Advice to Radio People: Beware the Best-Before Date on Your Forhead

The people at Canadian Music Week asked me to provide a short blog post about the condition of being a radio person. Here’s what I wrote.


About five years into my radio career, I noticed that a disturbing number of my co-workers had disappeared. They had the misfortune of becoming surplus, redundant, replaceable, too expensive and sometimes (or so it seemed), too old. One day they were on the air but the next day they were gone No goodbyes, no explanations. It was like they’d never existed.

They found other work, of course—real estate, police forces, retail, construction—but they were never able to go back to their first love. After one too many staff purges, I vowed to do whatever I could to avoid their fate.

There’s no magic secret to being able to keep a radio job—getting downsized is something that happens to almost everyone in their career (me, included!)—but there are ways to minimize the risk.

The first thing every radio person should realize is that there’s a best-before date on our foreheads that we can’t see. Understand that being a radio announcer isn’t one that comes with a lot of portable skills. There’s only so much call for people who can sit alone in a room holding one-sided conversations with themselves. In any other circumstance, you’d be medicated and committed.

But what we can do is re-date ourselves on a regular basis. Here’s how:

Continue reading here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37438 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Advice to Radio People: Beware the Best-Before Date on Your Forhead

  • Some great advice that emphasizes the importance of networking and learning new skills. I am always looking for new ways to stand out from other candidates and you’ve definitely presented that in the article. So thank you for that!


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