the store that is throwing the most money at the radio stations to hock it’s wares, or a team doing a sports play by play broadcast. They usually call from a little grey box that connects to the internet into which you can plug microphones, headphones and computers, which connects them to an even bigger grey box back in the radio station’s rack room, but we cut out the middle man and called from 4TOFM’s big grey box to CKNW’s big grey box. Are you following yet?
Very cool technology, and way more efficient than an actual telephone call, and who has time to hold a phone receiver to their ears for 3 hours?
Thanks to Rob Brown from Corus, Matt (Paton) and Blair (Woodcock) from SCA for making everything work. It was a fun experience to be able to broadcast from there. And now that I know it works a treat I may take advantage of it and do it more regularly.