Wiles named Broadcaster of the Year
John Wiles, station manager of CKBW and Queens Co. resident, loves to throw his intern students in the booth. And for his efforts, the Broadcast Educators Association of Canada named him Broadcaster of the Year.
The award was given to Wiles in recognition for work he has done with students that come through CKBW. Wiles was invited to attend the BEAC conference in Halifax with his boss, but he had absolutely no idea about the award.
“ The listeners of CKBW are probably more deserving of the award than I am in many ways. They’re the ones who have to put up with them,” he laughs.
Over the years, he says, CKBW got a reputation as being a training ground for people interested in radio, especially before actual radio journalism schools came into existence.
“In some ways, I’m almost standing on the shoulders of giants. The people who were in this position before me certainly helped a lot of others get started. I think it’s important to continue that.”
However he recognizes he lets the students do more than they might at other radio stations. Wiles says he’s gotten a reputation for putting all students on the air, “whether they’ve got any interest in being on the air at all,” he laughs.
For example, even students who want to specialize in production get put on air. Wiles says this is so they have the experi- ence and know what it’s like, even if they never do it again.
“ You’ve got to work (with the on air guys) on a daily basis, so you should at least know what they are going through.”
He says some students that come through are very nervous about being on air, but after they do it they find they really like it.
Wiles has been in broadcasting for almost 30 years, getting his start in 1980 in Newfoundland. After a hiatus in the early 1990s running Smith’s Furniture in Liverpool, he returned to radio at CKBW.
He says he’s very passionate about the job, and eager to share it with the students. Wiles sees bringing in students as a way to pass along something he really loves to someone else, adding he loves seeing that spark when they start to enjoy it too.
CKBW usually gets a couple in Dec. and May on work terms.
“If they’re coming here on a work term, they’re coming here to work and not do the jobs we don’t want to do.” In other words, he says, they’re not coffee boys.
“ They’re here to learn and experience the business.”
Wiles says mistakes will always be made, but it’s how you deal with them afterwards that’s more important.
“Hopefully there are a couple of them that have learned something being here, and will stick around to put those things to good use.”
The Broadcast Educators Association of Canada has named Liverpool resident John Wiles “Broadcaster of the Year” for his work with student interns at CKBW. Wiles believes everyone coming through should get a chance to be on the air, whether they want to or not.