BMac's Blog - Radio Ramblings & More

To quote Monty Python, I DON'T LIKE SPAM!
eXTReMe Tracker


BMac back on myFM
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 12:43 a.m. ET
Kudos to Kevin and the gang at myFM for this opportunity... although it's just a temporary gig, I am now back in the "air chair" at myFM here in Renfrew! For the next two weeks, you can hear me Monday-Thursday 6-10 p.m., and 6-8 p.m. on Fridays. Tune in online... click the link above!

More new pics on Flickr
Thursday, January 25, 2007, 03:46 p.m. ET
Dug into the archives this afternoon, and added a bunch of older photos to my Flickr site... a lot of them are from my visits to Rogers radio facilities, but there are some others. click the link above to see them!

Happy new year!
Tuesday, January 16, 2007, 03:41 p.m. ET
Geez... sixteen days into 2007, and I'm putting in my first post of the year. I was going to talk about how some radio and TV stations are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year, but that's been scratched from the agenda. The other night, after a long evening at work, I came across the blog of Mike Geiger, an Ottawa computer tech whose high school friends include Jorge del Cid, CE for 106.9 The Bear (CKQB-FM Ottawa). Mike's blog (click the link above to go there) and its photo gallery feature several close-up shots of the Camp Fortune tower, as well as some pics of the 106.9 transmitters and the equipment racks at the Merivale Road studios. The real highlight is Mike & Jorge's visit to the transmitter site of The Bear's AM predecessor, CJSB (540 Ottawa)... while the transmitter and most of its associated gear were removed after the flip to FM, some other "junque" remains in storage inside the transmitter building on Brophy Drive, just east of Richmond. Check out Mike's blog, and stay tuned!

Some more YouTube goodness
Friday, December 22, 2006, 12:53 a.m. ET
Here's a new (at least to me) bit of television history from YouTube... it appears somebody had an episode of the 1980s CTV show "Just Like Mom" on videotape, and has posted the first couple of minutes for us to see on YT. If you keep snooping around on the site, you'll catch clips of other Canadian game shows you haven't seen in ages, including "Definition" and "Guess What". Take a look at the JLM clip by clicking the link above!

The latest on the Waterloo survey
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 01:12 p.m. ET
Seems to be done. (knock on wood) They haven't called at all this week... good riddance.

Another player joins the Valley radio game
Thursday, December 14, 2006, 12:57 a.m. ET
It only took two and a half years, and one time limit extension, but not-for-profit Valley Heritage Radio (CJHR-FM 98.7 Renfrew) is now testing. According to the station's website (click the link above), tests began on Monday, but with this new job and its late afternoon/evening hours, I haven't had much of an opportunity to tune in. The station does not transmit 24 hours a day... either there's no automation in place, or there's not enough money to keep the station on the air 24/7, or both. Today's test broadcast concluded at 5 p.m. with the host giving a quick weather update and playing the song "Happy Trails" before turning off the transmitter. If you're not aware of this operation, VHR had its application approved shortly after Renfrew's 96.1 myFM (CHMY-FM) signed on in the summer of 2004, and just recently earned enough money to get on the air... CJHR puts out a directional 14 kW (27 kW max.) signal from a 53 metre tower constructed next to its studios on Burnstown Road, south of Renfrew. The ERP may be far higher than that of myFM, but the station is in a valley among the rolling hills south of Renfrew, while myFM transmits from a 300-foot stick way up on the Pinnacle, just north of town. I may trek out to the CJHR facility next week, and if I do, the photos will be on my Flickr site ASAP. Stay tuned!

Waterloo telescum update
Wednesday, December 6, 2006, 02:11 p.m. ET
Here's the latest on those Waterloo telemorons... it looks like the pick up/hello/hang up technique won't get them off your case. Since I first posted the alert last week, UW's Survey Research Centre continues to tie up my phone line at all hours of the day, even when I use the above technique. My guess is that if, for some reason, you're on their calling list, the centre (and its predictive dialing system) will keep calling you until they've completed a survey with you. What I really want to know right now is how my phone number ended up on their calling list. The SRC hasn't called my girlfriend's number (also unlisted), so this would be a case of UW getting my number from a third party. There are only about four organizations that would have my home phone number and give it out: Star Choice, my bank, provincial and/or federal governments, and the local hospital. Whoever gave my home phone number to the University of Waterloo's Survey Research Centre had best admit it, or I will see that this case of telephone harassment is reported to Bell Canada, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, and the UW administration.

Junk call alert
Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 02:08 p.m. ET
Another round of junk calls is underway, and one of these calls could come to your telephone. If the number 519-888-4567 appears on your phone, pick up, say hello, then hang up. It's the University of Waterloo. I don't know how they got my phone number (it's unlisted, and I don't give it out unless I know who's getting it), but whether this was a random-dial job or they got my digits from a third party, I really did not appreciate them invading my privacy. These people first tried calling me last week, but didn't have enough smarts to leave a message, so I Googled the number, and it is UW's main switchboard number. I don't know any person currently affiliated with UW, so I first assumed it was just a wrong number, but when 519-888-4567 appeared again, I knew something was up. They called again just now, and after listening to about five seconds of the person's spiel, Click! I hit the "release" button on the phone. Good riddance. Once again, if the phone number 519-888-4567 shows up on your caller ID, pick up, say hello, then hang up. The University of Waterloo doesn't need any information from you.

New job, and new photos
Friday, October 27, 2006, 06:56 p.m. ET
Almost eight months after I stopped working full-time at myFM, I am once again employed full-time! I won't yet tell you where, as I haven't started training, but I will tell you it's close to home. In the meantime, check out some new photos on my Flickr page... click the link above.

Latest from the CRTC
Thursday, October 19, 2006, 12:11 p.m. ET
December 18th, the CRTC will be considering a bunch of applications, including two AM-to-FM flips from CHUM Limited. CHUM wants to convert CKPT (1420 Peterborough) and CKLC (1380 Kingston) to FM, with CKPT putting out 17 kW max on 99.3 from the CKQM-FM (105.1 Peterborough) site on Sherbrooke Street, and CKLC running 15 kW max on 98.9 from the current AM site near Dawson Point on Wolfe Island. If you're into the tech side of broadcasting, there are several detailed documents in the application, including a description of what would be needed to refurbish the existing AM plants if CHUM took that route instead of putting the stations on FM. Between the two stations, redoing the AM plants would cost almost $1.5 million, but the FM applications state that the combined cost of the FM projects would be roughly the same. This should be interesting, and we'll see next year if these two AMs will be moving to FM... stay tuned!

A gem on YouTube
Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 01:31 a.m. ET
Finally, thanks to YouTube, I've tracked down a pre-A-Channel sign-off of CKVR-TV (Ch. 3 Barrie)... you'll see the tail end of a "New VR/Rock 95 Toy Drive" spot, then the sign-off announcement with "O Canada", then a quick fade into the "CKVR-TV" colour bars. Click the link above to watch!

Tower talk on turkey day
Monday, October 9, 2006, 11:57 a.m. ET
Happy thanksgiving! While the computer's available, I'll give you a little update on this weekend's road trip. We'll start with Friday afternoon... you know it's ratings time in the capital when almost every commercial radio station in town buys a bunch of ads on OC Transpo and/or STO buses. Worth noting: I don't remember seeing Majic 100 (CJMJ-FM 100.3 Ottawa), Y101 (CKBY-FM 101.1 Smiths Falls) or Oldies 1310 (CIWW Ottawa) on any buses, but I did notice an ad for 92.3 JACK FM (CJET-FM Smiths Falls) atop a bike rack near the Lincoln Fields bus station, and one of those mobile billboards for 98.5 The Jewel (CJWL-FM Ottawa) parked on the south side of Carling at the Queensway. CTV was flying its hot air balloon Friday night, along with those of the Ottawa Sun newspaper and ReMax. Going south on Highway 15, I spotted the CKBY/CJET tower on the west side of 15 south of Carleton Place. The big 12-bay antenna and its height will explain why 101.1 gets into the upper Ottawa Valley so well. 92.3 uses a smaller directional antenna just below 101.1's. Not far from the Rogers FM tower is the CKWS-TV-3 (Ch. 36 Smiths Falls) stick, about halfway between Carleton Place and Smiths Falls... this one rebroadcasts Kingston's CKWS (Ch. 11). Speaking of 'WS, yesterday morning, I trekked out to Wolfe Island, five years after my first visit. Not much has changed at the island's three broadcast transmitter sites, other than a new FM antenna for CFMK (96.3 Kingston) and CIKR (105.7 Kingston) on the CKWS tower. Back in Kingston, I found the CKVI-FM (91.9 Kingston) antenna on the roof of Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute on Frontenac Street... I was surprised to find that CKVI uses a two-bay antenna for its 6.5 watt signal, instead of using one bay by itself. Downtown, the sign on the door of 99 Brock Street still announces that "CHUM Radio Kingston has moved", but I did discover a cornerstone on the Wellington Street side of the building, indicating that the current Scotiabank building was first constructed in the 1840s! Yesterday's tower hunting ended with a quick look at Princess Towers... as far as I know, CFLY-FM (98.3 Kingston) uses a two-hop link to its Harrowsmith transmitter site, starting with a 15 kHz phone line from the studios to Princess Towers, then from there it's an STL to Harrowsmith. I don't remember seeing an STL antenna pointed at Wolfe Island... is CKLC (1380 Kingston) using a phone line all the way? Tomorrow morning, on the way back to the 'frew, I may try to grab a photo of the Smiths Falls FM tower, as well as the Franktown radar station, so stay tuned!

Another round of photos online
Sunday, October 8, 2006, 06:32 p.m. ET
Happy Thanksgiving from - you guessed it - Kingston! Five years after my first visit to Wolfe Island, I went back today to get some updated shots of the CKWS-TV tower and the CFFX (960) site. Some other studio and antenna photos have been added to my Flickr site, and the old CFFX pics are gone, so click the link above to see what's new! Detailed views of the CKWS tower antennas will be coming later in the week... those need to be "Photoshopped", which is not possible on the computer I'm using right now. Stay tuned!

Spot news
Wednesday, October 4, 2006, 06:11 p.m. ET
A couple of former co-workers have just opened up a radio production service online... Rob Calabrese and Johnny Michaels of myFM here in the Valley have launched spotsmith.com, a production company aimed at small market radio. Spotsmith.com is brand new, but they'd love to hear from you! Click the link above to visit spotsmith.com.

Inside upstate NY radio & TV
Wednesday, October 4, 2006, 06:04 p.m. ET
Just came across this last night... radio/TV tower enthusiast Mike Fitzpatrick has added MANY upstate NY tower (and studio) photos to his excellent NECRAT site. He's got new pages for Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and the Finger Lakes. One page I recommend seeing is that of CBS affiliate WROC-TV (Ch. 8 Rochester) and Fox outlet WUHF (Ch. 31 Rochester)... you can see each station's transmitters, antennas, and a look inside the WROC studio facility. Click the link above to visit NECRAT!

More tower and antenna pics online
Sunday, October 1, 2006, 02:56 p.m. ET
Now on my Flickr site are some updated shots of the 96.1 myFM (CHMY-FM Renfrew) transmitter site, and a new addition: the CHRO-TV (Ch. 5 Pembroke) tower. Click the link above to see them.

Unusual overnight stuff on TV
Monday, August 28, 2006, 12:49 a.m. ET
In this age of 24/7 programming on most TV channels, you don't find as many "quirks" in the midnight-6 a.m. slot as there used to be. For example, last month, I was reading a thread on a Detroit-based TV nostalgia forum, talking about sign-offs, and one person mentioned that the CBC's CBET (Ch. 9 Windsor) "showed a photo of the lens of a movie camera" after sign-off, rather than a test pattern. Another example, which I saw years ago, on more than one occasion, was a "stereo audio test" on Global. To see what I mean, click the link above, then scroll down to channel 41... TV DXer Jeff Kadet, from Macomb, Illinois, picked up Global TV flagship CIII-41 (Ch. 41 Toronto) at one point, and caught the station doing the test, complete with colour bars. On another TV DX site, there used to be another shot of Global signed off, but instead of bars, it's just the name "Global" in white block letters on a grey background. One more that I'll mention isn't all that unusual if you're familiar with broadcast technology... before CBC's CBLT (Ch. 5 Toronto) signed on in the morning, anybody tuning in just before sign-on would be treated to a series of long DTMF tones, most likely for remote control of the many CBLT transmitters around Ontario. Got some off-air quirks you'd like to tell me about? E-mail me via the address at the top of this page. Stay tuned!

More photos on Flickr
Sunday, August 13, 2006, 11:48 a.m. ET
Just added a bunch more photos, and a new set, to my Flickr site... click the link above to see them.

CHUM Ottawa pics now online
Friday, August 11, 2006, 10:06 p.m. ET
They're up now... the shots of the CHUM Radio Ottawa studios. Click the link above to see them, and if you already have a Flickr account, feel free to comment on any of the photos I have online!

Yet another entry from the road
Tuesday, August 8, 2006, 08:14 p.m. ET
Here I am at a Sympatico coin-op Net kiosk in Ottawa... I've been on the road since yesterday, first to check in on family, then a job interview, and a tour of the CHUM Ottawa facility, or at least the radio side, courtesy of college classmate Bill Porter (thanks Bill!). Porter's filling in on the afternoon show this month on 93.9 BOB FM (CKKL-FM Ottawa), and he had time after today's show to walk me through the radio studios at the MarketMediaMall. I'll post the photos on my Flickr site later this week, I hope, so stay tuned!

Inside a famous tower site
Wednesday, August 2, 2006, 02:59 p.m. ET
Just found this... some of what you'll find at the Sutro Tower site in San Francisco. TV transmitters, antennas, the tower itself, and even a couple of vending machines... now how many transmitter sites have those? Click the link above to see Sutro, inside and out.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006, 07:16 p.m. ET
For somebody who's into adult contemporary music... click the link above.

Flickr it is!
Thursday, July 27, 2006, 12:57 a.m. ET
I've put my foot down, and I've already performed some uploads... my already-posted radio photos are on my new Flickr account, and some never-before-seen shots are up there too. It is, however, a work in progress, but I'm hoping to have it properly organized within the next week. Click the link above to check it out.

Important update
Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 05:34 p.m. ET
After a little consideration, I've decided to start moving all the photos on my "macvoices2001" page to a new account on Flickr. Once all of those picture pages are converted to Flickr sets, I'll leave the old pages up for a while, then wipe them out completely... kind of like the AM-to-FM flips that have happened in Canada over the years. Stay tuned!

Wiring an on-air console
Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 01:58 p.m. ET
Let's rewind to 2003, when I was the owner of an old Ward-Beck R1200 on-air console. Unfortunately, I had to return it to its previous owner, Loyalist College, because a) it was far too big and heavy for me to take to Cornwall that summer, and b) I had no wiring diagrams corresponding to the "christmas trees" underneath. Three years later, I'm once again putting out the call to broadcast techs for an old, no longer used/needed but still working on-air board... now that I've read how to wire balanced audio, it's time to apply it. E-mail me at the address above if you've got an old board sitting in storage, and can part with it for little or nothing.

Corus Cornwall moving
Tuesday, July 25, 2006, 01:36 p.m. ET
One of my former stomping grounds is relocating... Corus Radio Cornwall will soon be leaving its long-time home at 237 Water Street East, and moving to the Weave Shed at the old Cotton Mill, not far from the stations' current location. You can take a look at what the Water Street facility looked like when I was there in fall 2003... click the link above. Since then, the FM stations' consoles were replaced, but as far as I know, "AM 1220" (CJUL) is still using the old McCurdy rotary-pot board which you'll see on the photo tour. If I ever have the opportunity to travel back to the Seaway City this fall, I'll have to drop by for a visit. Stay tuned!

Rambling around southern Ontario, part two
Sunday, July 23, 2006, 01:02 p.m. ET
In case you're wondering which tower and studio sites I saw this past week, this post will tell all... unfortunately, there are no photos, thanks to being a shotgun driver, and forgetting my camera at a relative's place. They'll mail it out this week, I hope. Starting in Bancroft, all I really saw was the home of Haliburton Broadcasting Group's local "Moose FM" station (CHMS-FM 97.7) on Highway 28, with the old CJNH (1240) tower out back, now serving as an STL tower for the Moose. East of town, at McArthur Mills, is the transmitter site for TVO's CICO-93 (42) and CBC's CBOT-5 (Ch. 33), but it's just barely visible from Hwy 28. In Peterborough, I didn't see much more than the new CHEX-TV (12) tower and what appears to be a new antenna system for Country 105 (CKQM-FM 105.1) on its Sherbrooke Street stick... on the AM side, CKPT (1420) has brought back the pre-Team "swoosh" logo and is IDing as "1420 CKPT, Peterborough's Soft Favourites", still with the standards format it picked up about four years ago. CHEX's new 1000-foot tower is a bit more populated than the previous late-1950s 800-footer... not only are CHEX and The Wolf up there, but Trent Radio (CFFF-FM 92.7) accepted Corus' invitation to move to the new tower, and I saw at least one cell/PCS antenna on the bottom half of the tower. In Collingwood, "The Peak" (CKCB-FM 95.1) is still on Highway 26, but through the area, I saw more billboards for Owen Sound's "Mix 106" (CIXK-FM 106.5). Heading back, I spotted CJKX-FM-1 (89.9 Sunderland), a rebroadcaster of Durham Region's "KX 96" (CJKX-FM 95.9 Ajax), about halfway up a cell tower at the corner of Highways 7 and 12, north of Sunderland. To my surprise, this signal gets into Orillia quite well with only five kW ERP and a two-bay antenna. Next time I have time to kill staring at towers and studios in that neck of the woods, you bet they'll be online. Stay tuned!

Rambling around southern Ontario
Friday, July 21, 2006, 10:35 a.m. ET
I've been on the road all week, and there is some news from this trip... we'll start in the Peterborough area, where severe thunderstorms took CHEX-TV (12) off the air during Monday night's 11 p.m. newscast. Coincidentally, CHEX's production crew had problems rolling a report, and went to a trouble slide just before the Channel 12 signal was lost. Tuesday morning, on the way out of Peterborough, I caught the test loop for CHUC-FM (107.9 Cobourg), which will soon replace CHUC AM (1450). The loop is almost identical to what sister Star 93.3 (CKSG-FM Cobourg) used when it was testing four years ago... a bunch of tones and announcements. CHUC-FM is also transmitting from the Global TV tower on Alnwick Hill, north of Cobourg, but I'm not yet sure if it's sharing an antenna with 93.3. Passing through my childhood home of Omemee, west of Peterborough, the village was without power, and announcers on The Wolf (CKWF-FM 101.5 Peterborough) and 91.9 BOB FM (CKLY-FM Lindsay) were giving frequent updates on power outages and cleanup of debris. In Orillia, Collingwood, and Barrie, there aren't any other new developments in radio or TV, and the recent CHUM Television news layoffs weren't all that obvious on the A-Channel stations in Barrie and London. More to come... stay tuned!

April pics online
Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 05:43 p.m. ET
Yes, I should have done this earlier, i.e. the day after I returned, but they're up now... or at least some of them are. I'm talking about the many photos I snapped while in Toronto and Barrie. Click the link above to see them.

Mix Rochester "Drive"s away
Monday, June 19, 2006, 12:01 p.m. ET
This is definitely news... Rochester's Mix 100.5 (WVOR) is no more. According to Scott Fybush's "Northeast Radio Watch", it's now "100.5 The Drive", with the calls possibly changing to WDVI, and WVOR most likely being kept by Clear Channel for another one of its stations. Scott has the full story in this week's issue of NERW... click the link above.

Inside channel 5
Friday, June 16, 2006, 10:48 a.m. ET
This is neat... on Jay LaRochelle's "cantvradio" Yahoo! group, somebody, most likely a former CHUM Television employee, posted a number of photos of the CHRO-TV (Ch. 5 Pembroke) studios on TV Tower Road in Pembroke, as they appeared in March 2005. The station was still known as "The New RO", and master control was still based in Pembroke... today, CHRO is part of the A-Channel chain, and master control is now in Toronto. Some of the pics include MCR itself, the Pembroke newsroom/studio, and production control. The big question now is how much of the gear here is still in place? Hard to tell... regardless, join Jay's group, and you'll find these photos, along with a bunch of old video clips from TV stations across Canada!

Home studio update
Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 11:23 a.m. ET
Finally, I've found a decent spot in my apartment to use as an "announce booth". The office isn't the best place for voicework, because of a) the bad acoustics, and b) the loud fans on my computer. The bedroom turned out to be the best spot, because it's a fairly dead room, thanks to the carpet and linens. There's a dormer on the north side of the room, and I've installed some eggcrate foam (a $15 Giant Tiger job) as a substitute for Sonex. So far, it sounds nice in the "booth"... my voice sounds a bit boomy to the ears, but the mic doesn't pick it up. I'm considering buying a pop filter to complete the ensemble... that may happen today. If you'd like to use my voice for any upcoming projects, broadcast or otherwise, e-mail me and we'll set something up!

Wi-Fi Wonders
Friday, April 28, 2006, 04:16 p.m. ET
Got my hands on a Linksys wireless router today, to go along with the D-Link USB wireless network adapter I picked up for my laptop while I was in Alliston. Little did I realize there was already another wireless network within a hundred feet of my place... when I checked the D-Link utility on the laptop, two networks popped up: mine, and the shop next door. Now if I can set up my wireless network without letting anybody mooch off my Internet connection (unlike my grandparents' neighbours in Alliston, who let us connect through their wi-fi), I'll have the laptop running through my stereo system, picking up any music or audio that's on my desktop box in the office. One question for anybody who's had Cogeco or Rogers cable Internet installed in the past couple of years: are their cable modems still Ethernet-capable, or are they USB-only now? I'm considering a radio gig in a market where cable Net is available, but (surprisingly) not DSL... fill me in. Have a good weekend!

The first two days away
Thursday, April 13, 2006, 04:47 p.m. ET
Good afternoon from my grandmother's place in Collingwood! Just a quick update on what's happened yesterday and Tuesday... Tuesday included a ride up the CN Tower, but not much more than that, as well as some photos of the ChumCity Building and the Canadian Broadcasting Centre. From CN, I also grabbed a distant shot of the AM arrays on the Toronto Islands, plus a close-up on the master FM antenna at First Canadian Place... I'll be posting those pictures soon. Some pictures I won't be posting on my other site will be those I took yesterday during an impromptu visit to the A-Channel (CKVR-TV 3 Barrie) studios and transmitter site in Barrie's south end. News reporter Don Wright spotted me at the corner of Essa & Beacon Roads, curious as to why I was snapping a photo of the station's landmark 1000-foot tower. He then referred me to engineer Jim Roebuck, who was kind enough to open up the transmitter buildings' doors and show me the Channel 3 transmitter (a solid-state Larcan VHF), the Harris Z-series units just recently installed for Rock 95 (CFJB-FM 95.7) and 107.5 Kool FM (CKMB-FM), and the new combiner for all four FMs on the TV tower. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the transmitters for CHAY (93.1) and B101 (CIQB-FM 101.1), nor did we look at the CBC's two UHF rebroadcasters. I did, however, get a detailed shot of the broadcast antennas... CKVR crowns the tower with its VHF batwings, the FMs are just below that on a newly-installed 10-bay master antenna that took the place of CHAY's bays, and CBC has UHF panels surrounding the tower about halfway up. After checking out the transmission end, we went inside the studio building, my second visit to CKVR-TV; the first was around 1994. A lot has changed since then... outside the building, a large metal mesh ice shield has been constructed above the parking lot and the new main entrance at the back of the building. Jim said falling ice from the tower was becoming a problem, so the mesh went up, along with a number of yellow warning signs around the Beacon Road site. Inside, master control is gone... when A-Channel came to Ontario last year, master control facilities for CHUM's local stations were centralized in Toronto, with traffic operations being consolidated in London. What was master control may soon become a group of edit bays. The video and audio control rooms now occupy what used to be a studio, but the newsroom remains where it's been since the late 1980's. Big thanks to Jim Roebuck at A-Channel Barrie for the opportunity! I'm back in Alliston tonight through Monday night, but I probably won't check in again until Tuesday or Wednesday. Stay tuned!

On the road again
Monday, April 10, 2006, 7:58 p.m. ET
Yep, I'm hitting the road once again, for a one-week jaunt in Simcoe County. This time, it'll be Alliston, Barrie, and Collingwood. Following this trip, watch for some new photos, which will most likely include some detailed shots of Barrie's famous TV tower. I'm hoping to get some studio pics too, if I can somehow get semi-impromptu "nickel tours" of the Rock 95 digs in Barrie's Kozlov Centre, and Corus' Peak FM facility in Collingwood. If I can make these happen, I'll keep you posted the next time I make it to a Net connection... drafts will be done on the laptop. Have a good week!

Kingston shots now online
Tuesday, March 21, 2006, 03:07 p.m. ET
Now's your opportunity to see my Kingston photos from last week... click the link above to view them, and my previous radio-related jaunts.

Back to K-Town... again
Thursday, March 16, 2006, 06:42 p.m. ET
This posting comes to you from my uncle's brand-new HP "Media Center" computer... I came down to Kingston yesterday, with accommodations provided by my aunt & uncle (mother's side of the family). Yesterday's main event was a visit to CHUM Radio Kingston's new facilities. Correction: contrary to what I had posted earlier, the CHUM Kingston studios are not in the Ontario Government Building (1055 Princess Street), but they are nearby at #993 Princess, and I believe they share the same driveway... I'm not 100 percent sure, as we parked behind the studios and walked around to the main entrance. Still, I met up with program director Dan Mellon, who I had worked with in Belleville three years ago, and saw the new digs. Today, I visited Corus Kingston, where I had a good chat with two former bosses from my Cornwall days: PD Derrick Scott, and sales manager Tim Wieczorek, who was Cornwall's GM before coming to K-Town. The Corus visit also included a look at the TV side, which I hadn't seen during my initial visit to the CKWS-TV Building at this time two years ago. I'm back in Renfrew tomorrow, and I will have photos online as soon as I have an hour or so to transfer the pics from my camera to the computer, and then to the Net. Stay tuned!

A little DX in the Pontiac
Monday, March 13, 2006, 05:54 p.m. ET
This weekend saw yours truly in the Pontiac region of Quebec, not far from Renfrew, handling music duties for Shawville's Pontiac Junior "B" hockey team, currently playing the Perth Blue Wings in a best-of-seven series now tied at two games each. Watch for me in the audio booth this Saturday night at the Shawville Arena, as the Jr. B's and Perth face off in game 6... game 5 is this Wednesday night in Perth. Anyway, while waiting in the car (a 2002 Chrysler Neon), I punched up the presets and scanned around to see what would come in. Not only did the usual Ottawa/Valley signals show up, but surprisingly, a number of Kingston-Brockville stations popped up very clear yesterday afternoon... they included Kingston AC FLY FM (CFLY-FM 98.3) and its AM sister CKLC (1380), as well as market-leading rocker K-Rock (CIKR-FM 105.7). Brockville's BOB FM (CJPT-FM 103.7) came up too, and Ottawa's newest FM, The Jewel 98.5 (CJWL-FM). The Jewel was a bit of a surprise, considering it's running just a few hundred watts ERP from what appears to be Tower C of Place de Ville. If there ever comes another day that FMs from the southeastern U.S. come blasting in again (see July 2004 in the Archives), I'll have tape rolling.

BMac going freelance?
Tuesday, March 7, 2006, 10:38 p.m. ET
It's been a week since my stint at myFM came to an end, and since then, I've been considering a number of interim opportunities to stay active in broadcasting, including freelance production and announcing. Bill Cosworth and Paul Richards, ex of Barrie's CHAY-FM (93.1), are doing this together as "RadioTakeout.com"... plug that address into your browser, and listen to some of their work. They're using voices from across Canada for spots (as well as their own voices), but the production is all done by Bill in Barrie or Paul in nearby Collingwood. My urge to try freelancing really took off today, after buying a studio condenser microphone on eBay from a pro audio company in Vancouver. The mic should arrive here next week... all the other essentials are already in place: mixer, computer, and some simple but very effective acoustic treatment. So far, for voice-overs, I've heard from TVCogeco... they've asked me to do some VOs next month for another production. Last year, I did some narration for "The G.O.", an outdoor adventure series that I believe has already had its debut on TVCogeco in Renfrew & Arnprior. What do Jeremy & Misha have in store for me next month? You never know... listen to a demo of some of the spots I voiced and produced at myFM... click the title above, and look for the link.

BMac out at myFM
Tuesday, February 28, 2006, 05:33 p.m. ET
It's been a good couple of years, but I need a change... as of today, I am no longer the MD/tech/announcer/producer/etc. at myFM. For the next little while, I'll be considering freelance voice work and production, unless another gig comes along somewhere else. Also, a reminder that I am about to abandon my Yahoo e-mail account and replace it with my rarely-used Sympatico e-mail account. Watch for the change above in the next day or two.

My radio career
Studio & tx photos

DISCLAIMER: Upon visiting BMac's Blog, you hereby agree that Ben MacMurchy and Pitas.com are not responsible for any material, statements, opinions, or anything else on, or associated with the BMac's Blog web site, that may be offensive to you. Most content is unofficial in nature. Archived entries do not necessarily reflect Ben MacMurchy's current views or opinions. Should you not agree with any content on this web site, please use the e-mail address at the top of this page.