Tuesday, July 18, 2006

on being a talk show host...

Well, my guest hosting on WSPD for three hours was fun, but a lot of work. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure there are more strenuous jobs out there. But it's not as easy as you would think just listening every day.

Between watching one screen on the left for callers and one screen on the right for the time and breaks (you'd think they'd be able to combine the two), and having one sheet with the schedule and another with the cue lines (and yes - I messed up on those a couple of times), along with all your notes for discussion or topic AND making sure to keep your mouth facing the the mike.....Well, let's just say that you juggle.

Some of the things that didn't flow well are simply a matter of experience. People who want to do this for a living have probably had the lessons and market research in branding and consistency. I know that the tag line is "news talk 1370 WSPD," but remembering that I had to say it before they could go to the news was something else entirely. Likewise the time...I don't think that I did the time right more than once. It's not just "it's 3:15," it's supposed to be "it's 3:15, 15 minutes after 3." Now WHY it's this way I still don't get, but I understand that the market research says this is the best way to do it.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I did three interviews: Dr. Paul Heinrichs, from the board of the Dental Center of NWO, Matthew Faltes (sp?) for the regular 'after the bell' segment, and Lisa Renee Ward of GlassCityJungle. Although my sincere apologies because I'd written, in several places, Lisa RENEE, but called her Lisa MARIE. Extremely embarassing, but she's forgiven me, thank goodness.

I'm very grateful for all the positive comments about my stint - and for the understanding when I goofed something up - thank you!

As Brian Wilson explained, most radio stations don't have a backup of talent for covering vacations, so having a couple of people in the community who are willing to come in and host is an added advantage. Maybe I'll be invited do this again sometime.

7 comments:

Do said...

Maggie - I didn't get to hear your debut, but I heard that it was going well. You weren't expected to be a polished personality on there. Just to be yourself.

As you know I was listening to another sort of 'broadcast' and I think that the girl that was there with the WSPD mic should have spoken to some folks instead of just sitting on the table off to the side. I wasn't quite sure why she was there. Oh well....

I hope WSPD invites you back - I would love to be able to listen. Would surely beat the heck out of Brian's show. His stammering makes me want to choke something. :)

Perhaps this would be a good lesson for all - that not all jobs are quite as easy as they might seem - not even being a commissioner, or a radio host, or a......


:))

Maggie Thurber said...

thanks, do...I know city council had an important issue for you...we did talk about it and encouraged people to come down.

And yes, a good lesson for all.

:)

Lisa Renee said...

I think you did a great job and and I hope they invite you back on again. It was a very good show, informative and entertaining.

I wasn't upset about the name thing, it happens. Heck I've called my children by the wrong name.

:-)

radiooldie said...

Maggie and others:

Between watching one screen on the left for callers and one screen on the right for the time and breaks (you'd think they'd be able to combine the two), and having one sheet with the schedule and another with the cue lines (and yes - I messed up on those a couple of times), along with all your notes for discussion or topic AND making sure to keep your mouth facing the the mike.....Well, let's just say that you juggle.----

Having been in "the business" many years (until retirement!), maybe I can help answer.
They don't need to "combine the two" for radio pros. It's only confusing for those like you who are "newbies". Should you do it a few times, it will be as natural as it is for Mr. Wilson. According to his bio, he's been doing radio (at some of the country's biggest stations, btw) for 40 years.


Some of the things that didn't flow well are simply a matter of experience. People who want to do this for a living have probably had the lessons and market research in branding and consistency.---

In most cases, it is a matter of experience. Sadly, one of radio's "realities" is most people in it for many years have learned by doing, not by training.


I know that the tag line is "news talk 1370 WSPD," but remembering that I had to say it before they could go to the news was something else entirely. Likewise the time...I don't think that I did the time right more than once. It's not just "it's 3:15," it's supposed to be "it's 3:15, 15 minutes after 3." Now WHY it's this way I still don't get, but I understand that the market research says this is the best way to do it.---

It's more than "market research". A while back (1960's), an extensive university study revealed how audiences hear things.What they learned was, audiences don't hear very well and must hear the same phase, time, call letters, over and over and over. If you saw the comments written by people who take the radio surveys, you'd be amazed more at what the don't hear than what they do - despite how many times the on-air personality repeats it. YOU may not near to hear it that way - but you aren't the thousands of people listening at any one moment.

One other thing about radio and radio people - as well as bloggers.
It's a big ego business. Just as people who blog take offense at some perceived insult, media people tend to be quite defensive when it comes to insults. For example, the person who wrote:
"Would surely beat the heck out of Brian's show. His stammering makes me want to choke something."

You seem to forget - or ignore - the fact that it was Brian Wilson as Program Director who invited Maggie to substitute for him - despite her near total lack of experience and - to be expected - lack of "polish". If you want to hear Ms. Thurber again, it wouldn't be wise to insult the person who makes the decisions. True, there aren't many substitute hosts available in a town this small. But, like today, finding someone perfectly adequate somewhere else isn't that difficult and Maggie could be right back in the audience instead of behind the microphone. Also, if you listen to Rush Limbaugh, he is the worst when it comes to "stammering" - and he has the biggest audience of anyone in talk radio! Maybe the real irritation is you just don't agree with Mr. Wilson's political position but don't have the guts to say so. Talk radio encourages disagreeement. It's one of the ingrediants that makes the format so popular. If you disagree, call him and say so and why. From what I've heard, Wilson is a quite polished professional who will hear you out with respect.
Certainly he is much better and far more intelligent than the two who preceeded him.
I don't expect you to agree - but at least you might have learned something from someone who spent many years broadcasting to this and the Detroit metropolitan area.
Have a blessed day.

Maggie Thurber said...

radio oldie - thanks for the advice and the explanations. Rather similar to the 'lesson' Brian gave me after my stint.

I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity Brian gave me and very appreciative of his advice both before and after the show.

And I agree about Brian being willing to listen and discuss. One of the things he said is that talk radio is about discussion...the more callers and the more animated (yet respectful) discussion, the better.

historymike said...

I only caught about 30 minutes of the Maggie SHow, but from what I heard (4:30-5:00) you did fine, Maggie.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Maggie,
Don’t sell yourself short, you did very well, especially for your first time out, at least on this show.

A few shows and things would begin to smooth out very nicely. Why, in a month, you’d be a seasoned pro!

Oh yeah, and that segment with Lisa Marie (Too much watching ET?) character couldn’t even hurt your performance :-]

There is the stigma thing about filling in for Brian to overcome though…

Next/every time that you do another radio show, please post it in advance on the blog, I don’t listen to Brian’s show.

(And, thanks to Brian for inadvertently turning me on to The Dave Ramsey Show, m-f 3:00-6:00 p.m. on WTOD-1560).

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