My Radio Career
CHQM AM & FM – Vancouver
June 1971 – April 1972
(…and on-call ever since)
I had long given up on a summer job in Radio after First Year UBC ended in April 1971, when my phone rang on June 15th, on a day off from my part-time job making artificial ice for my father’s small company. On the other end of the phone was Bob Brooks, the Assistant Program Director of CHQM AM & FM in Vancouver, expressing interest in having me try out for a part-time Board Operator position with the stations.
But there was one big catch. I would be in competition with another new Operator during my first two weeks of unpaid training, where I would get hands-on training under the watchful eye of Dave Horne, their most senior of the part-time Operators. The successful candidate would then get another two weeks of training, at full pay, before continuing to work solo.
Of course, there was no other Trainee Operator, just me. It was assumed that, within two weeks, a new Operator would prove themselves one way or the other, without another two weeks severance pay if they did not work out.
The difficulty that I faced was that my father insisted I continue working for him until I started getting paid at CHQM, so those first two weeks were really hard, working 24 hours per week for my father and 40 hours a week at CHQM. Especially the days when I worked eight hours during the day for my father, and 6:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. at CHQM. Admittedly, it would have been worse had I worked for my father the next morning after getting home by bus from CHQM at 2:00 a.m.
CJAT AM & FM – Trail (B.C.)
A friend working as a DJ at CJAT-AM let me know that there was a summer announcing job available at CJAT-FM. I was not sure I was ready to leave home, even for the summer, but I wrote a nice letter and resume, and was hired by the FM Program Director, Dave Glover. My first paid day of work was Monday, May 1st, but arrived in town the previous Saturday, dropped by the station after lunch, and Dave put me on the air immediately.
Only problem was that I quickly ran out of music to play. Rather than the CHQM format of music in sets of three tracks, a pair of LPs was supposed to last a full quarter hour on CJAT-FM.
CFPR – Prince Rupert (B.C.)
CFYK – Yellowknife (NWT)
CKUA & Access Television – Edmonton
August 1982 – May 1985