10 Questions with ... A.P. Harreld
October 13, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
The radio bug bit me freshman year at campus station WCWM at William and Mary before I moved across town to AM 740 WMBG in Williamsburg, VA, where I worked for the late Bob Sheeran.
Since, I've worked in Owensboro, KY, Alamogordo, NM, Northwest Arkansas (for Kermit Womack's unique KURM) and Evanston, WY, mainly in sports broadcasting and mornings.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I briskly walk at least 100 minutes a day to stay fit both mentally and physically. I was once one of the many, many folks in this industry accurately described as having a face (indeed, an entire lard-laden corpus) made for radio! At age 33, I was approaching 250 pounds, depressed and miserable. Less than a decade later, I'm at 185 pounds, energized and enthused for life's myriad gifts.
As for macroscopic motivation, we are all so fortunate to live and work in such a (though far from perfect) free and vibrant country and economy.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I work as a track announcer for the two Wyoming-based pari-mutuel horse racing entities. I also write, perform stand-up comedy and freelance for radio stations.
3) 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 loved my most recent gig (Evanston WY is a hidden gem!) but wanted to shoot for a larger market.
With horse racing as a base and Salt Lake City just 80 miles from Evanston, I knew this was something worth pursuing. I'm relentlessly optimistic that the right opportunity, be it here or anywhere in our incredibly diverse country, will present itself.
4) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
No other medium is so versatile and immediate, be it small-town local radio, large market morning shows, syndicated programs, political talk, sports talk or play-by-play, etc.
Radio was here before TV. And we'll be here when the Internet finally fully cripples what we now recognize as television.
5) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Distinguish yourself by following up with mailed (as in the good ole USPS) notes. Emails are too easy to delete or box-out. But nobody is too busy or important not to appreciate an old-fashioned letter.
6) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
For radio writ large, you guys (AllAccess.com) simply have no peers. And for my specialty of sports broadcasting, Jon Chelesnik's fine STAA is a must.
7) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
If I could write my own ticket, it would be college basketball and minor league baseball play-by-play, combined with work as a comedic sidekick on a morning show.
8) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, emails, rejection letters, etc.)
Firstly, a major tip-o'-the-cap to Rob Siems of KLAD in Klamath Falls, OR. Rob recently emailed me back to thank me for applying even though I was not a finalist. Extremely classy move.
But I think we should all appreciate just how deluged GMs and PDs are with applications. Don't take rejection personally. Persevere. Improve. Keep looking.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
Organizing the first-ever statewide radio network broadcast of the Wyoming Shrine Bowl, in conjunction with former colleague Ryan Steineckert (looking for a talented on-air talent, play-by-play man, production whiz, team player and all around great guy? Visit RyanSteiny.com) and the game's executive director, John Cundall.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Radio changes so frequently that if you just get your foot in the door as an intern, bookkeeper, night man, etc., with any modicum of talent you will be given an opportunity to perform in your dream area, be that music, programming, production, sports, talk, etc.
Additionally, treat people right: be the same humble, hungry guy around the janitor that you are the owner or GM.
Seen any great movies?
The Intern was quite entertaining and showcased the immense range of the devastatingly talented Robert De Niro.