The Ways of a Sports Journalist, Part I.

This would have been posted sometime last night if college hadn't been nagging me. I have a course scheduling on the phone later today so I had to look up some courses I was interested in taking (at least, my general requirement courses). I sure hope I don't lose my reception today since I will be speaking on my cellphone. I'm moving up in the world!

So Saturday - I was over at my brother Corey's house a little after ten o' clock, and we drove on over to the WGR 550 station where they do their shows and everything. It's in a secluded spot in Amherst and when we pulled up I couldn't believe that it was located in there. All nice corporate buildings but I just didn't think that various radio stations would be located in there to do their magic. You walk in and the elevator music blares over the loudspeaker. This was how I remembered it was a corporate office building.

You walk through a few doors and go down a few hallways, and you see cubicles and the radio stations production room and broadcasting room. I got to meet Pat Malacaro, who usually produces Corey's show when he's on. He was extremely nice and showed me the ropes during one of the breaks. As Corey was working on his show, I did watch Pat every now and then work the controls on the board. All you really need to know is which button does what action. Going to school for broadcasting specificially might have something to do with how good he is at it, too.

It was funny to see how Corey actually looked as he did his radio show. My mom told me I had to take note of that as I watched him, and I wasn't disappointed. Then again, he just acts like he normally does. You have the ability to do that if you're on the radio - you can show up in anything you want and no one is going to care because they can't see you!

Before the show had began, Corey showed me quickly how they get sound bites into their computer to use for the show. They have hundreds of folders that they put them in, and it transfers over to the computer in the producing room. That way whoever is producing the show can fire it up to put over the air. Tons of complicated things go on behind the scenes. I even heard that they have had multiple fires at the station before. My brother said that it's always a good time when those happen.

Corey also showed me some pages he typed up for his show, or his notes. He had it all planned out what he was going to say. I actually thought that he just spoke about what was on his mind at that moment, so that was interesting to find out that he has a specific lineup of what he's going to talk about. Nevertheless, when we first walked into the producing room, Pat had told Corey about Donte Whitner's arrest in Cleveland outside the House of Blues.

Another thing I learned was that you always have to find out your information. You can't trust the local news website to have the information right (even if they did plagirize from a Cleveland newspaper on what happened), so it's best to find out for yourself. Pat actually tried to give the Cleveland police a call to find out from their records, but I have no idea if he ever managed to get through.

I told Corey I would never be able to be on a radio show because of some of the calls they receive from people. This one guy told Corey that the Sabres should go out and get Ilya Kovalchuk; lord knows why. Corey disconnected the call so that the guy wouldn't embarass himself any further, and let people know that - hey - we all ready have a guy making tons of money to score goals. We don't need another one. Even listening to the show in the car, I want to hurt some people who sound ridiculously stupid. Obviously not my job of choice, as you can tell.

I also met
Dave Buchanan near the end of Corey's show, and he was really nice as well. Him and Corey had a quick discussion about the Bandits and how they have done this year, but I don't think they they clinched the top of their division...I know they lost to the New York Titans on Saturday, and Dave said that New York would win the tiebreaker I believe if they lost to them that night.

The show ended a little earlier than it was supposed to because Corey and I had to head out to Coca-Cola Field to watch the Bisons game. That part of my day will come up in my next post - The Ways of a Sports Journalist, Part II.


Mary said...

This was really awesome to read Shelby! I've always wondered how things go on at WGR or any radio station, definitely cool to find out about. Plus I love your brother's shows, ahah.

Shelby Rose said...

Thanks Mary!
My brother would appreciate that, haha. I know a lot of people who really like his show. I think it's because he won't bash callers, not like Mike Schopp does, ugh. I can't stand his show.

Katie said...

Great post, Shelby! I've always been interested in journalism of all forms, so it's nice to see how radio works behind the scenes.

And I second Mary's comment - I love your brother's show! I think it's because he never talks down to the people calling. I admire his patience (unlike some of the other guys on his station - haha).

Shelby Rose said...

Seeing behind the scenes of a radio station made me realize how much I probably couldn't handle a radio show, ha! Like I said, not the field I want to go into.

My brother certainly does have a lot of patience. He always managed to make me laugh too when I was bummed about the Sabres during the season because of some of the things he said. His show is fun!