FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

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robmeister
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FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by robmeister » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:47 pm

Back in the Dark Ages (okay, the 1990s), I lived out my dream: to be a DJ on the radio! The market was small, the hours were long, the pay was lousy, but I had the most fun I'd ever had in my life! Well, things happened, and since 2003, I I've been trying to reboot my career. I even went back to school last fall to "freshen up" my skills. I love radio, I miss radio, and I respect radio too damn much to take it for granted!

Let me ask you PDs and jocks a question: How many of you spent years away from this business and had complete strangers tell you "Wow! You have a great voice! You should be in radio!"? Well, I've heard it nearly EVERY DAY, for the LAST SEVEN YEARS! I cannot begin to describe how it hurts me to hear that as often as I do, knowing that radio is where I belong, and not knocking on hotel room doors with a pizza in my hand!

Do I sound frustrated? Yes, because I am frustrated. This is what I was born to do, and I need back in. I have the talent, the voice, the knowledge, the passion, the skill, and the experience. So why the hell don't I have a job? This is whatI was meant to do. I know this because when I was young, I didn't just listen to songs in my head, I would also intro them, like they used to do on the old 93-KHJ!

So I turn to you guys and gals. What advice can you give me to help me to step behind the mic once again?
Rob Norris
(657)201-1510 - Direct Line
robnorrisradio@live.com - Request Resume/Audio
http://www.facebook.com/robnorrisradio

pbergin
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by pbergin » Tue May 03, 2011 8:40 am

Honest to God, if you've been out of work for 7 years you're seriously deluding yourself by continuing to pursue this. I know people who've been out for a year or so, but have managed to find something. I've never heard of a qualified talent being out of work for 7 years. The industry is telling you something my friend.

If you're as great a communicator as you seem to think, get some training and find another career. Communication skills are a huge asset in the real world.

As Randy Jackson might say, "radio just isn't for you dog!"

tvguy2
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by tvguy2 » Tue May 03, 2011 11:28 am

If you gave up the search for a while, I can understand being out for seven years. I was out for three at one point, but was doing television, and quit looking for a radio gig. I've now been out for two, but am teaching broadcasting and doing a TON of voiceover and video production, so I'm probably way too selective about the radio jobs I apply to -- and also, I'm slower at networking because I am "sort of" working in the field. I am, in essence, mostly happy right now. So if I see a radio job or hear of one I really want, I go for it. But I don't have to move to Bunflap, Nowhere, either.

Seven years, however, is a long time. You'll probably have to explain why it's been so long -- if you'd pursued other careers in that time and ignored radio, make sure you tell PD's that. Some will understand, some won't.

Or, go in a "related" direction! Look for an ad agency or a syndicator where you can work! You might love it.

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robmeister
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by robmeister » Tue May 03, 2011 3:36 pm

There were other pursuits, yes. After my Unemplyment ran out, I had to take a 3rd-shift factory job. That's about 2-1/2 years right there. When I came back to SoCal, I tried all sorts of career paths, finally landing an apprenticeship the Metropolitan Water Disctrict. That, um... didn't work out so well. And until last fall, I was basically a prisoner of my own income (never fun), so looking for new work, no matter the field, was impractical.

It was at that time I spotted an opprtunity to move closer to work (from 35 miles to five), go back to school, and try once again to return behind the mic. It was my hope that I'd beon my way to a rebooted career by now.

Am I deluding myself? I don't know. But I have heard stories about other ATs who had extended absenses from this field, and still came back. And as for the "connections" angle, I can definitely see that, because I know that several jocks here in L.A. are either over-the-hill, or they are less talented than I am. There are even one or two that make me ask "How did this guy get in radio in the first place?"

I know. Strong words. And I will not name names here. But what frustrates me more than anything is a given station will be more willing to hire some board monkey with no skills for minimum wage, rather than bring in true talent.

Some of you have suggested I need to move on. I've tried. It hasn't worked. Yes, I took time off from looking full-time, but I'm back on the hunt. Just give me something to shoot at, dammit!
Rob Norris
(657)201-1510 - Direct Line
robnorrisradio@live.com - Request Resume/Audio
http://www.facebook.com/robnorrisradio

pbergin
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by pbergin » Wed May 04, 2011 6:30 am

Look Rob here's the thing, talent doesn't mean much in today's radio environment as far as I can see. You could have the best chops in the biz, and still (as a practical matter) be unemployable.

What I'm wondering is this... why has moving on not worked out? I spent 35 years in radio, it was all I knew. Most of that time I spent in top 10 markets (including NY and LA) doing either AM or PM drive, so when I decided to leave it was a HUGE decision. I was 55 years old and hadn't done anything but radio for 35 years, who in the hell would hire me?

But I was hired. After taking some IT courses and obtaining some certifications (MCSE, Cisco etc) I was hired right away, and I've been with the same company ever since. Didn't lose a nickel in income either!

I aint no rocket scientist, OK? I had to work my ass off learning this stuff, but I did and so have many, many others who've successfully bailed out of radio. Many more than you might think. You undoubtedly know people who've left radio and become highly successful in other endeavors, you just never, really paid attention to them.

Time to start paying attention.

tvguy2
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by tvguy2 » Wed May 04, 2011 7:52 am

Over the past nine months, I've had the pleasure of telling a few PD's/corporate types in radio "I'm not interested in you." That was after I had applied for a job (especially where the job description was vague, and may not have included full details of the market, the salary, or the duties.) There was even one job in the market I live in that was a perfect fit to my resume.

But the owner is known as so bad -- and the group so awful -- I never even applied. With voiceover, video and teaching, I DO have that luxury. And with 13 years spent in markets 2, 3, and a couple others in the top twenty, I still refuse to sell myself short and move to Enid, Oklahoma.

My wife got laid off from her job a month after I lost my last full-time job. So, we started our own business, gathering clients who needed voiceover, video, and PR work (she's a former TV news anchor who went into public relations after years anchoring in top five markets).

We weren't immediately successful at it, but we had seven months of savings. At the end of five months, we were paying all the bills with the income from the small firm! And this changed our view in the following way:

EVERYONE IS NOW A CLIENT, whether it's a full-time job or the small business. Or my teaching.

She went back to work full-time a year ago in public relations when a client of ours hired her full-time in a job that fit her perfectly. But we continue to run the small business, and, again, EVERYONE IS A CLIENT. She works from home two days a week for her employer, just like she did when the employer was a client.

Your water district job? Client. Unemployment? Client. And any radio station anywhere? Client. CLIENT, CLIENT, CLIENT. JUST a client. And when one client goes away, many more could take that client's place.

If you take that worldview, so to speak, I think the following will happen for you: you won't feel so desperate, you'll appear more attractive to employers, and -- you'll expand your income.

Hit Craig's List as hard as you do AllAccess. Learn video editing -- get Pinnacle video for the PC (I assume you have a PC) and train yourself. See if you can get on running the audio board part-time at a TV station for local newscasts. Look for work with production houses. As Bergin did, learn some computer networking -- ESPECIALLY in this day and age!

We have had clients come and go now. Some come, go, and come back. Some need one service, and that's all. But they are all clients -- full-time employer or not.

A fairly well-known band in the bluegrass genre -- The Seldom Scene -- always had this philosophy: "create a demand for the band, and make the band scarce." It's working for me.

pepelepew62
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by pepelepew62 » Wed May 04, 2011 9:34 am

Well, it's a shitty business no doubt, it'll eat your heart out.
You'll have to be diplomatic when PD's say stupid things to you.
And if you're willing to start at the very bottom, the best of luck to you, you'll need it, for sure.
I think the way to go is progressive college radio, with a hopefully open minded ops. mgr. or PD aka one of the instructors...That's a freeing job, where the true value comes from working with younger broadcasters who simply want to voice their opinion and play their music.
If you're looking to make a career at this game, I think you're wasting your time. That's just my opinion.
Do something that pays. Who would want to sell their soul to the Devil like Howard Stern simply to get attention?

tvguy2
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by tvguy2 » Thu May 05, 2011 7:39 am

At the same time, dude, a lot of this really ISN'T your fault.

Really, It isn't.

There are now so few jobs available, thanks to consolidation, that the best of the best have a hard time finding anything. In markets where I could easily work again -- Chicago, Los Angeles -- jobs are being cut left and right. And if I wanted to go to a smaller market (and I don't), I'd get the "you're overqualified" lecture -- in other words, some scaredy-cat wouldn't hire me because yes, I could replace them.

(And, by rights, probably should).

This MIGHT change if anyone can convince Congress and the FCC that they screwed the pooch on radio and television in 1996. Commissioner Michael Copps actually does answer e-mails -- you might even want to write him, as the FCC has a hearing before Congress in a few weeks.

Not that Congress would care that THOUSANDS of very good, deserving radio and television people are out of work, mind you, and not that Genachowski, a sh*thead if ever there was one, could care about anything other than broadband.

But if enough people write to the FCC and Congress about media consolidation, could the genie be put back in the bottle? No. But you could, conceivably, raise enough of a hue and cry that the big consolidators give even more consideration to selling some of their properties.

The economy will determine that, of course. But so can public opinion.

Owning a radio or TV station is still owning a license to print money. The big consolidators simply do not know how to run the stations they own. A smaller owner might.

robnokshus
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by robnokshus » Thu May 05, 2011 9:25 am

Lot's of good advice here that I won't bother to repeat, but I think that Halltalk had a great suggestion for you; internet radio.

There are a lot of existing outfits you may be able to track for for little or no money. If you have something to say (other than between the songs patter) then you might want to consider doing a podcast. Perhaps you are an expert on something or you hold strong opinions or are just downright entertaining. You can put together a good sounding 20-40 minute podcast for minimal investment and build your own personal fanbase. You probably won't make much, if any money, but it could go a long way to stisfying that radio jones of yours.

Good luck.

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robmeister
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEACH-COMBER SEEKS ADVICE

Post by robmeister » Thu May 05, 2011 9:44 am

Yes, I know that InfiniClearCast has swooped in and made decisions like "Let's fire all of our morning guys, and give Ryan Seacrest a bag of money to syndicate." Took me a while to swallow that pill. Other decisions, like buying up five or more stations in town and cramming them under one roof, tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Not a big fan homogenization.

I should point out that I am NOT seeking full-time work at this time. Weekends/fill-in seems a better fit for me, at least until my chops are better. It's like baseball: You have starters and you have bench players; I think that for now, I'm better selling myself as a bench player.

Yes, I know the technology has changed, and when I went back to school last fall, I picked up on much of it right away because I do know how to speak Computer. While there, I went back on the air, too, and it felt good being back in the saddle. The instructors I worked with all gave their unsolicited opinions that I have the talent and skill to get back in the game. On the other hand had to Google "PPM" to find out what it is. But hey, once I'm familiar with tech, it beccomes a non-issue.

Yes, the "I deserve better" bit wasn't very sporting of me. I confess I was merely venting my frustrations. But there are jocks I hear all the time (whether locally or via webcast) that do make me ask why they're working and I'm not.

One of you suggested I start an Internet station. I've been flirting with that idea. But anyone can launch a Pandora clone, right?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have pizzas to deliver...
Rob Norris
(657)201-1510 - Direct Line
robnorrisradio@live.com - Request Resume/Audio
http://www.facebook.com/robnorrisradio

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