A web forum about music I occasionally visit had the topic asked “Did any of you visit radio stations as a kid?” and I wrote this short item for them. In an effort to actually post some original stuff more often, I offer it here:
Our high school had a Radio Club, we DJ’d in the morning over the school PA system, and also did the school dances — which nobody but freshmen went to. We weren’t cool, but we also did AV stuff around the school when needed.
We took a field trip to a few stations, but the one that stayed with me was WKRZ outside Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The morning guy was showing us around. We came across a dot matrix printer spewing forth pages and pages of work. This was back in 1988.
"What’s that?" we asked.
"Oh that’s all the songs we’re playing for the next 2 weeks, down to the minute - except for Saturday Night At The Oldies,” he said. SNATO was their all-night request show.
Top 40 radio broke my heart that day. *sniff*
The crushing disappointment wasn’t so bad in the end — it wasn’t my favorite station in town anyway. We did get to raid their discards bin, though, and pretty took ‘em for all they had. It really answered the question of why you heard the same songs all the time on that station. Still, the idea that the songs were all “programmed” two weeks out was really disheartening - especially on a station that had fairly popular on-air personalities.