10 Questions with ... Monet Sutton
June 14, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Originally from Newport News, VA, I became interested in radio during my senior year of high school when everyone already knew what they wanted to do with their lives and all I knew was that I loved listening to shows like the Z Morning Zoo (on WNVZ) and the Elvis Duran Morning Show. I attended George Mason University, which led me to being an on-air DJ on WGMU, which then led me to becoming the PD for two-and-a-half years on the station. I interned at WIHT's The Kane Show and after that I worked as a part-time board operator for WTEM, and now I mostly do board oping and promotions for Max Media of Hampton Roads.
My ultimate career goal is to be part of the #1 morning show in a major market.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Honestly, my friends and family keep me motivated. There'll be times where I'll think to myself that maybe radio isn't for me and that I should start a new dream, but my wife and my mom constantly remind me that I've wanted to do radio for so long and that I just need to stick with it. That sooner or later someone out there is going to realize how talented I am.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I just started a podcast with a friend and I work in retail, so I've been mostly focusing on those two things when I'm out of the house. When I'm at home though, I pretty much apply to jobs.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Definitely. I tell myself that I'll give it maybe five or 10 more years and then I'll look into some other kind of career, but I believe I'll always try to stay in radio in some kind of capacity, even if it's just working part-time in the promotions department.
4) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Honestly, I think it's interning and making sure to turn that internship into something. While interning, ask them if the station needs any extra board ops, or if the promotions department needs help. Try to make sure everyone at the station knows your face and name, not just the show or personality you're interning for.
5) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Honestly, AllAccess. I'm on the website every single day looking for job openings. After that I'll usually go to individual companies' websites and see if they have any openings.
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
Either some type of on-air position or something in production like an assistant production director. With on-air, I don't care if it's full-time or part-time, time of day, or where it is. I just want to get my voice over the air. Though currently my wife and I are thinking about moving to Florida and trying my hand there. We'll see.
7) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
What courtesy level? Almost no one gets back to you. I've sent out probably about 2,000 e-mails for jobs since graduating from college (three years ago) and I've gotten about five responses back. No one responds back, not even to tell you that you're not what they're looking for. I always tell people that in radio you'll hear more silence than you will no's.
8) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Honestly, no. I spend way more time listening to podcasts than I do radio. If I'm in a music mood then I'll see what's playing on the radio, especially if I'm looking for Pop music (there are three Top 40 stations in my area), but when I want to listen to people talk, I'll listen to one of the podcasts on my phone. The thing with podcasts is that a lot of them don't have any kind of "structure" so you never know what they're going to say and that keeps you on your toes and surprised. A lot of traditional radio shows have some type of schedule that you pick up on and it doesn't really catch you off-guard as much like it used to.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
It's between getting an internship with The Kane Show back when I was in college and getting a part-time job at ESPN980 before I even graduated college. In DC The Kane Show is THE morning show. Everyone I went to school with listened to it and I remember getting the call that day saying I got the internship and I literally jumped into the air and pumped my fist. And getting the part-time job at ESPN980 was a big accomplishment because, at the time, I was applying to hundreds of jobs every week, freaking out about graduation and they were the only ones who actually responded back and gave me a chance. But I also got that job through networking. An old student of my radio professor e-mailed him saying they were looking for board operators, my professor e-mailed me, and the rest was history.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Network, network, network. You have to know people because honestly I've learned, the hard way, that it's more about who you know and not the skills you have.
Seen any great movies?
I recently saw London Has Fallen and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. If you're looking for something to make you laugh and you saw the first one, then I highly suggest Greek Wedding 2. But if you're looking for some action with funny moments here and there, you'll want to see London Has Fallen.