Fun with carts .. or lack of

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Fun with carts .. or lack of

Postby radiofan » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:23 am

Bill Good had somewhat of a problem with carts, or lack of, on his December 31, 1991 8AM CKNW Newscast.

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Thanks to The Unknown Copywriter for sharing this!
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Postby skyvalleyradio » Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:19 pm

carts?? You got to be kidding me! Is the Dog THAT much of a dinosaur? My guess is an inexperienced board op or the sound turned off on their audio source which I would have assumed is a computer. But...I still have my Aristocart splicing block handy if its needed :lol: Silence is Golden, Bill...
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Postby YesterDaze » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:31 pm

skyvalleyradio wrote:carts?? You got to be kidding me! Is the Dog THAT much of a dinosaur?


I doubt that the digital world had yet made the cart obsolete .. back in 1991. That's when Bill had the problem!
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Postby radiofan » Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:39 pm

DCS didn't arrive until sometime in 1995, shortly before the move to the Black Tower.

I'd guess Bill read the news from the Expo site studios and someone in New West should have been firing the carts.

Maybe Frosty (or a fill in) forgot to make the news booth "hot" before heading down the hall for his morning stroll during the 10 minute newscast.
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Postby jon » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:46 pm

I never liked doing News where I didn't run my own cart machines. CHQM had it right with a mic., small board and a couple of cart machines in the News Room, though that did make it a noisy newscast. The teletypes were in some sort of acoustic cases, but they often didn't get closed, as you had to keep them open as much as possible or the teletype would die from overheating. I cannot remember if the Police radio audio was cut off when the mic. switch was turned on.

Second best was CJAT Trail, where the News was done in an announce booth where you could make pretty decent eye contact with the AM control room. Nice thing there was a button where you could fire the bottom cart machine from the announce booth. But that did mean the cart had to be loaded, and in the right slot -- something you could not see from the announce booth.

But I spent most of my Radio life doing News in the control room. Thankfully, I'm from the day when 4+ minute singles were popular, as the News room was often a long way away.

Most painful News was done in an announce booth with two microphones. And two of us taking turns reading News stories for a 30 minute Newscast recorded to be aired 4 hours later. Our operator was really good, which is surprising since he spent his working life soldering, etc. in Engineering. The problem was the other guy kept making mistakes and we would stop, the operator would mark the position on a piece of paper so he could edit it later, and then continue. Kind of wrecked the continuity, at least in my mind, and I never knew if we needed to speed up or slow down, because no one had a clue if we were running short or long.
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Postby OpenMike » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:07 pm

Interested to know your experience in radio Jon...

newsman, disc jockey, production?
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Postby Mike Cleaver » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:20 pm

My first experiences running audio in my newscasts was at CJOC in Lethbridge.
That was back in '67.
We had five Magnecord PT6 reel to reels in the newsroom proper and a mic switch and five tape lever switches in the news announce booth.
You could turn your mic on and off and use the lever switches to start the machines and connect the audio then switch off after the clip was played (if it did) and you had remembered to switch the machines to remote.
The problem was all the booth switches did was turn on the motor.
That meant you had to back -cue the tape so it didn't wow on start-up.
Needless to say, that meant many screw ups.
We also had a telegraph key on the table to make a beep beep beep sound on the air to open the newscast!
We later progressed to RCA cart machines which also weren't too reliable.
At CKXL in Calgary, we had three cart machines in the news booth and a big great sounding Neumann U47 mic.
CHUM always had carts fired by the news reader from the booth and very few screw-ups.
Same at CJCA and my second stint at CHUM.
Even after we had INES, BN's first integrated text and audio computer system, the Chief Engineer at CHUM would never let us use the computer audio to air, we still had to use carts.
At CFRB, we ran carts from a triple decker in the booth and also did two voice newscasts.
You could have a pile of carts during a ten minute show and often the wrong one would get fired.
But back then, 'RB ran on delay all the time and the op would simply kill the wrong audio and cue you to fire the proper one so mistakes never made it to air.
At 680 News, we had to print scripts and run computer audio other from a hot switch box for formatics (traffic, weather, breaking news intros etc. or from DCS where you had to search through two lists of audio on the fly for the commercials and promos from one list, news clips from another.
In Ottawa, we had INES then INES 2 and we worked from a booth in the old building before working from our desks in the common newsroom in the Market Mall Complex.
Burli was installed at 'NW and 'NW2 when I arrived there.
It's the best system I ever used and certainly makes things much easier than back in the old days.
But I learned years ago to print my entire newscast and take it in the booth with me.
I also learned to write in the clip contents verbatim and paraphrase voice and wrappers so if the audio didn't fire, you weren't left hanging.
You simply could go on as if nothing had happened.
Prep time takes a little longer but it can pay off in spades.
That's what I'm telling my students to do these days.
CYA always is the best policy where there's a machine involved.
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Postby cart_machine » Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:21 am

Mike Cleaver wrote:
But I learned years ago to print my entire newscast and take it in the booth with me.
I also learned to write in the clip contents verbatim and paraphrase voice and wrappers so if the audio didn't fire, you weren't left hanging.
You simply could go on as if nothing had happened.
Prep time takes a little longer but it can pay off in spades.
That's what I'm telling my students to do these days.
CYA always is the best policy where there's a machine involved.


Correct me if I'm misinterpreting you, Mike, but I think printing a newscast is highly unnecessary.

Suppose your computer dies. What is someone to do - reach back and shuffle through pages to figure out where they left off?

If the person is in an all-news format, stories can change while they're on the air. A printed copy will be outdated and therefore somewhat useless except for background (and target practice for the garbage can).

Besides, if your system dies, it won't print anything anyway.

But you are absolutely right when it comes to prep. Mike, you can't stress it to your students enough.

When something doesn't fire, if you know the story, you will be able to explain it coherently in your own words.

If you're prepped, you will know the people and things you're talking about and thus should be able to give correct pronunciations.

Prep is the secret to doing a live, continuing news story. There's no need to panic. It's easy. Remember six words: Know the facts - know the background. Background gives something additional to talk about and allows you to add context if necessary. It applies to any big, developing story. An election broadcast. An earthquake rocking a World Series. A space shuttle going kaboom. An overhyped Hollywood bimbo having a meltdown. Okay, skip the last one.

This may sound simplistic, but if you know your subject, you should be able to talk about it on the air. If not, Starbucks may have an opening for you.

cArtie.
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Re: Fun with carts .. or lack of

Postby cart_machine » Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:33 am

radiofan wrote:Bill Good had somewhat of a problem with carts, or lack of, on his December 31, 1991 8AM CKNW Newscast.


You've never seen fun, though, until you've seen a now-former radio person racing into a control room with five seconds to spare and dropping 18 carts.

It seemed to happen more than once. She should have had shorter heels.

cArtie.
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Re: Fun with carts .. or lack of

Postby David in North Burnaby » Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:26 am

cart_machine wrote:You've never seen fun, though, until you've seen a now-former radio person racing into a control room with five seconds to spare and dropping 18 carts.
It seemed to happen more than once. She should have had shorter heels. cArtie.

Sounds like the radio version of those monster movie fem leads who were always trying to flee the whatever in the most impractical shoes imaginable.
Mr. Cleaver might want to consider covering 'footwear' in future.
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Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:48 am

Hey Cartie:

Don't knock high heels!
Sue Sgambati, daughter of the legendary sportscaster, worked for us at CHUM as a street reporter before moving on to Global Toronto.
She's just over 5 feet tall.
She made good use of her spike heels to move to the front of a scrum!
And dropping carts!
Who hasn't been there?
It's when dropping them causes them to jam or the tape jumped out of alignment that the fun really began.
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Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:36 am

Over to you Joanna!!

(any good JBee storys)
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Cart Horrors

Postby jon » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:59 am

Dropping carts is no fun, but three other problems with carts, at three different stations, were much worse, in my experience. When I first joined one station, they only had one cart machine in the FM control room. Each break was two or three carts, so you had to push the stop button when the first cart finished, pull the cart, push in another cart and push the start button -- live on the air. Needless to say, the carts got pretty rough treatment because Management kept pushing "Tight, Tight, Tight". But the worst problem was people who forgot to wind them out to the stop tone before putting them back in the cart rack or playing them again.

Station 2 had a recording cart machine in the Production Control Room that didn't insert the stop tone soon enough, so you had to wait a moment before starting the audio while recording. Otherwise, unless you killed the audio immediately after playing each cart on-air, you had these weird effects, like this loud momentary SSSSS sound (from the word "Safeway") after you played a Safeway ad, just before the cart machine stopped.

Station 3 had a 10 year replacement program for equipment, and I was there in year 9 of the lives of the cart machines. There was only one cart machine in the on-air control room. And it was the old "pull lever to warm up" type. And it took a while to warm up. If you don't wait, it really wowed at the start on air.

Since I was asked earlier: I've done lots of other things in broadcasting, but my paid on-air work was all in small markets, with one or two stations in town. What did I do? Since I was often the only person in the station, almost everything, with the notable exceptions, thankfully, of soldering and janitorial duties. Even typing REALLY HARD to get through 6 part carbon paper forms, for both the program logs, and the music logs. The closest I came to janitorial was as an Operator in a major market: washing and drying each LP before airing, and re-filing LPs and tapes in the Record Library. Actually, the closest I came was opening the back door of the station to let the water flow out when the toilet overflowed. Nothing like a building built on a slope.
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Postby cart_machine » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:19 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:Hey Cartie:
Don't knock high heels!
Sue Sgambati, daughter of the legendary sportscaster, worked for us at CHUM as a street reporter before moving on to Global Toronto.
She's just over 5 feet tall.
She made good use of her spike heels to move to the front of a scrum!.


Pfft. I've found that charm and a boyish personality works every time! And I don't have to worry about deciding what to wear with them.

cArtie.
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Re: Fun with carts .. or lack of

Postby FormerLady1130 » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:59 am

[quote="cart_machine]

You've never seen fun, though, until you've seen a now-former radio person racing into a control room with five seconds to spare and dropping 18 carts.

It seemed to happen more than once. She should have had shorter heels.

cArtie.[/quote]

Glad you remember me for something. You forgot about the times biz report headlines would get carted. Now that was a show! :lol:
Thank God for Burli!
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