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Hants’ Faces Friday — Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald

Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald, busy working away in one of the studios at MBS Radio in Kentville, where she plans the music playlists for over 20 radio stations across The Maritimes.
Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald, busy working away in one of the studios at MBS Radio in Kentville, where she plans the music playlists for over 20 radio stations across The Maritimes.

FALMOUTH, N.S. —  You might recognize Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald by her voice. She's a radio announcer at AVR 97.7 and Magic 94.9 who is also the music director for all of MBS Radio, meaning she’s in control of 23 radio stations across the Maritimes.

Sullivan Fitzgerald knew she wanted to be involved with music and broadcasting from a young age. After moving to Hants County for work, she quickly put down roots of her own.

Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald came to Hants County from Sackville, with no friends or family nearby. She quickly put down roots and now lives in Falmouth with her husband and fur babies.

“Planning that much music, It’s been a challenge. I took over the position in early 2017 and there’s a lot of different formats that we work with within the stations, whether it’s classic hits, classic rock, country, hot AC, so it’s about being on top of your game when it comes to all of those different types of music. To stay ahead, I’m constantly listening to new stuff that comes out and of course we have charts and formulas we follow when it comes to adding music, which helps a lot. There’s a lot of rules and mathematics behind radio that I don’t think a lot of people know. We have to have a certain percentage of Canadian music play per day in order for us to be OK with the CRTC and our license, male-to-female ratio is something we take into consideration and tempo of course. We don’t want to put anybody to sleep. You have to have a good balance. It takes a long time. When I come in for the week I’ll take a look at the charts, usually genre by genre.”

Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald, busy working away in one of the studios at MBS Radio in Kentville, where she plans the music playlists for over 20 radio stations across The Maritimes.

“Music has always been a huge part of my life. I think when it came to radio and wanting to get involved with that, I think it started around junior high; just listening to the radio in my bedroom and I remember having a tape ready and just waiting for that new Backstreet Boys song to come on — waiting for hours just so I could tape it. I remember thinking it was so cool that these people got to play what people want to hear and instill memories and feelings within people... I just thought it was a neat job, but I did put that on the back burner. I was very shy growing up and didn’t come into my own until my late teens and early 20s. I was originally enrolled at Mount Saint Vincent University, doing a psychology, sociology route, but after a couple of weeks I just knew it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted something that was different every day and brought me joy. I knew that music was that. Radio just made sense.”

Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald came to Hants County from Sackville, with no friends or family nearby. She quickly put down roots and now lives in Falmouth with her husband and fur babies.

“I spent my first two years doing early, early mornings in Windsor. I went from an internship right into the workplace, so that worked out well. Back then it started at 5 a.m. so you had to roll in around 3:30 a.m. to get ready. My first apartment was on Clifton Avenue in Windsor, so I’d walk down, and half the time my hair was all over the place but nobody was awake at that hour. When I graduated in 2009 and was offered the position here, I packed up the car and left with all of my belongings, and in the back of my mind I was open to returning to the city some day. I didn’t know a soul here besides my co-workers, and even then having just started, you don’t really know them well. But it was still a happy medium, close enough Kentville for when I had to work weekends and close enough to Sack-Vegas, so that was good. About a year into things is when I met my husband at a work function. He was born and raised in Hantsport his whole life, so at that point in time, I knew there was no going back.”

Faces Friday is the Hants Journal’s weekly online feature highlighting members of our community: their strengths, challenges and humanity. Meet more of your neighbours in our Faces Friday collection.

Music and broadcasting has been a long-time aspiration for Erin Sullivan Fitzgerald. She got her start in Windsor right after graduating from NSCC and hasn’t looked back since.

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