Hudson Thompson – Sales. Maintaining old relationships and starting new ones.

This week at WCJM was awesome because I got to participate in sales!

I’ve been there for weeks and the one branch of radio I feel I have not gotten to get into was sales, so I asked Steve Wheeler, our station manager, if I could go out and participate in that. He said yes, so Friday, I got all dressed up and went out with Dr. Dave. He is a DJ here that also does sales, just like Smoot. There is also Mike, whom I have never mentioned, that works at the Bull who is strictly sales. And, lastly, Gator  is the production manager.

Friday, I was able to go out and participate in sales with Dave. The first place we went to was the new Merle Norman in Valley, Alabama. They have done advertising with us in the past a few times, and plan on doing it in the future. Now, that of course was mentioned in the 20+ minutes we were there, but what I found out Dave’s approach is – he likes to talk and make people feel comfortable. He talked about what was going on in his life lately, he told her about his niece and other recent happenings, etc.

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After we left he told me that for him, sales is really is about finding common ground with people and making them feel comfortable. I applied what I am learning in my Intro to PR class and we talked about how one must maintain old relationships while also starting new ones with new clientele. We also got to talk to some potential new clientele in Valley at Jin Express for a moment before we were basically shot down and he told us, “I’ll talk to Smoot.” This is something Dave said to never get offended by or worry about, because this happens all the time – some people want to deal with a certain person or could even NOT want to deal with you because of some other person. It is just the way it is in small town radio.

It was a fun and interesting time, and I could feasibly see myself working in sales!

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Hudson Thompson – Commercial-Making Extraordinaire

This is my fourth week here at WCJM The Bull, where they play “the biggest hits by the biggest stars.”

This week brought many new opportunities for me. I got the chance to toy around a little bit with the software they use to create the commercials, and ended up making a commercial for a local body shop. I was able to choose the background music and then play with it until I got it how I wanted it to sound. I also learned how to edit the voice track to where certain parts were emphasized with echo, etc. After that, I was able to dub that in as well as many other commercials.

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Here I am dubbing in my commercial!

One interesting thing that happened this week was that two of our DJ’s went to a Point University baseball game while the rest of us stayed and manned the station. It was interesting to see how the live feed worked. They would cover the game, say they were taking a minute break, and we would (from the station) go to a commercial or a liner, then go back to them when the next inning started, or whenever they took a break.

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Here is the board we were working from…

One thing I am looking forward to in the coming weeks is that I will  be starting to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays to observe/assist/learn from the morning DJ, Steve Smoot. I think he will be fun and interesting to work with!

Hudson Thompson – Learning the Ropes

It’s my third week in here at the WCJM, The Bull. Some interesting things came up this week. The man who is teaching me everything I need to know to be able to function at a radio station, “Gator” talked to Cindy Lauper about her upcoming show on Women’s Entertainment. It was a conversation I was able to listen in on, which was fun and it was interesting to see how he conducted a radio interview.

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This is Gator doing the interview…

This week, I was able to help out with the editing and cutting down the phone interview into something we could put on the air.

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We did this with editing software, and it was fun to compress a 7-10 minute long conversation into a 1 minute “news story”!

Another thing I got to play around with was dubbing in commercials. I would take commercials that are needed to be put on the air from the computer  and put them into the system (that in turn plays whatever on the air). It is my job to make sure the levels are all correct. You do not want a commercial turned down really low, then the next commercial blowing up people’s car speakers.

I am still working on converting the CD’s to digital music with the station in the back. Hopefully I will be able to wrap that up in a few weeks.

Hudson Thompson – Learning Bull

So, this is my second week here at the West Point radio station, 100.9 WCJM The Bull. I’m still getting adjusted, obviously, but it has been fun and I have already learned a good bit about the business and day to day tasks.

The big thing they have had me on this week is converting music from CD to digital for AM 1310 WPLV (the other radio show that is run out of the station’s building). The morning show’s DJ still has to load in music via CD and I have taken upon the task of updating their station.
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This is the stack of CD’s I’ve tackled this week…

One thing I’ve done while there in my down time is listen to other/rival stations and pay attention to their commercials and liners. What you are looking for with the commercials is to see how many they are running per hour and when they’re running them. With listening to the liners, you are listening for possible liner ideas for your own station. “Any good idea is worth stealing” is what I was jokingly told. Listening and taking notes on what others are doing is what is known as competitive programming.

I have also aided the DJ’s in their getting ready for their hour+ section by scheduling music. I will look at certain hours and if there are overlapping songs or artists or the timing is off, I’ll change songs to make it have a better mix and the timing better.

I’m really excited in the coming weeks to possibly see some remotes take place and see someone run the board, and eventually run the board myself. That will be fun and interesting, I’m sure!!