Has Anyone Seen The Bridge?
June 23, 2015
In my humble opinion, nobody tells and paints a better story about the "inside baseball" and what happens behind the scenes in the radio industry than former syndicated host and now podcast host Don Geronimo. A few years ago, on the syndicated Don & Mike Show, Geronimo shared one of his famous stories about his clumsy beginnings as a young radio star who couldn't hold a job to save his life. It's the late 1970s, and Don, who started in the business as a teenager, had risen from a small to a major market by landing a dream job at the late 99X in New York City. As the story goes, he was fired, and the only station that would hire him was all the way in Evansville, IN.
His stay in Evansville was brief, and according to Don, he was either fired for making long distance calls on a "watts line" or for stealing candy bars from an honor box! Geronimo said he had to return to his parents' house in the Washington, D.C. area, where he worked several odd and part-time radio gigs until he received an offer from All Access's very own Joel Denver, and a dream full-time gig in Miami!
According to Geronimo's tale, somewhere on the way down Interstate 95 to restart his career, he called a PD in Providence, and was offered another gig for a few extra dollars a week. So, Don turned the car around, burnt Joel Denver in Miami and headed to Providence during a record blizzard! A year later, it was off to Indianapolis, where his creditors greeted his new managers at the station. Don's on-air partner Mike O'Meara finished the story by simply asking, "Where did you hide all the kerosene cans from all the bridges you burned?"
What Geronimo did happens to a lot of us. (Burning bridges, not stealing candy bars … who does that?) Many of us have had a knock out fight with a boss, quit and left a PD hanging or committed an act at the station that could have destroyed a business relationship. In this time of consolidation, there is a great chance that the boss you burnt could be your new boss again, or posting an opening for a position you would love to take. So, before you claim, "That's it, I'm gone!" or give up on sending that great aircheck, take a second and evaluate the bridge you may or may not have burned!
How long ago did this relationship go sour? You would be surprised how many "career ending" actions may have been completely forgotten!
Does this PD really dislike you? You would be surprised how many people have created a tension that never really existed.
Can the bridge be fixed? If instead of a non-returned e-mail or call, you hear, "I'd love to hire you but," there may be a chance to fix the past. If problems in the past are brought up, take advantage and discuss how you have changed and where your focus is now. Time can heal many wounds.
It's easy to burn a bridge. It takes a pro to rebuild one!