Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Radio Gypsies

People come and go at Radio stations. That’s just the nature of the business. We’re known as Radio Gypsies, mostly, and it’s rare to work at a place more than just a few years. I have been fortunate to work at one place for as long as ten years, but if I counted all the stations I ever worked at, the average stint has been about 2-1/2 years.

At my most-recent posting, News 92 Fm, we’ve already had three people exit since the station launched, less than a year ago. That's no big deal; it's not uncommon, and it doesn't necessarily make us a "revolving door." The most-recent to leave was the station wit, according to our News Director, which leaves us all wondering if we’ll be truly witless with the exit of Laurie Kendrick.

News92FM Class Clown Laurie Kendrick
Laurie was a spark plug, a powerhouse, a word wizard…and if we’d ever gone to school together, she would have most assuredly been the class clown. Laurie could take a mundane story, and with a few deft edits and some natural sound, turn it into an award-winning masterpiece. She could also tackle a topic no one else dared touch—like the recent inclusion of the “F-bomb” in the dictionary—and handle it with aplomb.

I remember the first time this air staff ever met as a group, at a mixer in a near-town loft, and Laurie came up to me to introduce her self. It was like we’d been old friends forever, even though we’d never worked together before. That was--and is--the beauty of this particular project, seeded from the beginning with a crew of seasoned veterans. We didn’t even consider that this venture wouldn’t work—we just set our minds to get it done.

Laurie exuded enthusiasm for the project from day-one, despite working in what some would consider untenable conditions: workstations for five, packed into a converted mailroom with limited space and even less air conditioning. Even on a “bad” morning, Laurie could break the thickness with a quip, a crack, or a punchline that would immediately break the tension.

She didn’t want us to make a big deal about her leaving—moving to take care of her aging mother in another city. But it is. She’s a saint for choosing to give up a sure thing here in return for the chance to enjoy time with her mom while she can. 

Either way she’s a saint. 
St. Laurie the Sarcastic. 
I’m going to miss her around here.

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