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Behind the Mic

Ed Morin
August, 2014

Did you always know you wanted a career in radio?

Not hardly! I had headed off to the University of Maine to study biology. At first I thought I’d be a scientist of some sort and then transfer into the pre-med program. Somewhere along the line, I discovered that I was a better writer than I was a potential scientist or physician, and so I transferred into the program that would better prepare me for a career in broadcasting.

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Charles Beck
Charles Beck
July 2014

Your voice has been a familiar voice on MPBN radio for years and years. When and how did you get started at MPBN?

I actually came in through two MPBN doors at once in 1980 or ‘81 or so. As a UMaine work-study student working for Toby LeBoutillier and hosting the evening concert classical music programming, and also as intern working for Keith McKeen and the Maine Things Considered team.

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Gil Maxwell
Gil Maxwell
June 2014

What does “Chief Technology Officer” mean?

Whatever technology we use to accomplish our “mission,” I am responsible for. While this sounds lofty, we still get the call when the water is leaking in the bathroom.

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Robin Rilette
Robin Rilette
April, 2014

You’ve only just started at MPBN, but what are a few surprising things you’ve learned so far about both Maine and MPBN?

I’m very impressed with the dedication of my new colleagues at MPBN and the many hours they put in each week. I’m sure that they sleep, but am just not certain when!

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Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
January, 2014

Jonathan, how did you get your start in radio?

A friend of a friend ran a small radio production company in Washington, DC. Their biggest client was the “Old Farmer’s Almanac.” While working there, I also was lucky to land a position as a volunteer with The Diane Rehm Show. She eventually hired me, and I spent almost a decade working with her. I came to MPBN to use this experience producing radio programs to help create a call-in talk show for the people of Maine.

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Rich Tozier
Rich Tozier
November, 2013

When did you first discover jazz and your love of music?

I think I’ve liked jazz since I was a kid and saw Pete Kelly’s Blues when I was about 10, back in ‘55. The score was mostly what we might nowadays call Dixieland. Of course, back then, I didn’t consider myself a “jazz buff,” but the music affected me emotionally, and has ever since.

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Patty Wight
Patty B. Wight
October, 2013

Patty, thanks for taking a few moments with us! What sparked your interest in radio?

I graduated from college with a degree in Wildlife Biology, which I loved to study, but realized in the end that it wasn’t quite right for me. I always was a listener of public radio and was intrigued by the idea of doing reporting. It sounded like a fun and challenging career. I got my ears wet at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and was hooked immediately.

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Jennifer Mitchell
Jennifer Mitchell
September, 2013

What triggered your interest in radio?

I really don’t know. I guess the signs were there. I was that irritating student who always volunteered to read aloud to the rest of the class. I also tried my hand at “hard-hitting” journalism in fourth grade by writing an article for the paper about how the town water tower really needed to have a lid because pigeons were roosting on the side, face out. Also, my parents listened exclusively to public radio...

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Keith Shortall
Keith Shortall
August, 2013

How did you get into broadcasting?

I never had a desire or plan to get into broadcasting. In fact, one of my housemates at Bowdoin was the program director of the college station, WBOR, who was always after me to give it a try. After graduation and a slow start as an illustrator in Boston, I found myself back at home in Maine, unemployed, when I got a call from another Bowdoin friend. He was headed to Portland for an interview at a radio station, so I went along for the ride and stayed at his apartment on the couch for a few weeks. One day the phone rang, and it was the program director from my friend’s station, WJBQ. He explained that one of the DJs had just quit and asked if there was anyone in the house that could do an air shift from midnight to 6:00 a.m. I told him that I had never done radio before, but he said that was okay, and to just be at the station by 11:30, and someone would show me how to run the music. I’ve been in radio ever since.

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Sara Willis
Sara Willis
July 2013

How did your radio career begin?

Oddly enough, it began when I was about ten years old. My parents bought me a little reel-to-reel tape machine for Christmas. It’s funny, my mother doesn’t even remember the gift or why they bought it for me, but it was the start of my life on the microphone!

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