Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

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Re: Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

Post by ws1o » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:46 pm

I started in radio in 1978 and I don't remember ever earning much of a livable wage. Lotsa free albums, T-shirts, concert tickets and drinks at all the bars that advertised on the station.

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Re: Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

Post by yobro » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:31 am

Couple things:

I agree with everyone saying advising you against the degree and debt. It's simply a waste of time

I would disagree with this statement, "Can you close? The money is not in programming, production or on air talent." I am on a morning show and I'm making more money than I ever dreamed possible. If you have the talent there are plenty of opportunities out there! Don't let people talk you OUT of pursuing your dream. That dude thinks sales is the only way to make money? HA! They make me money. I can't sell to save my life. I just thank God that he gave the talent and opened the right doors

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Re: Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

Post by tonya-b » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:28 am

Depends on what your idea of "livable" is. Do you need the newest iPhone and lots of toys?

If you are serious about considering a career in radio, I would suggest focusing your degree on web development, apps, or something similar, and getting your minor in broadcasting. Most stations are still pretty new to the whole web game, and having expertise in that will make you more hireable. I'd also suggest learning what you can about video production and social media marketing.

Good luck! It's always nice to see young talent interested in the field.

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Re: Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

Post by yobro » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:20 pm

Just one more point... One of my pet peeves in this industry is that almost all of us are resigned to doing what we do for little to no money. Cause, that's just the way it is.


I'm glad I'm fairly anonymous on this board cause I would NEVER share this with a co-worker

Here you go: I made $270,000.00 last year. I work about 25 hours a week and I only do ONE thing.... a morning show. I don't do production, sales, VTing or ANYTHING. If I'm asked to do an appearance, I get paid. If they need my voice, they pay me.

We're #1 in a HIGHLY competitive PPM market and I'm no dummy, if we start losing, things change fast. But for right now, I'm enjoying the ride. Further, I think we're UNDERPAID!

We've talked to PD's who say the talent pool is very small right now. Not a lot of good shows out there. My point? If you're a good show, they should reward you handsomely!

Don't listen to naysayers. Its all out there for the taking. And to the people who say, "well I've been doing this for 80 years and I've never made money...." who's fault is that? Get out and get it!

Not tying to piss anyone off. We just have to change the narrative. We think we should be paid less because corporations have been telling us that for years. You've been hoodwinked :-) change the narrative to you provide a valuable service that makes them money therefore you should get a piece of it.

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Re: Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

Post by frankincleveland » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:54 pm

You absolutely CAN earn a living in radio, but not right out of college/broadcasting school.

Get a gig part time working the board for games, get some kind of experience inside the station. Volunteer for everything, start picking up fill in shifts, get involved in production, help with promotions. Contribute ideas. Be excited about not just the brand, but the medium.

The real problem with small market groups is, it's not difficult to find someone with a decent voice and 12th grade reading level to come in and work for $26k a year. They don't pay big money for most radio jobs simply because they don't have to. They have no shortage of people lining up for those gigs. Let's face it, in radio we're not exactly busting rocks for the railroad.

Just like in the days of P.T. Barnum.. you find an act, you give them a stage, you give them a home and a sense of family, and you pay them peanuts.. and.. for the most part, they're happy. Management and sales are the ones making the money.

Radio is the modern day circus.

30+ years ago I rode my bicycle to my local radio station and asked to speak to the general manager. I told him I wanted to be a radio DJ. He opened the window to his office and said, "Son.. look at the cars in the parking lot. Which cars do you think are the ones owned by the DJ's?"

Fast forward to present day, when I walk to my car at the end of the day, it's the same story. You can always tell where the jocks normally park by the big oil stains on the pavement from their mid 90's sh!tboxes. The sales guys rolling around in Escalades, BMW's, etc.

Yeah, you can make a living in radio.. but you'll only make big money if you land in a PPM market morning show with good numbers.

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Re: Can you earn a livible wage in radio today???

Post by zinger7 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:37 pm

I too have been in radio for about 35 Years. Now I am the OM for a 5 Station Group and I do a morning show. I am able to make 56k only because I literally do the job of 2 people. I say do anything that is asked of you and know how to do ALL things and you will succeed. The advise above is the best. Start as a part-timer, as most radio stations need a few of those. when I was 17 YO I called every radio station in my town and asked for the name of the PD. Then the next day I called all those stations and asked for the PD by name. I eventually talked to a PD, told him my dreams and he gave me my first part-time OVRNIGHT Gig. That is where everybody started my in my day. Eventually they put me on the Morning Show and that is all I have done since. If you are good on the air the rest will follow. I have moved all over the country but I have had a great career! Trust me........If I can do it.......ANYBODY can....Even TODAY! .

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