August 2013 Highlights

I didn’t call because I laid down on the floor to stretch my back around 12:30 and promptly fell asleep. At this point in radio history, we were still playing 45 rpm records, so once my song ended, you could clearly hear the needle tracking the dead groove at the end of the song. Because I’m a heavy sleeper and our studio was so well insulated, I never heard the police or EMT people pounding on the windows and doors. Our morning drive jock, Mark Van Wagoner was a bit puzzled when he drove up to see two police cars and an ambulance parked out front, lights flashing. My first thought that morning was, “Why is this guy slapping my face, telling me to wake up?”

R.A.P. Interview: Gary Michaels, Production Director, Schurz Communications, Lafayette, Indiana

by Jerry Vigil
If you’re in the medium or larger markets, you may consider small market radio as a training ground, and perhaps for a majority of people in the medium and larger markets, that’s exactly what it was and is. But people don’t populate small towns because they can’t get out. There’s much to be said for life in a market the size of Lafayette, Indiana with its population of just under 70,000, even if you’re in radio. This month’s interview checks in with Gary Michaels, Production Director at the 5-station Schurz cluster in Lafayette, a company that has been home to Gary for the past 30 years. Gary shares his secrets to longevity with one company and in one market, a small market at that, and he reminds us of the perks and plusses hard to find in the larger markets. Be sure to check this month’s R.A.P. CD for an excellent sampling of commercial work from Gary.

Test Drive: Harrison Mixbus Multitrack Editor and Mixer

by Steve Cunningham
We’ve been recording, editing, and mixing digital audio for long enough that most of us long ago settled on a favorite program (or perhaps two of them) for their work, and generally we tend to stick with it. For voiceover folks, the editor of choice seems to be Forge or Audition on the PC, and Twisted Wave or even Pro Tools on the Mac. For production pros, you can add Vegas on the PC and still more Pro Tools on the Mac. These are our old friends, and occasionally our antagonists. We know and usually understand them, and we’re comfortable with them. It can be a rare occurrence when we switch from one to another. We may go, but we don’t go quietly.

Notes Off the Napkin: Some random thoughts on being self-employed. Your mileage may vary.

by Andrew Frame
Self-employment rocks. But, you have to have self-discipline. Your family has to be supportive. You have to be willing to work twenty hours for many consecutive days when there is work, and be willing to sleep in and catch down-time when it’s slow. Hopefully, slow won’t happen too often. You’re not going to have insurance, so you have to learn to live ahead of the calendar. It doesn’t come quickly or easily, but when the machine starts to generate income and the taxes get paid and you’re paying talent and twenty agencies have you on their speed-dial, it makes the long days and acid-reflux worth it. I want to pick up on something there. “Live ahead of the calendar.”  That’s a nice way of saying, “put a lot of cash under the mattress”.

“...And Make It Real Creative!”: Excavations

by Trent Rentsch
I currently own a lot of computers, and by a lot I mean “2 or 3 that still actually work, and then there’s the graveyard.” I’ve inherited some from family members who moved onward and upward and knew putting them in my hands was just slightly handier than taking them to the dump, while others are my own personal cast-offs. I recognize that I probably won’t be using most of them ever again, but like an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen, I hold on, deluding myself that there are still “valuable files” stored on them, which need to be protected. Of course I could simply pull the drives and save storage space, but there’s something about firing up one of these dinosaurs and poking through the files that brings out the Indiana Jones in me -- searching for treasures in folders with such provocative names as, “Fiscal year-end 1997,” or, “Prescriptions 2003 A-F.”

Radio Hed: How to Use Radio to Overcome Trust Issues

by Jeffrey Hedquist
Here’s an understatement that every advertiser should know: People are suspicious of marketing, promotion and advertising. I’ve talked before about educating your current and potential customers. Give them useful advice. Show them how to intelligently buy what you sell. This is one way to build trust. Think about this – when you’re about to make a purchase – do you check out the latest ads for the product or service, comparison ratings, or advice from friends who’ve bought what you’re about to buy? Maybe all three, but advice from someone you trust can weigh heavily in your decision.

The Monday Morning Memo: Our Attraction to Brands

by Roy H. Williams
Brands are extensions of belief systems. You are attracted to a brand when it stands for something you believe in. We buy what we buy – most of it, anyway – 1) to remind ourselves and 2) tell the world around us, who we are. Brands are identity reinforcement, just like art and architecture and music. Brands are a way of shouting “This is me!” Does it make you uncomfortable for me to suggest that we are such shallow and uncertain creatures that we feel the need to anchor our identities through purchases and acquisitions? 

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