By DAVID HILL
Moments like these are what broadcasters live for, says Compass FM station manager Kerry Treymane.
While police, health workers and emergency services work on the frontlines during a crisis, towards the microphone to do their bit
This is the sort of thing broadcasters are made for. Every broadcaster wants to be on air to support their listeners,
The station, which reaches farms and town across North Canterbury, is considered an essential service. It is continuing to broadcast around the clock through the Covid-19 lockdown to keep North Canterbury entertained
“We are doing way more than some network radio stations because we are keeping the local community involved,Kerry says. Canterbury, with four full-time staff and a couple of contractors, and we are matching the big boys. It’s like the little engine that could.
The mayors of all three North Canterbury districts and organisations such as the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust and the North Canterbury News are continuing to stay in contact, and listeners are being updated with information.
While Kerry is broadcasting the breakfast show from the Rangiora studio, he has staff broadcasting from their bedrooms and dining rooms.
“I saw this coming a while ago, so I started working on the process about three to four weeks ago.
“We are able to dial into the radio station remotely and we can record our voicebreaks at home with relatively decent microphones.
When broadcasting from home, voicebreaks are pre-recorded three to four minutes before it goes on air.
“It is then sent to the studio and played as if it’s live.”
He cleans and disinfects the studio each morning before he leaves at 10am, with John Cameron decontaminated studioaround 10.15am.
Bruce John has been broadcasting the drive show from home, while other shows are also being done remotely. The only hiccup broadcasting remotely is that phone interviews are not possible.
Kerry is planning to have special shows in the evenings and weekend to entertain people. Tuesday Night Country, Friday night’s Retro Top 40, and Sunday night’s Nostalgia are established shows, while Kerry began the Outstanding ’80s Show from his bedroom last Saturday evening.
A Monday ’70s show, a Wednesday Kiwi show and a Thursday show will be added soon.
Requests can be made via text or Facebook Messenger, just not by phone, Kerry says.
“Having a familiar, friendly voice makes a difference, because a lot of people are self-isolating by themselves.
“There’s people who are sick and they can’t do anything and then they hear someone on the radio and suddenly a song is played that you haven’t heard in a while and they love it.
“That’s the power of radio.”