Coronavirus is changing everything here in California. Our jobs. Our commutes. Our religious and social practices. Social isolation will probably be the phrase that defines 2020, and we’re only 3 months in.
As people begin to practice social distancing and adjust to this new normal…I am feeling a pull to do something. I know I need to help, I want to help. But how can I best do that? As I’ve been meditating on this over the last few weeks, it finally came to me.
In one form or another I have pursued some kind of journalism for years now, and Unpacked now stands in a unique position to be a vehicle for that kind of work. But, in order to do that, I need to catch you up on what is going on in my world.
Over the last year I have reached a sort of a crossroads in my life. A lot has changed, and a lot more change is coming.
For almost 20 years now I have pursued my childhood dream of being a radio personality. Beginning in Orlando when I was a wee lad, I’ve been on the radio in Miami, Key West, New Haven, Boston, Colorado Springs, Gainesville (FL), Cleveland, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Sacramento.
Admittedly – I’ve had a lot of success. But in that time, I have essentially moved where the job was. Every place I have lived, I have arrived completely alone with no reason to be there other than a radio job. At most of these stops along the way, I have departed with memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. But – I haven’t, up until recently, had the opportunity to pick a place to live, simply because I want to be there.
My boyfriend and I picked the San Francisco Bay Area and this past November, we moved to Oakland. We love it here. The dogs are happy we love the little church lawn across the street.
I’ve continued to commute to Sacramento on weekdays since mid-November but I must admit, it is exhausting, and it gets more challenging each day. For about 12 hours a day I am almost constantly in motion, and that would wear on just about anyone.
When I first got into radio, in 2000, my job was to do a single live radio show each day, and maybe some light production work.
Now, in an average week I host 45 hours of radio content on two radio stations, conceptualize, write, shoot and produce 5-10 minutes of original video content with varying locations, write a couple of blogs, record between 5 and 20 commercials and I may have a public appearance in a Sacramento suburb over the weekend. It’s a busy lifestyle.
Combine that with 4 hours of commuting each day and I arrive home most nights completely mentally fried. That’s why Unpacked has been so quiet these last few months. It’s unsustainable. I have reached that point where it’s time to make a few changes.
First, I am stepping down from my role at Mix 96 and Now 100.5 at the end of June 2020. It’s been 5 years, and I am grateful to every single person who listened to anything I put on the radio in Sacramento and allowed me to thrive in this beautiful city.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunities afforded me by the team at Bonneville Sacramento, and CBS Radio before that. Through a merger, 4 cities and 2 companies I have been continuously employed for close to 11 years now, and in radio that is beyond rare. I am humbled, and will never forget the love and growth I experienced in Sacramento.
Thankfully, I am not living that far away.
My last day on the air at Mix 96 and Now 100.5 will be Friday, June 26, 2020. More on that as it gets closer.
I do not, as of writing this, have another full-time job lined up. I am open to discussing just about anything interesting including home voicetracking, production, reporting and editing. I would ultimately prefer to stay in the bay area. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.—
So, what now?
For the next stage of my life and career, I want to do a wider variety of work. Learn some new skills, and challenge myself.
If you’ve been listening to our family of podcasts over the last 3 years, you have seen the infancy of this experimentation. I have found a love for telling stories, through audio and video. My real passion being radio, audio journalism and radio stories are natural next steps. Listen to my docu-series Unpacked presents Bret, Mickey & Walt if you want to hear my best (up to now) example, it’s here in this feed.
That passion and experimentation have opened some new doors for me here in the bay area. More on that in the coming weeks. Yes, you’ll hear me on the radio in the San Francisco bay area soon.
Early in my career, at Y100 in Miami more specifically, I was asked to take on a stage name. More specifically, a two-syllable name. Something about a study of the perception of listeners…whatever. I was a kid, I did what I was told. I picked Kory. with a K.
Shortly thereafter my career began to take me to new and exciting places, and the name stuck. I kept the stage name, for almost 20 years. I mean, Kory is verified on Facebook and Twitter! But! Kory, is not really a public radio name.
Thankfully for me…Christopher Beale, is. That’s my real name, and It’s truly an honor for me to bring my real last name to the front. My grandfather, Ray Beale, was a radio personality himself in the 50s and 60s. The name, has emotional weight for me. It’s still weird to say Christopher Beale into a microphone but I am adjusting.
Moving forward, I will be using my real name on Unpacked, and for my journalism work. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @RealChrisJBeale.
I’ll still have the name Kory for any commercial radio work I do of course, and it will for the time being, be the name I will use to host Theme Park Pulse on Fridays.
To recap. I am living will be leaving my full-time position in Sacramento at the end of June, and though doors are opening for me, I do not currently have a reliable source of full-time income lined up.
I don’t know what is going to happen next, but I do know I have a great support system around me here in the bay area. This next step is…a little scary, and I know it will not be without it’s challenges. But I am ready for the ride.
Opportunity is out there, and I intend to find it. Jason Mraz has this great song called ‘Make It Mine,’ it’s been a sort of a mantra for me these last few months and I love this simple line.
“Leap, and the net will appear.”
Now that you know where I stand. I am proud to announce that Unpacked is returning. With coronavirus changing everything, people need to connect more than ever, and if one story can help make this dark time of social isolation a little brighter…then that’s what I intend to do.
I am already recording interviews for an all-new season where I want to explore how this pandemic is affecting the day-to-day lives of every day people.
Unpacked is back…in 1 week!