As I anticipate going back to work on Monday, Derek reminded me of a long-forgotten aspect of working at CKSL here in London in the mid-1980’s.
Gord Hume was our General Manager and Grand Poobah. We worked hard. Live announcers were on air around the clock, often on six-hour airshifts and I had one 7-hour marathon on Saturday nights. I worked what came to be known as six-and-five weeks. One week I’d work six days, with just one off. The next I would work five days, with two blissful days off. We appeared at countless events and did it all with a smile. Gowan’s coming in at 10 tomorrow morning and I work from midnight until 6 am? No problem! I’ll be back here to introduce him to listeners, sure.
Gord had some fun and smart ideas to foster a team spirit. One of his best was the management switch day. Once a year, managers would trade departments for the whole day. The Creative Director might become the News Director. The head of engineering would find himself becoming a temporary Program Director. And on it went. It was brilliant! Managers developed empathy for each others’ responsibilities. Employees felt empowered because they suddenly became experts upon whom the rookie managers leaned. Everybody got to know everybody else and get a sense of how the entire operation functioned.
Another one of my fondest memories from that era is of a scavenger hunt. Gord was on my team and he was determined to win. We lost! But he drove like a maniac to his home (a mysterious place to us on the lower rungs of the radio ladder!) and gave us permission to tear the place apart looking for items on the list. I moved on before Gord the politician came into being but as a boss, he was awesome. In a heated moment, the Program Director revealed that he didn’t even want me on staff(or any other woman, for that matter) but Gord insisted that I stay! How can you not have good memories of a guy like that?
3 thoughts on “Gord’s Radio Gold”
It would appear, that Gord had what is seriously lacking in management today, common sense, which is usually the most effective solution in creating an environment conducive to having a highly motivated team.
So, come Monday morning its … Brandt, get ready, you’re up next!
I’m sure many of your Blog readers will be pleased to see that you’re fully recovered and ready to come off the bench swinging again.
Looking forward to having you back on the air!
I, too, have fond memories of that era. (Not just because that’s when Lisa and I first met….) The early to mid 80’s, when we were at just the right age to have much of our youthful optimism intact and the energy and exuberance to pull off long hours and quick turn arounds.
I, too, have good memories of Gord Hume and his “Let’s just do it” style of management. It was validating and encouraging to be the lowly evening announcer and have my ideas and opinions considered at the weekly promotion meetings. At the time, I really felt part of the process and it gave me a stake in the outcome of the radio station that I have seldom felt since.
The current batch of corporate beancounters would do well to remember that the strength of a radio station is the commitment of the people that create, assemble, and deliver the product that comes out of the speakers. A good deal of what is on the air these days is the result of someone in an ivory tower asking “How much can we demand of these minions for how little cost?”
(oops! Was that my outside voice?)
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