'Bring your Kids to Work Day' creates havoc and dead air at top US radio station

A studio tour in the Washington DC headquarters of NPR led to a radio blackout on the West Coast

NPR, Bring your Kids to Work Day,

NPR's building in Washington DC, where a number of invited kids wreaked havoc yesterday [NPR]

Take our Daughters & Sons to Work Day is an American tradition the takes place in US workplaces on the fourth Thursday in April, an opportunity for career-driven parents to forge bonds with their progeny while struggling to find something for them to do for hours at an end while they try to get on with some work. Mostly, it merely pops up as a plot device in sitcoms and US TV shows, but the 2016 occasion turned out to be a bit of blunder for those working on National Public Radio (NPR).

The radio station, the biggest producer of independent talk radio in the US, had its flagship breakfast show Morning Edition suffer a full 60 seconds of radio silence when one of the broadcaster’s employee’s son or daughter accidentally jammed the West Coast signal. The error was confirmed by NPR Codes Switch journalist Gene Demby.

According to an email seen by Gawker, a senior employee explained that the error was to be attributed to the head of the station’s engineering department.

“As part of Take our Daughters & Sons to Work Day Studio 42 demonstration, one of our junior journalists was somehow able to press the exact sequence, and perfectly timed live insert panel to insert studio 42 into the Steam 1. I kid you not,” the email reportedly said.

“Although labour laws prevent me from actually hiring the kid (cause he does have a future, I have him my card), this resulted in Studio 42 being inserted into the stream, causing a lengthy impairment.”

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