The Honest Truth About Radio
I’m always asked “when was the first time you knew you wanted to work in radio?” and it’s never a simple answer.
My first memories of radio are sitting in the back of my grandparent's van with my Looney Tunes pillow listening to the news being broadcast to the Philadelphia area. The tag of “you give us twenty minutes, we’ll give you the world” and the constant clicking of the old teletype in the background were a calming feeling as we drove to dinner or to my great-grandmother's house. I would constantly listen to traffic updates and the sports scores from the night before, while simultaneously trying to catch the new Green Day or a classic cut on the rock station. I never wanted to miss what was next on any station.
Then, I discovered what a morning and an afternoon commute was. I would drive into high school early to get some extra wrestling workouts in, and my faithful morning show was always there. They laughed, they cried, they ate weird food, they asked ridiculous questions. It seemed like an exhilarating job. But the most important thing they did, was to make my day just a little bit better by being themselves and all of a sudden traffic wasn’t that big of a deal, the guy honking behind me in the parking lot wasn’t a problem, being low on gas (for a second) wasn’t the biggest thing on my mind. The radio was audible coffee, providing a jump start to your day, or helping you unwind on the way home.
I knew that if I wanted to work in radio and be the voice that would keep people company that I had to go to college. Radio isn't the same as it was in the early days when pretty much anyone could get a job. Modern radio goes way beyond cracking open a microphone and talking.
Through hard work, I eventually became an intern for the morning show that I'd grown up listening to (literally a dream come true!) and discovered that I could wear flip-flops to work! I also discovered how passionate listeners are. I discovered that radio is more than just playing songs and giving away free stuff. I discovered that radio is a connection…a relationship…a family. A family that comes together every single day, whether it be for a meal, for a drive, or for a community event. A family that laughs together, loves together, even cries together. Pushing one button to turn on a microphone can help change and brighten someone’s day. It can help one person forget about stress at work and home. It can help someone forget about paying that cable bill as soon as they enter the kitchen that night.
The truth about radio is that there's a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that you don't see, but none of that beats turning on the microphone and talking to people to brighten their day. Being a DJ means being able to help people forget about the stress they face at work and home. It helps people forget about the mounds of bills piling up and all of the things on their honey-do list.
Radio is about connecting and making a difference in the lives of others and it's a two-way street. My listeners mean so much to me and that's the truth about radio.