Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Far Has The Radio Business Fallen?

When I started this blog back in March of this year, I named it "Life On The Beach" for a reason. "On the beach" is a common term - especially in the radio business - for people who are out of work as they search for their next job. I took the name from a popular feature on a radio industry website that people in the business use every day, Each week, the site profiles a "beached" radio pro, in hopes that it will help that pro to find a job. Well, this week, my profile finally came up. (You can see it if you'd like, but you would have to register - it's free)

To give you an idea of just how rotten the shape of the radio industry is, I had completed my survey about 5 months ago, and it just now popped up online, meaning that I sat in a long list of people - and I bet the line behind me is even longer.

Since the posting first appeared yesterday, I have heard from several people, including two former colleagues whom I had not heard from since my departure from WMAL. Both offered kind words, and it was great to hear from them. They both still have jobs, and I hope their situations don't change.

I also heard from a couple of complete strangers who are in the same boat I'm in. I do plan to write them back and comisserate. It's always nice to trade words with folks who know what you're going through.

One of the guys also sent along an audio clip and resume to me, asking me to review it and offer suggestions. I don't know quite what to say to him. What if my advice works, and he beats me out for a job? And is another unemployed guy really the best place to go for career advice? Hmm.

A common thread running through all of the emails is that I'm hearing from people who love radio, and who, like me, are chagrined to see the business we love crumbling in front of us. This must be akin to what it felt like when plane travel began to threaten large-scale railroad transportation. A lot of railroad employees lost their jobs as the passenger train business dwindled. The same thing is happening now in radio, and each month, literally hundreds of radio workers are hitting the street with nowhere to go in the business they love.

This beach is sure getting crowded.

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