“This is the Reformed Witness Hour.” So each week we hear the introduction of our radio program. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in producing such a program? Come along with us and we will show you.
Over the years the work of the program committee, a sub-committee in the Radio Committee, has changed considerably. For the first 16 years of our radio broadcasting the radio station did all the actual recording work, using disk records as the medium of communication. With the development of recording tape in the field of electronics, we began taping the speech portion of our program. At that time, the choir and the announcer went down to the radio station on Sunday afternoon for the actual broadcast. Shortly after, the choir began doing their recording at the station on the night of their regularly scheduled meeting. The radio station would then put the announcements, music and speech together and make a single tape to be played on Sunday over our local station.
Because we were on several stations at that time, the radio station would make a copy of the Sunday broadcast and mail that taped copy to one other station. After that taped copy was aired on the second station, that station would then send the tape to the next station, etc. As a result, the program heard over our original station on one Sunday was not heard over the last station in our network until six or eight weeks later. You can imagine the confusion resulting from scheduling the program in this way.
At about this time, the Mission Committee of the Protestant Reformed Churches of America contacted the Radio Committee as to the feasibility of securing stations in the areas where our Home Missionary would be working. As a result we added more stations, one of which is KBOE in Oskalossa, Iowa. An interesting fact to note here is that this station is practically wholly supported by one individual. In addition to our Oskaloosa station our program was heard over five other states. Hence, the costs of making taped copies for these stations and engineer’s overtime in producing the complete program mounted considerably.
The Radio Committee decided to investigate the possibility and advisability of purchasing our own recording equipment and recording out own broadcasts. After careful consideration, we bought professional quality equipment for approximately $2,000.00. The mechanics of producing our weekly broadcast was placed in the hands of the program committee. A cabinet in which our equipment is mounted was designed, built and donated by men interested in our radio program. Producing our own broadcast demands considerable time and effort on the part of the members of the program committee. The minister’s speech is usually recorded first. This enables us to know how much time of our 29 minutes and 30 seconds we have left for music and announcements. We then fill out the remaining time with music and announcements. These two portions are then combined into one tape known as a “master” tape. From this “master” tape we make five copies which are then mailed out to the various stations. If everything goes well, this complete operation takes two men approximately seven hours per program.
We produced our first program in November of 1956. Initially the quality was very poor due to many factors. Through experience many of the defects have been corrected. We hasten to add, however, that the program committee is consistently working to perfect the broadcast quality of our program.
Although this work demands much time and effort, it is very rewarding to know that as the program committee, we are playing a small part in the Kingdom work of sending forth the truth of God’s Word.
In this short article we have attempted to give you a little idea of what your Radio Committee is doing. On January 23, 1958, the Radio Committee is planning to have a public program where you will be able to see the Radio Committee in operation. Remember the date: January 23, 1958, at 8:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the First Protestant Reformed Church. We hope to see you then.