Friday, August 10, 2007

For All Who Asked, An Important Update On Derek & Sharon Gilbert!

The Reports of Our Et Cetera

By Derek Gilbert

Tom Horn kindly advised us last week that a number of Raiders News readers have asked about our whereabouts and the status of P.I.D. Radio, wondering if something bad had happened to us. A critic, posting at his own site, went so far as to imply that something nefarious on our part was afoot.

No, all that's happened is that we didn't give enough warning when we pulled our websites offline. We're still here, healthy, happy, and thankful.

The decision to take our personal websites, the P.I.D. Radio and Forum sites, and the Watcher Magazine and Connecting The Dots news and analysis sites offline was prompted by a decision about two months ago to leave mid-Missouri for Sharon's home state of Indiana. Her mother is 83 years old, and while she's still living on her own in the home in which Sharon grew up, our inability to afford the cost of traveling to see her really bothered us.

So with no jobs waiting for us on the other end, I gave notice to my employer, KSSZ-FM (The Eagle 93.9) in Columbia, Missouri. While I truly love my job as a talk radio host (honestly, this is what I wanted to do when I was ten years old), it wasn't worth keeping Sharon away from her mother.

To prepare for the move, we pulled our sites offline and transferred our blogs to Wordpress.com (derekpgilbert.wordpress.com and sharonkgilbert.wordpress.com). We shifted P.I.D. Radio to an account at LibSyn (pidradio.libsyn.com/), and we began a series of shows culled from archived interviews with some of our favorite guests such as Tom Horn, the Collins brothers, Peter Goodgame, David W. Lowe, and Russ Dizdar.

Then we began searching for jobs in Indiana. I interviewed at radio stations in Indianapolis and Bloomington and at a manufacturing firm in Sharon's home town of Madison. By the third week of July, it looked like we were headed for Bloomington, where Sharon had just begun working on a Ph.D. when we met -- online, appropriately enough -- ten years ago.

And then something unexpected happened.

Followers of P.I.D. Radio know that Sharon designed, edited, and published Watcher Magazine and CTD from our home for the last several years. For some months, I'd been lobbying the management of our radio group to create an Internet division. We had nine radio stations with websites and two non-radio web properties with no one responsible for managing the content.

So at Sharon's suggestion, I proposed that management hire her as our Web Content Manager. I asked for a combined salary that I honestly didn't expect the company to meet.

Instead, the response was, "When can Sharon start?"

Wow.

Now we can afford the cost of gasoline to make the trip from mid-Missouri to southern Indiana every couple of months. Sharon gets to work with a wonderful group of people who appreciate the qualities I've seen in her for the last decade.

Better, we discovered that a couple of key members of the team we're working with are solid, Bible-believing Christians. We've got people to whom we're accountable on the job, and that's a blessing.

Here's the kicker: Based on what I've seen of Christian talk radio (albeit at a distance), I'm convinced that I have more freedom to share what I believe on this secular station than I'd have working for the major Christian broadcasters. Since arriving in mid-Missouri, and especially since we started the Off-Road Friday shows (Sharon's idea), I've brought in such guests as Tom Horn, Patrick Heron, David Lowe, Mike Heiser, Russ Dizdar, and Doug Elwell -- Christians who get it. And we're preaching on the street, as it were, as well as to the choir. What an opportunity!

We've moved "the bunker" into a modest duplex we're renting about four minutes away from the office. Sharon is in her first full week of work for the company. While we settle into the new roles and digs, we won't be as active on the web as we've been in the past. We've been charged with getting eight new radio station websites online within the next seven weeks.

Thanks for your prayers and concern. We're still here, God has richly blessed us, and we'll return to a weekly schedule of P.I.D. Radio as soon as we're able.

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