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November 11, 2020 11:24 am  #1


Perhaps A Dumb Question About Remembrance Day On The Radio

No matter how many times I see it, Remembrance Day is always an emotional one for me. And none of my family ever served. But boy, was Tom Brokaw right when he called them "The Greatest Generation." 

I did a quick tune around the radio dial right before the two minutes of silence and was pleased to hear almost every station at least paid a moment to the day. That wasn't always the case in years past but I can only imagine the reaction from the public if they didn't.

Most of the TV stations devoted time to the ceremony, although I noticed the Price Is Right was on City TV by 11:05 AM. I have no idea if they interrupted it for two minutes of silence or not but it was certainly an odd juxtaposition.

All of which leads me to what I'm sure is a rather dumb question. But since I don't know the answer, I'm betting someone here does. If I'm not mistaken, most radio stations have a kind of built-in emergency back-up that automatically plays something - a song or a spot - to guard against too much of a prolonged period of dead air. 

I know the moments of silence aren't necessarily all silent - there's crowd murmuring, the wind and occasional cannon fire - but how do they keep those emergency fill-ins from going off? Is there some kind of kill switch to prevent it from activating? I can only imagine what it would sound like if, in the middle of the two minutes of silence, a spot or a tune accidentally went off. I'm not sure if this has ever happened, but what a nightmare it would be for a station if it did. Is this an issue?

 

November 11, 2020 12:00 pm  #2


Re: Perhaps A Dumb Question About Remembrance Day On The Radio

RadioActive wrote:

I know the moments of silence aren't necessarily all silent - there's crowd murmuring, the wind and occasional cannon fire - but how do they keep those emergency fill-ins from going off? Is there some kind of kill switch to prevent it from activating? I can only imagine what it would sound like if, in the middle of the two minutes of silence, a spot or a tune accidentally went off. I'm not sure if this has ever happened, but what a nightmare it would be for a station if it did. Is this an issue?

Yes, stations can temporarily turn off the silence sensor. Some will also play some wind sounds or other ambient noise as an extra precaution. I've never witnessed a screw up with this.
 


 
 

November 11, 2020 5:03 pm  #3


Re: Perhaps A Dumb Question About Remembrance Day On The Radio

Had it on CHUM 1045 today while working and they did a decent Remembrance Day spot....moment of silence followed by bagpipes and then alt-rock 90s sounding theme of Canadians.