When something keeps popping up in my life I take it as a sign. This week it happens to be the question of would I recommend someone get into radio? And I’m not alone…my co-hosts Ty and Mel get asked the same question all the time so we decided to discuss it tomorrow on the show. Be listening to DC’s 107.3 at 7:45am for our unfiltered and honest advice. I have no idea what Ty and Mel are going to say but I would 100% recommend a person get into radio or TV if you believe it’s your true passion.
I know most of my colleagues and other’s in radio probably think I’m bananas for recommending this but I honestly think there is no better time to get into the business and media then now. Look at Serial, the podcast. If you haven’t downloaded and listened to this NPR funded masterpiece you should. It should also be proof that people are dying to consume compelling and intelligent radio in any form.
Radio is a tough business. It’s filled with giant ego’s, backstabbing, fired for no good reason, and lot’s of times not a lot of money but honestly what business isn’t? Unless you’re basket weaving jobs are competitive and people are challenging (no offense basket weavers, I love your work). I will tell you if you’re going to be in radio you’re going to have to work harder than 90% of your co-workers. When I started in radio 10 yrs ago in DC I worked 3 jobs. Over nights doing traffic for WTOP, moving furniture and staging homes for a realtor, and a dog walker. This business will test you.
But there’s nothing like talking and being creative in front of an audience of thousands. Everyday you have the power to put out something positive and influencing or something negative and hurtful. That’s a lot of power and a lot of responsibility. I would especially recommend a radio career if you’re a woman. It’s going to be extra tough for you if you have a vagina because in general radio really doesn’t like women but it will be that much more rewarding.
How many morning shows do you know of with a woman’s name even in the title? Let alone her name appearing first. I can probably count them on one hand. Right there means there’s a ton of opportunity for women both on-air and in management. But fellas it’s a good idea for you too. So much talent has been built and come from radio…Ryan Seacrest, Jimmy Kimmel, Howard Stern, and many more.
If you think you want a career in TV or radio I would say go for it but don’t fool yourself that it will be easy or without sacrifice. The first place I would tell you to start is an internship. Internships are the best place to find out if you’re going to love or hate something but you can’t just sign up for the internship and expect someone to discover you…you have to be assertive. Ask to meet the Program Director, offer to stay late, offer to come along and shadow events, ask one of the jocks to help you make a demo reel. Over the years we’ve had hundreds of interns and very few ever asked me for advice or how to make a demo tape. The one’s that did are almost all in radio today.
Podcasts – Podcasting is where it’s at. If you’re no longer in college and you’ve realized radio is for you start a podcast and tweet, facebook, vine that thing to everyone! The world is now your audience…I really believe the next wave of media and radio stars will come from podcasts and youtube stars.
Personalities are where it’s at – Radio is at a crossroads and has some major competition on its hands. Trying to compete with Spotify, Pandora, and other app’s that give you instant access to songs isn’t easy that’s where personalities come in. Over the year’s radio hasn’t invested in their personalities…instead they’ve had the attitude that everyone is replaceable which isn’t true. Once a morning show has amazing chemistry and loses it it survives in some capacity but never thrives. The next wave for radio will be making their personalities the stars and the music the side piece. Radio personalities, when talented enough, are like reality TV stars…the audience is invested in their lives and lives for the drama. The next 5 years of radio is going to get really interesting.
New players – lastly new players are going to start getting into the radio and personalities game. You’re already seeing that with itunes radio adding personalities and Jay Z reportedly trying to buy a radio station. More than anything I want Tidel to succeed because when it does you’re going to see the marriage of the music business meets reality show meets on-air radio hosts with exclusive content. Radio is either going to have to invest in their ‘stars’ or it will die.
I’ll have more to share with you tomorrow and I plan on talking more about this when my podcast series pick up again this fall. Hope you’ll tune into STM tomorrow and as always I LOVE to hear from you. Comment below. Xo, Frase