Getting started in the industry

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Getting started in the industry

Post by ronnietaylor » Sat May 21, 2011 8:17 pm

Hello my name is Ronnie Taylor, and I recently started my internship at KQKS 107.5 in Denver. I just wanted some advice how to get started in this business, and also where are some good markets to begin a career? Thank you

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by partyshark » Mon May 23, 2011 5:39 am

My knee jerk reaction would be to say "don't". After thinking about it, and judging by the crap thats put on in many major markets all the way down to unrateds, is that anywhere is a good place for a noob such as yourself as long as you're willing to work for next to nothing. Radio is a shell of it's former self, just like a crack *** who needs her next fix, anything will be done for the almighty buck. What was once a beautiful and comely woman has been reduced to a filthy and abused drug addict that can't get out of the vicious cycle. This industry has forgotten how to be a part of people's lives because it thought of itself as irreplaceable and untouchable, and it was very arrogant about it. Now, just like our little crack *** example, the suits need to fire sale, lowball quality talent, hire no-talent Columbia greenhorn entertainer wannabes for chicken feed, and screw good people over for their way into their next "fix". Sorry to say, though, that their fix will never come. Not from the way they're going about trying to resuscitate this business. My advice to you is this: Start a podcast with a 100 dollar mic and Adobe Audition with any one of the vast free radio broadcast sites on the web, then go get a regular job for real cash that you can raise a family on and have some fun with the podcast. And don't forget your sunscreen.

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by robnokshus » Mon May 23, 2011 9:14 am

Hi Ronnie,

I won't be quite as bleak as Partyshark. Radio certainly has changed over the years, but I'm going to guess that none of radio's former glory is part of your reality, so what you never heard doesn't matter to you. You're interested in getting into radio now, the way it is now, so good for you!

You asked about what markets would be good to start in. Where do you want to go? There are more jobs in the larger markets. The old small market farm system has largely been replaced with syndication and voice tracking so your entry level positions are going to be through promotions/street team type jobs. Every market has those. Which appeals to you more, New York? LA? San Francisco? Take cost of living into consideration as well as market size. Employment opportunities outside of radio need to be considered as well as you probably won't make enough initially to support yourself from your radio job alone. That's nothing new btw. I had to augment my first radio job salary with mobile DJ work and that was over 20-years ago.

If working in radio is your dream, then live your dream to the fullest! Soak up everything you can during your internship. Try to get some experience with the station website and digital initiatives. Learn the lingo of modern radio. Observe who the valued players are and emulate them. Then move to where you want to live and apply what you've learned at your first gig. If you have the passion and commitment you will succeeed. (Not a bad idea to do your own podcast either, as Partyshark suggested).

Good luck to you Ronnie!

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by ronnietaylor » Mon May 23, 2011 7:45 pm

Thank you guys for the advice, I really do appreciate it. Is there a future in the production side of the business?

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by KaseyKruz » Tue May 24, 2011 3:38 am

ronnietaylor wrote:Thank you guys for the advice, I really do appreciate it. Is there a future in the production side of the business?
There sure is. Prod Gurus are the backbone of any station, so it's a great skill to hone. Commercials and imaging need daily attention, so there's a definite need. News, traffic and weather are also areas that remain somewhat local, so focusing on those skillsets would have some longevity in today's corporate radio climate.

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by CarterManGod » Sat May 28, 2011 11:30 am

"Always chase your dreams! It's the only way to find out for sure - that it's really a nightmare!"
- ME

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by Tom.Jones » Mon May 30, 2011 6:48 pm

I am just out of college, but 2+ years of street teaming after my internship. In a short answer about production - what's been said is it's a station's backbone, and this is true.

But I've found that in a good station, it's not just one department or the other that can get you where you want to be - the more you know about any given position, whether it's music direction, programming, production, promotions, etc. or even some of the business functions like sales and commercial management/trafficking, the better off you'll be.

Even if your passion is in only one area mentioned above, at least understanding what it is that the other positions do will help give you a much clearer picture of how the station operates, and can lead to new areas of interest... that those with a power to do something will see and possibly take action on your side - this will take time, but if you're passionate about it, it should be worth your while.

That, and I like the podcast idea - I think I'm going to use it - Thanks!

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Re: Getting started in the industry

Post by djonastick » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:49 am

I've found in some of the smaller & non-rated markets that knowing about the sales side of the station helps you a lot! Even moreso than the production side in some cases. Reason being if you were to see a job pop up, the more you can do the more marketable you become. Plus, if you have a good grasp on the sales side, then you open yourself up to more possibilities. I've been in radio for over 10 years now and trust me, I don't like to mix sales and on air, but that's what some broadcasters are looking for now.

I like the street team idea a lot and think that could be the perfect way in. Just once you get IN, let your personality shine and be willing to do whatever it takes to make things work. Be proactive and don't wait for instructions. And whatever you do, don't be overbearing when trying to seek out some part-time on air work. Show that you really want it, but don't beat a dead horse over the head about it.

Bottom line is this, I got out of radio after working in a top 50 market over 6 years ago and just recently got back in. When I seriously started to attempt a re-entry into the business, it took me almost a year to find something. Patience and perseverance are the keys. Plus, don't give up because if this is what you REALLY want to do, you won't be happy doing anything else. The ultimate goal, be happy!

Best of luck to you!

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