Skip to content

Long weekends can ruin a good schedule

Most people enjoy long weekends.

I am not like most people (something most people are very happy about). I don’t like long weekends because they throw my schedule off.

One of my roles at CFIS community radio is to do the morning Citizen and weather updates on weekdays. The weather updates at 5 a.m., so I’m usually in the studio by about 4 a.m. to start pulling together the nine shortened versions of Citizen stories I need from their website.

I kind of enjoy picking the nine stories from the site that I want to use, then deciding how I’m going to group them in trios to run each hour.

I have a few ‘rules’ I follow. If there are two stories on the same topic or, say, two stories from a city council meeting, I read them in separate hours. Sports and community stories, unless they would be Page 1 material in the newspaper, always run as the third story of the hour.

The shortened versions of the stories, which are what I read and save on our computer, have to be between about 30 and 40 seconds each. The total news package of three stories is supposed to be between 90 and 120 seconds, so I have to keep an eye on the length of each story to make sure the total comes in on schedule.

I have found a few ways to keep the story length down without losing any coherence. The simplest rule (and one a lot of people I have talked to like) is to not use quotes from press releases. In a press release from the provincial government, a quote from the minister is usually the second paragraph, and it basically just repeats what was said in the first paragraph or will be said in the third paragraph.

I try to keep quotes to local people from the story, and our rule is to paraphrase them, especially when it comes to pronouns. If John Smith is quoted as saying, “I am very happy with the way the whole thing came out,” I will read it for the story as, “John Smith said he was very happy with the way the whole thing came out”.

However, this whole thing falls apart on long weekends, of which we just had two in a row. I find I’m still waking up Monday morning at my usual time, even with no alarm set, but since I don’t have to go in to the station, I usually just lie in bed for a couple of hours longer, NOT getting back to sleep.

That generally means I’m tired most of Monday, go to bed a little earlier than normal Monday night, and wake up earlier than normal Tuesday, at which point the whole ‘tired-all-day’ thing repeats itself for the rest of the week.

Next problem? Remembering to account for the time change at the beginning of November.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *