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Talk Radio Hosting Advice?Views: 287
Sep 08, 2006 10:01 am re: re: Talk Radio Hosting Advice?

Marilyn Jenett

Thanks, all, for your comments.

Nancy, I'm glad I appear to know what I'm doing :-). I just listen to the advice of pros when I can. I have spoken to several broadcast stations this past year and gathered a smidgen of technical information - just the basics really.

Over a year ago, a high school classmate of mine introduced me to a Rotary friend of his who owns a broadcast station back east. He gave me some great information and felt if I pursued a radio career, it would be successful. He was the one who explained that it wasn't like the old days when you had to start in some small geographical area and work your way up to the big cities. That's all changed. He told me about setting up equipment at home and being able to broadcast anywhere in the nation.

Now, with regard to paying for airtime, Scott...

First, I also wondered about the selectivity factor of WS. The director told me that they often turn away applicants that don't meet their standards. I don't know how truthful that is and you may be correct. They do however have some famous names on their roster. Also, successful Hay House Radio is under their umbrella and only their own authors can host.

Now, aside from the selectivity favor, several professionals in the broadcast industry advised me over the past year to buy my own radio time - they were speaking about broadcast, not Internet. They explained the many advantages of paying for time and getting advertisers, although the major stations will may also provide advertisers for you even if you pay for your own time (I assume that might apply after you establish yourself somewhat). In fact, one radio expert said the real secret to radio success is to create your own media company to buy time. This was very interesting because prior to that I thought hired talk show hosts were paid a lot.

Well, you might be surprised to know how little they are paid when hired by the stations. A good friend of mine is friends with a couple of the popular hosts here in Los Angeles and I was really shocked to find out what they made. I also met the sales manager for the top ABC station here a few years ago and he told me that the real income was in radio advertising sales, and not in hosting. Yes, it's a "glamourous" career by all appearances, but not necessarily a high paying one, unless you use your show as a platform for other things - which many do.

So my intent even for broadcast radio was to pay for airtime and maintain creative control of my program. Although that's not written in stone.

I just have to admit that there is "something" that doesn't feel right to me about Internet radio. And again, those call-in listeners are what I want and I have a gut feeling that means broadcast.

How easy is it to get a broadcast program? Well, my friend introduced me to one of those friends of his mentioned above - Jeff Levy, http://www.jefflevy.com/knx1070-about-jeffLevy-teacher.asp, and Jeff told me he had no prior radio experience at all. He walked into the station (his former station, KFI, one of the two top Los Angeles Stations) with a 15-minute demo tape and they put him on the air. He's been very popular for years and I believe his show is syndicated. I think that a top station will usually have you fill in to test you out and if you're good, they'll give you a show when there's an opening. I'm sure there are several ways the door can open - but obviously you need some talent, or a great topic or "shtick".

Lamar, I don't know that source but I'll check it out.

So I guess it's all about the right person with the right topic for the right time at the right place. :-)

I appreciate the input...

~ Marilyn

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