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Urban Industry Vets Struggling in Private

The record and side of the , while working in unison, has been different when it came to pay. The first thing the late Byron Pitts told me when he gave me my first job at “Nam” (WIGO working with Dorothy Brunson) was, “This is not a business you can retire in, put something away for a rainy day.” At the time 1985, working for Dorothy’s cheap ass, retirement was the last thing on my mind, eating that DAY was my main concern (laugh). Nevertheless, the industry as we all know has changed to such a degree that it’s all about stand ing and delivering for radio and limited spending and the demand to justify all expenditures on the record side. That has not stopped many veterans from calling in favors in hopes to do everything from keeping their kids in college to preventing their homes from being foreclosed on. Many of the people that I talk to have told me that, oddly, several of these execs still trying to maintain their 1999 industry lifestyle and have not worked in ….

I would suspect with the real estate climate still being dim, especially for those trying to sell, even if these former execs were trying to downsize, they are trapped.   wants to buy an house and they would leave the table OWING money at closing. I truly feel for them.

I’m not that removed from the fear or the struggle or being totally broke. I was there a little more than a year ago and I let it all go and reinvented myself.   Sometimes you just have to say “fook it” and walk away. doubt everybody can’t do that but I’m getting a of stressed out label and higher-end industry people telling me they are just not in a position to help these people and the calls and the requests are getting to the point of being unbearable.   To the extent that several execs have told me they are longer taking the calls at all.

I agree that the requests are additional stress on an already stressed out industry. I told one stressed out exec, “Just tell them you can’t help them.” He told me, “That sh… doesn’t matter… I’ve told them that over and over again but they STILL call…BEGGING.. you want to help but you can’t you have to make sure you can keep your OWN sh… in place.”

Of course when someone is trying to save their home, they are trying to get money in any way they can. But I understand the exec’s perspective too, where is the justification for me?

People email and call me all the time and want to “work with me” in conjunction,   they act like it’s an even exchange but out of 200 requests.. maybe 4 actually are. What’s the answer? It’s almost as if these men and women are left to struggle on their own with the unlimited uncertain forecast that permeates the industry as you this. We ALL have to be mindful of the future…. and while many urban vets may have to continue to struggle, unfortunately, …the rest of us can, at best, learn from their situations.

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.