10 Questions with ... Rick Hokanson
May 20, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I grew up with lofty goals in life but really found my passion in radio. I went to school (Brown Institute) in 1997, and got my first job in North Dakota immediately afterward. I worked on the air for floods, storms and 9/11. I learned timing, and manual editing (splicing) which still helps me in my production today. I left and went back to Brown for my two-year degree. I got a job in Mankato (Z-99), which I had to quit to have back surgery. I went back to school again to pursue another interest (Ministry). I worked at Student Radio, doing my own show, and helping the students develop themselves. Now I'm just trying to get back on the air professionally. Radio is my one passion that has crossed over into all of my individual interests.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I read a lot. It helps me keep up with news and pop culture. I then use those things to work on production bits (I have Adobe Audition CS6).
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
I plan on sticking with radio for the rest of my life ... then I plan to get buried with my headphones and a microphone. It's in my will that way.
3) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
Last time I was on the beach ... I reinjured my back picking up a sea shell. I had to have two more back surgeries because of that. I don't like the beach anymore. Do reruns of "Baywatch" count?
4) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
I've learned recently that networking and reaching out is the best way to get your foot in the door. I have been in contact with many PDs in my area and even met a few. Just speaking up for yourself to let them know you're out here.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd love to just get on the air somewhere ... but I admit to a HIGH INTEREST in mornings (as long as the station has a decent coffee machine).
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
To be honest, with the exception of the one PD who allowed me some time to network with him face to face, I have not gotten any calls or e-mails in response to my e-mails or phone calls. Not even a rejection letter. It makes me feel that a lot of current management just doesn't care about obtaining or developing new talent.
7) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I am willing to do a lot of things that people are not willing to do. Overnights, weekends, remotes, relocate. I also keep my production skills "hot" by constantly practicing with Adobe Audition. I am willing to wear as many different hats as necessary.
8) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
I have learned that patience is definitely a virtue; to not get upset when I don't hear from stations; and to keep plugging away at getting my name out there and working on my skills.
9) If you were offered a similar position to what you were doing for considerably less money, would you seriously consider taking the job just to stay in the biz?
Absolutely! Being on the air is a job that is worth whatever I am paid. I love the industry. I didn't get into it for the money. Just ask my Dad.
10) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I am who I am. My experiences make me humble and willing to work and more determined to keep my job. I can play the character on the air ... but off the air I am a team player who knows that nothing is achieved without the rest of the staff and the listeners.
Your favorite new diversion is ...
I have been reading a lot. I also watch a lot of movies and TV. I'm constantly working on my production. However, my girlfriend would be EXTREMELY UPSET with me if I failed to mention my latest passion ..."her" dairy goats. But really, my affection for the goats is her fault - she's raised them her entire life, and they are what she's passionate about; and I'm glad that she is happy to share that passion with me.