Those who know me know I am quite the Trekkie, so I found this article interesting anyway, but it leads me to some thoughts I have had about radio….
Pretty much ever since the Blu-ray remasters for the original Star Trek series and The Next Generation were unveiled, fans have wondered when DS9 or Voyager would get a similar treatment. But according to Robert Meyer Burnett, who worked extensively on the HD re-releases those series, the odds of such a thing ever happening are incredibly low.
Back in the day, radio air checks would have a way of “hanging around.” Someone would have cassettes or you’d find a stack of old reels somewhere. In fact, one day at WOR in the late 90’s, I was tasked with cleaning out a room full of reels that had been found in an old dusty room somewhere and the building owners wanted them out. So I spent the day making piles of “Viking Space Launch” and “LBJ Speech” being the sad pile that went to the dumpster (believe me it pains me typing this two decades later). We saved some stuff….at least for a while….
While I was APD I tried to hold on to what i could for future generations. Right before I left the station I made a box of minidiscs which had a compact collection of what was left of the station’s archives (owner Rick Bickley did not give a hoot about the past at all not in any way whatsoever, throw it out.) and attached a note to whoever found it – DON’T THROW THIS OUT.
After WOR moved from 1440 Broadway to the Wall Street location I asked what happened to the box. Nobody knows.
I also worried about the Rambling with Gambling Archives. When I left in 2003, John was in that period of RWG having ended and his return not yet having happened. I took the archives with me and gave the to John. I also made a copy for myself and told people they could have a copy any time they wanted, but I was not leaving them in the closet to be tossed.
And I have my own personal set of the 9/11 Airchecks. I reached out to some folks on the 10th anniversary to see if they wanted them but didn’t hear back.
Anyway, to the larger topic of archives and digital files. In theory, there should be a ton of electrons sitting around with all kinds of things. In practice, there are files called TUESDAY HOUR 1 that get written over once a week. Dr. Joy Browne was on the air for thirty years, how many hours off her career do you think still exist? Maybe I have a handful in my basement? Would WOR have any? I doubt it since they moved locations again after the Wall Street years.
What about newer tech? There are some shows at SiriusXM that have been on the air for over a decade. How many 2004 recordings are sitting around? Maybe it will be podcasts that have the archives, as long as someone pays for hosting long enough…or someone in 2040 finds an old iPhone 7 with 40 hours of some podcast on it.
So radio/audio peeps – anyone out there doing any archiving?