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Jul
17
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Matty B: How To Survive Your First Decade In Radio
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From Milkmanunlimited

Matty B is the afternoon announcer at Z95.3 Vancouver

This month I reach 10 years in my career in radio. That’s not counting the year and a half I spent manually loading CDs into players and queuing up Celine Dion songs. But over the time I’ve been an announcer from small to big markets, I’ve learned some things about myself and the industry, so here’s how you can survive 10 years and beyond in the radio industry.

You are always in control of your own career. There are going to be many times when it doesn’t feel like it. Whether your PD gives a part of your shift away to another announcer, or you get bumped from your time slot completely, never forget that ultimately you get to pull the final strings. Don’t let it be a blow to your confidence when the path you imagined for yourself gets interrupted, because there is always another path to success. For me, that path often meant showcasing my other talents. I absorbed as much programming and music scheduling information as I could – ultimately that made me a better announcer, and showed my boss I could be trusted and depended on.

Every decision you make for yourself, can lead to success. Whether that be personal, or career fulfillment. It can often feel like there are others calling the shots, no matter if you’re in small or large market radio. When I worked for a small market chain of stations, the focus was often on quantity, and I sometimes felt I got lost in the scramble. In large market radio, you may feel like there are unknown bosses making every decision for you. My best advice is to always have at least a 3 year plan. Know your goals, and figure out how you’re going to get there.

Know when to move on. Illustrator Christoph Niemann says “I’m convinced you always have to change direction while things are good”. Finding your next life challenge will keep your brain stimulated, your on air content fresh, and most importantly (as I found recently) keep you happy. There is no way to do our job when we’re in a foul mood, my best advice is to find a mentor who really understands your perspective on life (or better yet shares yet!). I’ve been really lucky to have more than a few bosses and co workers who embrace my sassy, pessimistic outlook on life.

Know your limit. Our mental health is tested on a daily basis as an announcer. We open our personal lives to public scrutiny, and are often the first to hear or read complaints. I can’t give advice on trolls, because they still get to me (my personal favourite is the “who cares” comment after a well thought out social media post). I walk away from every show I do with the attitude of, “I did the best I could, and today that was enough”. Keep a healthy attitude, mind, and always an eye on your future.

mattyb@z953.ca



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