The voice moves on

Dave Chaulk an­nounces re­tire­ment af­ter al­most half a cen­tury work­ing in me­dia

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - BY KIRK STARRATT KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

“That’s my opin­ion… I’m Dave Chaulk.”

A voice well known to gen­er­a­tions of An­napo­lis Val­ley ra­dio lis­ten­ers will soon no longer be heard read­ing the news and de­liv­er­ing commentaries. Af­ter 47 years work­ing in the me­dia – 36 of them on the ra­dio in the Val­ley – Dave Chaulk an­nounced his re­tire­ment on Nov. 5. His fi­nal shift on the air for K-ROCK 89.3 FM will be Nov. 15.

“There are things that I’m look­ing for­ward to and things that I’ll miss,” he said.

Chaulk, who is now 64, said you meet a lot of peo­ple work­ing in ra­dio. Many in­di­vid­u­als he hasn’t heard from in years have been reach­ing out to con­grat­u­late him on his re­tire­ment and he said it’s been nice hear­ing from them.

Chaulk has been think­ing about re­tir­ing for a long time and it seemed like the time was right. He dis­cussed it with his fam­ily and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor and weighed the pros and cons be­fore mak­ing the de­ci­sion. Sev­eral fac­tors came into play.

For ex­am­ple, Chaulk has al­ways liked ra­dio but he doesn’t like hav­ing to get up at 4:30 a.m. any­more. He’s tired much of the time from hav­ing to get to work so early and there was no prospect of chang­ing to a dif­fer­ent shift.

Chaulk said New­cap Ra­dio, K-ROCK’s for­mer owner, was re­cently ac­quired by St­ingray Dig­i­tal, an­other fac­tor that played into his de­ci­sion. He said New­cap has been great to work for and al­though he has heard good things about St­ingray, there is an el­e­ment of un­cer­tainty with any tran- sition of own­er­ship, so it seemed the time was right to re­tire.

As much as Chaulk is look­ing for­ward to the free­dom re­tire­ment brings, he’ll miss sev­eral as­pects of the job, in­clud­ing in­ter­act­ing with the lis­ten­ers. Al­though not all in­ter­ac­tions have been pos­i­tive, most have been, and he has al­ways viewed the oc­ca­sional crit­i­cism as an op­por­tu­nity to learn.

“Most peo­ple seem to ap­pre­ci­ate what you do and what you say,” Chaulk said. “I’ll miss giv­ing my com­men­tary ev­ery day, spout­ing off, but I can still do that at home.”

He ap­pre­ci­ates the end of his ca­reer rep­re­sents a huge ad­just­ment, just as it is for any­one who re­tires. How­ever, he plans to oc­cupy his time with things he en­joys. Chaulk will con­tinue in his role as the chair­man of the New Minas Vil­lage Com­mis­sion and he’s build­ing a wood­work­ing shop at home.

He plans to spend more time with his fam­ily and he looks for­ward to be­ing able to stay up late to watch sports on TV, some­thing he hasn’t been able to do. He also plans to spend more time at the cot­tage and con­cen­trate more on his kayak­ing and pho­tog­ra­phy hob­bies.

Chaulk said he has al­ways been in­volved with his com­mu­nity, such as vol­un­teer­ing with groups that his chil­dren were in­volved in when they were younger. Now that he has more time, he might find some­thing else in the com­mu­nity to get in­volved with.

Chaulk said Dar­rin Har­vey has been great to work with on the morn­ing show and he will miss that. He said they have a good re­la­tion­ship and a good on-air rap­port.

The feel­ing is mu­tual. Har­vey said he and Chaulk have worked to­gether on and off for the past 27 years and have worked to­gether on K-ROCK’s morn­ing show for the past three. Har­vey said if he can make Chaulk laugh, he knows every­one is laugh­ing.

“I’ll miss his dry sense of hu­mour more than any­thing,” Har­vey said. “His keen sense of news is un­par­al­leled. Sadly, that can­not be re­placed.”

Worst disc jockey ever?

Chaulk be­gan his ca­reer in ra­dio as a disc jockey, “per­haps the worst disc jockey ever,” and said “thank­fully, there are no known tapes of me in ex­is­tence.” He said he knew noth­ing about ra­dio at the time and it was just a sum­mer job.

Chaulk said he never had any de­sire or inkling of get­ting in­volved in ra­dio but he had a voice. He ap­plied for the job and was on the air the next night. He said he quickly re­al­ized be­ing a disc jockey wasn’t for him and he moved on to news.

He worked in ra­dio news for a few years in Cor­ner Brook, Nfld., be­fore a TV sta­tion in Saint John’s, CJON, es­tab­lished a satel­lite sta­tion in Cor­ner Brook. Chaulk then went to work as a videog­ra­pher, shoot­ing and edit­ing his own tape, and did a 10-minute news­cast ev­ery evening.

Af­ter about six months, he moved to Hal­i­fax, where he worked in ra­dio for five years: at CHNS and CJCH - C-100. Chaulk met his fu­ture wife, who was from Bridgetown. They de­cided even­tu­ally that when they had kids, they wanted to raise them in the Val­ley.

“She kind of in­tro­duced me to the Val­ley and I fell in love with it, and I love it to this day, which is why we stayed,” Chaulk said.

He went to work in the AVR news­room and, af­ter its launch, Magic 97 ( now Magic 94.9). Chaulk said he worked for the late Neil McMullen, “one of the great bosses.” McMullen loved ra­dio, loved the com­mu­nity and was good to his staff.

Af­ter more than 25 years di­rect­ing the news there, Chaulk moved on and be­came K-ROCK’s first news direc­tor when that sta­tion launched in 2008. He said he got to in­ter­act with quite a cast of char­ac­ters at both AVR-Magic and at K-ROCK.

“That’s the one good thing about ra­dio, you re­ally get to work with some in­ter­est­ing and some tal­ented peo­ple,” Chaulk said. “I’ve seen a lot of tal­ent come and go over the years.”

Many of his col­leagues moved on to larger mar­kets across North Amer­ica but Chaulk said he never as­pired for that be­cause of his love for the Val­ley.

A friendly word of ad­vice

When asked what ad­vice he has for as­pir­ing ra­dio jour­nal­ists, Chaulk, as al­ways, gave his hon­est opin­ion: look at an­other ca­reer.

Chaulk said it trou­bles him to have to say that and he hates do­ing so but, be­cause of a lack of job op­por­tu­ni­ties in ra­dio news, he would be do­ing young peo­ple a dis­ser­vice to say oth­er­wise. He said he’s not be­ing pes­simistic; he’s be­ing re­al­is­tic.

“It is a won­der­ful field to work in but there just aren’t jobs any­more,” Chaulk said. “I’m a di­nosaur do­ing ra­dio news at a pri­vate ra­dio sta­tion that’s not an all­news sta­tion.”

Chaulk said the as­pect of his ca­reer that he finds the most trou­bling is hav­ing seen so many tal­ented peo­ple work­ing in ra­dio lose their jobs be­cause of cut­backs over the years. Tra­di­tional me­dia has strug­gled with the ad­vent of the In­ter­net.

“I un­der­stand why it’s hap­pened but that doesn’t mean that I have to like that it’s hap­pened,” he said.

KIRK STARRATT

K-ROCK 89.3 FM’s news direc­tor Dave Chaulk is de­liv­er­ing his fi­nal news­cast Nov. 15.

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