10 Questions with ... Rich Petschke aka "Rick Johnson", "Rich Albert"
July 10, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Nearly a quarter-century in the radio business in both on-air and engineering roles. My on-air work history includes positions at WKLX in Rochester, NY (now 98.9 The Buzz) and KOMO Newsradio in Seattle. My off-air experience includes working at two major broadcast software and equipment vendors and technical management roles at a couple of major market stations.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Keep practicing your craft so when you DO land that new gig, you're not rusty. Write news, practice doing breaks, write bits ... whatever. Spend at least an hour or two a day practicing.
And stay active with your friends, either through social media or even the good ol' fashioned way -- pick up the phone.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
Being "house manager" (a.k.a. cooking and cleaning at home) and playing with my "mid-life crisis on a budget" -- a lil' Miata roadster (especially now that the weather's nice)
3) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
ALL ACCESS (seriously!), but I've also received some good leads via social networking.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
That's hard to say, since I love working both behind the mic and behind the scenes in engineering. Maybe a hybrid of both positions?
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
A flat zero. I've had no response to any application or follow-up inquiry. But I've learned that's to be expected in this day and age.
6) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
They're about what I expect them to be. It's tough all over and people have to make do with less.
7) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
Don't be a specialist. Be versatile. The more you can do -- and do well -- the more likely it is you'll be selected for an interview.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
Two things: First, my key role in moving the Seattle Mariners Radio Network in 2003 from their longtime flagship to KOMO Newsradio. And the other is my reporting in 2011 on the "Grinch Fund" - a grassroots effort by an Aberdeen, WA man to raise money for diner workers who not only were laid off, but also stiffed on a month's worth of wages. It got national exposure and job offers for the laid-off workers from the Seattle area Denny's restaurants.
9) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
Miss most? The one-on-one connection with the listener. One thing I've learned well is no matter what the format -- music or news -- what you say and do can really touch a listener's life.
The least? After-hours phone calls when things "break" only to find out it was operator error. Doh!
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Don't make salary the primary reason for getting in the business. For most folks, radio is like the teaching profession in that people do it first for the love of the work, then for the money.
My favorite new diversion is ...
Watching "Mecum Auto Auctions" on Velocity. LOVE seeing the parade of classic cars they find for those auctions.