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:
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