When It’s Time for a Change
Apr 1, 2014 9:05 AM, By Chriss Scherer, editor
I’m often asked how I got into publishing. It’s often assumed I was a journalism or English major. Actually, I was a music major. I studied Music Engineering Technology at the University of Miami when Ken Pohlmann (I’m sure you own an edition of his book on digital audio) was the program chairman. While I was in college I worked at WVUM, the campus radio station. That was my first taste of working in radio. For many years I had aspirations of being a touring musician, owning my own radio station and having my own show on that station, all so I could front-announce a song as saying, “This is … me!”
So none of that came to pass, although I did my share of on-air work over the years. But this is about how I got into publishing.
One class in the music engineering curriculum, taught then by John Monforte, included a final project assignment. The assignment was to do something you can put on your resume. Some of my classmates wrote articles for what is now another NewBay publication, Mix magazine. I decided to write an article as well, but I chose Broadcast Engineering, which in 1987 still covered radio and TV. I coordinated with the radio editor, Brad Dick, and I wrote a Field Report on the PR&E Micromax cart machine for the September 1987 issue.
That’s how I got my start in writing. After that first review I contributed more articles, including a few features. In 1992, when I moved to Cleveland and became very active in the Society of Broadcast Engineers on a local level, I took on the responsibility of chapter newsletter editor. The chapter chairman at the time was my very good friend, Barry Thomas. I was still writing for Broadcast Engineering, and then began writing for the newly created BE Radio when it was launched in 1994.
One day in 1997 I got a call from my magazine predecessor, Skip Pizzi, asking if I was interested in becoming the editor of BE Radio. I interviewed with Skip and Dennis Triola, who was the publisher. About a month later, I moved to Kansas City to begin the next chapter in my career.
Over the past 17 years, Radio magazine (we dropped the “BE” part in 2001) has been the center of my focus. It’s been more than just a job. I’ve been on vacation and seen a tower site or a radio station and made a note about an article idea or taken a photo. I’ve seen technology designed for consumers or an entirely different industry and thought it had applications at a radio station. I have been able to keep my technical chops sharp by providing some contract audio and broadcast engineering services around the Kansas City area.
But after 17 years, I have decided it’s time for a change. I still love radio. That will never change. But I’m ready for a new challenge. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I know it’s the right decision for me at this time. I have worked with some great people along the way. The people who have served as associate editors of Radio magazine – Jim Saladin, Dana Martin, Cindy Holst, Kari Taylor – and now Senior Associate Editor Erin Shipps have provided critical support and kept me in check when needed. Former Art Director Mike Knust and current Associate Publisher Steven Bell were there, too. There are so many contributors to acknowledge as well, including John Battison, Harry Martin, Kevin McNamara, Doug Irwin, Lee Petro, Jeremy Ruck and Chris Wygal.
And when Radio magazine became a part of NewBay Media in 2011, Carmel King, Paul McLane, Davis White, Karen Lee, Caroline Freeland and many became a part of the Radio magazine tradition.
But as I step aside, Radio magazine will continue on. I’ll still be here as a contributor as I open the next chapter of my professional career.
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