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If you aren't hosting morning or afternoon drive, chances are you're invisible to the out of town consultant and even your program director. The reality is that they're too busy to aircheck the talent who needs it most - the weekend announcer, mid afternoon or evening host.
They're too busy working with prime time talent where most of the station's ratings and revenue are generated. So how does someone starting out at a radio station get the feedback they need to grow?
The answer is simple: Ask ... no DEMAND an aircheck from your PD or Operations Manager. Give them a 30 minute CD, MP3 or link to your show. Choose what you think is your best piece of on air work. Ask for feedback.
If you're friends with the morning man or afternoon drive host, send them the sample of your work you sent to the PD and ask for their help.
Make a deal with other hosts who are being ignored by the PD. Aircheck each other's shows. What you're listening for are formatics. Are you selling ahead, are you identifying the song or the topic, are you saying the call letters or station ID properly. Are your bits between songs focused or are they going on and on on with no apparent end or point.
If you're in talk radio are you selling your topic with opinions instead of asking questions? Are you giving out the phone numbers? Are you re-establishing your topic or the name of your guest?
Identify ONE problem and work at fixing it and exchange tapes again. Don't try to fix everything at once. Do it step by step. Exchange tapes once a week. Work on the problem on air and ask for feedback.
It's your career. If you feel you aren't getting the attention you deserve, than you owe it to your future to solicit the feedback so that you can grow as a broadcaster.
Most people in radio hate listening to themselves on tape. They are super critical and spend too much time beating themselves up over what they did on air. The only thing they hate more than listening to their tapes is sitting in the program director's office listening to their aircheck tape.
So there needs to be ground rules with the PD when it comes to that dreaded aircheck session. If you're having a bad day chances are an aircheck session will only make it worse and be counter productive. Reschedule the session.
Hosts need time to come down from the emotional high of doing a show. Make sure you have at least 30 minutes to an hour separation between the end of your show and the start of an aircheck session with your PD.
The purpose of an aircheck is to make you better. To point out what works and what doesn't.
The only way to survive an aircheck is for the talent to leave their ego outside the room. Depending on the performance caught on tape, it can be a great or brutal session. If the host is honest and can accept criticism, than it can be a learning experience that makes them a better broadcaster, news anchor or reporter.
If the host is defensive it can only lead to confrontation.
Remember, in a radio station, the PD is God! The PD is responsible for the overall sound of the radio station. It is a losing battle when talent tries to buck the format. A format, by the way, they accepted to adhere to when hired by the radio station.
That is why it so important when getting into radio that a host like the music format of the radio station. If a host doesn't enjoy listening to the music played on the radio station where they work, they will never fit in. The host will always be a square peg in a round hole.
Today, PDs are busy running two, three or more radio stations. That means hosts outside of morning and afternoon drive may not get the attention they feel they need to improve their on air performance.
This is where kowchMEDiA can help. We're here for those hosts, news anchors and reporters who want to invest in their career by getting the attention they deserve in order to grow and improve their on air performance.