Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trade Intervention Part 2 (The real radio job story)

Not as riveting as country rap, but still some what titillating. Here's the problem with The Country Music Radio job search and posting of positions by programmers and or human resources. When programmers are greeted with a two week resignation from an air talent or a market manager with such from a departing programmer, they go into we've got an opening mode. This happens when an air talent or programmer is released, but not as frequently because a part timer has to cover the shift and other programmers have to cover the station until severance or an agreement is paid off.

Most of these positions will be filled several ways:

1.) After a co-programmer runs the ship or part time air talent fills in, usually the market manager with some direction from the operations manager, mainly the senior corporate programmer and manager will ideally make this call. Someone from the air staff, assistant programmer or another air talent or programmer in the region is looked at for the position. 

2.) Programmers and managers feel they have to place the positions in trades, newspaper, corporate web sites and more. The real problem, now this becomes illegal. They are placing help wanted positions with no intent of hiring anyone from the ad. Outside applicants are then getting lip service from the programmers and managers about the position. Most won't call you at all and discuss the position. The feel they can get into hot water if they talk too much about position and don't offer it to you. It's OK to talk about the position and what the job entails, but most employment leads in radio aren't getting that far with applicants from the outside.

3.) The regional, bumped up and new local hire is all about expenses. No relocation costs have to be paid, the employee is up to speed with the rest of the staff and the salary can be whacked. Talent have seen the rate of pay for air shifts get cut almost 1/3rd since 2008. 

What needs to happen is all applicants need to be up-front to the hiring manager when they have a conversation or email. Ask them if this is a facade. Beware of programming positrons where they want you to listen to the station and critique it. No one is salivating at your ideas, they are stealing them for the baby PD that will get the position. If they get a few of these, professionals have told them what needs to be addressed on a programming nuts and bolts level. Tell them you will consider this if they sign a letter of protection and confidentiality on your part. This keeps them from using the information and substantiate that this is for application purposes only and any discussion on the programming of the station should be done in an interview or after being hired.

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