Interview: Dave Savage, Vice President, Creative Services Group, iHeartMedia, Atlanta, GA

This month’s interview takes us to iHeartMedia’s Creative Services Group in Atlanta, which just received its third consecutive Mercury Award for some of the outstanding work coming from the group. Running the show is Dave Savage, who headed up iHeartMedia’s two production centers before moving into the VP position at the CSG in 2013. We find out a little more about those production centers and take a close look at the workings of the CSG and the talented staff behind it all. Be sure to check out the Soundstage for the group’s three Mercury winning commercials and more!

Q It Up: Where do you go to find “local” VO talent?

Q It Up: Where do you go to find “local” VO talent? Not necessarily the professional kind, but those secondary, “natural” voices used for imaging or commercial work. These would be voices you can bring into the studio or record on site and easily direct, someone other than the receptionist or the interns. Maybe it’s a local broadcast school or an acting class at a local high school or college. Where do you go for those “other” voices? Please add any other comments that come to mind, including how you work with them.

Radio Hed: The Schwartz Sell

by Jeffrey Hedquist

Back in the ‘70s I discovered the work of Tony Schwartz, an audio and advertising genius who has influenced me greatly. Tony has been called “the most famous radio person you probably never heard of.” We all use the terms hard sell and soft sell, but they’re really techniques of presentation. Tony always went deeper. He went inside to build rapport and trust with listeners. Then instead of telling them what to do he evoked their response.

High School Radio: A Student’s Perspective

by Tom Baker

I may be 18 years old right now, but I know I want to go into radio broadcasting as a job. It may have taken me almost my whole high school career to figure it out, but thanks to my high school’s radio station: WLTL LaGrange, I’ve gotten a plethora of guidance and helpful connections to help prepare me for my future. I’m not even close to the only person who has or is currently benefiting from high school radio; the rest of my classmates at WLTL, and all my fellow teenage broadcasters who will hopefully rule the airwaves one day all have incredible passion and drive to do some incredible things.

Production 212: Filling Your 5-Pound Bag

by Dave Foxx

As a VO guy for a lot of different radio stations, from just about every format, I see copy that runs the gamut; from awful to brilliant. On a daily basis, I deal with bad grammar, run-on sentences, indecipherable phrasing and little or no punctuation. I often have to guess what the writer (usually the PD) is trying to say and a lot more often than I would care to admit, I guess wrong. This results in a “pickup” session, usually a couple of hours later, long after I’ve changed gears into a new mindset, meaning I have to go back and review the original session. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t mind all that. Work is work and the customer is always right, right? Well, sort of.

"....And Make It Real Creative!”: And The Winner is… "Love for an Ophan" Audio Adoption Contest Results!

by Trent Rentsch

I knew I was in trouble from the first entry I received. When I dreamed up this “Adopt an Audio Orphan” contest, I honestly didn’t think anyone would take it seriously. To my surprise (and panic) every contestant did. The entries were all wildly Creative in one way or another, and no two were exactly alike, which one hopes for in a Creative contest… until one realizes that he’s made himself the sole judge of said contest. And THEN, there was the fact that… well, we’ll get into that. The bottom line was that I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to be the one to be judge and jury… nor should I be.

Distractions and Interruptions

by Ralph Mitchell

By show of hands – how many of us have ever been distracted right in the middle of a creative endeavor? Ok, everybody put your hands back onto the steering wheel now. Whether it happens while writing your usual witty commercial copy, voicing your latest masterpiece, adding music, sound effects, other voices, or doing the final mixdown, undoubtedly, distractions are among the most frustrating aspects of working in any creative field, largely because there’s not much we can do to end the onslaught. However, there may be a couple of ways to minimize creative distractions.

The R.A.P. Soundstage

After four months of RAP Awards and the Love for an Orphan contest, we’re back to our regular format on the Soundstage. We get started with this month’s Editor’s Choice Award winner, a nicely done promo from Linda Manganye at Power FM in Johannesburg! Next up is a killer montage of work from interviewee Dave Savage and the crew at the Creative Services Group in Atlanta. The audio features the CSG’s three Mercury Award winners at the front. Tracks 3 & 4 are audio from Dave Foxx mentioned is this month’s Production 212 class. We get some great commercials on tracks 5-18. Tracks 7 and 8 are from broadcast students at SAIT and Fanshawe College. (On track 8, Abe Kelledjian is the professor submitting the spot for writer Dustin Hopfner, who is also the rapper, and producer Andrea Krasowski.) Track 19 is a promo, also from a student who is interning at CJAY with Gary McClenaghan, winner of this year’s Best Imaging trophy in the RAP Awards. Sounds like he’s got the right mentor! And we get a sweet promo from Mr. McClenaghan on the next track. We wrap it up this month with a station launch from Evan Surminski on track 21 and some nicely done work from Ray Camphu on track 22 -- three music promos that are branded intros as well. Nice idea!

...and more!

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