Holiday Vacations

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steelstringslider
Posts: 77
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:56 am

Holiday Vacations

Post by steelstringslider » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:32 am

Radio stations are fighting for survival. Yet, most of their high-profile personalities insist on taking a week or two off during the Christmas holiday as well as on other holidays. While I don’t deny that on-air personalities work hard, so do most of us. But most people don’t take two weeks off during the holidays and a full week every time there is a Monday holiday.

Radio host Rollye James always stayed on-the-air during all holidays. She knew from her own personal listening history that many listeners depended on their radio “friends” to be there, especially during holidays. She took vacations, but not two weeks at Christmas and one week every time there was Monday holiday, which seems to be the accepted paradigm in radio.

I’m aware that listenership is down during holidays, especially during drive times. I can understand not having a morning or afternoon drive show on holidays, since not that many people are driving to and from work on those days. Giving employees a day or two off at Christmas is fine. Two weeks? Excessive in my opinion and one of the myriad paradigms that have caused people to listen to MP3’s and Internet Radio.

At QVC, where I was on-air for 15 years, as with most retailers, the fourth quarter was the busiest time of the year. QVC shut down at 4 PM Christmas Eve and went back on-air at 8 AM December 26th. Employees had time to wind down from the holidays and spend time with family and friends. But none of the on-air hosts ever took two weeks off. Maybe we should have had better agents.

When you are on radio or television and someone “invites” you into their home on a daily basis, I believe you have an obligation to be there as much as possible. If you get four or more weeks of vacation per year, you should take it, just not all at the same time and not all during the holidays, whether it’s Christmas of the Fourth of July. From a non-altruistic point of view, there’s the chance that your fill-in host will make quite an impression and suddenly you will have a much longer, albeit unpaid, vacation. That might explain the plethora of "Best Of" shows these days.

A lot of radio hosts will tell you the extended holiday is part of their deal, negotiated into their contract. More power to them. Still, I can’t understand why struggling stations would agree to this. Will it change? Given the number of paradigms that are accepted in the radio industry, I doubt it.

(There are some radio hosts who, like Rollye James, work through most holidays. However, they are decidedly in the minority.)

CarterManGod
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by CarterManGod » Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:21 pm

A lot of radio hosts will tell you the extended holiday is part of their deal, negotiated into their contract.
Somebody out there has a contract..?

cuddzu
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by cuddzu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:25 am

I always thought it was funny that every station I worked for in a certain company always told me.."We don't do contracts", yet I would read about Large Market so and so just re-upped for X # of years. They should have just told me the truth..."We won't do a contract with YOU."
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jjenkins
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:35 pm

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by jjenkins » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:29 am

I've had contracts. Don't feel too left out, they aren't written with your best interests in mind and can usually be interpreted to mean whatever management wants it to mean. Once you get out of the small markets contracts are pretty common.

Gerald422
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:10 pm

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by Gerald422 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:51 am

I think people miss their favorite host over the holidays. It is okay to take a vacation. Just don't disappear for three weeks, as people will think you are MIA or AWOL. I took a week off back in 2004 and people thought I got fired. I have since left radio but still check in on news of the day. I just looked at radio as another job. It turns out to the people listening (in most cases) you are a major part of their lives like a best friend or next door neighbor.

CarterManGod
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by CarterManGod » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:43 am

It's naive to think today's audience cares that much if you take a holiday. As talent, we all want to think that they're hanging on our every word. The audience may get curious if you disappear for a week, but they're not longing for your return. As long as they know, or can find out, that you're coming back it's all good- that's about the extent of it. Even the big stars know this. Vaca is vaca, no big deal. It hurts the audience about as much as it hurt us all to find our favorite tv show was a re-run that week. Slight disappointment, then, on to other things.

If you've reached a point where you think the audience loves you more than that, then you've gotten too close, and caused yourself some slight delusion. You need to take a step back and re-evaluate things a bit. It's perfectly normal to think that way, I think it happens to all talent, at least, once in their careers.

It's kind of like when a talent forgets the golden rule of hosting. It's not about being the funniest, most creative or the most shocking. All of those things make great radio, but the only talent you need to break thru to an audience is 'relatability.' Without relatabilty your jokes become inside-jokes, your creativity becomes a distraction, and your attempts to shock become only offensive. When you hear radio guys talking about whether someone 'gets it,' relatability is what they're talking about. Some talents are so 'into themselves' that they simply can't, or won't even try to relate. They 'don't get it,' and may not even have the ability ever to do so-no matter how ambitious they are.

jjenkins
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:35 pm

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by jjenkins » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:07 pm

FIrst post of 2012.

robnokshus
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:15 am

Re: Holiday Vacations

Post by robnokshus » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:00 am

Used to be, prior to PPM (and perhaps still in diary measured markets, I just don't know) the last two weeks of the year were unrated, no surveys taking place. Hence the best time to take two weeks off, when it doesn't matter ratings wise, is over the holidays.

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