What are the chances of you or me going into another format?
I mean, let’s be fair, if non- black programmers can program Urban AC and Mainstream stations, shouldn’t you or I be able to apply for and get a position at a country station if we have some knowledge of the genre? That would be the right way, but that’s not reality. Yes, there are a few who have “crossed over”, but once you go black……well, you know the old saying. I can think of a few jocks and programmers who have excelled in non-black formats. Tony Kidd was a country programmer if I’m not mistaken, before he joined V103 in Chicago. Derrick Brown was an AC MD years before becoming PD at V103 in Chicago. There are others, but far and few between. If a white PD can go on to run programming for the largest black owned radio company, shouldn’t there be at least one black or Hispanic PD who is capable of making decisions for a station that appeals to other races? We know it’s true, but, our ability to relate will always be questioned. The weird part is that we see how the other folks live and what hey watch on television on a daily basis, while the “urban mindset” comes from real life acted out first hand everyday in our neighborhoods.
We have drama, but it’s not like the stuff on Housewives of Atlanta or Basketball Wives or some prison show, but to the folks in charge at most of the major companies, that’s who we are. Just look at the commercials on TV that are targeted towards black people. Imagine if you stepped into a country PD role and programmed the station based on the characters on the Dukes of Hazzard. You wouldn’t last long.
This week, I’m putting out a challenge. Next time you hear about a programming position available in a format you have some knowledge of that is outside of the Urban format… APPLY! You’ll get used to picking the right songs, so when you apply, talk about how you achieved success in generic terms. You still have to plan ahead if you’re going to compete. For those who only have knowledge of Urban music, expand your horizon. Talk a little time to listen to the AC station, the Rock station, and as much as it may hurt, the country station. Allow yourself to leave your comfort zone. Exit the box that you are currently in. You never know when you may be forced to “crossover.”
Questions or Comments? Email me at [email protected]