Sunday, October 02, 2005

Air Talent: Five Degrees of Separation

Bobby Rich's "Third Ear" blog is more than just a great update from an AC and personality expert. It's also a wake-up call for talent on the subject of commitment:

Sometimes it takes a THIRD EAR to hear MORE than just another pretty voice on the radio.

It's doubtful that the typical listener would have the same insight level of a manager, programmer or talent to make observations about radio performers based on what comes out of the speakers. But given our experience with the types of personalities who populate this mysterious “other side” of the microphone — well, we just know there are certain similarities.

What category do you, and/or the talent on your station, fall into?

1. The “Committed” radio talent. Love what they do — do what they love. Realistic enough to recognize the inevitable changes that continue to alter our business. Flexible enough to make it work and still give their best every day, every show. Always a positive “can-do” attitude. Show up for station events and meetings. Wander around the building checking in with the rest of the staff. Stop and talk to listeners and make them feel good. Go above and beyond what is expected of them because “it feels good.” Feel blessed to have the job they always dreamed of having.

2. The “Veteran” version of "Committed." Have been doing it for years — probably 25 or more. Still have almost all of the traits of the "Committed" broadcaster (above). Many believe part of the dream has slipped away, but still give their heart to their first love of being on the radio. Realize that it doesn’t get any easier and they must perform up to ever-growing standards, even if they are self-motivated and self-coached.

3. The “Newbie” version of "Committed." Got into the business after the loosie-goosie, Mom and Pop ownership days that preceded research, consultants, clustering, group directives, etc. Are thrilled they get to do what they do. Wish they had not missed out on the “good old days," but study their successful peers to develop instincts. Are thankful for the job.

4. The “Burn Out.” This could be someone who has been doing it for decades or just got started a few months ago. Disillusioned, disheartened, bitter, pissed off at the changes that have occurred. A negative influence on the staff. A “show-and-go” who still makes their air and production and appearance assignments, but will only hang around if they get overtime or freebies. Put no effort into prepping their shows because they believe they “don’t need to” and are only allowed to “read the liners.”

5. The “Do Anything” intern, part-timer, or promotions assistant. Striving to get on the air someday. Man, do we love these people! This is where most of us started. But, WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Oh well, a subject for another time. But, if you are fortunate enough to have one of these, do everything you can to nurture, coach, befriend and encourage them. We need them desperately.

Are there other categories? What do YOU think? Email Bobby.

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