10 Questions with ... Brandi Shannon
October 6, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have a passion for radio and I've had that since my college days at Bethune Cookman University as the Campus Editor of the paper and the News Director for the campus station. I then got on air in Daytona Beach, FL, Jacksonville, Orlando and finally the station of my dreams in Atlanta: The People's Station, V-103. I also did some time with CNN Radio, which was amazing!
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I stay in touch with people in the business, I read the trades on the business and I breathe and smell and listen to radio so to speak. I also do voiceovers to keep my skills and voice fresh. I say, what you think about you bring about, and a good dose of Super Soul Sunday doesn't hurt, either.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Yes I do, in any aspect of radio that I can have. I am available and ready for the challenge no matter what.
3) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
The best way is to start over if you have to. Reinvent yourself, and if you were on-air, learn something else about the business that holds your passion. I was on-air and later learned to do great production. It was exhilarating to make those spots come to life...
4) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
Oh, I love this question. I would call V-103 programmer Tony Brown every day -- and he never answered his phone. I would leave message after message after message because I really wanted to work at V. Finally, after maybe 200 times, I said, "Are you really the Program Director here?" I got a call the next day. He said he'd heard my stuff, let's talk. That's how I got in, persistence and patience. I still lol when I tell that story.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would love to learn to program. I've done everything from traffic, on-air, promotions, billing, music director ... I think it's time to get in the even bigger chair
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
You know, some people don't get it ... that it is important to extend that same courtesy one gives in sending a package, and it's nice to hear one say "Thanks, got your package but we're not hiring." That doesn't take much. I realize people can be busy, but no one is that busy. I've gotten answers back on time, some from people who I know are very busy, but they took the time to extend that common courtesy.
7) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
You have to reinvent yourself as I said in an earlier question. My mentor and friend Mitch Faulkner said, "Production will always be needed, Brandi." He said, "Learn it and make sure you have a fit in the business if you can't be on air." Those were the best words ever given to me as radio advice.
8) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Oh my, yes, and critiquing like crazy. Some morning shows I've heard with celebs-turned-jocks need not be on air. They do the radio industry a disservice despite the fact that the company thinks they will bring in the numbers. They fail to realize the good ones are right in the building ready to do a fresh local morning show that can win if the powers-that-be will let them. I understand why there are syndicated morning shows, but sometimes the real picture of a good morning show gets missed because the company isn't willing to take a chance.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
I had a program called "Sisters for Life" in Orlando that made women more aware their health and how important it was to be checked for breast cancer. It grew, so the Mayor of Orlando joined us in our workout programs and even gave me a key to the city. I lost my sisters -- one in 2014 and one in 2015 -- to BC. I vowed that when I get back on-air, I will start that program up again ... this time with a vengeance.
10) 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?
You know, I think I would. Because I know that once I got back in there, my passion would feed me, and the money would come as it did before. I can say I made crazy money in this business and what I know now, oh boy, I'm ready...
Your favorite new diversion is ...
I am in love with voiceover. Making magic on the mic is what I call it. I can be any voice I want and I love it. I have also learned how to cook. I make some of the best black bean burgers you will ever taste in your life. When I get back on-air, call me and I will make you a platter, lol!