Friday, September 18, 2009

“Hi, I’m a Long Time Listener, First Time Host…Go Ahead, I’m on The Air”

I remember growing up thinking that the Radio was king. I especially loved the stories told by folks like Paul Harvey (“…and now you know the rest of the story.”), and still to this day, Stuart Maclean and his fictional family of Dave & Morley. Perhaps it’s because I come from a large family, six sisters and a brother, that radio became an integral part of my life. I so wanted to be one of those great story tellers.
As technology advanced (and I grew older), I abandoned the conventional form of radio use and fell in love with listening to radio on the internet. While I have an iPhone, I get more use out of listening to the radio than anything else the phone has to offer, and of course that includes 900CHML. I found that my passion for the radio grew stronger.
Over the last few years, I listened with admiration of past Talk Show Idol contestants and subsequent winners and wondered when I would summon enough courage to step up to the microphone. Through recent volunteer involvement, I had the pleasure of being a guest on 900CHML and found myself being like a kid in a candy store. I’d been hit by the proverbial street dealer offering me a ‘free’ chance on radio…and I found myself hooked! But if I wanted more, I was going to have to pay for it!! My payment…apply to Talk Show Idol IV. So I did.
The first step: go to 900CHML Headquarters for a group interview. While excited to get the call and the interview, I wasn’t overly concerned as I felt this was more of a ‘meet and greet’, and treated as such. That is until Andy Zimmerman, Promotions Coordinator and Jeff Storey, Program Director, advised us that they will be reviewing whether we are ‘on air’ worthy or not. After the meeting, I was excited but nervous that I may not quite have the qualities they’re looking for from a contestant.
Then came the email…Andy sends the schedule of appearances, and I get the nod as first up. Terrific - perhaps, I shouldn’t have spoken first in our group interview…oops. Now I started to worry, “what was my ‘word’ going to be on the following Monday?” I started rehearsing what I thought my word would be about…the ‘word’ I thought I was going to get was “Hamilton”. It turned out to be “Election”…oops again. Earlier that day I had nailed the morning quiz, so I was somewhat confident that I could manage these ‘tests’ Andy and Jeff were putting us through. That is until Scott Thompson said “Election”. My mind went blank and I started spewing what I thought was senseless musings about a Federal Election, not even sure if the monologue made any sense to the listeners. “Okay, I need to kick it old school”, I posted on my Facebook and Twitter status afterwards.
Choosing my topic for Friday weighed heavily on the fact that I was first up. I wanted to set a standard that would make it difficult for the other contestants following me. This was a contest after all, and I wanted to be the one to advance to the next round. So the hunt was on for the most appropriate topic that would not only set me apart from Alison, Joe and Allen…but resonate with the judges as impactful. Due to all of the volunteer work and diversified work history, I had a treasure chest of topics to choose from. In the end, I knew that if I was to have a chance at winning the week, I needed a topic that I was comfortable with; and, one that contained a supportive guest who could speak well. (I was going to be nervous enough, and didn’t want my guest to be a weak speaker.)
I called on a past acquaintance, Patrick Mathieu to be my guest. I wanted an opportunity to share with the listenership a personal side of me, and also thank the man who provided me the focus I needed to move past a personal experience. Patrick’s work in taking the topic of mortality, and using it as a positive one, having authoured “The Power of Mortality”, as well as countless speaking engagements, had had a tremendous impact on my life. Not knowing if I would ever get the chance to have time on air to share with others “The Power of Mortality”, I thought it best that this should be that time.
My “Talk Show” time went fairly well, heck, I even got a caller…something I wasn’t really prepared for, given the topic and all. The judges, Andy, Jeff and Shiona were kind to me, providing me with key points of listener management. Being first up didn’t necessarily mean that their kindness was enough to get me through to the next round, as the other contestants had not been up yet, so nothing was a given. Due to other commitments, I was only able to catch snippets of the other contestants, and what I had heard was solid enough to make the judges choice not an easy one at all.
I’d like to thank Patrick Mathieu for being my guest. You can see what he’s all about at
Thanks to 900CHML for the opportunity. To Andy, Jeff, and Shiona for their time and feedback. And of course to Matt Holmes for giving up his time slot to us amateur talk show host wannabe’s.
And of course, to the listeners of 900CHML…because without you, the station would not be the success it is today.To view other blogs by me, visit my blog at

No comments:

Post a Comment