Tonight 98.3 The Beat planned a special event at club Medallion. We have ran several PSA’s on the radio and across Clear Channel’s local radio stations in Columbus, GA. Wednesday’s are usually a big night for club Medallion so the estimated outcome for the audience should be rather good. I won’t be able to attend the planned event tonight because I have to work and will not get off until late, but I know my mentor will let me know how it went on Friday. Although I will not be able to attend the event everyone seemed very excited and a lot of talk was going around the event. I also helped with advertising and promotion for the event. The word needs to get out not only on the radio but by word of mouth.
Today I had the opportunity of working with some PSA advertisement checks from several companies and filling out paperwork for the winners from different stations contests. I worked the board during my usual times which is 4-5:30pm and answering phone calls for the winner of the day during the “Top 4 Playlist” half.
Around 4:45pm we did have an on-air interview with Janel Lewis on the Lupus Live charity fundraiser on May 3rd. Mrs. Lewis spoke about where the event will be held, what will happen and most importantly what the event is.
The event is meant to raise awareness and research funding for lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue. Lupus Live will be held Saturday, May 3 from 7pm to 8:30pm at St. James AME CHurch banquet hall located at 1002 6th Ave. downtown Columbus. There will also be a walk that morning at 9:30 am at Lake Bottom Park.
It was wonderful to hear what Mrs. Lewis had to offer and say about the organization.
Today I got to work the board again. But this time I didn’t work the board for like 30 minutes but for the whole 2 hour block that I am at my internship 3-5pm. I got to work not only the board but also the phone line for “Topic of the Day.” Topic of the Day are daily topics that listeners and citizens of Columbus, GA submit in each day to talk about their personal issues and other things that are going on in the city. It isn’t easy working the board and the phone line. You have to make sure that you are not conflicting with what’s going on on-air either. I am not going to lie I did mess up at least twice. While my mentor was talking on the radio I accidentally cut him off and turned the music on which didn’t allow him to finish what he had to say. Second, usually when someone is talking on the radio some kind of music need to be playing behind their voice. While I thought I had turned on the instrumental, nothing was playing behind his voice. It took me about 10 seconds to find out what was wrong but it felt like so much longer. I can honestly say that I think I am getting better at working the board. I am still nervous but practice makes perfect.
Well today was the day. My first day working the board on live radio. I was so nervous about messing up and causing just silence on the radio. Silence on a radio station is a bad thing. Music or commercials needs to always be running on the radio, even someone just talking. I started working the board around the 4 o’clock hour when topic of the day was over. I was basically in charge of getting the 4 play at 4 ready and the throwback song of the day. It’s interesting being charge of the board and controlling what the audience is listening to. You see the first two tabs from the left control the volume for the microphone, while the red and yellow buttons for all the control buttons determine whether that portion of the board is on or not. Red signifies “on air” and yellow if off the air. The next three control bars represent the volume for the music. All three must be at a set volume so the sound will equal out when the radio personality is talking you can move the first two tabs down so when the next song plays it intertwines. Next we have is BBAR 1, 2, and 3 which controls the background music behind the speaker. When the radio personality is talking you want some kind of music behind it so their won’t be any silence. There are several instrumentals to choose from and of course each radio station picks their own personal one. The next control bars control the computer and phone such as when callers call in and recorded. Let’s say today wasn’t perfect but that’s why after today I will keep controlling the board at a certain hour than eventually run the board the whole time slot by myself. Radio isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. There is a lot of planning and thinking towards it
Today I learned about broadcast timing. Basically how everything on radio is managed on a clock. The picture provided above is not the exact timing that 98.3 the Beat uses but it is close. Radio is seen in 15 minute intervals. Every 15 minutes commercials are played which are featured sponsors of the selected radio station. For example, sponsors such as Gil’s, bars downtown, and Budget Car & Truck have featured commercial spots. Also, my mentor, Derrick Greene, mentioned to me how you have to have top/popular music within the first 15 minutes because that is when people are getting off work or more than likely getting in the car. You have to keep the audience interested and wanting to stay listening to your radio station. Every top hour there is the most popular music playing just case you didn’t know. Of course weather and traffic have their special time slots which is usually during half of the hour and :45 mark of the hour.
It’s crazy when you learn how radio works because it makes you look and listen to radio differently. I even caught myself listening to different radio stations and noticing the small things such as they played their commercials too early or don’t even have any other sponsors besides club events.
Today I learned about Mediabase 24/7. It is a social music media base that shows you what music is being played across the country. You can search from hip-hop to country music on this site. Of course you have to have a special login and password just to gain access to all this music. I believe only radio stations are allowed to access to this site. Not only can you view different music but you can search different radio stations and see what their playing. For example, I can look and see what Hot97 is playing in California and Power105 in New York.
The picture you see above are this week’s top 100 songs in hip-hop. You see on readio you can’t just pick and choose what songs to play on a daily basis. You have to choose what’s popular not only for you listeners but also what’s popular around the country. You can’t play a song that you like in particular and it be rated a 78 on the top songs. My advisor, Derrick Greene, explained is best when he said, “You have to wait until that song hits the top 10. You can’t play a song that is underrated because you have to give it time to climb to the top. We could play out a certain song six months ahead just because it’s popular here but the artist would wonder why it’s not number one at its highest peak because we played it out already.”
I never knew radio had such an organized and unique way about it.