Our local radio broadcasting station 2 Triple B is celebrating 35 years on-air for the month of September, quite a feat for this volunteer-run stalwart of our community, that has managed to operate for most of these years “on the smell of an oily rag” says current 2 Triple B Chairperson Kye Ruigrok.
Most of Bellingen Shire’s community has a true soft spot for the B’s. As Kye explains “2 Triple B reflects the wonderful diversity of our community. Our variety of presenters span the backgrounds, ethnicity and generations that make up our Shire, to give you many musical tastes and genres”.
There is a lot of talk about ‘change’ being afoot, as 2 Triple B has entered a period of renaissance. But Kye quite philosophically reasons that “change is the only constant in life. And like the Shire itself, our local radio station has to go along with it’s surroundings.”
Rod had a chat with Kye as the station gears up for its 35th Anniversary Open Day Saturday 30th September 9am-2pm at the home of the B’s Wheatley Street Bellingen.
Have you always lived in Bellingen?
I was lucky enough that my parents came to Bellingen as part of the hippie invasion back in the late 70’s and they decide to start having kids. Apart from a 6 year stint in Brisbane, I’ve been here my whole life.
What sparked your interest in radio?
As a teenager I spent a couple of years doing local theatre productions, which was actually directed by fellow 2 Triple B presenter and long standing committee member Leo Bradney George. As a teenager I had a short attention span, so I jump from the stage to behind the panel and I haven’t looked back.
How long have you been volunteering at 2 Triple B?
Since moving back to the area in 2013, I thought I’ll get involved with the station. It started with just wanting to jump on air and have a platform to interview a bunch of interesting artists. But like most things in this town, the passion grew. I went from presenting to organising outside broadcasts, to becoming a board member, and at the end of 2017 stepping up as chairman.
You dedicate a lot of time to 2BBB. Describe your current role at the station.
At 2bbb fm it seems like every day serves up a different challenge. I normally bounce between production, on-air rostering, event management, marketing, administration, training and meetings. So many meetings.
How important is it for us to have a healthy, well- supported local broadcaster?
The Bellingen Shire has so many things happening all at once. Community radio is one of the best ways of conveying information on a immediate platform. We have around 16 hours of live programming with voices from almost every demographic and age group in the area. Not many media outlets can say that!
In your opinion what marks the real difference between commercial and community radio?
All of our presenters are 100% responsible for their playlists and content. That means you will hear music you have never heard before and interviews with your neighbours, friends or even co workers. I can tell you now, you won’t hear that on commercial radio.
There are a few changes happening at 2 Triple B- can you talk about some of these?
We do have a new board and things are evolving. A few things I’m excited about is our influx of new presenters and volunteers. There is more engagement with the community and with outside broadcasts and more guests coming into the studio.
Plus on the inside of the station, we are just ticking off the to-do lists. As with any community organization it’s always a big list.
However, the essence of the station will always remain the same!!
What is your ultimate vision for our local broadcasting station?
For me personally it would be a higher listener-ship, more community involvement and 24 hour programing. Their are so many interesting and talented people in our area, who really should be able to be given the chance to be heard and learn new skills through 2 Triple b fm.
Your best memory of childhood was?
Summers hanging out at the Never Never River.
Your best sporting moment was?
I’ve never been a huge sporting person. But for the past few years myself and a group of great local fellas take part in the ‘Will Cameron Cup’- an annual golf game which we use as a fundraiser for the Black Dog Foundation- to raise awareness of male depression. It’s always a pretty special day.
What would you like to be remembered for?
This question is always hard to answer, but I would like to be remembered for always going out of my way for people.
What are you reading right now?
It’s a bit sad, but most of my reading nowadays are emails and press releases.
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been getting into a whole bunch of funk and soul of late, acts such as The Teskey Brothers, Son Little, Kaiit and Karl S Williams. All worth checking out.
What really annoys you?
People who let their egos get in the way of progress.
The best lesson your parents taught you?
My dad always told me to never piss in the wind. But I found out it was actually in the Bible. Still good advice though.
The last big belly laugh you had was?
Just the other night watching my house mate trying not to fall on her face while dancing around the lounge room. I’m not sure if she appreciated it.
What project are you currently working on?
Got a few things on the burner at the moment. On the 30th of September we have our 35th year celebration with a huge open day at the station. Once that is done, work will begin on our upcoming AGM, our outside broadcast at the Dorrigo Folk and Bluegrass Festival and more training of presenters.
Plus I’ve got a passion project starting up soon which I’m really excited about. A weekly relationship and sex podcast with local educator Lily Isobella. It’s a lot of fun to make, and quite eye opening.
How do you relax?
Turn off my phone.
In the Movie Kyegate, who would play you?
This question took the most amount of thinking and deliberation. It would have to be either Samuel Johnson or Shane Jacobson. Because why not hey.