Question: I want to apply for a job at a station in a different format than what I am currently working. Should I send a demo of what I am doing now or should I make a special demo with music from his format?

Answer: Hopefully, the PD is listening for talent and not his or her format. Send what you have and do not worry about it. Better yet, call or e-mail the PD or their assistant and ask what to send. By the way, do yourself a favor and record every time you talk on the air. That way you will always be ready in case something comes along you want to apply for.

Question: How long should I make my podcast?

Answer: That is a question I get frequently asked. The right answer is that podcasts should be long enough to cover the topic you want to discuss. For example, if you are talking on how to make hangers, it might be covered in a few minutes, but if you are talking about something political, that might take more time.
Another thing to keep in mind is that audio can be listened to when your listeners are doing “other” activities: for example exercising, doing mindless tasks, or commuting. I have heard everything from five minutes to three hours.

Question: I graduate in June with a degree in Music Communications. I have worked at my college station for two years and an internship at a station last winter. We learned how to put together a demo last semester, but I am still not sure how to go about getting a job. I have sent out over 100 resumes without any responses. Do you have any advice?

Answer: It is always good to reach back for information from contacts at your internship. There might be a job there. Also, contact the Pd’s in your town and ask for advice on how to get a job. Make that person a mentor and ask if they would mind critiquing your work. This approach speeds up the process for getting that first radio job.

Question: Somebody told me that if I start an Internet radio station that I would have to pay to play music, is this true?

Answer: Under a decision made by the United States Copyright Royalty Board, Web-only radio stations, Podcast music shows, and regular broadcasters that stream online, have to pay for each song played to each listener.

Noncommercial radio stations, which log more than 149,150 hours of copyrighted music per listener, are forced to pay the same price as commercial radio stations. This has a significant impact on individual Internet radio operators. Also, these radio stations will have to accurately calculate their listener base. This will require expensive software as well as keeping track of which songs were played when and how many people were listening to that performance.

A “performance” is defined as the streaming of one song to one listener; thus a station that has an average audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 “performances” for each song it plays. The minimum fee is $500 per station per year. For noncommercial webcasters, the fee is $500 per station, for up to 159,140 ATH (aggregate tuning hours) per month. They pay the commercial rate for all transmissions above that number. Because of the high cost, talk might be the best format for an Internet radio owner.

Question: I want to apply for a job at a station in a different format than what I am currently working. Should I send an aircheck of what I am doing now or should I make a special aircheck with music from his format?

Answer: Hopefully, the PD is listening for talent and not his or her format. Send what you have and do not worry about it. Better yet, call or e-mail the PD or their assistant and ask what to send. By the way, do yourself a favor and record every time you talk on the air. That way you will always be ready in case something comes along you want to apply for.

Question: My program director and I do not agree on some of the music we are playing. I am on the air every day and I think I have a better feel for what the audience wants to hear. What should I do?

Answer: It is okay to disagree off the air but never on the air. Go to your PD and have a friendly, private conversation with your thoughts and ideas. Be inquisitive and not confrontational. It is his/her job to direct and yours to follow. Learning your station’s current music strategy will only add to your radio knowledge. It sounds as if one of your goals is to program.

Question: I graduate in June with a degree in Music Communications. I have worked at my college station for two years and an internship at a station last winter. We learned how to put together a demo last semester, but I am still not sure how to go about getting a job. I have sent out over 100 resumes without any responses. Do you have any advice?

Answer: It is always good to reach back for information from contacts at your internship. There might be a job there. Also, contact the PD’s in your town and ask for advice on how to get a job. Make that person a mentor and ask if they would mind critiquing your work. This approach speeds up the process for getting that first radio job.