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New Year, New Career. Yes, I'm sadly leaving The Zone.

2024 is going to bring about a significant change to both my life and to the radio station I've become so fond of programming.


This change will be taking effect fairly quickly as I announce, with a heavy heart, that I have reached the end of my time in The Zone @ 91-3.


My final day at the station will be on January 12, 2024 (16 years and 5 days after I first stepped foot into that building as an employee). The following week, I begin on a new career path - one that will offer me a greater balance between my work life and my home life. But while I am excited to join an esteemed league of weirdos who approach part-time cruisers setting up remote broadcasts in order to brag that "I used to be in radio," I admit that it's difficult to deny the sadness I feel in leaving both this radio station and its talented team.

Before I continue, I thought it might be fun (and completely self-indulgent) to cut together a bunch of my fondest memories at the station. Memories that were made in between times of doing actual work (and I promise you, while it may not look like it, I did actually do some work when I was there)!
 
 

I have an endless amount of love and respect for my Zone Family and their dedication to their craft. I'm proud to have been a member of this team, playing my part in building and nurturing the unique culture within the walls of the station. The motivation and passion of The Zone crew is primarily driven by a need to serve those within their reach. This very much goes against the grain of how most corporate entities are currently running radio companies.


Don't get me wrong, I truly believe in the power and impact of radio as a medium, but I'd be remiss in sugarcoating my thoughts on its current state and my hope for the direction it takes in the future. I feel that the industry finds itself in an era of rather lazy, penny-pinching programming methods. In some cases, this includes the now-regular practice of doubling (and sometimes tripling) roles which spreads radio staff way too thin and leads to a higher rate of burnout, multi-market voice tracking, the misuse of A.I. as a programming tool, and centralized non-local music curation. These methods simply protect the bottom line of the station's corporate owners (in a nutshell, they're the cheapest option) and they're a major contributor to the medium's dwindling relevance. But I have hope that this could one day change.


In fact, I'm so proud to have been able to help lead (and simply be a part of) The Zone team, who's frontline employees never cease to put the needs of its communities first. Those communities being the audience and their listening experience, the local music scene and its growth and well-being, and the marketing success of local businesses. I'm honoured to have been part of a team who was (and still is) active in their market and therefore have their fingers consistently on the pulse of Victoria.



The on-air staff of The Zone, alone, is a team consisting of a former live event producer and venue owner, a stand-up comedian and published author, concert photographers and graphic designers, the former Victoria Royals gameday host for over ten years, and an award-winning young broadcaster who is a true ambassador for the local music scene and a constant contributor to various local charitable efforts. They're like the Avengers of on-air radio talent! 


The Zone has found success because of what our team brings to our airwaves every day, despite corporate challenges and roadblocks often thrown in our path. The station is a respected music authority and reliable form of entertainment, information and inspiration. The Zone's programming efforts should be an example followed by the rest of the radio industry to shift the trajectory of this medium away from this snake-eating-its-tail business model and serve the communities in which they reside.


Victoria, alone, has some of the most talented broadcasters this industry has to offer - most of us spending our careers striving to be more like the great Ed Bain (who I firmly believe paved this path on which we at The Zone walk). I've worked with some of the broadcasters outside of The Zone Family and have gotten to know many others and every local broadcaster I've come across has shown a genuine love for their craft. I truly believe the industry can flourish with a slight shift in how it's run and the Victoria market could very well be the pebble in the pond creating the ripple effect.


But for the time being, I've reached a point in my own life where it's better for me to step away, prioritize myself and my family and try something new. Not to say that I would never come back to radio in one capacity or another. Plus, I don't think I could ever stop DJing (I found that passion long before I entered the radio industry). So you'll still see me around.


But as far as my time in radio goes...perhaps I won't say goodbye. I think I prefer, see you later.


 

My final on-air break in The Zone (January 5, 2024):


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5 Comments


Guest
Jan 18

Good luck Brian! I'll still enjoy your content on Mixcloud and hope that you will pop up here and there around Victoria. Really glad that you posted this for some insight for the public who love you:)

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Guest
Jan 13

A well written farewell - take care and best wishes.

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Guest
Jan 12

I am sad to read this but frankly am not surprised. I found myself thinking of you and worrying about your impending burnout when it seemed like you were covering numerous shifts at all hours of the day. Ending the mixtape was also a tell. Wishing you all the best Brian, and hope the rest of the Zone’s amazing team can avoid the same. You guys (and gals) feel like friends to us listeners and make such a big contribution to our community! So sad to hear corporate BS has weighed you down. Good luck on your new venture and hope to hear you later 📻

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Guest
Jan 12
Replying to

Thanks for the genuine passion, kindness and talents you’ve shared with us over the years- best of luck in all your future endeavors- you’ll be missed so so much!

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Guest
Jan 12

I will do miss your tunes on the drive at five. Always made me dance.

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