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Show about cars originates from car

November 11, 2011
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” author Dale Carnegie famously said, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” If so, count CATA Communications Director and veteran radio host Paul Brian as freshly squeezed.
En route on Nov. 5 to his weekly show, “Drive Chicago,” which airs 8-9 a.m. Saturdays on WLS-AM and counts about 80,000 listeners, Brian encountered closed roads in downtown Chicago that prevented him from reaching the radio station. Rather than miss his show, Brian hosted it from his car.
“It was an amazing Perfect Storm of police, runners, traffic control drones and other folks making it just impossible to make it to the building. So . . . pull the car over to the side, fire up the phone and go. Adapt. Overcome. Heartbreak Ridge!!!” he said.
The live remote from the front seat of Brian’s car was not a pre-planned event. It was due to the city closing numerous roads to allow several street races to be run. No matter which road Brian took, he found himself hitting yet another road block. There was no way to get to, or even near the WLS offices, at least not in time for the start of the radio show.
 Brian and his producer decided to make the best out of the bad situation. The entire one-hour broadcast was done from his car, on the side of a Chicago street closed off for a race. With no high-quality radio microphone available, Brian completed the show using his cell phone, which the WLS-AM engineer was able to make sound perfectly clear over the air. 
And instead of it being a mess, the radio veteran turned the show into a fun, loose hour—and made it one of the more enjoyable recent “Drive Chicago” shows. Even callers to the live show were looser than usual, including a woman who called to ask if the fact her car was shot four times by a gun would appear on her Carfax report. (Brian jokingly wondered if the car actually was attempting to take its own life.)
While the show turned out to be fun for all, Brian said he is no hurry to do another unplanned live remote. As long as Chicago has its roadways open on Saturdays, Brian said he will do his show from the comfort of the WLS radio studios.
 But for one day, it just made sense for a show about automobiles and driving on the area’s roads to originate from an automobile on an area road.