In my “spare time,” I am the Technical Director for a small, low power FM station in Montgomery. That station is run by a nonprofit centered around African-American issues, particularly around health.

Operating a radio station from 120 miles away is an interesting challenge, but chief among them is automation. Fortunately, I have experience as a student worker running the automation system at Alabama Public Radio for two years back in college. Though the technology is different, the concepts are the same. Station identifiers, connecting to live broadcasts, loading up new shows, and proper music rotation are all a part of the process.

Fortunately, when automation is running smoothly, there’s very little to do. It’s the process of getting it there that takes the most work.