10 Questions with ... Brett W. Hall
July 9, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Multiple internships, freelance work and my current position as a part-time production assistant for television. In 2008, I had the opportunity to intern with a Top 40 morning show in my local market of Utica, NY. Kiss FM (WSKS/WSKU) is where I got to experience the world of morning radio and all the prep that takes place. I shadowed the morning jock, Gary Spears, gaining radio skills for the first time.
My second and third internships both took place in 2010, where I worked at a cluster of stations at Townsquare Media/Utica. I had the chance to experience every department there was to ensure I was well rounded and knew what it took to make radio happen. The first of those two internships was early on in the year and ended when I had the chance to sport the mascot Jeremiah B Frog for Country "Big Frog 104" WFRG. It was at this time that my supervisor there let me know of a summer internship program through the New York State Broadcasters Association. I of course, said yes! While this one was paid, the experience was all I was looking for.
Throughout college, I produced, programmed and hosted my own one-hour weekly radio show "Classic Hits Rewind" on both campus radio stations. The format I chose was Classic Rock/Oldies, a format I have a great deal of passion for. While attending both Herkimer County Community College and The State University of New York at Oswego, I held titles of Program and Production Director respectively at both stations.
Producing, editing, hosting and promoting are all skills I enjoy doing and would someday hope to carry out on commercial radio. Currently I am working in TV, where I started freelancing, and now work part-time as an audio technician and production assistant for Nexstar Broadcasting of Utica.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
For me, it's all about making more and more contacts and building my resume. While I do currently have employment in TV, I still look onward to a career in radio broadcasting. Any chance I get to talk with those in the industry, e-mail, phone and face-to-face, I take every opportunity. I have some close friends in the biz and like to think of them as aids to getting first-hand knowledge of the ever-changing industry. I listen to and discover new music all the time and listen to countless hours of radio every week, all in an effort to stay current.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
I wouldn't consider any other job than radio for my future career. It's intriguing, energetic and very much an interactive and hands-on atmosphere. I put a lot of effort and passion into my past college radio work, and I'm passionate about the industry.
3) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
The best way for me was keeping in touch with college professors who I was close with while in school. Having worked in the industry, they provided valuable insight. In fact, it was because of a past professor that I landed the part-time position I currently hold in TV. Whenever a friend asks me how to get their foot in the door, I say talk with teachers and professors to start.
4) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Honestly, it has been this site, All Access, coupled with local broadcasting message boards and local industry trade websites. I'm constantly checking them for jobs and what's happening in my local market. This site, All Access, opens my eyes to all the opportunities there are for work.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
Production and imaging. Although I have always wanted to be on-air, spinning tunes, being able to produce and work with audio and be creative has grown on me. It's about making something long lasting and new.
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Whenever I send out resumes and demos for openings, or just to make contacts, I do so with hopes of getting a response. But that's not my priority. Whenever I do hear back or speak on the phone with those in the industry, the responses have been genuine. I've had great interactions with those in the Albany, Utica and Rochester markets. I even sent my resume by e-mail to the wrong group and they pointed me in the right direction. I have even reached out to stations without there being job openings per se. The responses I have received were more than what I expected ... even to the point of letting me know of events they could use my help at in the future.
7) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
I'd never thought I would be asked, "How well do you do with heights?" This happened when I met with my current boss for the first time. It was due to the fact that I would be needed to run the aerial/lift camera in a cherry-picker. Of course I am leery of heights at a certain level, but I never want to limit my ability to try something new. In this case I loved every minute of getting a live shot that very few have had the opportunity to do in the past.
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I separate myself by learning more and more programs and keeping in touch with contacts. I constantly update my resume and work on my demo/airchecks. Making an impression to possible employers happens in many ways and I want to do anything I can to show my passion for the industry.
9) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Listening to radio now has become more of a challenge just based on having more work to do. I just have found other ways to listen -- for instance, podcasts and streaming radio stations. Morning radio is where I tune in the most regularly. If there is a radio around me, it's usually on!
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
In five years I see myself programming and producing for a radio group. As for 10 years, I see myself hosting my own weekly or nightly radio show, preferably Classic Rock or Classic Hits ... and maybe syndicated.
Uh oh ... you're on your own for getting new music. Name your three most recent purchases since leaving the biz.
- Don't Stop the Party- Pitbull
- Anywhere with you- Jake Owen
- Pirate Flag-Kenny Chesney