A year ago, I sadly had to discontinue writing my self-syndicated weekly column, "Adirondack Attic," which had been running in several northern New York newspapers since 2003. The economic downturn had forced some newspapers to cut back, and that included local content such as my modestly priced column. Let me say, it was a bargain! Still, the Press-Republican dropped me in the fall of 2008, and the Lake Placid News and Adirondack Daily Enterprise dropped me from weekly to every other week in March 2009. Soon it was costing me money to write, and that's not a good business model. So I stopped writing the column altogether in May 2009.
Looking around at other media outlets, I noticed that public radio seemed to make a better transition to the modern era of electronic gadgetry: computers, smart phones, etc. While newspapers were struggling to transition to a hybrid print/online platform and still make money, it seemed to me that radio was doing just fine. Radio stations could simply stream their signal on the Internet, add a lot of rich content to their Web sites, and gain listenership from around the world. They are now building bigger audiences.
So, as my writing for newspapers was doomed, I looked toward public radio for a new chapter in the life of the "Adirondack Attic." It's time now for the "Adirondack Attic" radio show.
I've been developing the "Adirondack Attic" radio show with North Country Public Radio for almost a year, and now the first program is set to air sometime during the week of April 19, 2010. I'm not sure which time slot, maybe the 8 O'Clock Hour in the morning with Todd Moe. This show is 5 minutes long, and I will produce 13 programs in 2010.
The radio show format will be similar to my newspaper column, which featured stories about artifacts in the collection the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. I worked with curators to find one interesting artifact a week. The radio show will also feature one artifact from museum collections. And while I will be using the Adirondack Museum as my base of operation for history exploration, I will also be visiting other collections throughout the Adirondack North Country region for the radio show.
This radio program would not be possible without the support of North Country Public Radio, the Adirondack Museum and singer/songwriter Dan Berggren, who penned the "Adirondack Attic" song and provided music for the radio series. Hungry Bear Publishing (that's my company) is also underwriting the program. I produce the series out of my home office and email the files to NCPR HQ in Canton.
Photos of the "Adirondack Attic" artifacts will be posted on the NCPR web site along with all the programs. So, if you missed it on the air, you can always listen to the "Adirondack Attic" on the Web.
By the way, I'm not new to radio. In fact, this is a homecoming of sorts. I earned a communications degree at SUNY Fredonia in 1991, studying radio production and English. My goal was to become a radio documentary producer. I eventually landed a part-time reporter's job at NCPR in October 1992 and stayed until August 1993 when I became homesick and moved back to the Adirondacks. I produced public radio documentaries into 1994 and soon made a transition to newspapers, then government public relations, then self employment. Now, I'm back on the radio and I couldn't be happier. The folks at NCPR and the Adirondack Museum are like family to me. Oh, and who was my radio professor at SUNY Fredonia? Dan Berggren. He's the best!