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Aspiring DJ marks 100 shows

For the past two years, Tanya Gruben has owned Friday nights.
CLKB FM 101.9 FM host Tanya Gruben just recently aired her 100th show. Listen to Friday Nights with TLG at 9:30 p.m. mountain-time. Photo courtesy Tanya Gruben
                                            Tanya Gruben in the studio at CLKB FM 101.9 FM. Photo courtesy Tanya Gruben
Tanya Gruben in the studio at CLKB FM 101.9 FM. Photo courtesy Tanya Gruben

For the past two years, Tanya Gruben has owned Friday nights.

Having just broadcast her 100th show by way of CLKB FM 101.9 FM on Feb. 2, the aspiring disc jockey brings a solid mix to her two-hour show.

“During COVID people were stuck at home,” she said. “I knew they were looking for entertainment, especially on Fridays. (So) I to be aware that my show is airing on a Friday evening, you know at the end of the workweek and at the start of a weekend so people don’t want to hear slow things.

“They want to hear stuff that’s going to start their weekend off.”

Each week Gruben selects 30 tunes to play from a wide spectrum, bringing popular tunes to the airwaves usually built on themes.

Over the past two years, the show has evolved as Gruben first started in Yellowknife and then returned to Inuvik. While a staple feature of her show is that it isn’t a request program, whilst in the capital she was happy to do shout-outs for her listeners while on the air. Since returning to Inuvik, she’s had to return to pre-recording her show, so she has had to take a break from them.

From her laptop in Inuvik, she’s reached across Turtle Island, with confirmed listeners from not just across Canada, but as far away as Mexico.

But in the interim, finding interesting themes for her shows keeps her busy.

”It’s a different genre every week,” she said. “So I’ll go anywhere from country to 90s, 80s, 70s — I’ve done 50s and 60s. I’ve done country music scandals. I’ve done shows based on camping in an RV, the best-selling debut albums of all time, two-stepping country. Tributes to Loretta Lynn and Jax Jones.

“As soon as an idea hits me, I write it down in my phone so that I can always go back and reference that when I’m short on ideas.”

Behind the music and trivia tidbits are hours of work lining music up, ensuring lyrics are family friendly and editing information into small ear-friendly sound bytes, plus any revisions her producer may ask of her.

Though not a request show, Gruben says she’s happy to take suggestions and ideas. She noted she was preparing a playlist by her father for his birthday as one upcoming sow.

”My dad’s turning 70, so I’m going to have him pick my next playlist. It’s going to be all music he likes so old country and 50s and 60s. Then some of the requested I do a hair band show so I have that coming up.

“In fall 2021, I had invited guest curators to come on to create the playlist for me, so we have some guest curators coming up.”

Another idea Gruben said she was hoping to explore was speaking to festival-goers this upcoming jamboree season.

Getting into radio was a longtime dream for Gruben, who got her start by offering to fill in at CLKB. After showing her skills with the mic, she pitched a one-time show for Friday night and hasn’t looked back since.

For her listeners, especially women looking to find their own way in this world, Gruben attributed her success to the sweat and tears she’s put into getting to where she is.

”Not just for radio, but for anything that a person wants to do and succeed at, you have to put in 110% to get success for anything,” she said. “I networked, I reached out to as many places as I could. None of this would be successful without the efforts I’m putting in — if I was doing it half-assed, it wouldn’t turn out.

“So I have to put all my efforts into making this successful because I want it to be a good show for the listeners. So if anybody out there is looking at doing anything and it doesn’t have to be just radio but any endeavour that they take upon themselves, put the hard work in and you’ll see the fruits of your labour.

“People just think success is gonna fall into their laps but it’s the people who put the extra effort in that that becomes successful.”

Listen to “Friday Night with TLG” at 9:30 p.m. MST on 101.9 FM, Shaw channel 829, or at and press the “listen now” button.

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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