It was exactly six years ago today – March 6, 2004 – that the Northern Alliance Radio Network had our first broadcast.
And by “broadcast”, I meant singular; the show started as a single three-hour show with several co-hosts.
“Several?” On that day, the show had nine co-hosts; Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker from Power Line, Chad the Elder, JB, Brian “Saint Paul” Ward and Atomizer from Fraters Libertas, Ed Morrissey (then) from Captain’s Quarters, King Banaian from SCSU Scholars, and me. I think King was out of town on business – so what meant a total of eight people. It wasn’t quite the first time we’d all seen the business end of a microphone; I’d had a little one-hour dress rehearsal the previous week, so everyone could try on headphones and learn a little bit about talking into a mike.
But one thing I wasn’t clear on, on that first morning, was who was exactly who. I was pretty clear on who was Scott and who was John. But I had only met Chad, JB and Atomizer once before (at the infamous lunch party in Wayzata with Hugh Hewitt the previous January that’d launched the show); I kept mixing them up on the air. In my defense, the only people who do shows with nine cohosts are cable access shows and NPR.
Things have changed, of course. In big ways (Scott, JB and Atomizer left early on; Chad’s burgeoning family drew him away last year; the NARN morphed into two, two-hours shows, and then a third, adding Michael Brodkorb from 2006-2009) and small (most of the guys are more or less perfectly comfortable “soloing”, or doing their whole two-hour show by themselves; even though I’d done talk radio before, that even intimidated me six years ago).
But two things haven’t changed. We get virtually no money (other than the odd talent or appearance fee – and if you see an AM1280 sales staffer out there, please tell ’em to get on the stick) – and it’s still a blast. One of the highlights of my week.
We’ve had plenty of help, of course; I gotta thank everyone else that helped out; our array of producers over the years, Tommy Huynh, Jon Osburne, Matt Reynolds, Sam Holmgren, the Russian Wonder-Twins Irina and Anna, and of course the late Joe Hansen. Also the folks at AM1280 – John Hunt and Patrick Campion, the GM and program director who for whatever reasons decided to give airtime to nine bloggers, and to Ron Stone and Lee Michaels, who do the same thing today, and to Nick Novak, the program director who helped so much with the show’s development from ’06 through ’08.
Anyway – happy birthday, NARN! And thanks, Ed, King, Brian, John, Chad, Michael, Scott, JB and Atomizer!