Home Music Industry News 2014 Advice for Urban Radio Talent

2014 Advice for Urban Radio Talent

While I have the greatest respect for many radio PDs I have been a programmer AND a jock myself. Neither is always right and we often work with the resources that we have or the resources that the corporation ALLOWS us to have. Yesterday, I read the most ridiculous and dated advice on another site by a consultant about how to be successful as a jock and I just can’t sit back with this kind of platform and watch the wool be pulled over young urban jocks’ eyes. This one is for urban radio announcers. Corporations are looking for new talent but they waited too long. Kids know too much about marketing and promotion and the ad agencies are going directly to these kids with these huge social networks. How appealing it for a kid who has 2 million YouTube followers to be approached by a radio corporation offering them a mic for a cut of their proceeds? What do the kids need the station for? The station needs the kids and urban radio is going to pay the highest price for putting leaches on urban jocks during the days of social networking and sucking the life out of research in virgin playlists. Those same corporations are now asking their current announcers to do more on social networks and some jocks are refusing to do so. I would suggest you JUMP on it. There are several jocks who have been on the air for years who make lot of money who are failing and their egos are too much for the stations to bear. Several urban stations WILL be making some changes over the next year so make sure you look VERY appealing when they start looking for replacements. Here are some tips for 2014. My best (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Come Ready or Leave disappointed

Make a deal with yourself from this point on that you are going to respect your talent and explore ALL your options. Radio is not the ONLY thing that you can do with your experience so stop settling. Make sure from this point on you come to every new station with LEVERAGE be it ratings, recommendations, experience and MOST important social network success. Make the station need you instead of WANT you. Make sure you WANT them instead of NEED them. This is where many a jock has made major mistakes. A DJ should not go to work he should go to ENTERTAIN and you should be able to tell them how YOU work. They are going to hire you away based on what you do now, Steer clear of stations and corporations that put leashes on jocks. It’s better to take a job that pays less at a smaller station where you can be yourself and be heard than to get stuck at a corporate station where there is no growth and constant fights for power on the upper management level. If it’s a “job” and you are a talent it’s not a good fit. If you feel it’s the best that you can do, don’t complain if you take it and don’t grow. (click NEXT to see next segment)

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Keep your mouth OPEN and your ears SHUT

A closed mouth never gets fed. In the OLD industry the saying was Keep your Mouth Shut and your Ears Open, today that doesn’t work. The one time that you speak can get you fired BUT if can also get you the best job of your career. Saying nothing means your fate is always left in someone else’s hands. NEVER LEAVE YOUR FATE IN SOMEONE ELSE’S HANDS. Your talent is your vehicle, get behind the wheel and DRIVE IT! Paying dues, kissing ass and being an obedient jock are all dead issues. You can follow that advice if you want to but you will be 50 years old still working part time at a station with a “carreer” that only progressed downhill. Whose career is it anyway? (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Wearing Protection

When you walk into a situation with confidence it’s hard to flip you over and phuck you and radio WILL DO THAT just like any other job. You MUST believe in yourself and what you do and it MUST come across over the air. If you are working for a greedy ass corporation that is stifling you MOVE ON. Think about what and who you want to be one day and who may be listening. Keep in touch with those that look out for your best interest but even if they have the best intentions you better maintain control of your OWN career at ALL TIMES…. FIRST. (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

 

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Station ProHOtion

Be ready to walk at bad offers. If a station tells you, “We will hire you as (whatever) first and see how that works THEN we will promote you in 6 months. I would say this is VERY risky. I personally would RUN like I am trying to win a race in the Olympics because in my experience, that’s the oldest trick in the book, they are testing your self esteem, if you take it, you will NEVER be promoted and you will most often regret your decision and your career is on a fast track for failure. If they can pay you more later… they can pay you more NOW. (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Present to Win…

When you come to a station interview or any station event, realize one thing, you are selling yourself and it’s at a high price. How much money are you worth? Self esteem is always evident just like LOW self esteem is. People like WINNERS. Radio is a game, if you are gonna play… PLAY TO WIN!

(click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Don’t look when you are NOT working… look for work when you ARE working.

Many jocks are terrified that corporations will blackball them if they look for work while employed. Futher Muck the corporation. You are a FOOL if you wait until you are NOT working to find work. The key word here is LEVERAGE kids. Everything is better if you get hired AWAY from a station. . (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

 

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Social Media Pro

Create a HUGE presence on social media and get as many followers are you can. Plan it out and make it work. Be relentless to get impressive numbers on your SN sites. Learn the art of marketing and promotion by promoting yourself without all the restrictions of corporations! Radio depends WAY too much on research and you need to let yourself be a PART of that research. Radio pays a lot of money to companies that provide research based on SAMPLES of entire populations, so why can’t they can pay you for bringing the ACTUAL population. CREATE a massive online presence.

2. Once you have your social networking sites up to par, NOW is the time to apply. Radio will be looking at your social networks and if they call you… the ball is in your court. If you are heading to a  major market, HIRE AN ATTORNEY or a QUALIFIED MANAGER to represent you. DON’T NEGOTIATE YOUR OWN DEALS. PLAN and PLAY TO WIN. Never apply at one station. Apply at 5 stations in MAJOR markets. It’s better to aim high and miss than to keep aiming low and achieving. Ebro who does mornings at Hot 97 in NY worked at one station before that in Sacramento, CA, (Market 27) to NY (Market 1). Save yourself 10 years of worthless working by thinking of  YOU FIRST and the station should ALWAYS be second because they are thinking of the station first, the station second and the station third. If I were programming today, I would DEMAND my jocks promote the HELL out of themselves and mention the station instead of the other way around. Once they leave I would hire someone else to do the same thing. Again, if a station is holding you back from your success you should NOT be there. If you have good numbers EXPLORE YOUR OPTIONS (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Don’t Stay at Any Station Too Long, HAVE A PLAN

Especially if it’s not a major market station. I would not stay at a station for more than 2 years MAX unless they are paying me crazy money. ESPECIALLY when your ratings are on point. Look at that as leverage and move on. You want to do TV or work as the head of a media division for a major corporation? Leave radio on top of the game and you have the leverage to do a lot more. DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE BURNT OUT.  ALWAYS be looking for your next gig.  NEVER SETTLE. (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Have a Niche and USE IT

What’s your niche? Wendy Williams was great with gossip when all the other female jocks around the country were trying to be sexy and seductive even when they looked like John Amos or Anthony Anderson. Don’t try to be sexy if you are not sexy IN ALL ASPECTS, sexy voice, a face that MORE than a mother could love, killer in-shape body etc. Your success will be short lived if you are not honest with the listeners and they will call you on it when they see you. (click NEXT above or below for next segments)

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Be Cordial in the RIGHT WAY with Celebs and Other industry People

Not sure if you ever heard the term “Act as if.” If not, it means just what it says, If you picture yourself as a celebrity DJ in a major market sat as if you are on know and let it show in your presentation and work. As I stated you must always be thinking about your next gig. When celebrities come through the station make sure you introduce yourself and let them know about something that they did that you like, it’s it’s something nobody ever talks about like a song on the album that was not a single and really stood out to you, singers and rappers LOVE that. Don’t kiss their ass, they KNOW when people are doing that and they don’t like that and if they do, there is no need to make their head even bigger

Follow your Gut

it will NEVER mislead you it will guide you.

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CEO of RF Focus, Radio and Music Industry Veteran. Radio DJ, Programmer, Musician and Voice Talent. Graduated from Performing Arts in Buffalo, N.Y. and worked at the legendary KKBT (92.3 The Beat) during its nationwide heyday in the early 90s. Also worked for Stevie Wonder at KJLH.

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