An unfamiliar voice was behind the microphone Friday, Aug. 26 during what is billed as “the longest running show of its kind.”
For Carrie Tait, it was a thrill to serve as a guest host on Swap-n-Shop, the radio buy-and-sell program that’s a fixture on 1050 CJNB and 102.3 CJNS. Tait, a Calgary-based reporter for the Globe and Mail, is originally from Meota. And whenever she’s back home, she not only tunes in; she provides live updates on Twitter.
“That’s sort of to show people outside of smaller communities this is a community service. People depend on it,” Tait told battlefordsNOW. “And kind of what it makes it funny, I have to admit, (is) these same items have been on the show for decades. You have your wood, you got your berries, there’s always a swather, and it’s a little bit fun like that.”
The station became aware through social media of Tait’s wish to take a turn as host. Friday’s show did not disappoint, as Tait checked off items on the bingo card she had made, such as “feedback” (the sound that occurs when a caller doesn’t turn off the radio first), “dial tone,” “washer/drier,” and “wants work” along with “wants workers.” For the most part, callers went about their business without seeming to notice that they were not speaking with the usual host, veteran CJNB personality Doug Harrison.
Tait’s tweets about the show have been known to have a large following among colleagues in Toronto newsrooms. She feels they may not understand why a program like Swap-n-Shop has connected with its audience for so long.
“I think they laugh along, but don’t really understand why people don’t just go on Kijiji. And to me the answer is simple: because you’re driving your tractor at 12:30 p.m.,” Taid said. “You just want to listen in. And not everybody has the Internet. And you just know it’s there. You need some bales? Just listen to Swap-n-Shop.”
Harrison and former general manager David Dekker both said the show predated their arrival at the station. A check of newspaper radio listings pointed to 1954 as the year Swap-n-Shop made its debut on CJNB. Tait said she grew up with the program and its “longest-running” tagline.
“It just really feels like home. It reminds me of my parents when they’re farming, you come in, it’s that community feel,” she said.
“And you know what? Swap-n-Shop is a little bit funny.”
Geoff Smith is battlefordsNOW's News Director, business and agriculture reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @smithco.
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