Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wheat And Chaff

2009 looks to be a pretty difficult year for the increasing numbers of unemployed in our business, but especially for the managers who will be hiring, knowing that they need nothing but the very best, most-productive workers more than ever right now.

People I have worked with in the past year they will encounter:
  • The woman who was hired for one shift but even after two years in that shift kept trying to find ways to work different hours than the ones the shift requires.
  • The person who still had an axe to grind for his termination from a previous employer and yet kept telling everyone in the halls of his current employer how much better it was on his old job.
  • The major market talent who hired me as his coach and when I pointed out to him that he didn’t need a coach. He was plenty good enough exactly as is. He just needed to write original content every day rather than walking into the control room with nothing prepared, making it up as he went along. He fired me as his coach, hired another coach and now can’t understand why he was let go.
  • The seller whose contract was not renewed because she hadn’t hit her goal for two years, and yet she now tells prospective employers “I can’t understand it, I was making ten calls every day.”
  • The music director who didn’t like the direction the current music her format’s hits were going in, so she changed the current/gold balance of the station without telling her PD, who discovered the change in Mediabase and BDS after the bad ratings came out.
  • That programmer is looking for a new job too.
Inside Radio’s “Keep Your Seats” (click to read it) memo to us all at the New Year from Paul Harvey makes it all sound deceptively-simple after more than half a century of showing up at a radio studio in the wee small hours and working for at least three hours to write and create a five minute news and commentary, then staying around for another four to five hours to distill a 15 minute broadcast.

Eight hours of prep for 20 minutes on the air.

There’s a lesson in that.

As you interview applicants in ’09, may you find a Paul Harvey - who knows what it takes to hold onto a chair - and avoid the many, many others, who don’t appear to.

1 comment:

Dave Martin said...

Bravos, Jaye. Great post.

Going for greatness requires hard work including being dedicated to doing the homework.

Recently Chicago radio star Fred Winston hosted a two-hour special on WGN. The Fred Winston Holiday Spectacular was weeks in the making. While I was invited to play a small role in the production that invite required me to participate in two rehearsals.

On "game day" Winston arrived at the station having prepared for a five-hour show. His execution of the two-hour special was simply outstanding, pitch perfect. FYI - after the show, a Chicago TV producer emailed me saying "..must be nice..having the time, luxury to have pre-recorded that two-hour show..kudos on the editing, it was exceptionally good" Here's the secret - Winston did the show live, real-time editing on the fly. That's why he's Fred Winston. He learned the lesson long ago: You get what you give.

Love your blog; keep up the good work. May all your dreams come true in the new year.