My last day at the station was pretty uneventful. I mainly just hung out wherever. I produced some stuff with Arroe in the morning and then hung out with Rozak while he did more voice tracking and producing. I met with John who does the same thing Jana does, but with commercials. He has to sort out orders and then put them into the system to play, so even the commercials we hear on the radio are put in a certain order. It was nice to get the final piece of the puzzle and be able to step back and see how it all works together. Apparently I have inspired a new type of internship in which interns can see each network and area involved to make the stations successful. I’m sad my internship is over, but I’m so gracious that I was given the opportunity for this experience. I learned so much and made great connections that I can carry with me to Nashville and hopefully use later in my career. The people at the station are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They’re all friendly and laid back, and were so willing to help me out. Arroe told me that when they first heard about a high school student coming to work at the station everyone was praying that it wouldn’t actually happen, but then I came and everyone realized I’m not some punk of a teenager. I apparently have an old soul…I had a great time at the station and found everything to be so interesting. I couldn’t have asked for a better senior project.
Because I had already learned the majority of what went on at the station, I didn’t have much more to learn so the remainder of my time was spent observing and popping in and out of places where people were working. After hanging out with Arroe in the morning, I went to the John Boy and Billy network and observed how they did their show. I had no idea that it was only live on Monday! Oh, the things you find out….There’s also a dog named Pearl who wanders around the network-it’s like their own little world back there. I mainly just observed and then chatted with some people on the show about college and whatnot, but I lost track of time and was late for my music meeting with Jack Daniel, DZL, and Rob Miller. Every Monday, the 106.5 guys have a music meeting to discuss the charts and where songs are at and what songs need to be added to the line up. They have to compare number of spins and where the song is ranked on the charts in order to come to the conclusion of what needs to be taken off or played more. I was with them for a while, as this process takes a while to sort out all the kinks. They have to call the record companies and tell them that they have to take off a certain song but they’ll do them a favor and add another song to the mix. Staying on good terms with the record labels is a must. Later I headed back over to traffic and hung out with Keith who takes care of the ads during traffic breaks. He sells the ads that say, “traffic brought to you by…” It’s the same as the other advertisement sales, but it deals with traffic. I wrapped up my day with Arroe, recording and producing some more commercials and then I headed home.
Apparently at the Station Fridays can get pretty crazy, however my fridy didn’t exactly reflect this tradition. I got to the station early (for me) and hung out with the Ace and Tj crew. I sat in with the producer and two other interns who were there to answer the phones. I was able to observe the process of answering the phone and how they’d ask their producer to find clips or segments for them to use after the break. They would go on the air for a little bit and then take a little break where they’d go to the restroom or grab a bite to eat…from Paco’s Tacos…at 830 in the morning. I realized that they’ve been up for so long that 830am seems like lunchtime-I couldn’t imagine. Afterwards I hung out with Glenn who is in Charge of all of the Internet and website stuff and then met up with Dr Crumley who stopped by to see what was going on. For the remainder of the day I hung out with Arroe doing some production and sat in with Rozak while he did some voice tracking. When the band Soul Asylum came to do a green room performance I was lucky enough to go hear them play to a group of people that had won the chance to meet them. It was a fairly low key day for me, but I know it was pretty hectic for everyone else who was trying to get ready for the weekend.
Today was another busy day at the station. I was given the full briefing on the sales side of things and learned about the presentations and how the people working on the sales side of things, sell ads. I learned how much the ads sell for and the statistics that the clients are shown in order to convince them to buy ads. Afterwards I headed over to the traffic network where I learned how they take the traffic reports and put them into a system that sends them out to the different stations as well as companies like garmin and bmw that use them in their technology and vehicles. I headed to Jana’s desk so that she could teach me about the PPO, the system where all the production orders are put in. I didn’t realize how much work and management of the system is needed or how it even worked for that matter, until I met up with Jana. Later, I went to lunch with Jack Daniel and Matt Duffy, a record label representative. Matt was trying to convince Jack to play a certain band on the radio and it was interesting to see the relationship not only between the record company and the radio station, but also between Jack and Matt. They’ve been friends a long time and therefore they trust each other. If Matt said the band was good, of course Jack would believe him and try his best to get the song on the show. After I got back I hung out with Rozak in the 106.5 studio while he did some voice tracking and worked on producing commercials. I then joined Arroe in his studio and worked on producing some spots and commercials. I seemed to be all over the station, but it was exciting and fun to be busying about learning about each different aspect and how one affected the other.
Today was certainly a busy day. I got to the studios around 8:00 and hung out with Mr. Collins while he tried to uncover the mysteries of Adobe 6.0. Then, I was fortunate enough to be able to sit in, and be on 96.9′s Paul Schadt and Meg show in the morning. It was awesome, I was on the radio and was able to experience what goes on during a live show. After the show, I talked to Meg, who is one of the sweetest women at the station. I’ve decided that all the women there are so sweet because it is so male dominated-we have to stick together. After all, radio is a boy’s club. She gave me insight on the show and her story and how she got to the station. It was really helpful and it was night to have that perspective because the majority of the people that I saw were men. After my chat with Meg, I scooted across the hall to hang out with Mr. Moore, (whom I’m eternally indebted to for his help throughout my work experience) and we chatted about sales and the importance of clients and what kinds of things they’re selling and the different types of media etc. Afterwords I sat in on a session with Mr. Collins and then went to hang out with the crew from 106.5. I was very fortunate to have been able to sit in on a few conference calls with some record companies and see the aspect of music directing. DZL from 106.5 was contacted by several labels who were urging him to play their songs, but he had to explain that according to the system there wasn’t any room for their songs and any open space would be used to promote “Weenie Roast”- their upcoming music festival. From there I sat in on voice tracking with Jack Daniel from “the END” and learned how he prerecorded his shows. Rozak was next on the list from the 106.5 crew and I hung out with him while he did his radio show and produced commercials. Afterwards, I sat in on a promotion meeting with the Fox correspondents and discussed contests and prizes and what kinds of deals and contests were actually functional. There was an interesting dynamic in the meeting. I realized that this work place is very relaxed. People are friendly yet very passionate about their work. I also realized that I am very fortunate to be working this week among many very talented and smart people. Speaking of, my next meet and greet was with one of the guys that focusses on digital design and production. He makes and animates all of the ads seen on the websites. I was shocked to see that he was using photoshop, something I was familiar with because I used it just the past year in Mr. Dewey’s photography class. I was surprised to see that the same program I used in high school was being used at a major company to make ads. I was glad to see my PDS education paying off. After that, I was pretty much done for the day. The amount of information that I have absorbed over the past two days has been overwhelming, yet thrilling and incredibly interesting. I realize that I’m very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to follow such talented and smart people for my senior project. I know that this experience will definitely help me in the future and I do not intend on wasting any time for the rest of my stay.
Well, Mr. Collins had told me that after this project I would never listen to radio the same way again, and he was certainly right. Today began my week of work at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. I got to work at about 8:45 and entered the pearly gates of the stations off of the Billy Graham Parkway. After hanging out with Mr. Collins in the morning producing commercials and sitting in on a session recording for Newk’s Express Cafe, I was given a tour by the man that helped me put my whole project together, Mr. Moby Moore. I don’t think I’ve ever been hit with so much information at once. Today I learned the whole process and what it takes to find a client, pitch the product, and try and sell radio ads. From there, I learned the process of receiving requests for commercials through the PPO system, and then recording and producing the commercials and sending them off. I recorded 5 commercials today, which I was told was a lot for someone like me. According to Mr. Collins, I have found my calling and I have a great voice for radio…who knew? Anyways, I sat in on John Boy and Billy, and was able to watch that show, and I also was able to learn about voice tracking and how they figure out which songs to put on the radio: where and when. It was quite a busy day learning about everything that went on in the station and how things work. Tomorrow morning I’m sitting in with Paul Schadt to actually watch a live show in the morning and hopefully I’ll be able to sneak a few words in-fingers crossed!