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TAKE THE BOARD OP JOB?

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

"I am currently working at my first on-air gig at a tiny station that only competes with some hillbilly's CB radio. I love the business and I know you have to pay your dues, but this place works like no other station i have ever seen. I have an offer to work part-time at a Top 30 market station. It's a button pushing board operating position with some production work - but it's a REAL station. Should I leave the full-time, on-air gig at a place I detest or take my chances at the Top 30 station? Essentially, I'd be doing less at a bigger station. I want to go as far as I can. What's better - a board op at a Top 30 or full-time on-air at a station that doesn't exist in the professional world?"

DAN REPLIES:

Let me rephrase your question:

"Which is more likely to lead to a better, full-time on-air job than the one I presently have?"

And my answer is: Your present job.

You won't improve at all as an air personality if you're a board op (regardless of the market size).

(If your goal is full-time production, then I'd say take the Top 30 job if it does include regular production work. But my sense of your letter is that your true goal is on-air.)

Log all the on-air time you can at your present, lousy station. But don't do it on auto-pilot. Use every moment there to practice, experiment and improve. Constantly aircheck yourself and diligently save great (or even good) moments for possible use in a future job tape.

If you're better (or potentially better) than the place where you're currently working, use it as a stepping stone to a better station in your market...or to a bigger market (even if it won't be a Top 30 market).

P.S. Every contact you make with someone in our industry reflects on you as a professional. I respectfully suggest that you will better your innumerable "first impressions" if you take the time when writing a letter (even an e-mail letter) to capitalize words where appropriate - e.g., the word "I," the first letter in a sentence, etc. From your sentence structure, it's obvious that you are literate...which leads me to assume that the only thing that prevented you from making a better first impression was laziness. (I truly am not wishing to insult you. I am offering an unsolicited piece of advice that might be of some help to you during the rest of your career.)

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