‘Catch me on the radio!’
As one of the distinctive voices of Chico State’s KCHO radio (as well as volunteer for the Chico Peace & Justice Center and the Autism Society of Northern California), Mike Fishkin is a familiar and integral part of day-to-day life in this area. Originally from Oakland, Fishkin came to Chico for school, and by the time he earned his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications he’d fallen in love with public radio ("Thinking outside the FOX,” is how he sees it). Fishkin has been at the heart of the station’s programming since 1988, on every weeknight from 7-10 p.m. during Fresh Air and the evening’s music, as well as Sunday mornings during NPR’s Weekend Edition.
How were you introduced to KCHO?
When I was a student—that’s how I first discovered public radio, tuning into that station. I went to find a classical-music station, and that was the only one there was.
Besides your D.J. duties, tell me about what you do at the station.
I’m the one who makes the program logs. I’m the one who helps schedule the underwriters accordingly. And also, sometimes, make sure the right things get on the air at the right time, make sure certain programs get recorded; make sure messages of setting up feeds [get seen].
Are you excited about the new digs?
I really like the new place. Also, of course, it’ll be great to be broadcasting at sea level rather than underground.
Do people recognize your voice on the street?
Yes. [When] I tell them where I work, they say I’ve heard your voice, but I’ve never been able to identify the face.
Do you get requests?
Yes I do. At times I get many requests. Sometimes I have to postpone one depending on the amount of requests I get or the length of the work. One time I had to play a big—I think Mahler—symphony in two parts. One part one night and the other part the following week.
What do you listen to when you’re not on the air?
I’ve got a lot of classical and jazz.
Who are some of your favorite composers or musicians?
Franz Schubert is definitely mine. My favorite work of his is the great C Major Symphony, No. 9. Often, you know, I try to drown out sounds that I don’t like to hear by humming his second movement [hums a few dramatic notes].
Do you play music too?
I play trumpet and piano, but I haven’t in quite a while. I’d like to get back to it.
Thanks a lot, Mike.
Catch me on the radio!