Radio station loses
By Dale Wyatt
Graphics by Hodge
Life is comprised
of many relationships. The majority of people you come in contact with
come and go, but, every so often, there will be that one person who means
a little more than the rest.
For CHRW 94.7 FM, Tom Everett means a whole lot more.
As of Friday, the charismatic programme director who began his six-year
stint back in July of 1996, will be leaving the station. Although he may
be gone in body, his stamp on the award-winning station will remain.
Everett, who unofficially began his radio career pretending in his basement
at age seven, has decided the time is right to move on before his love
for radio wears thin.
"I have been doing radio for a long time," Everett confesses.
"I have been [at CHRW] for six years; I did four and a half years
in commercial radio and a couple years at radio school. I have really
thought of nothing else but radio since I was seven.
"I am at a point where I want to do other stuff. I don't want to
be like my dad and spend 30 years at a job and be hating it at the end.
The big thing I learned from him was to do what makes you happy, and I
want to see what else I can do."
A negative factor in Everett's tough decision was the constant struggle
with student politics.
I am done with the politics. It's a very political place, and with the
changing of attitudes every year with the changing of the [University
Students' Council], it is sometimes inconsistent and there are sometimes
decisions I don't agree with," he explains.
After starting out in commercial radio, Everett decided to make the switch
to campus radio after hearing about the programming job and discovering
an attractive world foreign to him at the time.
"I never thought of campus radio as a career. Up until [learning
about the CHRW job], I was on my commercial radio path. But after I heard
about this job, did some research and talked with some people who were
involved, I discovered this is a phenomenal opportunity.
"It combined a bunch of things I was into radio, politics,
discussion of issues, interaction with the community those are
things that I thought radio should be about. When I could have all that
in one package, plus a great environment, it was huge. I really pushed
for this job."
After a couple of interviews, Everett was hooked. Everett says campus
radio has provided him with a certain amount of freedom that he otherwise
would have missed out on.
"College radio should be challenging whether that's discussion
of issues, introducing new kinds of music or being really involved in
a diverse community," he says. "When campus radio becomes a
watered down version of commercial radio, then it has lost its focus.
"There are always going to be folks who say this station is paid
for by the students, so it should only be what the students want to hear
and there is room for that argument. CHRW should be listening to
what students have to say and it should be reflecting the students' lives
back to them. But, in terms of music and social issues, I think it is
wide open. People should be pushing boundaries and seeing what is out
there. It's all about balance."
"[At CHRW], we try to be as broad as possible and we know that we
are not going to appeal to everyone, everyday. We liken ourselves with
a TV station more. Think of the New PL: you may just tune in at certain
times to watch certain shows. That is kind of what we are doing
tune in for what you like and then do something else for the rest of the
time. We do believe there is something for everyone," insists Everett.
Although people have been understanding about his choice to move on, Everett's
presence, both on and off the air, will be greatly missed. Although leaving
is difficult, Everett is nothing but thankful for the time he has spent
"I want to thank Mario [Circelli, CHRW station manager] for having
faith in me six years ago, thank the USC for giving me some freedom, thank
the listeners who are supportive, and most importantly, thank the volunteers.
You can't exist or excel the way we have without dedicated volunteers."