Seven years

Leave a comment

Saturday, May 26th was my 7-year anniversary at Leroy’s.  That’s a long time to hold on to the same job I’ve had since high school.  Too long.  I’ve been working between 35 and 40 hours per week since I graduated from SIUE.  Now that I’m starting part-time at KMOX, those hours at Leroy’s will be cut in half.  The good thing is I’ll still be able to keep my health insurance.  As long as I can keep at least 12 hours a week, I’ll have insurance.

Tomorrow will be my first day working at KMOX.  I’m really looking forward to it.  It will cost me more money than I’ll be making the first few weeks because I have to purchase a new wardrobe.  KMOX is a completely different atmosphere than Emmis.  Khakis, a button-up shirt and a tie will be the everyday attire at KMOX.  This is clothing I do not have in surplus.  I would have looked like I was working in sales if I had worn that to Emmis everyday.

Finally! A paying radio job!

Leave a comment

Even though it is only part-time, I can now say I have a paying radio job.  I was officially hired at KMOX this afternoon, and my first day is Tuesday.

It’s a board operator job with some added responsibility, like screening calls and other associate producer-type duties.  The hours should be pretty good for part-time, and I’ll have my schedule 3 – 4 weeks in advance.  The only downer will be the occasional overnight shift on Saturdays (into early Sunday morning), but I know I can handle that.  And it’s not like I didn’t expect it.  I am on the bottom, after all.  But, on the bright side, I do hear some of the most interesting callers are on late at night.

Now I need to figure out where to park.  When I was there for my interview, I parked in a lot that cost me $9.  Hopefully I can find something at least a little cheaper, or else I’ll be taking the Metrolink and walking a few blocks to KMOX.

Recent opportunities and a rant against radio stations

Leave a comment

Today was my last day of going to the chiropractor. The treatments lasted about a month, which is just what I expected. I’m glad to be done with it. The chiropractor recommended I come back every 2 or 3 months for preventive care, but he didn’t push it. He said it was completely up to me. I’m sure the preventive care wouldn’t hurt, but I think I can do without as long as I do the exercises he showed me several times a week.

I’ve got an interview at KMOX for a board operator job this Thursday. Hopefully I’ll get it. I would love for it to be full-time, although I won’t be surprised to hear it’s a part-time position. Either way, I’m taking the job if they officially offer it to me. It’s been 6 months since I graduated, and I need to start gaining industry experience now.

I may have another part-time job next week. About 5 months ago, I applied for a part-time copywriting position with MonsterCommerce.com. They are a division of Monster.com that focuses on search engine marketing and other various things. Apparently they just got around to looking at my resume and thought I would be a fit, so I moved on to part II of the interview process.

To make a long story short, if I get this part-time job, I can do every bit of it from home and on my own time, and make $10 a page. Considering the two sample pages took me a total time of 30 minutes, this could be a decent way to make some easy money. Since the company is affiliated with Monster.com and Network Solutions, I’m not worried about getting screwed out of money by some fly-by-night outfit.

A couple of books have recently renewed my faith in the future of radio. One is “Have Mercy,” the autobiography of Wolfman Jack. The second is “No Static: A Guide to Creative Radio Programming” by Quincy McCoy.

Wolfman Jack’s book was simply a lot of fun to read, but he also made some incredible points about the downfall of music radio. He could see it coming, like most creative people in radio, years ago. Hell, this book was written in 1995, shortly before Wolfman Jack died. Wolfman Jack’s stories made me want to be able to listen to some of the DJ’s he grew up listening to — DJ’s who really loved the music and were actually allowed to (GASP!) play their own songs. It may be hard to believe, but DJ’s once had quite a bit of creative freedom.

Quincy McCoy’s book was a bit more textbookish, but nothing horribly slow. It focused on ways McCoy believes can create the most incredible radio stations possible. Aside from his own perspective, McCoy interviews quite a few radio visionaries. The one person interviewed in the book that I am most interested in is Lee Abrams, who is currently a big shot over at XM Radio. In short, Abrams hopes that XM will do to FM what FM did to AM back in the late sixties and early seventies. And he’s got an incredible vision of how to make that happen.

While I have heard complaints of lazy music programming on some of XM’s stations (as well as Sirius), I’ve heard far more good than bad. I don’t have XM or Sirius myself, but if I can get a decent income sometime soon I will subscribe to one. It’s not that I want to see FM fail. Quite the contrary. But I don’t want to miss truly creative programming that can be found elsewhere, even if I do have to pay a monthly fee.

As some of you know, I recently purchased an HD Radio receiver for my car. As nice as it is to have these extra music channels available for free (especially KSHE2 – Klassic KSHE), the companies that run them are blowing a golden opportunity. I realize that the HD Radio Alliance made an agreement so that the HD2 stations will be commercial-free for at least a few more months, which means there is no money coming into these extra HD stations, but why can’t these companies use the HD2 stations to experiment and give the average consumer a reason to switch to HD Radio besides the slight improvement in sound quality? It might cost a little something, but not much. Especially if you give the programming jobs to young, creative people who are already making crappy salaries. Give them a chance to create the worthwhile listening experience that has been absent from FM for far too long. If it fails, these companies aren’t out much money. If it succeeds, they can move it to the FM band and start seeing stronger ratings books and more money.

These companies that own the stations broadcasting in HD2 have simply created extra music channels that are nothing but big playlists on shuffle. They are lifeless. According to Billy Joel, “It’s all about soul.” These HD2 stations have none.

If I want a big playlist on shuffle, I’ll listen to my MP3 player. At least that way I’m guaranteed to like all of the songs.

Still hunting

Leave a comment

I’m still doing my fair share of job hunting. It’s certainly no fun, but I’ve got two recent possibilities, and hopefully at least one of them will land me a position at a radio station. One is with Emmis, the other is KMOX. I’ve got personal recommendations from people on the inside of both places. If a job opportunity arises for which I’m qualified, I now have people who have enough confidence in my work ethic and abilities to recommend me to their bosses, or those in a position to hire me.

I’ll blog something about it later if anything happens, for good or bad.

In other news, I received a call from my doctor today. According to the results of yesterday’s 3-hour glucose tolerance test, I am officially a hypoglycemic. I figured that I was for the past 14 years or so, but I’ve never had a doctor look into it. Last week I went to a doctor because I don’t have a general practitioner and I thought it was time I had one. I mentioned my possible hypoglycemia and he had me do the 3-hour GTT at Quest Laboratories in Granite City yesterday. The results came in today. He said my bloodwork looked great as far as cholesterol and things like that were concerned, but the last blood sample they drew from my arm confirmed my hypoglycemia.  Luckily it’s mild, which means I don’t have to measure and be careful of what I eat.  I still have a “Recommended Hypoglycemic Diet” list that lets me know what foods not to get completely out of control with and overeat.  And that could happen.  Sometimes I just like to eat a lot of something at once.