Wednesday October 19th, 2011
Sharon Cross, CKUA's Traffic Coordinator, has been with CKUA for 17 years. She's been a receptionist, accounting assistant, office manager, and has also worked in the fund development office. Gidget has been with Sharon for five and a half years, and she comes to work with Sharon every Wednesday.
The Traffic department (number of employees: one) coordinates all on-air elements. Sharon puts together a daily log of programs, commercials, ticket give-aways, and CKUA promos.
The Voice Assignment board helps Sharon keep track of which announcer/staff member is assigned to read the commercials (which is why you'll never hear any of our sponsors 'yelling' at you).
Sharon's work-flow board shows which commercials are in Creative Copy (being written) and which are in Production (written and being produced).
The master list of each day's on-air content requires five different programs. The paper copy (above right), referred to around here as the 'Announcer Bible', is created using a Windows-based DOS program. The program transfers the schedule to our server, which then populates a different program that produces the electronic version of the daily schedule (the screen above left).
Sharon says the best part of her job is that she gets to work with everyone because Traffic is at the centre of operations.
One of the biggest challenges for Sharon is that live radio = unpredictable radio. There are hundreds of elements to coordinate daily, and when something goes wrong, she not only has to be able to quickly fix them, but know how to do it. The landscape is always changing, and though Sharon could technically prepare the programing way ahead of time, in reality she only prepares one full day in advance (or a couple if it's a long weekend).
"I give directives, and I take directives," she says. "It's a two-way street. That's why it's called Traffic!"