After three years that included leading a mostly-volunteer media outlet though the tremendous challenges of the pandemic, Kootenay Co-op Radio’s Rob Andrew is passing the mic to a new manager.
Broadcast professional and audio engineer Ed Zych has taken on the primary role at the station, now in its 22nd year.
“My previous work experience has given me a broad knowledge base concerning most things audio,” says Zych, “but I have a lot to learn about this small and mighty station.”
Zych first dove into radio at the age of 17, earned a degree in radio and television arts from Ryerson University, then went on to work as a producer, engineer, manager, and even a stint as a songwriter, before moving on to advertising and marketing.
His list of clients is dappled with famous names, global brands and events that capture millions of viewers.
On the music front, Zych has worked with recording acts including Tegan and Sara, Tricky, Stars, Whitehorse, and Honeymoon Suite, and has produced podcasts at legendary Canadian musical venues like Toronto’s Massey Hall.
His audio skills have been hired out to clients like Expedia, BMW, Guinness and The United Way.
And his live broadcast work has included games for the Toronto Raptors, Blue Jays, and NHL games, as well as federal elections and the Olympics.
Zych, a father of one who’s lived in Nelson for the past four years, says despite the major market experience he brings to KCR’s humble Hall Street station, he’s excited to spend the next couple of months learning new ropes.
“I’d like to thank Rob first,” says Zych, “for his generosity in sharing all his wisdom and insight.”
The new KCR manager says Andrew has played an indispensable role in setting up a number of exciting projects that are in the works for listeners.
Andrew, who has been a mainstay on KCR’s seven-times-a-week current affairs show Kootenay Morning for the past two years, says he feels very lucky to have worked with “an amazing group of volunteer programmers.” KCR airs 50 different programs a week. During the pandemic, instead of cancelling their commitments, many of those programmers learned new tech skills and broadcast their shows from home.
“I was constantly impressed with the level of enthusiasm, dedication, and creativity everyone put into their work at KCR and as ambassadors in the community,” Andrew says. “I‘m very proud of what we all have accomplished here, not just during my time but throughout the past two decades.”
Andrew will continue to co-host Kootenay Morning on Fridays.
“We all share the same goal here at the station,” Zych adds, “to have a strong and healthy KCR, and to continue to play a central role in entertaining and informing a very vibrant community.”