The end of Cortes Community Radio’s fall sales season is approaching. How important is this? And What changes have transpired recently? A Q & A with station manager Howie Roman about 2017 Market Sales & Lipsyncs.
Q/ How important are CKTZ’s market sales and Lip Syncs to the radio station?
Howie: Like all non-profits we are eligible for some grants. Unfortunately, grants do not pay the operating expenses. This means that we must raise money to cover expenses like rent, hydro, telephone etc.In addition, we have a continuous need for new pieces of equipment. The Lip Syncs and Sales cover over half of our expenses.The Lip Syncs have become an island tradition, having done about 20. One of the things Cortes Radio gets from the Lip Syncs and sales is that’s when we get to meet the listeners. Radio is a very isolated experience you sit in a room and talk or play music and than you leave; Almost no contact with the listeners.
Q/ Tell me about some of the new markets that CKTZ entered, or has expanded its presence in, this year. Where are they? And what is the significance of this activity?
Howie: Quadra Island has three times the population than Cortes and we’ve known for a long time that we probably had three times as many listeners over there. For the last two summers Cortes Radio has joined with Theatre Quadra in presenting a August Lip Sync. That one is starting to take as well, good size audience this year. This summer we’ve had a small group of people doing markets and sales for us on Quadra for which we are very thankful. Oct. 20th we participated in an Emergency Preparedness Trade Fair in Campbell River that the SRD put on. Wow! Did the solar lanterns sell in that crowd!
Q/ What are the station’s best best selling items? And why?
Howie: We got very lucky with the inflatable solar lanterns, talk about the right product, the right place and the right time. They are such a brilliant product that they’ve sold themselves. It seems like every house on Cortes has a windowsill with our solar lanterns charging away. To date we have sold over 1700 of them.
Q/ Do you have any new items which you expect to catch on? And why?
Howie: For this years Holiday markets we have a new solar lantern in addition to the inflatables. This one is a more traditional hard plastic hanging lamp about 4 inches in diameter and height. Most importantly they put out significantly more light on their highest setting. Enough that it lights a small room to where you can very comfortably read. It also can be used to charge a cell phone. We will have lots of t-shirts this holiday season as well.
Q/ Has the radio station forged any new relationships, or strengthened old relationships, through its market operations or Lip Syncs?
Howie: We are always making new contacts and reviving old ones when we are out in the public selling wares or putting on shows. Joining with Theatre Quadra and the Strathcona Regional District are exciting things that are brining in new people and opportunities.
Q/ Do you have any thoughts about the future of CKTZ’s market activities and Lip Syncs?
Howie: We will try to continue to bring in new products that fit island life. I expect we will do a new t shirt in 2018. We will try to continue to involve Quadra in the station. In terms of the Lip Syncs I make jokes about “Are we a radio station that supports a theatre company or are we a theatre company that supports a radio station” The Lip Syncs have truly become an island tradition., for which we are very grateful. Last years Cabaret was a wonderful event, so we are starting to discuss doing one this year.