10 Questions with ... Jeff Scott
August 23, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started doing talk radio in college at Mercer University on the student radio station and immediately loved it. While in college, I interned for the Neal Boortz Show and three months after graduation I was hired by WRWR-A/F in Warner Robins, GA, to do afternoon drive. After getting fired there, I did some fill-in morning drive at former competition WMAC-A in Macon, GA before moving to Atlanta, and now to the Washington, DC area following my wife's career. Now I'm just happy to be employed while I look for my next opportunity in radio.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
It's easy for me to stay motivated -- all I have to do is read the news (which I do anyway, since I'm a news junkie) and it makes me miss being on the radio. Seeing things like the current debate over the debt ceiling really made me miss being on the air to talk about the issues of the day. I have no problems keeping a positive mental attitude; I'm employed and married to a wonderful woman, which is a lot more than plenty of people can say. I've been very fortunate, both in and out of radio.
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.
It's a tough business ... and it seems very fraternal. It seems like with a lot of people, once you're in, you're in. I almost feel like I'm trying to break in for the first time again, having been in such a small market (the fringes of Arbitron market #156) and especially having only been part of an independent company instead of one of the big conglomerates. The idea that radio has killed its farm system is true, in that it's a lot harder to break in from the outside, but it seems as though succeeding with one of the big radio companies if you can get the chance gives opportunities to move up to larger markets. That's what I want to do.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Absolutely! I'm only 25 years old, and talk radio needs a future generation of hosts. Like it or not, Rush, Beck, Hannity, Boortz, Levin, etc. won't be around forever. I just want to position myself to be able to, 15-20 years from now, be able to potentially step into some of those slots as they open.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd love to have a weekend show. You don't need to pay me; I'll gladly fill two or three of your broadcast hours that you're currently using for a syndicated re-run with great live radio.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Sadly, it has been very low. I usually never even get a "thanks for applying, but you're not right for us right now" e-mail, even when I'm just asking about open board op positions. I usually find out that I didn't get a job when I see the announcement that it has been filled on AllAccess.com.
6) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I have a lot of energy on the air, have a very strong work ethic, and I have the ability to attract younger generations of listeners to Talk radio (which advertisers love!) than most hosts are able to attract.
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Sadly, no. I have a daytime job that prevents me from listening to the radio most of the time, but thankfully, I do have a long commute.
8) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
I miss talking to people about the issues of the day and having the ability to get the pulse of how people living around me feel. It wasn't radio for the sake of radio, but the callers and other people that I got to become acquainted with, whether in person or even just over Facebook or Twitter, that made radio so much fun.
The thing I miss the least are the small market, independent radio paychecks.
9) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I think I'll be more humble on the air, but I'll be more vocal with the production and sales staffs to make my show more successful. When I was on the air, I tried to avoid meddling in the sales staff's business, which I think ultimately hurt me.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
In five years .... drive-time on at least a mid-market station. In 10 years ... major market radio, baby!
Care to contribute a low-cost recipe to our "ON THE BEACH" cookbook?
Remove the casings from and brown a pack of Italian sausage while you boil a box of penne pasta. When they're both finished, drain the pasta and combine the sausage and pasta with a jar of pasta sauce and an 8-oz bag of mozzarella cheese. Pour it all into a 9x13 casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (I think ... keep an eye on it; when the tips of the noodles sticking out the top start to turn brown, it's done). It's cheap, it's easy, and it feeds my wife and me for at least two days.