10 Questions with ... Brian Mehlmen
February 18, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My radio career started with an internship at WFLA while attending the University of Tampa in Florida. Upon returning home to New York, I embarked on two more internships for WFAN at CBS Radio/NY. I stuck around CBS for a couple of years in multiple roles doing on-air work, promotions and sales. I left CBS to follow my on-air passion, landing gigs at New York stations WGBB, WRCN, Sirius and 94.3 The Shark.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I work as many odd jobs as I can to keep the lights on and continue to practice radio, along with writing and acting. I'm also working towards my Masters degree. I do however have a dedicated period EVERY day where I am applying for jobs and reaching out to various people in the industry. I make sure to keep focused on the things I CAN control such as reaching out to PDs on a daily basis and sharpening my skills as an on-air host. Going to the gym regularly also helps :).
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.
I try not to be discouraged because it's better to have loved and lost. I also try not to be outside too much because it's freezing here in N.Y.! Bad jokes aside, even if I'm not getting paid, I take every opportunity to be around radio because if I'm away for too long I miss it TOO much. She's secretly my favorite girl, Sorry hunny :)
3) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Literally put your foot in the door. In ANY industry, it's not about WHAT you know, it's about WHO. The best way to get to know these people is to knock on a few doors and introduce yourself. You can only go so far with e-mail. This industry is about personality. I don't care how good of a writer you are, how will anyone know who you REALLY are if you don't go shake their hand?
4) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
All Access is without a doubt my favorite and most useful resource for radio jobs. I'm always on the various career sites for CBS, Clear Channel etc., but All Access is a phenomenal tool EVERY radio job seeker should utilize.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd love to land an on-air gig, either part- or full-time, with a great staff and a couple of people who are willing to continue to teach me. I'm an extremely motivated person and need an environment conducive to continued growth.
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied?
I live by the motto, "Those who want respect, give respect." I find that if you treat people right, they will do the same. Of course, there are a few angry people in the world, but you can't allow them to detour your goals. If someone is too busy to reply, there's nothing wrong with reaching out to them every two or three weeks to keep up, but respect others' busy schedules and know when to move on.
7) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
If you're in radio for the money, you don't truly LOVE radio. Money is not a thought in my mind when I'm searching for my next on-air gig. I don't expect any high-paying salaries at this stage of the game. It WAS and will NEVER be about the money.
8) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
What's your favorite superpower and your "Spirit Animal?" I said flying because the flight to Vegas is too long and Lion because he's calm but strong, and hey, he's the King of the Jungle.
9) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
Absolutely. It is extremely important to allow yourself to enjoy friends and family so you can decompress from your job search. People who love you can also sometimes give you a different and deeper perspective on things you might be struggling with.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
If this business is something you love, the only person that can stop you from success is yourself.
Uh oh ... now you're on your own for getting new music. If applicable, name your three most recent purchases since leaving the biz.
Last three album purchases were Jack Johnson, Eminem and Jason Aldean...DIVERSITY BUILDS CHARACTER!