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Musings About MHR Canada: Excerpt #24

Written by on October 7, 2022

While most families have stopped canning, the radio business is increasing the practice.

Do you remember the over-night live programming?  No doubt some of you do, especially if you work nights.

You have probably figured out that all of the late evening and over-night programming is now canned1 or imported directly from a satellite feed (like Night Sounds, Haven, Through the Bible, etc.). Isn’t technology wonderful? This allows the Mars Hill Network to be a 24/7 station providing the ministry that we have all come to love and support.

But before the technology allowed this to happen, many of the newer male staff joining the Mars Hill Network, were hired to first do the overnight programming. That’s right, there was a live body in the studio all night long hosting the music segments and playing the reel-to-reel programs. Most of the teaching programs were sent in on tapes that had been mailed to the station by many of the ministries that we now hear through a satellite feed. I know this, because I joined the overnight staff for a number of Careathon broadcastings.

During the night hours of Careathon, we would receive between six to ten calls pledging support for the station each night. Then, there was always a call or two from a regular listener needing some individual support or human contact. It was easy to recognize, from these personal contact calls, that the night staff had touched people’s hearts and acted as part of a support team for these callers – another opportunity for the Lord Jesus to reach out and touch people through these announcers.

I remember many happy hours spent at the station with the 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM staff. And this crazy shift taught me to better appreciate those who have to work through the night – truck drivers, hospital staff, police, EMS and other emergency personnel, factory workers, snow clearing operators, etc. etc. and the overnight MHN staff of course! And we do not forget the ill and lonely who cannot sleep during some of those hours and find the station a real comfort.

I can fully understand that there are a number of reasons why live-programming ceased when technology allowed electronically aired radio. Having seriously examined the personal contact ratio to financial restraints, some of these hard decisions had to be made. Meanwhile, I also appreciate that the “canning” of program material allowed the staff to maintain their on-air broadcasts during the early Covid-19 isolation requirements, through inclement weather and driving difficulties and even allowing staff to attend church services and other necessary functions.

It’s all about stewardship responsibilities and staying on the air reliability. We pray that the staff, management and the board of directors will continue to have the Lord’s wisdom and guidance to use staff time and resources wisely.

Submitted by Hank Blok
Secretary-treasurer, Mars Hill Radio Canada

1“Canned” indicates that the program was pre-recorded into a computer by on-air personnel and then the computer airs the recording at a pre-set time slot. You can usually tell if a program is “canned” by the general absence of time readings (i.e. “it is now 3:10 AM.”) or incidentals about real-time weather conditions.

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