What is the best part about being a radio and television announcer?
I am very interested in becoming a radio or television announcer. I am a senior and off to college in the fall to a four year liberal arts school. I will be taking a few classes in college for business and communications. I am thrilled and interred with the behind the scenes of radio and TV production. I know the amazing different events that one travels to and takes part in, but I was wondering what is the best part? #television #broadcast-television #radio #radio-broadcasting #radio-host
I am retired member of Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union so I have much experience in this field. I am not very optimistic about a future in broadcasting. College radio can introduce you to the mechanics of the job. That was how I got started. All freshmen were expected to have an extra-curricular activity. I did not. A classmate who lived down the hall in the same freshman dorm had volunteered to work on the campus radio station and invited me to join him. That was where I learned the tools of the trade. (If I had made a list of 100 possible careers when I left high school, broadcasting would not have been number 101). Another possible start would be to volunteer at a local public radio station. Also you can polish public speaking skills in school theatrical productions or sometimes in debating.
In the old days beginning announcers would get a job in a small market station for extremely low wages and then work their way up to larger markets as far as their talent allowed. Today very few small market stations have announcing jobs. Programs come from satellite and what few local announcements that are required frequently are recorded by station time salesmen for their accounts. Sometimes non-commercial announcements are recorded by the station manager. The FCC has not required any news broadcasts for many years.
A few people have gotten a start working a secretarial or clerical job in a commercial station, become friends with on air talent, and eventually invited to participate on the air.
An unpleasant reality you must face as a woman: You will be competing for jobs with women who are willing to trade sex for jobs.
I'm sorry to be so negative but this is the way I see the business today. If you have any specific questions you can send me an e-mail and I will try to answer them.
H. Griselle Paz
H. Griselle’s Answer
I will give you the advice given to me by a colleague at ABC radio. Take voice classes. If that is the path you want to take invest in the classes. On air talent however comes and goes understanding the business side gives you more longevity and still allows you to enjoy the perks.
The best thrill I had was knowing that I was communicating with thousands of listeners in an instant and the adrenaline rush of being live on air that is make or break. Lots of free food and tickets from sponsors is also nice. Plus, I got to meet a few celebrities and politicians that were guests for the studio. My advice is to focus more on the business side of your studies and those will take you farther in the industry. Radio announcers in minor markets get paid very little compared to the sales and marketing staff and often work two jobs to support themselves. In no way do I want you discouraged, but rather informed about the radio biz so that you can prepare otherwise. Also, start practicing enunciating and record yourself to hear how you can talk better for the audience. Get comfortable being behind a microphone, everyone thinks that all you have to do is talk, but for some reason when that "On Air" light turns on your brain goes awkwardly quiet and you hope that words are coming out of your mouth in a comprehensive order. Good luck with your venture, can't wait to tune in to your show!