Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pho on the Radio

Today and perhaps into later this week public radio station WCPN is airing a brief spot featuring me talking about faith. A few weeks ago WCPN guy Dan Moulthrop contacted me after reading this post about my church reflection. He is starting a series of 5-minute spots in which area people talk about faith and wanted me to come in for an interview.

After much scheduling and rescheduling, I found a sliver of time to head up to Cleveland between our in-law visit and our vacation. He interviewed me for 20 minutes or so, promising to edit it down to five, add music and pauses in the style of This American Life.

As of now, I haven't heard the final product, though 54Cermak isn't alone in heaping praise. I've also gotten emails and been flagged down in the local Acme. The piece should be up on the WCPN website as a podcast sometime soon. When I get a link, I'll update.

One benefit of all this was a tour of the new IdeaCenter -- home of WCPN and WVIZ-TV. I took a few photos to share. This is the hall leading from the reception desk to the studios and offices. This gives you a good representation of the decor theme -- industrial modern and neutral tones. They also have these TV projections going in a few spots.

The real benefit to CPN is upgraded technology. This is the real jewel of the place -- a performance broadcast/recording space with state-of-the-art acoustics. You don't realize how much echo from walls is part of ordinary sound until you talk to yourself in a space like this where the bounce doesn't happen.

This is the control booth for the performance space.

Here's where the interview happened -- one of a series of production booths. Moulthrop sat at the chair in the foreground while I sat across the console from him, trying to remember to speak into the mic as opposed to moving out from behind it to maintain eye contact. He peppered me with questions which I answered more or less. I said some pithy things and some regrettably dumb things. From the reports, it sounds like he did a good job of winnowing out the dumb.

View from my chair through the production booth windows. At the far end, hidden by the flash reflection, Cindy Deutchman-Ruiz is broadcasting a "90.3 at 9" spot on discontinuing the penny.


54cermak said...

Its funny you mention that he was going for a "This American Life" feel because as I listened to the spot, I was thinking about how the TAL aesthetic has taken over public radio (which isnt necessarily a bad thing when done well, like this one).

Jill said...

Very cool, Scott! Soon, we'll be able to do a montage of Holy Rolling Bloggers, Batman! between your piece on CPN, me on State of Belief and who knows who else. Kudos to CPN.

Anonymous said...

Excellent. I met Dan this weekend, nice guy, and his son loved the fuzz on my chin.

Anonymous said...


Kyle said...

Pho, good for you and your blog. Hopefully they plug it for you. I hope to hear your segment.

Jeff said...

I heard it when the radio came on first thing this morning. I said to my wife "That sounds like Pho!" and she said "Mmmph-fvmmzs-hmmph?" (Like I said, it was really early.) It took a little while before they actually said your name, confirming my guess. It was a very moving and sweet piece, I liked it very much.
The background music, though, is church-like organ music, so it seemed just a little at odds with the no-organized-religion-thank-you-very-much dimension of what you are saying.

Tim Ferris said...


how long have you had that lithp?