Lunch and Learn attendees got to be on the airwaves as they saw how radio works.
Tullahoma Parks and Recreations held its first Lunch and Learn Jan. 22, with a look behind the curtain of the radio business for this month’s program “The Spirit of Radio”.
Attendees was able to spend an hour with radio personalities Glenn Goodwin from 93.9 - The Duck’s “Goodwin in the Morning,” Shelby B. from 101.5 - The Rooster’s “Afternoons with Selby B.” and Matthew Jackson from “Riding Shotgun” on Whiskey Country Radio 95.9 and 105.1.
All three radio stations are a part of Bowman Media.
Each host had the chance to talk about who they are and what their background is in the radio business. Goodwin said he has been in radio for 20 years, starting in Kansas City for 14 years. Before coming to southern middle Tennessee he worked in other markets in Missouri, Kentucky and Ohio.
Shelby said she is new to working radio. She graduated with a degree in broadcast in 2015 and worked in TV media with camera work and editing before joining The Rooster in the summer 2019 to help cover games. “The editing actually helped a lot for radio,” said Shelby.
Jackson said has been doing radio since 2012. Jackson came to the area in 2018 after working in Franklin County. He revealed someone heard him and an owner in Franklin County called because they needed an extra voice for a commercial during Christmas.
“I remembered I always wanted to be in radio but I was even nervous going on. ‘Do I even want to do that?’ and I almost didn’t go, but I did. I took that leap of faith and it brought me here,” said Jackson.
The hosts explained they have other roles and duties besides hosting their respective shows. Jackson said he is responsible for managing Whiskey Country on a programing side; Goodwin handles programming for The Duck; and Shelby helps the program manager with programming for the Duck.
“At a bigger station, this guy is on-air and that’s all he does. Whereas at a smaller station, we’re on-air and we’re doing the promotions. Sometimes we might go out with a sales person to help pull that sale in. We’re running eight hours a day, doing three or four or five different jobs,” said Jackson.
Some of the other roles they have include Goodwin being the promotions director for local events while Jackson handles production and the commercials. When Shelby is done prepping her show, since her show focuses on what’s happening in pop culture, she assists with whatever other task needs to be done.
When asked how streaming has affected radio, Goodwin said it doesn’t really affect them as it’s just another option to listen to radio. Jackson said one of the big differences between radio and streaming is how commercials worked. For radio there will be a variety of commercials while streaming will usually play the same ad several times in a row before the next song plays.
Goodwin made a point to say one of the positives of streaming is listeners can stream their local station. “There are those streamers but we are too.”
They explained all three stations are broadcast from the Cokers Building on Wilson Avenue. The signals go to three tower sites: The Rooster’s tower behind Hickerson Elementary School; Whiskey Country’s tower is on Rock Creek Road; and The Duck’s tower is in a cow pasture in Bedford County near Moore County.
They then demonstrated a live broadcast from a remote location. Goodwin said nowadays they can do remote broadcasts without needing someone at the station. With a laptop that’s logged into the on-air computer and a microphone, they can go live or prerecord for later playback for a quick turnaround.
Jackson then recorded a live radio spot with attendees at DW Wilson Center, edited the spot with music, and played the recording for attendees to hear on the live broadcast within five minutes of recording the piece.
“Not many people know we can do that and we can do it from our couch if we wanted to,” said Goodwin.
When taking questions, they were asked how the stations come up with their names. Jackson explained for The Duck, the name comes from their call letter WDUC. Goodwin said The Rooster was named based off of Bonnaroo and it turned out to be another bird to go with The Duck.
As for Whiskey Country, Jackson said they wanted a name that was unique to the area. They went through several names to find one that was unique to their region.
“You can’t take this anywhere. We are whiskey country. We have Jack Daniels here, we have George Dickel here and we should be proud of it,” said Jackson.
Jackson said there was some worry about the name at first but Jackson said there are people in Lynchburg who make whiskey who go to church on Sunday.
Another question asked was how music is selected for their stations. They said they have a curated playlist created for the day and it can be set for specific days, like a Friday afternoon as listeners are getting off work and want to jam out.
If someone calls to make a request, they can change the playlist to have the request played. The only difference is while Jackson and Shelby keep an eye on what’s on in the top trending charts for today’s music, Goodwin focuses on playing older, classic rock and pop music.
By the end, they engaged with attendees with questions about which famous people they have met, what contests will be happening in the future, and sharing some fun and somewhat embarrassing stories during their careers. The attendees had the chance to talk to each of the hosts and were given prizes for coming.
One of the attendees, Dot Watson, said she had a good time and learned some interesting things from the hosts.
Kyle Murphy may be reached at email@example.com.