It's amazing how the workings of an on-air radio show has changed through the years. When I started when I was a sophomore in high school, you were reliant on performing a checklist of duties to keep you on the air.

To start the difference of then and now is, the radio station I worked for back in the day was off the air overnight so you had to make sure you turned on the transmitters every morning. Prior to the transmitters being turned on and going on the air, you had to clear the teletype of all the overnight information sent by the Associated Press. Since the information was typed on sheets of paper that were fed through the machine, you had to go through and sort all the information, i.e., news, sports and weather. You kept this information as it was read live the majority of the time, not recorded.

There were no computers to run the programs and the music, so everything was basically done in-person. You had a paper program log instead of a computer screen to follow. You would pull out a number of records, 45s and/or albums, that you would play on turntables instead of having your music programmed into a computer.

The commercials that were aired were either read live or prerecorded on to carts. If you've ever seen an eight-track tape, they were similar. You had a machine that you put the cart into, pushed a button, and you hoped that the carts played.

There was so much more that was reliant on a "live on-air" employee. Nowdays, computers can be programmed and it doesn't take that "live person" in the building to make everything work. Yes, there are problems at times with computers just like everything else but compared to the "old days", today's radio stations usually runs fairly smooth.

I yearn for the old days when we had more employees and more "hands-on" duties, but then again, it's nice just making sure the computers are plugged in and letting them run after being programmed. I guess we all look back and wish for the good ol' days but the way things are today aren't too bad, either.

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