10 Questions with ... Seth Harp
February 8, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have worked in all aspects of radio for over a decade. I have served as a PD, host, anchor and Account Executive. I began my professional career in Kalamazoo, MI at WQSN-A. I have hosted Sports Talk shows in Lincoln, NE, as well as Huntsville and Mobile, AL. I've worked as a panelist on several sports-themed television programs and provided the national play-by-play for the 2009 Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. I most recently served as PD and afternoon-drive host at 99.3 FM WSPO/Charleston, SC.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
There are a few things I do. I continue to stay up-to-date and close to everything going on in the sports world. I have tried to catch up on movies and books that I have wanted to read. I hit the gym on a regular basis ... anything to stay current and to remain healthy.
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.
There is no doubt it is tough. I always remind myself where I am and what I have done. I always remember a story that my mom told me when I was in high school. I came home complaining about all my homework and how tired I was because of football practice. My mom was an emergency room nurse. She told me "You know what I did today? I took care of a six-year-old with leukemia. How bad was your day again?" Needless to say that was the end of my complaining.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Yes. There is nothing like it. It is still, and will remain, the most intimate form of communication. The ability to paint a picture with your voice is one of the toughest things to do. It is a constant challenge, but a rewarding one at that.
4) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
You have to be willing to do anything, anywhere, at any time. I remember when I started out in the business, I would board op baseball playoff games, then go and set-up remote broadcast equipment, and then go fill up the station vehicles with gas. I did whatever I could to show management that I would work hard no matter the task. I wanted them to be able to count on me to get things done.
5) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Allaccess.com. I would say 95% of the jobs I have ever applied for or have had an interest in I have found on this site. It is easy to navigate and clutter-free.
6) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
I actually sent STOP signs along with my resume to prospective employers. I attached a note to it, saying you can "STOP" your search because I am your guy!" The first one I sent I never received a reply. The second time I got an interview and got the job!
7) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd like to continue hosting a Sports/Talk show. I have worked as a PD and as a political talk show host. Sports/Talk is such a niche-specialized format. The people who listen want to be entertained. There is no format like it!
8) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
I once had someone ask me, "If you were part of a hamburger, what part would you be?" I have always hoped that question was designed to make me think on my feet with creativity.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
In every market I have worked, each station's ratings have been higher at the time of my departure as opposed to when I arrived. I take a lot of pride in knowing that each station increased its listenership while I worked there.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Make sure you are committed to this with both monetary and time expectations. We brought in a co-host, new to the industry at my last job, and he thought he could just turn on the mic and the show would take care of itself. Just like any other worthy profession, there is a "paying your dues" process. It is a necessary element. The more time and practice you put in, the better you sound.
My favorite new diversion is ...
Cooking! I have always liked to cook, but I finally think the things I am making taste good. But Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver have nothing to worry about ... at least for now.