UNHAPPY w/NEW OWNER, CONSULTANT
QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:
My radio station was sold last summer and I got the line that we were purchased for our success and they planned to make no "major" changes. Being the Programming/ Operations/ Promotions/ On-air guy for the past 7 1/2 years and believing what the top dog of the new company told us, I went with the flow. I saw things I did not like, but my staff (all of us, except an overnighter who quit) have made through today, and still counting.
Here's the problem. We were purchased for our success. We now have a consultant. With this I have taken on a ton more work, trying to make everything work. He has toned me down 30% "to help our in-office listening," and it seems no one is happy anymore. I decided a month or so ago to start sending out tapes, lots of them. I've gotten no response. I'm afraid my "new" sound is not appealing to a prospective employer, especially since I'm not even sure I like it.
Should I send out old tapes from last summer and hope they don't ask for a current tape, or should I go into the production room and put together a tape that sounds the way I feel most comfortable? My fear of sending an old tape out is when they ask for a unscoped air check, I'm going to sound totally different. Will this hurt me chances of landing another gig? With all of this said, I feel like I am in a state of depression. I love radio, usually work 10 to 15 hours a day and love every minute of it. Now I wake up with a headache and everything I do all day at the radio station is a hassle.
Here are the options I've considered;
1) Q U I T my job right after the book. I'd love to find a part-time on-air job in this area first, maybe even our competition, which is currently looking. Recharge my battery and start looking for a better opportunity, while working a no-brainer job for a while.
2) STICK THIS MESS OUT and really try to do some good shows, and keep searching for work. I really don't know how much longer I'll be able to do this before I have a heart attack or snap.
3) ASK TO BE LET GO FROM MY POSITION & EXPLAIN MY FEELINGS to the folks here. I don't think it will help. But at least if they let me go I get unemployment for a while, and I think it will be easier to get really busy on my job search.
I really do love radio, and I can not imagine doing anything else, but I really feel it is time for a change. Any advice you can lend would be greatly appreciated.
>Should I send out old tapes from last August and hope they don't ask for a current tape?<
That sounds like the best bet to me.
>My fear of sending an old tape out is when they ask for a unscoped air check I'm going to sound totally different.<
If so, you just tell them the truth. As a friend of mine likes to say, "Let's hope you have that problem" - meaning, in this case, let's hope you find yourself in that situation where a PD likes your first tape enough that he or she asks for a second.
As for the three options you outlined, I vote for Number #2: STICK THIS MESS OUT, really try to do some good shows, and keep searching for work. If you quit (as you know), you won't get unemployment compensation. And equally important, you're much more attractive to another station if you're employed rather than unemployed.
As for #3: Believe me, they won't agree to let you go so you can collect unemployment. Some of that comes out of their pocket.
Obviously you're very unhappy with the situation right now. I think your best bet is NOT to let them know how you feel and to take advantage of everything they offer (production facilities, trade publications, music, etc.) to (discreetly, without them knowing it) market yourself elsewhere.
Hang in there.....