The Ongoing History Of The Bay Pt. 4
We get lots of positive comments on our programming and the fact that we are so “in touch” with the community. Being a part of the community has always been our mission – bringing great music for you to listen to – maybe for the first time – it’s a big thrill for us. There’s tons of music out there, that never gets played on commercial radio and that, in part is why we are here.
So it’s really nice to get comments of support, because this radio station is owned by the community and all of us that work here or volunteer here, are working for you.
During this series, we talked about some of the positive things that happen or other iconic moments in our history. But it hasn’t all been a bed of roses, sometimes things didn’t go the way we expected them to go.
I don’t want to go into detail, because, we’ve lost a few people over the years, and I don’t want shed a bad light on them. I do, though want to acknowledge some of the things that shaped the station by making us stronger by way of adversity.
As you may know, by reading some the other excerpts, Hunters Bay Radio started in the basement of the building we are in now. It was a fun “side-project” that I started with a guy who was in “the business”, and I ran a small internet business. Combining the two passions, we came up with an internet radio station that featured initially some of the voices from Huntsville radio of the past. There seemed to be interest in listening to some of these names from CFBK who had moved on, and to a lesser degree maybe, some of the music that I had collected over the years.
We quickly expanded our library, and got about providing music in block format as well as implementing extremely varied variety shows in which, you’d never expect to hear certain songs grouped together.
We got a lot of feedback from people who were amazed at our playlists and some “in the business” that couldn’t understand what we were doing. The truth is, that we didn’t want to be pigeon holed and limit ourselves to just one sound.
The way we were set up originally included me running the day to day operations of the business, including recruiting new volunteers and teaching them my version of “the business”.
My partner at the time, was the news guy, and salesman.
Despite the format, or lack there of, we had a modicum of success – making just enough to pay for the basics – no one was going to get rich doing this – as is still the case, but we were determined to put out a good product offering a different sound to what was available and we were going to do it, by stressing local.
Like all partnerships – sometimes it just doesn’t work out. When you are scraping by, there are a lot of money tensions and that’s why most start ups fail.
We nearly failed.
I think things came to head, when I learned my partner was making arrangements to move out of our building where we were getting free rent, free utilities, free support and all the fixings of a fully set up office, down to the pens, pencils and staplers. The news of this, came to me through a staffer and I was shocked to learn of the plans.
On confronting my partner, I heard he had planned to move into an office at the old Chamber of Commerce building which was recently vacated by the MTO.
Well, it was clear we disagreed about the future direction of the company and I offered to step aside and let the move take place, pointing out the expense of setting up a new office with virtually nothing to start with and the fact that we wouldn’t be able or willing to support them after the move. All I wanted out the dissolving of the partnership, was to be removed from all liability.
That seemed like it would be something that was acceptable, until my partner talked to our 2 staff members who, when told of the changed declined to go with him, into the new location.
Less than five minutes later we discussed the opposite option, he would be leaving the company, and I offered to take on his portion of the debt and I would pay him $5,000 for his portion of the business. It seemed like a good deal to him and he accepted.
That was end of the partnership, but not the end of our arrangement. I still needed a news guy and sales person, so I hired him.
Unfortunately, the old feelings of working together would return and things got quickly out of hand.
The situation quickly came to a head when there was no money coming into the station, and sales were not happening.
That lead to the in-evitable, with us parting ways for good, and feelings of acrimony on both sides for years to come.
So, that’s how I became the on air news guy and reporter for The Bay, instead of the behind the scenes guy.
I’m sad this happened, and assign no blame. It just one of a few events in the sometimes not so rosy, ongoing history of The Bay.
To read other excerpts in the Ongoing History of The Bay, Click here: https://muskokaradio.com/featured/