10 Questions with ... Brian Pelletier
March 22, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was born to be involved with news. My mom says I was quite a crybaby, but when she sat me in front of Walter Cronkite I instantly calmed down. After graduating college in 2003, I became Portland, Maine's first-ever traffic reporter. Within a couple of years I worked my way up to Chief Field Reporter with WGAN radio. I contributed to the receipt of several news awards and multiple books where WGAN was the top Arbitron-rated station in the market. In 2009 I moved to San Francisco to pursue my lifelong dream of being a small fish in a big pond.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I volunteer for KALW news as a reporter, web producer and show contributor. I also teach high school students about the virtues of environmental journalism. I line up interviews, show my students the basics of journalistic research, and help them write and edit radio news segments that air on KALW. I also work in the fabulous world of retail.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Yes! I love radio. I've wanted to be on the air for as long as I can remember. I like the immediacy of news radio. I enjoy meeting new people every day and the challenge of not knowing exactly what I'll be doing at work from one day to the next.
3) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
As a radio intern, I dressed up as the Wooly Bully (an Oldies station mascot) for a remote broadcast in 90-degree heat. I had to attach ice packs to my body to stay cool because the fan in the head of the giant orange bull costume was broken.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would love to get back in a newsroom on a more regular basis to report, produce and anchor. When I get my foot in the door opportunity, I plan on kicking the door from its hinges and never looking back.
5) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
I'm from Maine, where the standards are high and the wages are low, so you'll be getting a lot of bang for your buck. I also understand the value of a cross-trained employee who is prepared to fill-in for multiple positions.
6) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
I'm listening now more than ever. The Bay Area offers a variety of music, news and talk programs to listeners. I have a lot of fun hearing different points of view, as I bang my head against the steering wheel in frustration from driving in Bay Area traffic.
7) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
I am learning how to surf. I also enjoy hiking and exploring the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Lassen Volcanic National Park. I provide friends and family visiting from the East Coast with my signature whirlwind tour of San Francisco.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
Teaching kids about journalism has been my greatest career accomplishment. In a world where rumors from Gawker and TMZ are turning into headlines, I've been able to show my students the value of research and asking questions about subjects that are impacting their lives.
9) What do you miss most about radio? The least?
I miss working with some of the most hilarious personalities in the workforce. My radio comrades are dedicated people. They work long, odd hours (which is the part I least miss) and still keep punching that clock in the name of the medium they love.
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?
It depends on the work environment. I want to be in the biz because I love it. If I can quickly develop great working relationships and am excited to work every day, then I would take less money. However, I am also a fan of things like having a roof over my head, food to eat, and clothes on my back.
My favorite new diversion is...
I have a goal to do something new every week in an effort to change up my routine and experience fun and interesting things ... from learning about the history of my neighborhood to attending my first NFL game!