The ups and downs of remote broadcasting: Kim Napier | radioinfo

The ups and downs of remote broadcasting: Kim Napier

Thursday 05 February, 2015
Kim Napier, of Hobart's Kim and Dave show spent several years remote broadcasting from Adelaide before finally pulling the pin. 

In this first of two articles, Kim gives radioinfo readers a glimpse into the pros and cons of remote broadcasting. 

Remote Broadcasting. Perhaps in the romance of radio it conjures up images of waking up at the W in LA and dialing up a Comrex at the foot of your bed, set up by a tech that’s travelled with you while you’re out of market in an effort to make broadcasting seamless. Oh, and you have breakfast delivered to your room. Or, as is increasingly popular you are using a purpose built remote broadcasting studio within a nearby existing radio station.

This is where for me it went from romance to reality.

When I married my South Australian husband in 2010 I had already had discussions with management about my future on Hobart’s Kim and Dave Show. Inspired specifically by Kyle Sandilands and his ability to make it work based on his rapport with his on-air partner, the company agreed to remote broadcasting. They would cover studio costs but I was responsible for paying the flights between markets, a required two weeks out of four initially and my accommodation in Hobart.

It felt rather cosmopolitan to begin with, but after a year wore thin. Financially it wasn’t viable and I was ready to pull the pin at the end of my contract. However, management agreed to cover flights for me, but accommodation in market was at my own expense. So I continued and by my last contract period all costs were covered as part of ongoing negotiations to keep the brand in tact.

To outsiders this arrangement appeared a fantastic solution to keeping my job and being with my family in SA. However for me, it was hard work.

In Adelaide, once the show finished rather than the rowdy trek from the studio to dump your cups in the kitchen, all I could literally hear was the ticking of my clock.  While I had made friends at SCA in Adelaide, there was no one to bounce off about stuff happening on my show or anyone to share highlights from the morning with until the phone rang and it was conference time. By then we were on to producing the next day. There was no sense of the fun and spontaneity that I loved about radio off-air as well as on.

Conference calls were my lifeline to my team, the show and business unit but they were a frustration. I found it hard to hear, they found it hard to hear and sometimes that just forgot to call me. The studio I was using was a production booth so often talent needing to record promos interrupted the calls. Fair enough it was their space!

My enjoyment of my job was being compromised and thus my enthusiasm for it dwindling. 

For Part Two of Kim's story, go here.

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