Who's walking around in Poppy Barley shoes? Here, we spend 5 minutes with our customers to find out who they are and what they do.
OccupationRadio host, The Ryan Jespersen Show (630 Ched)
I ownThe Jasper Derby in tan calf/tan deer
What does your typical work day look like?It's tough to describe a typical work day, because no day is ever really typical! As host of The Ryan Jespersen Show on 630 CHED, I have to maintain a reasonably-informed awareness of a number of different issues at any given time. Work days are tough to describe in that "work" is a combination of on-air time (weekdays, 9 AM-noon), future preparation and production efforts, community events, volunteer involvement, and networking. My formal work schedule adds an exciting element when the puck drops on the Edmonton Oilers' season, when I kick up my Poppy Barleys as in-game host (and no, I can not send free pizza to your section)!
What does your perfect weekend look like?Oh man. Depends on the time of year, I guess! My wife (Kari Skelton) and I love the city (and neighbourhood) we're proud to call home, so if we weren't on the road, there'd be at least one brunch out at one of our favourite spots... after a generous sleep-in, of course. We're expecting our first baby the first week of August, so we're sleeping while we can. We're big fans of Edmonton's festivals (especially Folk Fest, the Fringe, and Ice on Whyte) and farmers' markets (124 Grand, City Market Downtown, and Old Strathcona). Our three year old Boxer Moses keeps us moving as well. You'll often spot him making new friends along the North Saskatchewan River bank. If we're getting away for the weekend, it's likely to visit family in Vancouver, Calgary, or Saskatchewan, or to set up shop at our favourite place, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Interests include snowboarding, golf, camping, hiking, fishing, off-roading, and SCUBA diving, so lazy, lay-around weekends are rare!
What has the experience of hosting your own radio show been like so far?I'm really excited about the way the first four months have played out. After hosting Breakfast Television for six years, I was eager for a new challenge. The opportunity to join the team at CHED presented itself, and I decided to take the leap. There's certainly a lot of responsibility that comes with hosting that style of show in that time slot on that station (and some big shoes to fill), but I honestly couldn't picture myself doing anything else right now. It's an educated, engaged audience with high standards, and listeners aren't hesitant to provide feedback. That's the best part—the conversational foundation upon which the concept of the show is built. Television has its own challenges, advantages, and creative avenues, but there's nothing like three open hours of talk time on the radio. It's can be such a fast-moving yet curious and exploratory format, it feels a little bit like riding a river raft. Sometimes it's slower waters with more time to smell the flowers, and sometimes you tighten up your life vest and get ready for the ride!
What have you liked most about working in radio so far? What has been the biggest challenge?
Am I allowed to say the commute? For years, I enjoyed a four-minute trip to work with zero traffic (at 4 AM). It's about a half-hour drive to our south side studio now (I know, boo hoo) and the Groat Bridge debacle is absolutely killing me. Oh, and don't even get me started on the trains.
What's the biggest difference working in radio compared to working on TV?
Both mediums have their advantages and disadvantages. Good TV requires pre-production elements, live elements, and adherence to a tight schedule spotted with shorter segments. Good radio relies less on things like video support and directing/switching/camera work and more on a well-thought out (most of the time, anyway) concept with a few back-up plans in case compelling conversation doesn't materialize. Both mediums require an ability to gauge your audience. Both require you to react and make content-related judgement calls on the fly. With talk radio specifically, the biggest difference is the amount of time my audience and I have to explore any given topic. Where I would have had four minutes to interview the Premier or Chris Hadfield or Bobby Orr on TV, I can have 30 or 60 or 90 minutes to sit with a guest in our radio studio. It requires a ton more research, but the pay-off is huge.