10 Questions with ... Blake Powers
August 9, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've worked in Denver, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Kansas City, West Palm Beach and Chicago fill-in (just to name a few). Formats: Top 40, HAC, Rock, Modern AC, Urban AC, Classic Hits and Country. There are click-and-play format samples at www.soundcloud.com/blakepowersradio.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I tell myself, "this ... is radio ... finding the 'right' position takes work and time." Looking at incoming bills is enough motivation. Need I say more :) ?
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
We truly need a radio renaissance! I hope to see the day when some of the major players finally accept the fact that they cannot operate so many properties successfully. Having some new smaller companies in the biz would create more competition, hence demanding that our industry improve itself. Which would you rather be -- a leader or a follower?
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Of course ... and related fields. Otherwise, I may have to look even further into developing a troupe of lap dancers for Florida seniors. Just gotta make sure customers who need glasses don't wear 'em so most radio peeps can earn some coin.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
Part of a morning team, PM drive or middays.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Low ... and understandably so! Today's programmers deal with w-a-y more than they should have to, and sometimes a full airshift. Ya gotta be understanding towards their responsibilities.
6) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
With a proven multi-format track record of Top 40, HAC, Rock, Modern AC, Urban AC, Classic Hits and Country. Seriously! I've done them all. Versatility gives me more opportunities. In the spring of '09, I had a conversation with Clear Channel/Chicago VP/Programming Operations Tony Coles and he told me about a good Top 40 talent who contacted him regarding any openings. This person told Tony if they couldn't find a Top 40 gig, they'd just keep waiting. Tony was a little surprised and told the person, "then you could be 'waiting' ... a long time." Tony and I agree that limiting oneself to one format is certainly not the way towards employment. If you're between gigs, try for part-time in a different format, which will eventually provide a different full-time avenue to pursue.
7) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
The most? Relating with listeners and the daily veritable buffet of buffoonery that accompanies such :). The least? Waiting three to six months for talent fees ... ha ha!
8) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Besides finishing broadcasting school, work radio internships, and complete your education in an entirely different field. This way, no matter what happens, you have a backup plan. Learn as much as possible about every aspect of the industry. If you plan to be an on-air personality, a well-rounded education will make you a better one. Finally, remember who you are! Never lose sight of that. Your character follows you wherever you go. All right, that'll be a $5,000 consulting fee, please. Cash or money order preferred.
9) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
It has energized my plans towards expansion... and not in the waistline.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
Still doing a music-intensive show and immersed in (three) radio-related ventures that could take me well beyond those time frames. Plus, hopefully near a beach or pool.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
I've said this before and will continue ... read, "The Art Of War" by Sun Tzu. It only takes around 1.5 hours to read and will become a valuable source of info towards competing effectively in radio or any other field you may enter. No subtitles, swords, flower arranging or calligraphy required.