Let's say you graduate high school or you are trudging along in a job you really aren't happy with and you've always thought about going to a college for radio or some type of broadcasting school.
First type of career that comes to mind? ON-AIR.
At least that's mostly what we hear as we talk to people about enrolling at Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting.
And although we love to remind you that there is a TON of other areas in broadcasting you can explore, we still like to show you the bread and butter of our program and people that have chosen that route.
Below is a testimonial from Don Juan Fa Sho who currently holds down evenings on 101.1 the WIZ FM in Cincinnati, OH. Yep - Mr. Fa Sho' went to OCB, worked hard, and is doing exactly what he loves to do.
He'll tell you why he liked OCB, but more importantly why and how our program can benefit YOU.
Maybe you're ready for one of those jobs on air?
CONNECT with us and take your first steps. We have LOTS to show you.
By Jodi Franks
OCB Cincinnati Campus
When I made the decision to attend the Ohio Center for Broadcasting, all I wanted to do was be a radio personality. None of this TV nonsense, and certainly nothing else if it didn't involve me being on-air. I had a lot to say, and trust me, you were going to want to hear it.
However, shortly into the program I discovered the term "producer".
Now you can look up the definition of the word, but my interpretation and understanding could be boiled down to that fact that I'd have complete control. I liked it, embraced it, pursued it.
After I graduated, I worked for two years for our Fox19 News affiliate. I discovered that when you produce news, you put the product together, then another control freak creature, known as "the director", takes your vision and executes it his way. Although in my day to day life I tend to thrive on conflict (I have two kids), I decided that I wanted to return to my first passion, radio.
That opportunity presented itself as the Morning Show Producer for the Dean and Randi Morning Show here in Cincinnati. The next four years were absolute bliss. Don't get me wrong, we all contributed to the show, but there wasn't a single thing related to the show that I didn't have a hand in. Dean and Randi used to joke that I even "produced" their personal lives. Vacations, dinners, purchases...once while I was on vacation, they had to make a personal appearance and ended up getting a ticket on the way back to the station. It never would have happened if I would have planned the event. I knew where all the police hang out in Western Hills.
If following your broadcasting career bliss means becoming a producer, there are some things I picked up along the way that made all the difference:
1. BE A MCGYVER (just like the last post).
There's no such thing as useless trivia, and you never know when on any given day, you will have to know that hippopotamus sweat can be used as sunscreen. You also have to know how to operate every piece of equipment and know what to do if something fails. I may not know how to program new phone numbers into my smartphone, but you can bet if my station goes off the air, I know how to access the transmitter and get it up and running without breaking a sweat or missing a commercial.
2. BE INFORMED.
Have at least (10) sources you check every single day for your news and entertainment. You want to work in the media, you must know what's going on in the world, and have an informed opinion about it. Become familiar with the term "top of mind".
3. BE A CHEERLEADER.
Although you work as a team. You set the tone for the show. We all have problems outside of work. Leave them at the door and be a cheerleader for your talent. Morning Shows generally get to work anywhere between 4-5 am to prep. Starting the day with smiles, funny stories, and high energy do wonders for your state of mind before you crack the mic. If you aren't a morning person, this isn't the job for you.
4. ALWAYS TAKE THE FIRST OUT.
When it comes to comedy, always take the first out. Nothing will ever get a bigger laugh than that first unexpected punch line right before a commercial break.
5. BE A CONTROL FREAK.
I joked earlier about being a control freak, but there's truth in that statement. You have to be extremely detailed oriented, organized, dependable, patient, focused, understand quality control, and yes, have great customer service skills. If your listeners don't like something they've heard, or want to share their story, they will call. If your listeners feel like they are part of the show, they don't channel surf during the commercials.
Think you want to be a Producer? Attend one of our broadcasting colleges.
By Nick Jones & Dan Hoffman
Our video “toolbox” has grown the last few years thanks to digital technology.
It lets a pro to carry an arsenal of cameras (for different looks/environments), and the amateur to officially “go pro”. The “point and shoot” cameras like the Flip, GoPro, & iPhone are accessible, affordable, and most importantly... can get the job done.
Here’s how to maximize you efforts with point and shoot digital video:
#1 Content is the Key Ingredient:
When you’re ready to produce and ship a video, make sure the content of the video is desirable to your audience. This is the most important tip.
#2 Know Your Limitations
These cameras don’t have many controllable settings, if any at all. Use this to your advantage and don’t expect the camera work the magic, that’s your job.
#3 Push the Limits
Now that you know the limits, push them. One of the first iPhone videos we ever watched was this full-on music video. The director knew what he had to work with and then pushed the technology as far as he could.
#4 Be a McGyver
These cameras are tiny, light, and slim - with a lil' putty, string, or a visit to the hardware store you should be able to attach this camera to just about anything. Think perspective: helmet cams, car dashboards, or put it in a cooler and send miles into the sky.
#5 Point of View
These cameras are perfect at any event (sporting, concert, conference, etc.). Don’t just be an attendee, give others your perspective. Even 15 to 30 seconds can quench the thirst of a jealous peer.
Though not essential for everything, these cameras are very good for personal testimonials or for more modern terminology: vlogging. Turn the camera on yourself and let people know your thoughts when you are at the grocery store, at a live sporting event or concert, or perhaps as you test out that new ride at Cedar Point ... just but be sure to hold on tight.
#7 Get Intimate
Some people are more willing to share some thoughts when they are alone. Train others to use your camera and you will be able to get their unique experiences. Since these cameras are user-friendly with very few controls, you can easily teach someone else how to use it. We had fun letting Gomez hijack one of our Flip cams at Bonnaroo.
These cameras are created to be easy to use at any moment, and most importantly "in the moment." That said, here are some quick technical tips to think about before you press the red button...
#8 Slow and Steady
These cameras are tiny and VERY sensitive to motion. If you are going to do a pan or tilt motion, move slow and steady. Try to avoid sudden fast movements, to prevent a jittery mess ... unless you want that effect.
#9 Use Natural Light
The sun is always the most powerful light on any day shoot. Use that to your advantage, and don't shoot into the sun. Turn your subject around and use the sun as your key light source. Also, avoid shooting into a window when on an indoor shoot. This will almost always silhouette your subject.
#10 Build a Sound Wall
Just like you don’t want to shoot into the sun, when your shooting an interview you don’t want to shoot into obstructive noise. These cameras typically have a directional microphone on the front of them, so make sure the only sound in front of the camera is the sound you want to capture.
Most important on any shoot is to get creative and have fun with your content. The great thing about these tools are they allow you simply roll up your sleeves and get dirty capturing content. Share your experiences and tips, and let us know your favorite “point and shoot” tools.
Check out some of Nick and Dan's work at their website PalestraCreative.com. Follow them on twitter @NickJones82 & @DanHoffman24
Interested in Video Production? Let us help you.
GO HERE to connect and get more information.
By Shawnda McNeal
The Atom Smasher Morning Show
Hot 96 FM
So, I was interviewing ol’ Lisa Rinna…yeah you know who she is, the chick from the Soaps with the big a** lips and still has the body of a 19 year old?
As soon as I answered the phone for the interview she says, “Shawnda, you don’t have broadcasting voice.”
I said “What exactly is a broadcasting voice, Lisa“?
You don’t need a God awful pukey voice to consider yourself a “Broadcaster.”
In fact, I see it all too much. Ditch the deep robot voice and as OICB says Go Beyond Ron Burgundy.
We’re personalities. We actually have something to say and not just like the sound of our voice because it’s deep and awesome. When you open the mic make sure what you have to say fits your audience and keeps them wanting more.
And don't forget how much competition there is with syndication!
You need to stand out. Honestly - the quickest, surest, easiest way to do that is to BE YOURSELF.
I always tell people I’m 100% me on the air and off the air. It’s the only way to be! Keep it real and interesting at ALL TIMES!
The best piece of advice I got was from KDWB’s Dave Ryan. He told me to read the newspaper EVERYDAY, have a life and keep up to date with pop culture. Start there and let your creativity flow!
Shawnda McNeal is currently the outspoken/opinionated co-host of the Atom Smasher Morning Show in Evansville, IN. She has also co-hosted shows at WNOU (Indianapolis), KCLD (St. Cloud), and KEEZ (Mankato).
From time to time, we will be running graduate success stories here because, well...we're proud of our guys ;)
Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting alum Josh Seas graduated sometime last year and immediately landed a job at the top rated sports talk station in the Columbus, OH market.
The remarkable thing about this story is it isn't unlike the stories we see from most of our other grads. They trudged along aimlessly either in a career or at a school with no focus or degree in mind - lost, having no clue where to turn.
Then they took a chance on us and we helped turn things around, give them the tools they need, and get them into that creative career lifestyle they so desperately wanted.
CLICK HERE to connect and we'll be in touch to help you get started.
Josh's story below.
By Patrick Locy
Being involved in the broadcasting business is terrific, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that any long-term involvement with this wonderful business requires the expectation that, at certain times, you’ll be expected to complete tasks that are far outside the common obligations of a “broadcaster”… tasks that will often have you considering the addition of “Ringmaster” to your resume.
I was working as overnight radio talent very early in my career, and we were preparing to host a birthday show featuring the most awkward of billings. This was the Slayer and Cher tour to end all uncomfortable pairings. I entered the station that day prepared to interact with a few record label representatives, say hello to some acquaintances and take full advantage of the free food scattered about.
Thirty minutes later and I’m driving a borrowed car through downtown, tasked with locating and transporting the Slayer side of tonight’s bill to a secondary location for a private performance. Now the locating part, that was easy enough… and how difficult can it be to drive someone from Point A to Point B?
When that someone refuses to perform, let alone get in the car, it can be pretty difficult. Never once was I informed that my “simple task” would require me to assume the role of hostage negotiator, attempting to secure the delivery of a few songs from a less than sociable performer… but that’s part of the fun of broadcasting.
Twenty minutes and a few idle threats later I was speeding away from the venue, disgruntled performer and guitar in tow.
Consider this a quick reminder– always be prepared to embrace new (and often unexpected) opportunities as a broadcaster, and remember that that no matter how terrible those experiences may initially seem… everything is far more comical when you can recount it to friends later.
Patrick Locy is also the Education Director at the Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting and he LOVES Slayer. And a little Cher every now and then. Not really…ok, maybe.
By Johnny DiLoretto
Fox 28's Good Day Columbus
Keeping it real… Being you… Staying true to yourself… Whatever you want to call it, you’ll never reach your full potential as an on-air talent without coming to some kind of comfortable agreement with the microphone or camera.
So how to be yourself and deliver the broadcasting goods?
Well, first, try some practice runs where you deliver some hard news as though you were telling it to a friend. Something like “hey, did you see that big-ass fire last night? Whoof, damn thing blazin’ — nearly burnt up every house on the block. Guess it started because some fool fell asleep chompin’ on a cigar while he was reading Moby Dick. The book went up and shooof – there you have it. Big book, big fire.”
Ok, maybe that’s a little too casual… but what do you want? This is my first blog entry. Seriously though, the above paragraph is not a bad place to start.
Just keep reeling it in until you’re still being YOU and still getting the info through.
And remember — the audience respects an on-air person who isn’t faking it.
They’ll accept you, the camera and the microphone will accept you, if you behave more like a real person and less like a robotic impersonation of some stiff, generic anchor person.
Johnny DiLoretto is an anchor for Fox 28′s Good Day Columbus in Columbus, OH. He is a genius and a scholar, and a genius (one more for good measure), and he loves Scotch, scotch, scotch. Ok, we made that up.
By Dave Huffman via Nate Riggs
So, the brilliantly talented Nate Riggs allowed me/us at the Ohio Illinois Center for Broadcasting cherry pick one of his blog posts aimed at social media and broadcasting.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Nate.
Look, I've been around the country directly and indirectly involved with a lot of different radio stations and it's mostly the same: They need some work on their social media/web strategy.
Nate's original post lists 23 ways, some of which were aimed directly at the Morning Zoo. I'm just going to cherry pick the ones that I've seen could make the biggest difference on a broad spectrum - meaning EVERY STATION & On-Air talent could benefit from any one of these.
Here we goooo!
- Start using a robust listening system.
For a brand with an audience the size of yours, this is critical. 80% of using the social web is listening to the conversations and content around your brand. There are probably bloggers talking about you. Do you know who they are? Do you know how many people they reach in their sphere on influence? You should. There are hundreds of tools out there, but be careful. Not all monitoring systems are created equal. Locally, you might want to check out Spiderfly. I like it a lot and recommend it to my clients. (Not an affiliate link.)
- Build up your personal profiles on Facebook.
I love photos, but add a little more personal content. You all have such an advantage here because tens of thousands of people already feel like they “know” you. At least let them know you can “see” them.
- If you’re going to use Twitter for your show, you should always acknowledge fans that Tweet on the show.
Social media is about having conversations. Tap into the short dialog your fans are trying to have with you. On some level, getting a response from one of you might just make their day.
- Start your own personal Twitter profiles.
You’re all strong human brands, and your show is a combination of those brands. You might try something like @Dave_MorningZoo or @Kelsey_MorningZoo. Remember, the show is not talking to people – each of you are talking to people.
- Ask questions to get the opinion of your listeners using social media.
On Twitter, have them respond and use a hash tag (maybe something like #daveandjimmy). Hash tags on Twitter help keep conversations related to a certain topic in one bucket. Who knows, one day you might even become a trending topic.
- Please stop mentioning the phrase: “We should blog about this on Facebook!” about every 5 minutes.
It sounds unnatural, and no one really talks about Facebook like that.
- Use Hootsuite
to manage your show’s Twitter accounts.
As a backup, use Seesmic. These tools will help you bucket groups of people, track hits on links and many other metrics. This will let you know how many people you are reaching and how they engage with you.
- Start a YouTube channel.
No big explanation here. Youtube is one of the "big 3" and you need a branded show/station channel that can host ALL of your videos for easy searching, browsing, and sharing. (my words, not Nate's)
- Build a real strategy for your Facebook Fan Page.
You could focus it on gathering insights from your listeners, promoting events and even selling Sucko CDs and downloads. You could also use it as a tool to help your philanthropic efforts. After you have the plan, add custom tabs that help you engage and convert your fan base into taking some type of action. Things to look into might be pulling in YouTube content, pushing out polls and maybe even a contact form that shoots to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Here’s the thing about your Facebook Fan Page. You have awesome levels of engagement with little to no effort.
For every post you make, 5-15 fans comment back on average. The problem is that no one from your team responds. No one is paying attention to your fans and they want to talk to you. That’s a BIG missed opportunity to leverage the serendipity of using social media.
Interested in social media and digital content strategy?
As a student at OICB you'll get deeply involved in all aspects of web & content as a staffer on one of our student run internet stations.
GO HERE For More Information
By Atom Smasher
Host of the Atom Smasher Show
HOT 96 FM Evansville, IN
NOTE FROM OICB: In the following blog we hear/read a couple of stories from Atom. Take them, remember them, and perceive the lesson as you will. Everyone builds their own philosophy, you may not want to “beware” of the celebs listening, that’s your thing. Secondly, the above picture is the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever seen and we promise that it kind of ties into the blog post. Maybe.
You might be surprised. It was 2000 I believe and I was in Houston doing a night show. P. Diddy then known as Puff Daddy was doing a show in town and I decided to do a bit making fun of the “gun charge” he was rumored to be facing. He got caught up in some night club shooting if you remember. Anyways, I had a fake traffic reporter in a fake helicopter (which was just me with a helicopter sound effect) called Sgt. Smasher. He was a real a**hole and terrible traffic reporter. He would never actually report on traffic but he would check in to tell us about the fat unattractive girl on the corner of 1st and MLK that he suspected was a hooker.
Well, he (uh…I) decided to make up a fake police shootout with a limo involving Diddy and his entourage. He used stuff like “Gats blazing” and “Bustin a whole lotta caps in a whole lotta a**es”. Can’t remember word for word but you get the point.
What I didn’t know or even consider was that Puffy (Diddy or whatever) was listening at that time.
Who would’ve figured? My program director was called and told Diddy was not pleased. I was asked to stop talking about it and the show went on. Some celebrity’s can’t take a joke.
A lot like the Backstreet Boys. I made a prank call to a rehab center asking for A.J. (when he was doing that rehab stunt). I can’t remember exactly what I said although I’m sure it was asinine. The Backstreet Boys were also in town and heard the bit. I was scheduled to be at the concert the following day but something came up and I had to leave town for a family emergency. The guy who went in my place said he was approached by Brian and a couple of big security guards asking if he was Atom Smasher. He said they weren’t happy. Who cares, I don't like their music anyways ;)
Atom Smasher is the host of the Atom Smasher Morning Show on Hot 96 in Evansville, IN. He has more tattoos than you do. He also has a giant Tiger tattoo on his neck. OICB in no way endorses his views on the Backstreet Boy’s music. We’ve been guilty of a Backstreet singalong or two. Listen to the Atom Smasher show live by going to http://www.hot96.com
Interested in training for jobs in radio or television? GO HERE to get more information and get in touch with us.
First off, the above picture has really nothing to do with the blog. Unless you’re into the deeper meanings of things. I just like mullet haircuts.
In this new age of striving for financial freedom, my wife and I decided it was time to shed the nice cars, or ehem, ONE nice car and go get a “junker.”
One of the junkers we picked out was a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with just under 100,000 miles. We found it online, so I clicked the “make an offer” button and made the first offer.
Here is the response I got from the salesman:
Thank you for the e-mail, I am your Sales Consultant. This is a very nice Hyundia Santa Fe GL, when can we make an appointment for you to see, drive and buy this almost new Hyundia?
Almost NEW? Nope. Sorry, not even close.
Now I have my guard up and I’m almost certain I’m not buying the car from this place.
What does this have to do with my career or broadcasting? Hold your horses, I’m getting there.
If he would’ve been REAL with me and not tried to pull the wool over my eyes by acting like the car is almost new, I would’ve felt like he was “One of Us”, to steal a term from Chris Brogan. I would’ve immediately believed in him and certainly would’ve had a better feeling about purchasing from him. I wouldn’t have felt like he was changing into his Sales Pants to “sell” me a car.
Now, I’m not in broadcasting (my wife is), so you’ll have to take this and apply it to how you think it would fit into the betterment of your career. However, coming from the Music Industry, I can make a few educated guesses as to how you can Become One of Them.
- Interact with listeners at appearances. Don’t sit behind the table with your arms crossed because you are “The Talent.” Get out and play games with people, ask them about their lives. They are interested enough in you to tune in everyday…so why would you put a wall up and not try to get to know them?
- Write a blog. Yea, I’m saying it again. Go start a blog right now. You don’t need to be a great writer to blog. Yes it’s true that bloggers are becoming more and more proficient writers, but some of the best were viewed as such because they told a story and the blog was easy to read.
- Choose Your ‘Tude. Get rid of the attitude, you’re not better than anyone else. Dr. Smith of CD101 has a great Go Pro Minute Video about having the right attitude. It’s really not cliche. In fact, it should be #1 on EVERY hiring list. Given the choice between someone that really knows their sh*t and is even barely an a-hole and someone that doesn’t know anything but is willing to do and learn
anything. I’ll kick the a-hole to the curb everytime.
- Comment Back. Has a listener commented on your Facebook or Myspace page? Have they? Ok, then why in the holy crap didn’t you comment back? If you were in a conversation with someone and they asked you a question, would you stare them in the eyes and not answer? Of course not, you’d probably be carted away to the hospital if so. Social Media isn’t any different. It’s still a tool of communication.
We could go on for days. These are just a few items I think are important. You could actually strike all of them and/or umbrella them under “Attitude.”
Choose your ‘Tude, dude.
p.s. If you are currently attending one of the OICB campuses, practice these when you are getting those coveted lab hours doing remotes and appearances.
An Ohio Center for Broadcasting Columbus graduate, Tony Galloway explains below why going smaller market after graduation is a shortcut to gaining more experience.
We can go on and on about this ourselves, but we figured it would be nice to hear it straight from someone who is living it.
By Tish Hevel
I hate buzzwords. I even hate the word buzzwords. Anything that sounds like something that’s been said too much is what I’m talking about. You don’t need me to make a list, you know ‘em too. They’re the things you hear that make you wanna put your thumb and your other fingers together, then open and close em like a beak. Blah blah blah.
But there’s one phrase that’s sticking in my head these days because it’s important. Soft skills. I think it means the talents that aren’t directly related to a particular industry.but make you a good person, or employee, or performer. A work ethic. A willingness to jump in and help. A demeanor that says I’m all in. Dependability. Punctuality. Professionalism.
Those are the things that are even more important than talent. Trust me on this, I’m old and I know things. One of my responsibilities in one of my first jobs in television was to get dinner for the anchors. Did I love that part of the job? ‘Course not. Couldn’t stand it. But no one knew. And to show I understood the importance of TV deadlines, I was always early.
I wanted to be thought of as willing and dependable, and the only way I knew how to make that happen was to actually BE those things.
Soft skills. They may be the hardest habits to develop.