From the print edition
It’s 6 a.m. and radio lady Marge Scott is on the air with news, music, announcements, traffic reports and chatter, all in English, to help us start the day on an upbeat with “Buenos Dias, Costa Rica” on Radio Dos, 99.5 FM.
“Yeah!” as Scott herself would say.
Scott connects expats from the English-speaking world with home, bringing familiar music and news. The music is “listenable rock” says Scott, and it helps us through our morning chores, aerobics, driving to work, dancing around the house or fixing breakfast.
Scott runs the show 6-9 a.m. Mon.-Fri., by radio route or computer (www.radiodos.com). Some songs are familiar favorites from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, but we also hear more recent sounds and learn what’s new in music. Announcements let us know about concerts, parties, marches, traffic and exchange rates.
A petite blond with bouncy curls, Scott knows what her listeners want. Phone and email connect her with the audience. “I enjoy the interaction. They’re there in the morning,” she says. “And it’s fun. One woman called in and said, ‘I’m an implant.’” Not a tooth, the woman explained, but a newcomer looking for a contact in English. Other callers suggest songs or to report events. “Radio Dos is part of so many people’s lives,” Scott adds.
For her, the day starts at 4 a.m., when she drives to the station in Zapote in southeastern San José in the predawn. She arrives with time to check the news from the papers and Internet and write it up in English. She also lines up the day’s songs on the computer and makes sure that everything is in working order before greeting listeners.
While the music plays, Scott keeps busy checking emails, Facebook and phone messages. A television is going but without sound. If something interesting comes up, she’s on top of it. Just before sign off time, she gathers her papers to do another news report.
The day doesn’t end then. There are trade papers to review, the music scene to keep current on and new trends to check out, including what’s going on in Costa Rica. “I want to promote local bands, too,” she says looking over fliers for concerts. She holds up one for the Bea Girls, a female group that plays The Beatles. “Interesting,” she says.
Scott had plenty of radio practice in New York before she came to Costa Rica. Plus her upbeat personality makes her ideal for an early morning show. “I’m a morning person,” she concedes. However, she credits program director Eliecer Barrantes for the show’s success. (Surveys by the Camara Nacional de Radio, or National Radio Chamber, rate Radio Dos as number one is its category.)
“[Barrantes] is the one who scans the music services and picks out what he believes audiences want to hear,” she says. He orders the CDs and makes master lists of what’s available. Scott picks from the list. “Sometimes I think he’s totally crazy for putting a certain song on the list, but Eli knows. The phones start ringing as soon as it’s on the air.”
Scott came to Costa Rica with a friend for a vacation in 1999. Her friend “fell while walking backward” and needed months of treatment. Scott stayed to help, getting by with freelance work. “At the end of three months, I decided to move down,” she explains. With her background, contacts, knowledge of the music world and morning personality, she easily got the job at Radio Dos. You’ll find Radio Dos at 99.5 FM, www.radiodos.com, or 2224-7272.