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Thursday, May 2, 2013

The EGO Factor 2

The EGO Factor 2

The EGO Factor was posted on March 30, 2013.  It has taken me a month to get back to the sequel, and this post is # 103 in less than a 3 month period since the started.

This post addresses the EGO effect that takes over a person that has the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience or even over the airwaves, and is fortunate to be well received.  Since that very day off my first break a monster was created.  If anyone following this blog has ever done on air radio station work (or television for that matter) they will attest that a high level of ego that goes with the feeling of being on the spotlight (especially if well received).   That, however, was only the beginning of my battle with my EGO to ultimately do the right thing for myself and my family’s future; you have to place your family’s needs ahead of your personal satisfaction.

As far as I am concerned the opportunity to work the drive time slot at a popular radio station (local or Network) is like being the television anchor person at one of the three major networks (back in the early years of television) but on a smaller scale.  You’ve probably heard the comparison between a fish in a small pond versus being a fish in the ocean.  The saying is: “I’d rather be a small fish in a pond than a big fish in the ocean.”  In order to make a better than average living while working radio, you have to be one of the main drive personalities, if not the main personality.  Everyone else getting air time is a small time player limited to local interest, filling the radio stations air schedule.

Even within the small town radio scene there is different types of radio station licenses; some are licensed for 24/7 broadcast, and others are only daytime stations (meaning they start broadcast at sun-up and go off the air at sun-down).  Many people become so obsessed with being involved in broadcast that they sacrifice their life to be in the business hoping that someday they will be discovered and offered a job in the big city markets of New York, Miami, Chicago or Los Angeles.  For a short period of time I experienced the addiction of being in front of the microphone in the radio station control booth.

I was smart to realize that there is only so many drive time slots, and the rest are going to get by if they are lucky.  Even in the early years of the 1970’s, radio was ever evolving (including the payola scandal of the recording industry).  You knew, you were a main character if a representative from a record company called you are dropped by to take you out for a meal or drinks.  Somewhere during the socializing you would be given tickets to a concert or sporting event, maybe a watch and yes, even cash in an envelope.  I for one had no clue early on that the practice was illegal.  The whole process was a bribe so that the radio personality, would play the newest releases produced by the recording company.  Often the benefits of those exchanges were worth more than the compensation from working for the radio station.

Pretty much all my life I’ve been able to see the whole picture, and in so doing I was able to see that I needed the stability to raise a family, and to always work for the long term outcome, and not just to satisfy the ego.  Even after all that talk about common sense, once you are bitten by the bug to perform in front of the microphone, you never get it out of your system.  I’ve gone as far as to volunteer half a Saturday every week to work in front of a microphone at a University Public Broadcasting Radio Station.  The benefits are, you get to hear yourself on the air, you get your followers that stroke your ego and compliment you regularly with their phone calls and letters, and the station management, appreciates your time.

I’ve often considered that if I ever won the lotto, I would invest in a radio station.  Unfortunately the radio station that I have enjoyed being around is evolving itself out of existence, and is not likely to be as much fun as I remember even if it sticks around.  The best is yet to come….

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