4 Unfortunate (But True) Sedalia Radio Stories
I've been doing this gig for a hot minute now. Buckle up, I've got a few stories.
I think I've been here in some capacity since before I graduated college in the early 2000's. There was a year and a half where I worked somewhere else, but that was a dark time we don't need to talk about. When people find out I work here at the stations, they usually ask if I get to meet celebrities or get free goodies, stuff like that. And sure, that happens from time to time (or it did, before the pandemic). But more often than not, there's a story or two that are... not as fun.
Of course, over the years, what was then mortifying is now funny. Sure, we still have problems every now and then (snow on the satellite knocking us off the air, computer trouble, snakes and or mice sneaking into the studios), but most of the time we're running okay. So don't feel bad for me reading these.
1. The Remote Mixup.
This was back in probably... 2008? Our sales staff had set up a specific package to businesses, selling a live remote broadcast in downtown Sedalia. The idea was you'd show up for an hour, go on the air, and then move to another business. It was supposed to be like a "stop in on lunch, get a prize" type of thing, highlighting local businesses. Win win, right? Wrong. I had two one hour broadcasts.... and neither business knew I was coming. I showed up to the first one, and the guy says, "You were supposed to remind me!" And I'm thinking... I'm not your sales rep. You worked this out with her. What do you mean you don't know I'm coming? Didn't you spend money on this? So he was surprised, but it worked out fine. Customers came in, he was happy. And I was happy too, until I got to the next location a block away. This one ALSO didn't know I was coming. In fact, he was... how to put this. Super angry that I was there? Apparently, according to him, he never agreed to have the broadcast in the first place. So he was just standing there, glaring at me, and I did my broadcast. It was very uncomfortable and almost a little scary. When I did my last break, I did it outside of the store because I couldn't take it anymore. I was annoyed when I got back to the station, but the sales rep apologized and made it right.
2. The Little Ceasars Incident.
Again, I don't remember exactly when this was, but I think it was back when we were Fresh Mix 92.3. There was going to be a grand opening for Little Caesars (before it moved down a block or two). They had some kind of celebration, I think you either got free pizza or crazy bread or something for their first day. SO, I get assigned to go there and do a live broadcast to advertise the goodies. There was a HUGE crowd, I swear my memory thinks it wrapped around the building. So I'm there, I have my set up, which includes these huge, probably forty pound speakers on special stands. It's not as complicated now, but back then you'd have to show up sometimes a half an hour early to get set up so you'd be ready to go at broadcast time. And when you're on your own, that can get hard. Anyway, the broadcast goes well, the manager is happy, and the pizza slice mascot is having a blast dancing in the parking lot. It's time to go. I dismantle all the stereo equipment, get the last prizes given away, and start to load stuff up in the van. I get to one of the speakers, and... well, I don't know what exactly happened. I just lost my grip on it. And it managed to collide with my face. In front of literally dozens of people. It broke the glasses I had just paid $250 for earlier that week. I laughed it off at the time, and people were nice about it, but it was still embarrassing.
3. The Date Debacle.
This was at the first part of my time here. It was all the way back when Tina Sapp still worked here. At the time, she was doing the midday show on our country station, and me being fresh out of college and friendly with her (we'd had a class together) the idea was that I would co host with her for a while. I'd learn the ropes, then transition into her spot. She was getting married and moving to Canada (they're doing great by the way, with a boy and two twin girls). Our boss even lamented not doing that earlier, because we had good chemistry. He called us "The Estrogen Twins". Anyway, I had just moved back to Sedalia after college, and Tina had it in her mind that she was going to get me reacclimated into social circles. She decided that I needed a date. She went and told people on air about it (with my okay). She went far enough to say that at our next live broadcast in downtown Sedalia, if someone wanted to go on a date, they should come by and say hi to me on the Courthouse lawn.
His name was Melvin, I think. He was a sweet enough guy, and me being young and impetuous, I went on the date. He took me to Golden Corral for dinner, which was fine. What wasn't fine was that Melvin had.. no interests. I was trying to engage him in conversation, and it was...not happening. He had like, one or two word responses to everything I said and didn't ask me any questions. So I was kind of thinking, huh. I guess he doesn't like me? Or maybe he's just shy? Maybe he was disappointed.
Then we went to the movies. He asked me what I wanted to see. There were a few good options, I would have liked to see any one of them. The only thing I said was, "Anything but 'Millions', that's a kid's movie." He then goes to the counter and asks for two tickets to 'Millions'. It was a Shia LeBeouf Disney movie. Well, I just resigned myself and thought, come on, don't be a brat, he's paying for the movie. So we go in, and it's the wrong movie. So we sat in awkward, agonizing almost silence for a good half an hour before the Will Ferrell movie about soccer started. I think he called a couple times after that, but it didn't go anywhere. Sweet guy, super nice, but it just didn't click.
4. The Smithton Fair Problem.
I am so bad with dates, I just don't remember when this was. But it was years ago, back when you could actually meet in groups and have fun with each other. So again, I was sent out for a weekend remote. It was the kind of thing where there were several sponsors who were supporting this either non profit or community event. In this case, it was the Smithton fair. Now I know it's small, but I always liked the Smithton fair. It's always fun to see the exhibits, maybe a competition or two, a parade, etc.
Now back in the day, what the sales rep used to do was give you a piece of paper that was called a Remote Request. In that paper, it would tell you where to go and when, and would give you a phone number or the name of someone to talk to on site. On this occasion, I did not get that piece of paper. The rep left me the booklet for the Fair in my inbox, which was a listing of where exhibits were, when certain games were, stuff like that. I figured, well, it's the fair. I guess they want me to walk around and talk about the exhibits, list the sponsors, etc. So that's what I did. I went to the Ag exhibits, I saw some horse stuff, some kids stuff, it was fun. Then I went home after.
Well, I got a hot call from my manager about an hour after the remote. He says, "Why didn't you do your remote today?" I tell him I did. Ask the board operator, I called him three times an hour, for crying out loud. He says the contact person never saw me. I said, I didn't have a contact person.
Cue confusion. Apparently, the organizer of the Barbecue Contest had arranged with the sales rep that I would be spending all the remote there, playing music for the three hours. I had not been told that at all! I didn't even get to speak to the rep. I was just left the booklet, no number, remember? If I had known, of course I would have gone. They do SAMPLES, you guys. Why wouldn't I want to chow down on free barbecue for three hours? Anyway, the mix up was smoothed over, and the next year I did just that. In fact, it was a little bit of a recurring joke with some of the regular competitors.
So, gentle reader, that's just a smattering of some of the stories I have over the years of working in radio. Thanks for reading!