Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Message from Pam Meister

I went to WestConn from 1986-winter 1991. I was excited about the station, having listened to it during the last half of my high school years (I was a HUGE fan of Bill Baker). Sometime in October of ’86, I went to the station with the intention of finding out how to get involved…dragging a friend along for support.

Walking into the office, I saw several people just hanging out (that was big, hanging out in the office between classes), and someone asked me what I wanted. Kandi Wilkins was there, I don’t remember who else. Anyway, I said I was interested in joining and just kind of stood there, waiting for that magical moment to happen. After a few minutes, the kids who were hanging out went into the nether regions of the station and I was left standing around, feeling stupid. My friend and I left—only to be chased down the hall by Susie Heller, then the news director, who was told about the newbie in the office. I was instructed to make my news demo tape and was eventually put on the news schedule.

Boy, that first newscast was nerve wracking. I bought a new outfit for the occasion (a pink top and beige pants), and my first newscast was on Rob Radio’s show. I was shaking, but got through it without vomiting. Rob even told me I did a good job, which was thrilling for me!

My first airshift? Saturday sign-on. Anne Corey was PD then, and that was the rule…new DJs had to take the crap shifts. It didn’t matter…I was a WXCI DJ, and nothing could have been more exciting for me at that time. Eventually I became assistant news director, news director, and GM. I probably wasn’t the best GM in the station’s history, but I sure was proud. I was even prouder to have been elected life member.

I figured I’d move on to a career in radio. I worked at WINE part-time during my college years and afterward until the place got bought out and most of us were sacked. At the time, I was pregnant with my first child and decided to stay at home. I never did go back to work in radio, but there are times when I miss it. I still have the occasional dream of running into the studio for a late segue and cursing the dead air.

In spite of the fact that a career in radio wasn’t in the cards for me, WXCI was a great experience. I loved being a part of such a vital student community, being on the air and playing the awesome music of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, and making friends—some of whom I still keep in touch with. A few years back I started the current ‘80s show (‘80s Spectrum), and eventually shared it with Jeff McKay and Lori Mott—but I am no longer involved, as my job and my family are too time-consuming at the moment. (I work in Manhattan for McGraw-Hill but am looking for a job closer to home…the commute is killer). I met up with an old high school classmate not long ago, and he asked me if I still had a show on WXCI. Talk about making an impact!

Even though I worked in the current studio, when I think of the station I think of the old studio…I think it had a lot more character than the new one (and of course, I’m getting to be an old fogey yearning for my salad days). WXCI was a big part of my young adult years, and I remember that time fondly. I was on the steering committee for the 25 year reunion, and that was a great time. Let’s have another!

Pam Meister

Still living in the greater Danbury area…


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