This great industry that we work in has its ups and downs and no urban radio programmer can be sure that his job will last forever. There are some things that he or she may be doing that can certainly help to bolster or destroy his reputation in the event he is out of work. As I have a group of programmers that I talk to on a regular basis (mostly in major markets, don’t get mad at me for choosing my industry associates wisely, seriously I will talk to any programmer, I’m using my dark sense of humor on you) I’ve come to see something that is true of most major market programmers… y’all are some of the most arrogant, standoffish people I’ve ever met… and I GET it. (lol) or perhaps I PERCEIVE IT. No everybody is nice to me, because they know I have their backs or they are scared my crazy ass will write some shit out them… If I told you some of the shit I KNOW about industry people this site would be skyrocket to Number One. But… I am loyal, at times to a fault…. Read on…. (click “Next” above or below)
If you are an urban programmer today, chances are you are over 40. If you are still doing station appearances that means your staff is missing out on opportunities that they deserve. I can see if you have to sit with the Mayor or the President, you certainly want to make sure that’s handled properly but award shows, major station events and concerts? If you are spreading it out and you are being fair that’s good but if you are being greedy… that’s bad. It creates dissention with the staff and it’s selfish and unfair.
Siting idly by…
Only a fool would sit and wait for the next opportunity in urban radio today. As you all know you can be out today and never be heard from again. We all know of a few PDs who were as hot as lava a few years ago and now they are cold as Eskimo ass. The industry can be cruel, the other day I mentioned a former PD who was extremely popular and the person didn’t remember him… off the bat, he got him confused with someone who is currently working YIKES… Always and I mean ALWAYS prepare for the next gig.
Not utilizing staff
We cannot do it all and if you are over 40 and you are still a hardcore fan of rap, well, who I am to judge but it certainly helps to ask your staff their opinions. I use my younger staff members to help me because I can’t do it all and I don’t know it all and I don’t WANT TO KNOW it all but a younger staff is invaluable.
Depending completely on research
It helps to see what’s happening with listeners on your own.
I get the fact that the corporations don’t want you to talk to the trades without having it approved by upper management first and I don’t play that. No corporation is going to tell me how to run my business (unless they are paying me big money, hey don’t hate me because I would gladly sell out, who’s gonna pay my bills…. urban radio people?) So I’m not running a sugary sweet biased BS story in Radio Facts , I leave that to the other trades but make sure you keep in touch with the people that matter in the trade business. I can’t tell you how many times I have known an urban PD was going to get fired MONTHS in advance or how many PDs call me when they are OUT of work but who never reached out when they were working. How apt would I be to help you find a job when you never talked to me while you were working? This is another reason I started Radio Facts Voice Box, so that I could pull myself out of the equation and let people find work on their own.
You know, I am bad at this too…. You get tired of seeing the same people over and over talking about the same thing and it’s boring. you enjoy your creativity and work time so much because you can control it but you can make it TOO personal. The older you get, you may perceive the less important industry events become but overall, it’s best to make an appearance even for a few minutes every now and then.
Not Communicating with Other Programmers
Isolation is intriguing but it’s also dangerous. If you are TOO isolated, your reputation will take a hit.
Putting Down Other Programmers
If there is one thing I have learned the hard way, when you say negative shit about other people the reflection is not on them it’s on you. Most people will find out a person is an asshole on their own. I don’t allow people to shove their religious beliefs down my throat or their disdain for other people so it’s not right for me to do it either. We are our own walking resumes and when you put other industry people down the person that you are talking to knows they can’t trust you and they will keep their distance from you.;