Tuesday, October 09, 2018


In response to me posting the old anniversary shows last week, someone asked me about the times Self Help Radio was not on any radio station, but was a podcast.  Here is where Self Help Radio aired, & when, & when it didn't.

October 9, 2002 - May 2, 2008: KOOP Austin

The original run of Self Help Radio on the station on which is originated was under six years.  That seems crazy now, but it's true.  At the end of spring in 2008, I left KOOP because my girlfriend - soon to be my wife - Magda was taking a post-doc in North Carolina.  At the time, KOOP had two "seasons," one of which ended at the beginning of May.  Because I would be leaving at the end of the summer, I felt like it would be unfair to do the show for two more months, so I left the station.  I intended to continue Self Help Radio as a podcast (which I did) until it found a home in the Tarheel State.  Alas, Magda did not take the position, so we stayed in Austin for one more year.

May 10, 2008 - June 27, 2009: The First Self Help Radio Podcast

With our future uncertain, I decided not to return to KOOP & simply do SHR as a podcast, although my enthusiasm for the show waned somewhat - I don't think anyone listened to most of the those shows.  I kept myself in the loop by doing a freeform show on my first radio station, KVRX.  Stuck in a kind of limbo in Austin, & suddenly full of free time (you wouldn't believe how much time I volunteered at KOOP), I decided to take classes at UT (I'm a lifelong learner), which qualified me to do a show on KVRX (where only students are allowed to deejay).  I did a show on Sunday morning called The War On Sailing which I enjoyed.  It was actually a lot like the show I do currently, the Tuesday Morning Blend.

Magda got a job teaching at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, where they fortunately have a student radio station which allows community members to do shows.  So off we went, taking Self Help Radio with us.

July 21, 2009 - June 22, 2010: The WMUL Year

Magda was not very happy in Huntington & I found WMUL not the best station to air Self Help Radio.  For one, it was mostly focused on sports.  The rest of the programming was basically automation.  What few human deejays they had tended to drop off over the course of the semester.  I did Self Help Radio in the mornings, in the afternoons, in the evenings, & never really had any listeners - there simply weren't enough people in the town (maybe 40,000, counting students), & they didn't stream their music shows online.  Although we didn't know we'd be leaving, I decided to leave WMUL at the beginning of the summer because it began to feel futile.  I'm sure I've talked about this before.  During the rest of the summer, the show returned to a podcast, but in August, Magda & I decided to move to nearby Lexington, where the mighty WRFL existed.  & they were glad to have the show.

August 24, 2010 - August 2, 2016: WRFL

Self Help Radio aired almost continually on WRFL for about five & a half years.  I took a semester off in 2014 I believe (though I still did SHR as a podcast) & there was another weird moment where I left the station believing Magda & I were moving but returned when we didn't (she's quite a tease) a few weeks later.  On the whole, it was super fun to do the show there.  I believe the show as it exists now came into being because of the time on WRFL.  It does beg the question, though: does the show have a shelf life of around six years per station?

Magda got a job in Fort Worth, where we're living now, so I said goodbye to RFL in August of 2016, & hoped to find a place for Self Help Radio in the D/FW metroplex.  That was not going to be an easy task (it still hasn't happened) but Self Help Radio didn't quite leave the airwaves - or Lexington - at this point.

August 31, 2016 - April 28, 2018: WLXU

Graciously, the station manager of WLXU at the time, Chuck Clenney, offered to air Self Help Radio until I found a place to do it in this part of the world.  It was a swell arrangement & if I hadn't gotten the gig at KNON, I might still be doing it.  Except.  As I've explained here & elsewhere, I felt weird about doing a show on a station that was so community-focused while I lived not anywhere near the community.  So maybe I might not still be doing it.  But certainly the fact that I had to turn in my prerecorded program on Tuesdays & I was also do a Tuesday show live in Dallas made that day very difficult for me.

May 4, 2018 - present: podcast

Since then, the show exists only at selfhelpradio.net.  I wish I could do it in town, but that seems unlikely.  Perhaps my restless wife will want to find a different job at some point, & we will find ourselves somewhere that has a wonderful noncommercial station which has a place for Self Help Radio.  Or maybe I'll be doing the show like this for six years.

Whatever the situation, sixteen years on, it doesn't seem like Self Help Radio's going anywhere.  Which sounds like a threat.  I didn't mean it as a threat!  But it did sound a little like a threat.

That was a long-winded answer to a simple question.  I didn't really know the answer till I sat down & went through the playlists to see.  But I hope it was a satisfying answer.

No comments: