12 Things To Stop Saying To People In Radio

Radio is a crazy industry and I’m pretty sure one of the requirements of working in this field is to be a little crazy yourself. However, below are a few things every radio DJ is just SICK of hearing…

1. You’re so lucky, you get to just talk for a living.

You’re right. I am grateful every day to have a job that is so unique and fun. However, much more goes into getting a job like mine than “luck” and it takes a lot more to keep it than “just talking.”

2. I could’ve totally done my own radio show.

This is a back-handed way of implying that you are fully capable of doing what I do but with zero experience. And I could’ve been a marine biologist…but then I realized I suck at math and can’t swim. Just like ANY job, some level of training and skill goes into it. To assume you could just jump in and be a pro is insulting and ignorant.

3. How much do you make?

This is rude no matter what field someone works in! Stop asking this! And to curb some of that curiosity, probably a lot less than you think…Lol

4. Can I get free tickets to (insert show here)?

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t get a fat stack of tickets to hand out, keep, or sell on stub hub any time an artist is in town. Usually a certain number of tickets is given to my company and they are usually all allotted for contests. In fact, sometimes it’s hard for me to even get a ticket to a show I want to see.

5. So are you trying to be like Howard Stern or something?

Lol no. There’s only one Howard Stern and only one me. I’m just trying to work hard and be successful in my own right.

6. I have a great idea for your show…

No you don’t.

7. What’s your backup plan?

Being a Starbucks barista. UHM my backup plan?! This is my CAREER. I’m sorry if it makes you uncomfortable that I’ve decided to take on certain risks and challenges in order to be successful and do something I love, but I couldn’t live any other way.

8. Why aren’t you doing TV?

Television is great. So is what I do. They are completely different mediums and each requires a different, specialized skill set with some overlap. Just don’t assume that everyone who works in radio wants to be on tv. Many work their whole lives to master a particular format and love going to work in pajamas thank you very much 🙂

9. Omg I’m SO SORRY!!! I NEVER even listen to the radio!

I don’t care. OMG! You’re a mortgage banker!!? I’m sooooo sorry because I rent and don’t buy! Lol I’m not offended if someone chooses not to be a huge radio listener…but I know you’re lying when you say you NEVER listen.

10. Radio is a dying industry.

Radio has undergone drastic changes over the past few years. Jobs are not as abundant, pay has decreased and talent is at an all time low. BUT, if you’re talented, work hard, and dedicate yourself, there is still opportunity to be just as happy and rich as the next person. I’ve seen it with my own eye balls!

11. Wanna host (insert here) for free? It’s only a few hours.

Aside from charity events, assuming that I should always do my job for free, is essentially saying that what I do has no real value and either does my time. If anyone can do it, maybe you should just do it yourself.

12. Can you mention my business on the air?!

That’s illegal. Not only could I potentially lose my job, you are asking me to do what I get paid for, for free again. Businesses pay me money to talk about them. I get a cut, sales gets a cut and so does the company I work for. If you’d like to buy some airtime I can definitely point you in the right direction though!

Just be respectful of people and their craft, no matter what it is 🙂

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160 thoughts on “12 Things To Stop Saying To People In Radio

  1. That’s a great listing and instead of saying that “radio is dying” I would provide the supposition that it is being killed with people that have the same questions listed above – that end up buying a radio station. The owners, the “format change” the completely unappreciated on-air talent and their stories/skill sets – along with completely mis-informed owners are why I do believe that “radio is dying.” That ties directly into podcasting and the ramp/parachute it can and has become for many radio people but NOT because podcasting is “radio 2.0” but because it’s literally a way to capture, monetize, and more efficiently provide, document and satisfy users/listeners on topics that people an not just be passionate about, but NOT have to fit into an 8-11min segment.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Very appropriate posting. I am retired but have some very pleasant memories of working in radio. It used to be a lot of fun. The changes that came with out of town companies owning multiple stations in a market has cost the industry dearly. Yet, as you mentioned, there are still people working in the business and I say ‘more power to ’em.’ Best wishes for continued success!

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    1. Hi there!
      I spent almost 40 years on the air in Canadian radio, mostly in Montreal and the Toronto area. I mostly played rock and roll but also did news early on and I did music radio because I loved it. I am the third generation of my family in radio and I am proud of that, een though radio is having problems surviving these days.
      I appreciate my peers and look up to the stars from the 60s and 70s. They are or were great talents and I will remember them with pride.
      Andy Neill
      Fortaleza, Brazil

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    2. The station I work at is owned by a corporation, so ownership is in a different province, but my PD and our general manager work really hard and try to keep our station as relevant and local as possible! The problem is your cell phone can tell you all the same stuff the radio would normally talk about… So… gotta stay interesting and unique!

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    1. I suppose I can see what you are referring to Bobby. I did not mean to come off as arrogant. I personally feel a deep sense of gratitude to listeners in particular since they are in fact the reason I can have a job in radio in the first place. My tone is simply meant to convey a sense of honestly, frankness and maybe a sense of frustration at certain things I hear from strangers on a daily basis that sometimes are just plain rude. Most of the time, I’m sure the offenders have no clue that they are even coming across that way, hence the reason for me writing this list in the first place.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gillian, you are spot on! Really! I’m an OM/PD closing in on 20 years, and I have seen this list in my head more times than I can count! You are dead right! If I had to find a #13 it would be the people who say, “You’ve got it so easy! You only work from (insert daypart here)!” Respecting the work that a person does enough to understand what actually goes into it is something most just don’t get! Feel good! You’ve said what I’ve been wanting to say for years!

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    2. Hey Gillian — this is a GREAT list. Nothing arrogant about it. This list is real. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard several of these. The two that are missing for me are, “you totally have a radio voice,” and “You don’t look anything like I thought you would.” Keep on rockin’.. and can you mention my name on the radio? Thx! Pags

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    3. As someone who also works in radio, your rude comments are what is wrong with society today! Be NICE! If you don’t have anything constructive to add why add anything at all. I am sick to death of people giving their PROFESSIONAL opinions when they weren’t asked for. Go to your room Bobby! You’ve been grounded.

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    4. Seriously, dude? That’s your interpretation of arrogance. Thin skinned people are harming “this great industry”. From the perspective of a radio guy of several decades, I believe the post is spot on. Sure there are are changes in the biz. The bean counters’ agendas are having a much stronger impact; more so than a blog…unless you are working for a “Mother Carlson” type station. And there’s nothing wrong at all with small independent stations. I feel certain you’d jump all over that statement. Prove me wrong. 🙂

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  3. Radio is not easy…you dont get free anything…….the only work I would ever do on tv is behind the camera (more fun)…You make a lot less than a Mcdonalds employee….And you NEVER get to work 4 hours and go home….But having said all of that…YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MORE FUN

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    1. I remember working a shift in the 60s and 70s and you could actually work a 4 hour shift and another hour doing commercials and probably head out after that…but there were times when you needed to do remotes or some other kind of promotion and that took more time, but was still enjoyable.

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      1. Back in the mid 70’s I was at a station where you worked 6 hours on air and got paid for 8 hours, regardless of whether you did production or not.

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  4. One more thing. I worked a m-f 7-midnight shift at a 100kw CHR. When I say we had excellent sound quality, you can believe it. Yet whenever a lay person would come into the control room they’d invariably say something like “You’re not all CD?”
    This was at a time when those Denon caddy CD players weren’t in anyway reliable and computer based mx delivery wasn’t quite there yet. So I’d say “yep, we’re all cart as are many major market stations such as z100 on NY.”
    We had superb cart machines and our carts had a lower noise floor than our STL.

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    1. Yup…remember it well and also remember taking stations from 45s to cart in a couple of Canadian markets. Really made a difference..

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  5. What a fantastic read, and everything you’ve mentioned is so accurate. I’ve been in radio for about 7 years now… What you said about radio being a dying industry; I thought that was amazing. I’ve let that discourage me a few times. I’ve contemplated getting out a few times for something else, see if I can make some more money doing something else. I do love it though, I don’t know what else I’d do. I just keep working hard and little by little I’ve been making my way. Started part time as a board op in Tallapoosa, Ga. I was running boards for preachers on Sundays, now I’m a PD in Myrlte Beach, SC and I plan to just keep working hard and growing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can never anticipate what will happen as far as changes in ownership, lay-offs, down-sizing etc…The only thing any of us can do is roll with the changes, work hard and follow our passion. This in my opinion is the only way to live a happy life and stay true to yourself regardless of what you do for a living. Thanks for reading and congrats on your continued hard work and success! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m 40, worked in the majors, went into my own business. Still have some contact with radio, whenever I am visiting with a station every once in awhile, I noticed often that the caliber of talent has dropped, people who would barely make the weekend overnight shifts back in the 90’s, roaming the halls with full on ADD, and anti social tendencies be it farting, belching, and always a bag full of double burgers and Red Bull.

    I have an agency and met with the creative director of a major station, he seemed to have some form of touettes syndrome, and when not using foul language in front of the President of a large bank, he was fidgeting with his hands. Bottom line: he didn’t have the chops to cut the spots. Funny, when I worked on radio I rarely got these kind of questions, usually it was “how did you get into the radio business”? or “you have a great voice”, and if the woman was of the fairer sex she might ask if we could go out for cocktail.

    Sister, you sound like you need an attitude adjustment. The public is finicky, they love you one minute, the next you’re making Latte’s at the Starbucks inside Target.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just want to point out that saying, “if the woman was of the fairer sex…” is ridiculously redundant, as “fairer sex” literally means “women”. So, you just said, “if the woman was a woman…”

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    2. You and I, Butch, are on the same page.

      Lucky enough here to have worked in radio for almost 30 years, and for only 3 companies. I couldn’t imagine saying these things to a lone listener, much less posting it for the entire free world to see. Now it’s even making the rounds on Facebook (where I saw it), and I’ve posted a full rebuttal on my own FB page because I’m so disappointed with my industry friends who have shared it.

      I disagree, at least to some degree, with every single point. The two that caused me the most heartburn, however, were #s 6 & 11.

      6. Yes, they might. If they don’t work with you then they’re potentially part of your audience. If you think the audience doesn’t have ideas that are relevant for your show, please stop doing radio right now because you’re doing it wrong.

      11. This comes with the territory. Whether it’s a bridal show, a baby pageant, a talent show, a spelling bee, etc., etc. you ARE going to get asked to do these events. You should be honored, not annoyed. Accept the ones you can, politely decline the ones you can’t. It’s not that hard.

      Telling the public how stupid they are really isn’t the best strategy to move our industry forward. If you hate talking to the public that much, and dealing with people who don’t understand our industry like an insider, maybe radio’s not the gig for you. If you can engage people in conversation by using creativity & humor, even when they say stupid things to you, then you’re on the right track.

      I get it. Yes, some of these things can be frustrating. But EVERY job has its frustrations. Talk about them with other people who can relate, and consider yourself very lucky that you get to so something that, even with all the changes in the last 10-15 years, is still pretty damn cool. I don’t want my server at a restaurant to whine to me that he’s answered that same stupid question 20 times already tonight, and that if I’d just read the damn menu I wouldn’t ask him such stupid questions. I want him to answer it for me with a smile, like he’s glad I’m there. Then, later on after I leave, he can talk shit about me all he wants with his coworkers. That’s how it’s done.

      That’s my $0.02.

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  7. Absolutely loved this and saw truth in it. Working in PR and radio promotions, I’ve had these questions asked towards me or those I work with.

    Oh, and I wanted to be a marine biologist but realized I sucked at math too. haha Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. As a former radio guy, I would get the response “that must be so cool, getting to sit around and listen to music all day.” I came from the world of cued LPs, 45s, etc., and I’d reply, “I just WISH I had the time during a shift to just listen and jam to the music.” I was too busy getting ready for the next song or break to hear much of the cool music I was playing.

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    1. I Don’t knos if rradio Is dying I have worked in construction Were a radio was on usually 24 7 And it in morning it was great To listen talk show than when the music and the DJ it made the day go by much faster it just became part of your life I still think it plays an important role because when you’re outside it’s like you’re only link to the world I guess what I’m saying Entertainment it’s a proven fact people work more productive when there’s music playing and I don’t like listening to stations that don’t have a DJ in between phones so I think there always for you place for it I like to talk but I sure don’t think I could talk 24 /7 on the air like a DJand the strange thing is if I’m working and there isn’t a radio on I feel like somethings missing

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    2. Pusser, I was in the same situation “back-cuing” lp’s and 45’s in the early 80’s, during my time spent at a traditional country station with the 2:30 minutes or less songs on average. Bathroom breaks required advance planning. Our “slow starting” cart machines were crap. All on on air mics were purchased at the local Radio Shack. But I loved every minute of it and apparently produced some very decent rating…in spite of management. LOL!

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  9. Real radio feels there totes relate in a non obnoxious way I get what you were saying its funny cause its true thats all you were doing was pointing out the funny done listen to the nay sayers!

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  10. Well the sad fact is that Radio is an older technology now and has become rather homoginized and uniform to the extent that few stations really give their air staff a fraction of the freedom or control of the Radio that attracted me to the medium decades ago. The audience is now far less passionate in general than it once was and things like first Cable TV and later the Internet have made the “local” radio something on an anachronism now… it’s certainly still there but is hardly the center of most younger people’s lives… so no radio isn’t exactly dying but it simply isn’t front and center anylonger for most people either.
    As far as thinking I could do it, well yes and no… I know most of the mechanics of cueing things and have spent decades being able to “hear” in my head a good segue or have a “feeling” for a variety of music, but the reality is that is becoming mostly a thing for “niche” radio, that a great deal of the airwaves now are “market tested” to death and it has become rather “Extra Medium medium” what with little left to individualize your show… the Radio that truly caught my ear decades ago was so called “free form” and that was harder to market than “spam in a can” radio… it was an art form that now is just too hard to do… the audience for that sort of thing is much reduced because there is a certain requirement of being willing and patient enough to follow the DJ for the ride… it’s sort of like first learning and then maintaining a language, it takes some work and now in an era of instant downloads, well much of the audience just won’t spend the time to do so… a small number will and will be dramatically loyal to those programs and DJ’s, but sadly the bulk will and do turn away… so no I know how to do one type of radio… and do it well, but that sort of radio is indeed disapearing now… and that is rather sad
    (ICE) B|

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  11. What horrible arrogant rant. Just as you don’t seem to care about anyones opinion…no one really cares about yours either…Just saying.

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  12. 40 years in ‘The biz’ and still doin it, albeit on a regular freelance basis.
    Done programme/commercial production, assisted with tech changeover, new talent training and continuous critiquing.
    It HAS changed, technologically, financially and socially.
    Here in GB, first of all accountants/Sales Managers were made MD’s, worst of all they also got to influence playlist, (my wife/client likes more R&B etc.
    Then, the directors (suits) found some money to purchase a second station, branded it just like the first, got lucky, found some more cash and continued to buy even more stations. They had a network, and…..they all sounded the same!
    Before anyone reminds me that Radio is after all a business…..I know it is. But in general, no effort has been made to in any way make it also offer choice of listening for those all important listeners. No wonder people are turning to their personal devices FOR that choice.
    As for new talent, getting £20, maybe if you’re really lucky £25 for a 4 hour V/T, what chance is there for a new Kenny or Chris when the next line on your Myriad or RCS playout screen offers up a ‘5 second live voice/insert from you.
    There’s not a ‘Cat in hell’s’ chance of developing any presenter personality for the listener to become attached/loyal to.
    If you are new to this ‘wonderful world of wireless’, you’re lucky, you have no idea just how good it was in the past for it to matter.
    Keep smilin’…

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  13. Hello! May I please use this as a classroom resource at NAIT in Edmonton as part of a radio fundamentals class? This is great reading for my students and a nice way to start discussion about a number of topics/conversations they are likely to have in the coming months/years with friends/family/listeners. Thanks.

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  14. #2 is very ignorant on your part, because anyone can do what you do it’s called podcasting. It doesn’t take a genius to buy a mic and computer and start brodcasting because hundreds of people do it and do it well without any radio education. The reason why radio exists is because it’s based on old technologies which was one of the only way to communicate information. Now a days the tecnlogy is cheap and information readily available so that anyone can start their on radio program and do it way better then the majority of radio stations. I really do hope you get your head out of your Ass and your ego sorted out Missy.

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    1. You obviously haven’t had one 16 hour day in radio doing more than talking into a microphone. To compare a podcaster it a broadcaster is ignorant. Borderlines retarded.

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      1. I have read this entire thread, and have not been moved to feedback until now.

        NEWS: there is a BIG difference between TALKING (which is all you need to do to create a podcast) and TALKING AND GETTING PAID FOR IT, which I’ve been doing for 33 years. I spent years in the theater learning the craft of performance, and even more years as a radio part-timer learning the ropes of this business. I have become a life-long student of structuring my style so as to maximize radio’s real-time potential to transform the perception of ambience into the illusion of intimacy, while at the same time learning how to spend 15 minutes analyzing a business I know nothing about so as to make the remote sound great. I’m a past-master of multi-track recording and production, the go-to MC for every poodle-wash in the county, and am known for my fast, no-baloney interviews. I earn a lot of my income in voice-over. And I’m just scratching the surface of the kind of skill-set acquired over time by every real radio pro. We sell advertising, manage accounts, create partnerships, and lead community projects; we are arena announcers, motivational speakers, teachers and creative consultants. We set the agenda for our audiences’ dialog every day. And we get paid for it; not much, on average — but many of have done very well and continue to do so.

        I’m not saying I’m a better human being than a podcaster, or that there’s anything wrong with podcasting. I’m just saying you can’t compare podcasting to radio at any level. I speak English for a living, yes, but the range of skills required at a professional level to keep doing what I do are simply beyond a podcaster’s imagination.

        My all-time favorite thing to hear is “Hey, I thought I recognized your voice!” to which I generally respond “Hey, I thought I recognized your ears!”

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    2. Bigpapa! You are right. Literally ANYONE can buy a mic and start a podcast. That is not what I am arguing. To perform within the constraints of creating interesting, engaging listener targeted content on a music intensive show that allows you 10 seconds between songs to cut through to your audience…on top of pleasing your sponsors, on top of pleasing corporate, on top of connecting with women 18-34…to say that ANYONE can do that is just ridiculous in my opinion. And as far as my “ego”…I am actually currently unemployed and not evening working! I was laid off from my radio job on December 8th. If that wasn’t a humbling experience, I don’t know what is.

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      1. I work on-air in radio and think you’re list is great. Anyone that thinks it came off negatively needs to have their head examined. Good luck in the job hunt…onward and upward!

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      2. It sounds as if you might be a former iHeart (Clear Channel) jock…if you’re American, or Bellmedia, if you’re Canadian…these people have absolutely no heart at all and don’t appreciate the fact they are turfing the very people they NEED to survive.

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      3. Don’t let it get you down. I’ve been fired from every good job I’ve ever had; it’s the nature of the biz. Keep putting yourself out there and eventually you’ll make the connection. You’re smart, and you obviously grasp the big picture.

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    3. WOW. You’re kind of an asshole. And obviously someone who has no idea what she means. Podcasting and radio are NOT the same thing. Period. They are two completely different paradigms. While they seem similar at first glance, they are not. I work with other radio personalities who in fact have their own podcasts, and even they will tell you it is NOT the same thing. And NO, not just anyone can do what we do. I don’t know what your chosen profession is, but I am assuming it is something more complicated than washing cars or sacking groceries. I would love to hear you have to defend your career against someone who generalized it as broadly as you do ours, sir.

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      1. With some practice and just as long as you are not a social retard yes anyone can do what you do. It’s been happening all over the world, give up its over you guys are not anything special.

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    4. Wow, Bigpapa, have you ever worked in radio? Ever been paid for your broadcasting skills? I’m pretty sure that the most successful podcasts out there are not done by some Joe Schmo who is normally an accountant but decided to go buy a computer and a microphone one day, but people who have radio experience, or at the very least, a producer who does. Yes, anyone can do a podcast. No, not anyone can make it a successful full time career. And your condescending tone makes it difficult for anyone to want to see your point. If you’re so in tune with what’s going on today, you’ll know that a big thing on blogs is to post lists, especially of “things [insert profession here] wish you knew/are tired of hearing”. Gillian posted a list of something she knows, and as a radio host of almost 20 years, I can’t tell, you the number of times I’ve experienced all these things! The only one missing is, “do your radio voice!” Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stick my head back up my ass so that monkey can crank up his favorite tunes and do my 3 hour job for me. I’ve got friends who need concert tickets.

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    5. And as somebody who has professionally podcasted for nine years, Bigpapa needs to remove his head from his rear. Whether you are in a station behind a sound board or sitting at your PC at home, just being able to record your own voice doesn’t equate to talent. You can have natural talent, you can have training and development that makes you talented, but it’s not something you can just jump into and be an instant success.

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    6. I’m currently in radio as well and have been in St. Louis, Richmond, Wilkes-Barre, Toledo and a few more. The people claiming you’re ignorant are absolute idiots. You’re spot on with all of it.

      It’s extremely irritating to me when people claim “podcasting” is doing what we do. It isn’t. You’re posting edited, pre-recorded material online. You’re NOT broadcasting a show. Sure there are successful podcasts out there, but none of you are successful. If you were you’d have a LIVE radio show.

      There’s nothing that irritates me more than people who claim our job isn’t a career. We are a dedicated group of professionals. We have been hit incredibly hard by the economic scene. I do agree that there are way too many personalities that wouldn’t be an overnight jock ten years ago, but that shouldn’t diminish those that are talented and have been successful.

      Radio is a fantastic career and being an 18-year vet, you’re post is spot on and I wasn’t close to being offended. The haters that posted here couldn’t possibly plan a four hour show that’s not only entertaining, compelling and interesting; they could never do it live and be successful. Well done! We need more outspoken WOMEN in our industry that aren’t afraid to stand up to the misogynistic men that want nothing more than to make more money than you for the same job and keep you down because you’re really better than them.

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    7. Need to do MORE homework on the subject at hand Big papa. Not healthy to get involved in a conversation without loading your noggin! “done my own radio show” and “pod casting” are just a tad different (sarcasm intended) in not only their content, format, and EVERYTHING, INCLUDING mass appeal OR interest by more than a few people. The existence of radio stems from far more comprehensive standards and the public’s continued desire for free music and information than “old technologies” you clearly are not “OLD” enough to have taken seriously with the spelling display for have just put on. Pod casting is a DIFFERENT medium of communication, not an/the exception, or a superior, next notch up form of technology. It’s just simply DIFFERENT. Start your “own pod cast”, make it available to the masses, and see for yourself how many people are more interested in what YOU have to offer than Gillianradio. The only “ignorant” part of your post was the whole thing, because you lost credibility with ANY of us the moment we found out you can’t spell broadcasting. NO ONE WILL EVER, EVER listen to YOU if YOU do not know what you are talking about!! Do Your Homework!! Good Luck

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  15. Feel’s like you are being taken advantage of now a days, but you hold your head up and keep on going. Dare i say not only the company that purchased the station, but those who you work for at the station in a way make you feel bad. Always getting little jabs like don’t do anything to get fired? The station serves a segment of the community that listens but does not participate. The what they have been doing is airing basketball games at times that would never happen at any other music station in the world. This company has a sports station a talk station and three other music stations (FM) but break up the programming on a solid gold station to play basketball is a crime. Now since the people who listen to the station don’t complain those in charge say oh well they must like basketball. No; they put in a CD or listen to a smart phone. What the company is doing is breaking the spirit of not only the community but the only announcer they have. Yep one announcer and the rest of the time it is automated. They hire a young person who does not know the music he is supposed to be programming so over time what does he do, he adds songs that he thinks people will listen to because they like this kind of music on a pop station. (Teenagers). you have teenagers listening to a stereo FM station, you take music from That format because you feel they like to listen to it so they will listen to it on a Am soul Station. Then put in a spot (commercial) 30 seconds no audio and when you bring it to their attention you are told that corporate is doing an experiment. Why on this station, you have eight others try it on one of them. The station has no phone number the community can call (& talk to someone) when the station is off the air, and we are talking six to ten hours because they don’t listen so people in the community when the see me of if some one i know has my number they tell me the station has been off the air so i call engineering they ask me how long the station has been off the air. So think about it, i am doing so many things behind the seans that those who should be contacted to correct the problem over the years must feel like the transmitter, equipment and overall Automation is just doing a great job. All the employees at the other stations work 6 hours and get paid for 6 hours whereas another announcer his voice is heard for 6 to 8 hours but he voice tracks and only gets paid for two.

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    1. Well for one, if a DJ is hitting their speed and plays something I like… I try and let them know I enjoyed that segue way or hadn’t heard that tune in ages… and just thank them for that, I mean a bit of positive reinforcement if truly from the heart usually is well appreciated.

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  16. Oh this is good.. Along with ”
    do you choose the records you play”
    And
    “I’ve done a bit of DJ’ing in my time..”(everyone’s a DJ!)
    Oh and
    “Can you DJ at my wedding!” Yea can you fix my car for free!!

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  17. I had a few arrogant sales reps tell me how easy my job was. My response to them was for each of them to pick a day, show up at 5am, and fill the next four hours with compelling (talk format) content.
    They picked a day the following week. I said, fine, I will do it tomorrow then three more times this week.
    Each time, they backed down, admitted that they couldn’t do it. One even came in to shadow me for the last two hours….he apologized and bought me lunch for the next two days.
    I miss the fun parts, but I do not miss the no talent hacks in management and ownership. Nor do I miss the corporate bull shit.

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  18. I an going to say it, I don’t listen to radio. I have up on it in the 90’s when I discovered music that would never be played on radio. It is even easier now to avoid as technology had advanced. The only time I ever hear it is in some one else’s car or of it is being played on a public place. So while it is not never that I listen to radio, it might be 40 minutes in a year, so I would say that is as close as possible.

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  19. 12 Answers to 12 reasons

    I am a professional with 30 years experience. I don’t brag about the stations or markets I’ve worked, or the people I worked with. That being said, here goes:

    1) YUP! darn easy work – I never want to encourage people to get into the business, who needs the competition?

    2) Feel free, I hear there’s a station in Nepal hiring.

    3) The answer is “enough” but I’d also (and have, and currently am) doing it for NOTHING.

    4) Nope, no tickets, sorry

    5) Howard who? Seriously, why would anyone imitate Howard, he’s Howard, I’m me.

    6) Possibly, tell me what they are, don’t be offended when I laugh, and don’t sue if I steal the idea.

    7) marry rich, win the lottery. Same as every one else.

    8) Long ago, someone told me I had the perfect face for radio, I’ve gone with that ever since.

    9) That’s OK,, neither do I!

    10) They said radio was dead when they invented TV, then when MTV came along, then the Walkman, then the iPOD the … blah blah blah … radio is still here, voice tracking will soon die, and I’ll be dead. Someone somewhere will always turn a radio on.

    11) It may be because I’m unpaid now, but if someone asks me, I usually say yes, unless I’ve got a pressing appointment … or have to take a nap.

    12) Sure I can mention it, just send the details and a cheque to the sales people, and we’ll get right on that.

    The radio business isn’t a business at all. It’s like being in the circus, except instead of greasepaint in your veins you have (well use to) grease pencil (from editing) in your veins. No one EVER got into radio to be rich, you’re lucky if you do. All people want to do is make a few people laugh, play the latest and greatest, be the one to break an act, and own a little music store when you retire. Or, be in Amarillo hosting a garden show.

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  20. Gillian thanks for this post, you hit it spot on. I work in radio behind the scenes, primarily production, as well as teaching at a broadcasting trade school. I might end up sharing this with a few of my students.

    Oh and you didn’t come off as arrogant, more like a fun, dry wit. Ignore the complainers, be yourself! All the best!

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  21. For proof that not just “anyone” can be a radio host, listen to 99% of the spots voiced by the clients themselves. Enough said.
    I’ve been in radio for more than 30 years (I started when I was 3), and I thoroughly enjoyed your list, Gillian. Good luck to you in your quest for a new gig!

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  22. I enjoyed your article, Gilian. It brought back some good memories. I started in radio when I was 15, back in the days of LPs and 45s on the turntables. The stations were family owned, and we had fun. Then the big corporations came in and ruined everything. We always had a saying: If you bought a new car or a house, you were going to get fired the next week. I saw talent cycle from station to station like telemarketers. As I hit 30, I would see these guys in their 50s and 60s all burned out with no savings…basically, zombies behind the microphone. I decided at that point to go to law school. I miss the good old days of radio, but I am much happier performing in front of a jury and not having to constantly worry about job security.

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    1. The re-writing of the US Telecommunications Bill in ’98 was the event that opened up corporate radio and really signaled the start of major changes, most of which were not good for the business.
      Clear Channel ended up owning over 1,200 stations and you don’t have to have much imagination to figure out how well that worked out!
      I think I could safely say that a majority of stations ended up with a live morning show nd VTs the rest of the day…sad!

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  23. Gillian – way to go girl! Bobby and Bigpapa need a life. I have 50-years of experience doing dang near everything, and I am still in the business – loving it.

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    1. I started my first gig in the fall of 1963, just as The Beatles were coming to North America and retired from a network music radio show in 1999, but kept on doing freelance commercial work from my home studio until the end of 2013.
      I still would like to into podcasting and play the music I love for other people who might not be familiar with some of the great stuff from the 60s and 70s.

      Like

  24. Gillian – this is so dead on and well done. If you ever need a news man (who’s very little ‘bleeds it leads’ and more ‘TMZ is reporting’), I want to be yours for sure! May I be so bold as to suggest a #13? And assuming your answer is ‘yes” ( 😀 ), it’s “wow you don’t look at all the way you sound!” (usually accompanied by a disappointed look).

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Spot on post – a lot of good people have helped pave the way for future people – still a great industry, but obviously very different from when I started 20 yrs ago -oh and for those that think they can be a better than the person on the air – do the time and work and in 20 yrs you can write a great article like this !

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  26. When your listener(s) finally get to meet you on an OB, (which you rarely ever get trained for) you get: “Oh, I thought you sounded tall, dark and handsome”… this always helps secure broadcasting confidence.
    My old MD, ex Civil (sic) Service once asked me, and he was being serious, “How can it possibly take more than 30 seconds to record a 30” commercial”….and this was the MD!!
    I said, “If you really have the unbelievable temerity to ask that question, you certainly won’t understand my answer”
    We didn’t really get along!
    The dichotomy we face is that we have to work hard to make what we do sound natural and easy, otherwise listeners can’t relax in our company.
    Some directors are said to have seriously asked the question ‘Why are we paying this ludicrous salary for someone to put records on?’
    Sadly some MD’s don’t defend their on-air talent intelligently when this subject raises it’s ugly head.
    It ain’t easy, but boy are we lucky to be in this ‘biz’.
    Let’s just hope your MD/PD doesn’t take financial advantage of that enthusiasm in terms of what he or she is prepared to pay for your passionate efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Having worked in radio on and off for over two decades, I totally understand the feelings behind this list. However, it occurred to me that none of it is really at all new. This same kind of ignorance also existed in previous eras, even in radio’s heyday when the medium was in a far more robust state. And, today, even if every single person who has ever asked these questions were to have a sudden epiphany resulting in a full and complete understanding of what it’s really like and what we really do in radio – that, alone, would do little or nothing to put radio back on the healthier, more profitable course that it needs to take in order to once again thrive. Believe me, when you are making a decent salary and have a strong sense of job security, the bozo who thinks that you have an endless supply of concert tickets, or that he can do with his eyes closed exactly what you do, becomes little more than a minor annoyance – and, the same thing holds true even when you being forced to bounce around the country from one small town to the next, just to barely break minimum wage in some triple-digit market. Because, while bozo’s misunderstanding of your career might be grating and cringeworthy, it doesn’t come close to touching the real problems at hand. I’d be far less concerned about the words of less-knowledgeable outsiders who don’t have a clue, than I would about the crafty bean counters and other insiders far above me, who already know exactly what is going on, and who also know just what they need to do to keep squeezing the gold from an ever-shrinking goose, often at the expense of the little folks like us who work behind the mic. To summarize, Bozo may ask you ignorant and asinine questions, but he isn’t going to take your job away. The guys upstairs, however, won’t ask any annoying questions before they send you packing on a moment’s notice.

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  28. I’ve been doing R&B formats in radio for over 30 years now in markets including DC, Cleveland, and most recently San Antonio. While one may not want to come across as “arrogant”, there’s nothing wrong with being truthful. I hope that confidence and arrogance don’t get confused. Try to be nice, but always be honest and sometimes that can be misinterpreted. One thing you may want to mention next time is the rise (and fall in some cases) of internet radio. Some of these “do it yourself” DJ’s can be found there and quite frankly they should stay buried on a chat channel like live 365 live. On the other hand, internet radio does have some great stations too. You can almost immediately tell when a station is run by real “radio” trained professionals vs the amateur hour with guys playing radio. You really can tell the difference. I hope to put my money where my mouth is, I’d like to invite you to check out my station: http://www.1067thebridge.com I think we can hang with the best of the FM stations. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, just confident! Keep the radio chats going!! Peace and blessing, John Hairston, owner, 1067thebridge.com

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  29. No, radio is not about to die. It still has the reach and billions of people in the world still enjoy listening to their favorite programs on the radio.
    People should learn to respect what others do for a living. A profession should be a passion that is built on an identified talent. So, if someone is practising what they are talented to do, what they have been trained to do and what they are enjoying doing, others owe them the courtesy of showing some respect.

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  30. What a bitter, defensive rant. Most of the questions that annoy you are the result of people having an interest in what you do. Unlike most people’s careers, radio DJ is somewhat of a “dream job”, so people are interested in talking about it, and many have pictured themselves in it at some point. Your reaction to these questions, assumes in many cases that people think your job is easy; I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. For example, I wouldn’t take “you’re lucky” so literally. I’d think this is obvious, but in case it’s not, lots of people get asked thoughtless questions about what they do, not just radio DJs.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. This whole blog is unfortunate. One thing you need to remember, above all else, you ARE lucky to be in this industry. Every one of us is lucky every single day that we’re in it. 18+ years. And every day I ASK listeners for ideas. To suggest that a listener or fan (or former fan) is incapable of contributing is completely ignorant and counter-intuitive to the social nature of “radio” in 2015.

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  32. Great blog post! One thing was missing from the list, “There is no money in radio.” I hate when people in and out of the industry tell me this. I’ve been making money in radio since day one. In fact I’ve made money and enjoyed the freedom that comes from being an entrepreneur in radio. If you limit yourself to just talking on radio you’ll have to be hugely talented and very lucky. However, if you know how to use a board and operate a radio automation program your chances of being employed in radio just shot up 1000%. Just to be honest, I totally pulled that number out of the air. Anyway, there are “more ways than one to skin a cat”. In fact, there are many positions available for creative broadcast enthusiast in the business of radio. Moreover, these opportunities are not limited to employment or owning your own station. That’s right! You can make money in radio and be self employed. All it takes is a little out of the box thinking and the ability to follow through. I could go on and on, but I’m going to leave your readers with this; the more you know the further you will go and the more you learn the more you’ll earn” If you don’t know the basic mechanics of radio, you’ll either have to pay someone who does or compete with one. ~Ron Ash (The Being Talk Radio Network)

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