Never Embarrass The Station By Mouthing Off On Stage
September 15, 2015
Keep your priorities straight, no matter what happens around the station or cluster. Do not get lazy, and remember what brought you to the dance. At your core it's about passion and what you have accomplished through hard work. It's about self-motivation and staying on top of your skill set.
It's Called Commercial Radio
On the sitcom Frasier, there was an episode titled "She's The Boss." The new station manager suggested changes for his show; marketing, T-shirts and giveaways, bus boards, theme shows, etc. Frasier balked, "I am not changing, and there is nothing you can do to me." His new boss immediately switched him from afternoons to the overnight show.
There is always room for improvement. Go with the flow; you might even learn something. Besides, its management and programming's job to direct and yours to follow. If it doesn't work, it will probably change again anyway. Put your heart into it and do the best you can. It is okay to disagree, but not on the air or at station events.
Own and deliver it. Remember the purpose of commercial radio is profit; embrace change until it is changed again. Life is about evolving; if you don't like it, stop complaining and look for another job. However, always realize eventually there will be things at your new place of employment not to your liking either. There are no utopias; learn to adjust.
Here is a personality who doesn't get it.
Jock: I don't think our management is in touch with what is going on in our community. I addressed some things on stage before I brought out our main act at a recent station concert. The PD and Promotions Director flipped out on me, totally disrespected.
Coach: The purpose of a station concert event is fun. Your job as a personality is to make station or venue announcements and bring the act on stage. That's it, unless otherwise instructed.
Jock: Well, I am on the phones, talking with listeners every day. They want a voice to talk about a few problems going on in our city and country.
Coach: Again, unless otherwise instructed, a station concert event is supposed to be fun and not a platform for community issues. What did you say onstage?
Jock: Before I brought out the act, I told the audience that the problems with our Mayor and City workers are an insult to the families of our town.
Coach: Did anyone sponsor the concert?
Jock: Breast Cancer Awareness.
Coach: So what do you want to know?
Jock: Why is my station not standing with its listeners?
Coach: There is a place a time for everything and also people in charge to decide if and when they would like to talk about community concerns. A concert for Breast Cancer Awareness is not the time, the place, or even your call to veer off target.
Jock: I think you don't get it either. I know what the people are concerned about and I took the time to talk about it in front of a large crowd.
Coach: No, I get it. In fact, I had a jock like you once. The station I was programming was having a concert at a city-owned venue which we had some problems with in the past. I had laid out the entire on-stage air-personality lineup and he was assigned to mention our big station contest and introduce an act. He did his assignment, but not before going on a rant about the city and its program for towing cars of owners with huge parking fines. He even told the audience they should doublecheck to make sure their cars were okay before the concert was over. I can still hear those words "You can't trust those Muther###ers at city hall."
Not only was he totally off base, some of the 8,000 people attending made a mad dash out to the parking lot and it was a mess. Meanwhile, there were city officials at the show to give the station a proclamation and clients of the stations in attendance. All the work we had done to repair a strained relationship was in trouble; city hall folks were all over us, and it cost us money because several business and civic leaders were shocked at what he said on stage. The only damage control was to fire the personality and I did. He put the station in a bad spot, costs us future earnings, and put the station and me in indefensible positions. So yes, my friend I understand you.
Jock: I think you should have stood up for the jock. My PD and Promotions Director dumped on me, too. They yelled at me in front of others and now I am suspended pending whatever it is they are deciding. I think a station should deal with what listeners are concerned about and that would give us a big boost in ratings.
Coach: What or how a station deals with its station image is up to programming and management. You can express your views behind closed doors all you want, but it's not up to you to just do what you please on behalf of the station at a station event. What you did was irresponsible and reckless. Even though the PD and Promotions Director could have used a little more discretion in terms of dealing with you in front of others, I can understand why they popped off. When did this happen and how long are you suspended?
Jock: The concert was weekend before last and I have been suspended for over a week. I am supposed to go in for a meeting this Wednesday. How should I handle the meeting?
Coach: Don't say anything, sit there and listen. To be honest, they are probably going to let you go.
Jock: But I have the highest rating at the station and another year on my contract.
Coach: Getting fired is usually never about the ratings. And in terms of the contract, all contracts have an out clause, and trust me it will be used.
Jock: I will take a lawyer with me.
Coach: Take whoever you want, but I don't think it will do you much good. Learn from this and either go buy your own station, program your own radio station, or get a job at one of those 'Gotcha' radio or TV talk shows.
Don't shoot yourself in the foot, always know what is expected of you and don't say or do anything which does not fit the company's image. Never say anything on the air, on social media, or at a station event that could get you fired or cause the station embarrassment.