Tag Archives: Radio

Developing a Culture of Success: An Inspiring Session at the NAB Radio Show

Chris HoganWe’ve all heard the age-old expressions of a leader versus a boss. A boss takes credit and a leader gives credit, or a boss uses employees where a leader develops them. What about the overall culture of a workplace? Chris Hogan, a Dave Ramsey personality spoke at the NAB Radio show in Atlanta, Georgia in October. His focus was on workplace culture and leadership.

People like to work with others that are likeable. Hogan simply stated, “Be likeable!” When you are attempting to build business, are you someone that people walk away thinking, “I really like that guy/girl.” If you’re not, you might be taking your business in the wrong direction.

Hogan went on to discuss how to establish a culture of fun. First, you must understand that people matter. Everyone is on a different journey in this life and different things matter to those different people. Even more so, those people are different and matter as well.

Next, he suggested recognizing and rewarding people. Hogan said, “It’s hard to be hateful when you’re grateful.” Spend five minutes each morning writing out a thank you card or email to someone. Do it out of the sincerity of your heart. When you start to see people for the great things they do and acknowledge them for it, you will have a whole lot more people on your side.

Mind ShareSchedule a playtime. It’s important to have fun and play. Maybe schedule your next company meeting at a bowling alley. If you feel like you’re wasting time and money, you are not looking into investing in your company’s future. Employees are far more than machines. They have feelings, and personalities, and interests. Find out what they enjoy and show them that you can have fun too. Imagine that employer you may have had that all you know about them is the work they put out. You probably lacked sympathy for them and the business in general.

Lastly, avoid the ivory tower. Do you feel like you have perfected something? You probably haven’t. Odds are, there is someone out there that is better than you at your best skill. When you stop learning, you turn into a stagnate pool of water that no one wants to drink from. You need to be more like a river that is flowing. Constantly learning so you can teach. No one likes to be around those “know-it-alls” anyways.

Ultimately, create a culture that people like to be a part of. Like I had mentioned earlier, acknowledge that your employees are humans. They have problems in their lives, they like to be appreciated, they like to have fun, and they might have things to teach you. When you can transform your culture into that of fun, you will see great dividends.

– Peter Seifert

Seeing the Products of Radio: A Walk Around The NAB Radio Show Exhibit Floor

It’s crazy how people think radio DJ’s have a simple computer or CD, that plays through a control board with an off and on button and a microphone. The truth is, there is a lot more things used in radio besides the things I just listed, and there is great money in all of it. The NAB Radio Show in Atlanta helped me truly understand the crazy, behind-the-scenes technology that really goes into radio. While at the NAB Radio Show, we stopped at many booths on the exhibit floor but I’m going to tell you about 3 important stops.

Connor Kenney  When we first arrived at the NAB Radio Show, we were an hour early so we got the chance to walk around the exhibit floor and talk to people at different booths one-on-one. We met with a gentleman from the company Wide Orbit. Wide Orbit is an automation system that plays the music over the air, and allows you to do so much more, depending on what the station plans to do with that program. We wanted to talk to the company because our college radio station, KULT, uses the automation system. We talked about the bugs we have had, and the issues that have been trending within the college station over the last few years.

Radio ShowThe biggest booth at the NAB Radio Show was for an imaging company called Mix, where we talked to Omar Fajardo about radio imaging, about other radio imaging companies, and what they can do for college stations.

Radio ShowThe final important stop I’m going to tell you about was with Jerry Butler of Music Master. Music Master is a music scheduling company that is used by many stations across the world, including the company I work for in Waterloo, Iowa, NRG Media. Music Master saves time and headaches for general managers, operational managers, program directors, and on-air talents. I couldn’t stress enough to Jerry and our group how amazing Music Master was. It helps stations organize their music, setup logs and schedule music based off of the rules the user makes. I asked Jerry about getting it for KULT, and he said he highly recommended Music Master for college stations because it offers consistency throughout the year, even with a lot of college student turnover in campus stations.

Connor KenneyI attended a lot of fantastic training and information sessions, but I learned just as much from the exhibit floor. I had an amazing time at the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta and am grateful for the support of the UNI Communication Department and the Iowa Broadcasters Association which made our trip possible. I hope to see some of those companies in Nashville in 2016 if I can the chance to go!

Connor Kenney

We Don’t Need Work Parents: A Message from Millennials

I experienced a lot of great things at the 2015 NAB Radio Show. I met lots of amazing professionals, looked at some cool equipment, and attended really interesting and informative sessions.

The very first one I went to was a panel discussion about bridging the gap between older generations and millennials in the workplace. While I was originally excited for this session, it ended up demonstrating everything that’s terrible about being a millennial in today’s professional environment, and it can all be summed up in two words: Work Parent.

Millennial WorkplaceThis was a term that was actually used during the discussion by an older generation boss to describe his relationship with his millennial employee. I had never heard this term before and upon it gracing my ears for the very first time I actually physically cringed. Hear me out, bosses of the world: if you are looking to alienate each and every last one of your younger employees, there is no more efficient way to do it than to refer to yourself as their “Work Parent”. Let’s break down this insanity.

First, I already have parents. Most people do. Mine happen to be pretty great and I have no need for new ones. Second, I really don’t need parental figures at work. Do you know what parents do? They take care of their kids. Bosses can be great, but I don’t need by boss to take care of me.

A boss can be so many things, a colleague, a mentor, even a friend, but all of these relationships require a certain amount of mutual respect. In a parent-child relationship, not only is the power one-sided, so is the respect. While a parent may respect their child to a degree, this respect does not manifest itself through action or real independence. A child has no agency or autonomy. In the workplace, I always have agency regardless of my position in the company. Workers can file complaints, unionize, or quit if they feel they are being treated unfairly. A child is not extended these rights because their parents are charged with deciding what is best for them. To make a long story short: millennials are not children.

Millennial workspaceThankfully, in my short time in the working world I have had for the most part wonderful managers and bosses who were willing to help and teach me while respecting my opinions and input. What made these people great to work for was that they were confident in their knowledge and expertise, unquestionably in charge, and also friendly and understanding. We joked and laughed and exchanged ideas and worked together to produce great products, whether that be a radio show, a commercial, or a cup of coffee. Not once did these great bosses ever treat me like a child or try to act parental toward me.

Treating adults like adults. That’s how you bridge the generation gap. Turns out it’s just that easy.

Olivia Guns

Changing the World, One Listener at a Time

Everyone wants to change the world. Oh, you don’t want to change the world, you just want to be on the radio? Trust me, you’re going to change someone’s world.

People go into radio for many reasons: they want to speak their mind, they want to play music, they want to tell jokes, they certainly want to do a lot. But have you ever stopped and thought about who your favorite local radio personality is? Have you ever thought about hearing them everyday and laughing at the stupid thing they were saying? Or that awesome song they just played? We’ve all experienced that at least once in our lives.

Radio isn’t going away, and neither are the local DJ’s, and I don’t think you want them to leave. Radio DJ’s do more than hit buttons and play music or say dumb stuff, they are there every day doing the same thing over and over, being a part of your life and trying to connect with you.

Sometimes they do it in very unique ways, like KIIS 1065 in Sydney, Australia

Lori Lewis from allaccess.com talks about why Casy Kasem mattered. Lewis talks about why Casey was very important to many people’s lives then, and how he continues to influence people today. She talks about how he connected with people emotionally through the radio. But Casey did more than that. Casey’s content certainly brought the listeners in, by being there every Sunday morning on your radio counting down the greatest songs in America that week. You knew he would be there.

Casey KasemSure Casey had to retire due to health issues, but it was weird when Ryan Seacrest took over right? It wasn’t Casey Kasem! Where is Casey at?! But now we are used to Ryan counting down the top songs in America every Sunday. The other best thing about Casey, I think, is that he loved when people remembered the words he spoke. He said,“The greatest compliment that anyone can pay me is that after I say something, they remember it.” That shows you as a listener, that On-Air people are trying their best to grab your attention. They want you to hear them and to be locked into their show, that week, that month, that year, or even over their entire career.

Being a part-time On-Air personality is a challenge, and I know that first hand. Being a part-timer at a radio station means you are at the bottom of the totem pole, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference. I work in a station where most of the people have been working for fifteen years or more, so there is a lot of experience. They give advice about getting out there, creating good content, being involved, kind of like what this list says.

But being a part-timer, you have to go above and beyond what you actually say to be recognized, not only by your peers, but by the listeners. I’ll give you one example of how I stood out to a few listeners, and that really made me feel like I had thousands of listeners during a show.

Connor KenneyI was told to work on Christmas last year because I’m a part-timer. I definitely wanted to be with my family on Christmas, but I have a job to do and if I didn’t do those shows, I would have probably gotten fired. At least the time-and-a-half pay helped me feel a little better. So on Christmas, I got a call from a woman in Iowa City, asking me if I was stupid, or neglected, because I was the only real On-Air personality that she had heard that day. I said, no, I’m just doing my job: wishing people a Merry Christmas whenever they call, and playing some awesome rock music. She was very thankful to have someone to hear on the air, and told me she appreciated me not going home, and for being in her kitchen that Christmas morning.

I had a few other callers telling me they only were listening to the station because I was the only person on the air. They didn’t even like rock music, but they wanted to hear someone real and that made them feel connected and happy. You couldn’t give a better gift than that on Christmas.

Consistency really keeps the listener coming back. They like changing content, but you are the reason why they keep coming back to your show, so establish yourself and be there for people.

Do you have a moment where an On-Air person influenced you or emotionally got to you? Do you have any major radio influences? Do you think that On-Air personalities are still relevant today? What content do you like to hear about on the radio?

– Connor Kenney

Radio is Rebounding: My Experience at a Sports & News Radio Station

The radio industry is not doing as badly as you might have heard. And my experience interning at Cedar Valley Broadcasting in Cedar Falls bore that out. I quickly learned that radio in general is still thriving in the commercial sector. Companies know that their ads will reach a customer base, and that radio is an effective avenue to deliver their message.

In recent history, radio giants in New York and California have filed for bankruptcy, or posted horrid profits. But this is not because radio is dying, but because those giants tried to change the way they market and how radio works. While moving towards a mobile market, like iHeartRadio did, is one of the obvious trends in radio, it is not the only way to make money in the market. My radio station met and exceeded their sales goals in the three months that I interned there.

Many people cite the trend towards online media and that radio is losing out to apps like Pandora or Spotify, but these companies are nothing new. People have been listening to alternative forms of audio over radio for decades. Since the inception of the vinyl record the radio market has been finding new alternative ways to reach people and deal with new forms of audio technology.

So, I will say it now, in my own opinion – and the opinion of the rest of the radio world–RADIO IS NOT DEAD, IT’S JUST CHANGING.

Radio InternshipI spent my summer as the primary News Intern and during that time I learned a lot about sound editing, news writing, and broadcasting on a large spectrum network. Though most of my work was in news, I also offered my voice to several commercials and ad spots on all three of our stations. The main station I was broadcast on was AM 1650 The Fan, a sports station that carries national sports talk radio shows, with local and national news at the top and bottom of the hour. Though I wasn’t working as a hard hitting journalist, it was a good station for me to learn from my mistakes and understand what it means to tell a story.

When you are given strict guidelines for your stories you are forced to discover the meat of a story, and distill what people actually need to hear to understand a news event. I also learned just how little people respect or trust reporters. I was repeatedly sidelined by secretaries that promised to “pass my message along,” but then I would never hear from the person I wished to interview.

It is widely believed by public officials that reporters are only out to find the dirt and to spin stories against businesses and people. Even when there was no possible way to spin a story in a negative light, such as reporting on the cross-state bike race, RAGBRAI, I met with opposition in certain towns. I would only receive carefully written statements, that danced around definitive answers, and never truly answered my questions.

Radio Internship All in all I believe that radio will provide a great deal of news and entertainment for many decades to come not matter how “terrible” radio seems to be doing.

Thomas Winkelman

My Busy Summer in the Media Biz: Internships in Radio + Television

This summer, I worked two internship positions at both iHeartMedia (a Des Moines radio group) and KDSM (a local Des Moines TV station), and I gained a wealth of experience at both companies and will benefit from my time there for years to come.

IHeartMedia BlogAt iHeartMedia I was able to spend some time in almost every department, but the bulk of my work was within the promotions and marketing department. I, along with the other interns, worked at a number of promotional events, concerts, and festivals. Our goal was to connect with the public and get them excited about the many different radio stations owned by iHeartMedia serving the Des Moines area.

In addition to this, I contributed to event organization and execution as well as data and demographic analytics. Working with the program directors for various stations was a great opportunity to learn how the radio industry really works and what they do on a day-to-day basis. During my internship I got to sit in on sales meetings and live broadcasts, attend concerts, and talk to professionals from all areas of the radio and music industries.

I Heart Media Blog 2At KDSM I was the TV Production Intern and worked mostly with creative services. I helped to produce many commercials for local businesses as well as weekly segments of the “Des Moines Buzz”, a one-minute video with themed episodes airing up to five times a week.

I also had the privilege of working on thirteen videos featuring the winners of the 2015 Iowa Character Association Awards, primarily as an editor and camera operator. I had the wonderful experience of meeting with the director of the Iowa Character Association, several Des Moines business leaders, and an Olympic Gold Medal winner over the course of filming these interviews. The finished videos were shown at the Iowa Character Awards Banquet and subsequently broadcast on a local TV station.

Our other big project at KDSM was the broadcast of the annual Iowa State Fair Parade. The fair is recorded in advance of broadcast but is presented as live. I ran the handheld street camera as a tag team effort with another production assistant. To help prepare for the event, I helped construct graphics for the broadcast.

Olivia Guns

A Media Empire in the Middle of Iowa – Interning with iHeartMedia

The Des Moines metro area is home to more than two dozen radio stations. Seven of them are located under one roof. The iHeartMedia building sends out radio waves that appeal to almost any listener, whether it’s pop, country, alternative, news or sports.

iHeartMediaDes Moines’ iHeart group is just a small sliver of the company on a national scale. iHeartMedia fits approximately 850 stations under its massive umbrella, as well as iHeartRadio, an online radio service that users can tweak to listen to virtually anything they want.

The recurring theme I have noticed during my time at iHeart has been “spread out.” The internship process at this specific iHeart location has not been repetitive or focused on one aspect of radio. Rather, I have had the privilege of experiencing multiple aspects, including marketing, promotions, on-air and social media. No shift during the week is the same. Outside of the office, there have been several events in the area that draw thousands of attendees, including the 80/35 Music Festival and Des Moines Arts Festival. Our biggest task of the Summer, however, is yet to come. The Iowa State Fair, a mammoth attraction for the Midwest, will have employees and interns keeping very busy during its 10 day stretch.

As a student who managed and participated in the University of Northern Iowa’s college radio station, interning in the professional environment of iHeart has given me loads of perspective. Everything on social media is so precise, daily shows are almost always pre-recorded, and sales are what keep the company moving. It is fairly common knowledge that a station depends on all of these elements, but to see it all in motion is is still so new and unfamiliar. Any student who suddenly takes part in this world of professional radio has to realize that new, fresh ideas are vital every day of the week. Popular music has to be sought out ahead of the competitors. News on the shows and Facebook pages has to be not only recent, but unique. Listeners may love hearing their same favorite songs for a while, but the idea-machine under iHeart’s roof has to keep cranking.

iheatmedia internshipNow, that may sound stressful. But in this building, the confidence and composure of some of Des Moines’ most popular DJs and industry professionals is equally important. Everyone has a great idea of what they want to see from their specific station, or all of the stations in general. And from what I have seen so far, there isn’t too much friction. Ideas flow seamlessly from employee to employee, and the freedom allowed for each station coordinator or host makes for a better work and listening experience. All of the elements I’ve seen from iHeart can be plugged into the UNI station, or any amateur/college station for that matter. It’s been a real pleasure witnessing the organic ideas and precise, appreciated work put into the radio group.

iheartmedia internshipMost of my tasks at iHeart have been things that my bosses could work on themselves. That’s how I know what I am doing every week is important. Whether it’s generating posts on Facebook (some posts that will go until the end of the year) or organizing marketing information that the rest of the team depends on, it all keeps Des Moines’ biggest radio machine moving forward.

But before I sign-off, I have one last request: Take a listen to my favorite Summer station: ALT 1063, Iowa’s Alternative. After all, there’s a wide spectrum of radio out there!

– Brendan Wood

Radio is Alive and Booming in the Cedar Valley

Radio broadcasting has been rumored to be dying due to the emergence of satellite and Internet radio that can be personalized to listeners’ musical preferences. I thought this was true as well, but then I saw the statistics: radio reaches 90 percent of people each week, and 66 percent each day. There are 13,500 radio stations sprinkled throughout the U.S. that cover over 40 different formats. The top formats in radio today are country, news/talk, and pop/contemporary hit radio. At Cedar Valley Broadcasting we cover all of those formats and more.

Ali 1I am an intern at Cedar Valley Broadcasting in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is a family owned radio company, with eleven stations in Iowa. Three of the eleven stations are produced in Cedar Falls: KCVM 93.5 The Mix, KCNZ 1650 The Fan, and Cruisin’ KCFI 1250 and 105.1.

The first station I mentioned, 93.5 The Mix, is an adult contemporary station with a primary audience of women ages 25-54 years. 93.5 The Mix has also been recognized for multiple prestigious accolades. The station was presented with the Crystal Award four times and was also recognized as a small market finalist for the Marconi Award in 2013. The next station, 1650 The Fan is a male-skewing station, reaching out to men, ages 25-54. The Fan is our sports station and generally reaches out to those with higher incomes. The third station is Cruisin’ KCFI, a unique station that is the only station that plays a true oldies format in the market. A really neat program our station has to offer is the non-profit organization Magical Mix Kids, which was created to send chronically and terminally ill children and their families on a worry-free vacation to Walt Disney World. Between the three stations, there is something for everyone to enjoy, as Cedar Valley Broadcasting really has a wide variety of content to offer to its listeners.

Ali 2As an intern at Cedar Valley Broadcasting, I have been given to opportunity to see behind a lot of the doors in the building. From observing the sales and promotions team to copywriting commercials to learning how to record radio shows, I have been exposed to many of the departments that allow these radio stations to run so smoothly. I was given the opportunity to help out the sales and promotions team by researching prospects that could be potential clients, and then going out into the field to speak with some of the business owners to try and set up a more formal appointment with them. I also learned to use the Radio Advertising Bureau website for other information when working on advertising pieces. I have also done some copywriting as well as voicing some of those commercials. I worked on designing the visual layout of packages for sponsors of “Teacher of the Month” and “The Magical Mix Kids Snowflake Express”.

In addition to all of the in-station activities that I have done, I also was able to hang out at the My Waterloo Days and Sturgis Falls festivals at the station booth, handing out freebies to the passers-by. At the end of August, I will work the Summer Jam event, which I am especially excited for! I really enjoy the broad variety of activities I have experienced in order to help myself obtain an idea of what I may want to do as a future career.

All in all, working at a radio station is not what I pictured myself doing this summer, but after being involved in the internship and being able to work with all of the great staff at the station, I can honestly say it was a spontaneous choice I am very happy to have made. I am learning more and more every day, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time at Cedar Valley Broadcasting has in store for me.

Ali Holtz