10 Questions with ... Garth Baker
February 10, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started working in radio in 1988 at KELY, voicetracking and doing one live show a week. In 1989, I moved to KDSS as afternoon-drive personality and MD. In 1991 I left radio for a career in law enforcement, retiring in 2010 from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a Detective. I spent 20 years thinking about and wanting to return to radio. In 2011 I hosted a brokered Talk show on AM720 KDWN for about 10 months and switched to an Internet station where I currently host the morning show, "Baker in The Morning" on Radiobuzz101.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Motivation is not a problem for me. I try never to be motivated alone. Motivation can end but inspiration keeps me focused on my ultimate goals. I have made my goals not so big that they can't be obtained, but just far enough or tough enough to make me push myself to reach them. After I reach a goal I set another, pushing myself even further. It's through goal setting and inspiration that I maintain my positive never quit attitude.
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.
After leaving radio I didn't realize how exciting, energizing and fulfilling radio was until I didn't have it any longer. My observation of radio is that it has become more reliant on picking up syndication rather than keeping it local.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Having had a career of 20 years in a job that was very rewarding, I know how important it is to do a job you enjoy. Radio is more than a job to me; it's a passion that drives me daily. Once I am able to get back into radio on a full-time basis, there will be no leaving it again.
4) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
I have found this industry to be about timing, and if it's not the time, there is very little response if any from radio stations. I have also found that on occasion when applying, you never hear back from the station you applied to.
5) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
Salaries seem to be pretty low for the skill level you must possess to be successful in the field.
6) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
I was once asked if I was a Democrat or a Republican.
7) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
My motto is, "Be so good they can't ignore you"
8) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
I listen to the radio about 8-10 hours a day, but most of this is done through streaming rather than utilizing a radio.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
My biggest career accomplishment was in law enforcement, and that was becoming a detective for one of the largest police agencies in the country. As far as radio, it was just getting back on the air.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Never quit, and be non-negotiable with your dreams.
Have you read any good books that you'd recommend?
How to Win Friends and Influence People -- Dale Carnegie;
As A Man Thinketh - James Allen; The Power of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peale.