The pilgrimage of a CHR Jock
It can hit without any warning, a swift and unforgiving kick to the gonads!!! One moment you’re soaring as high as the eagles and the next you claim the gutter as your place of residence.
Usually you can avoid it by taking the safer yet EXTRA LONG way around the office in an attempt to fly under the radar, but sooner or later you can’t escape those dreaded words… “Let’s Have a listen.” It’s aircheck day!
Damn…. The news is devastating; thoughts quickly flood your mind about the quality of your show. Did I get enough caller interaction? Were my speed breaks speedy enough? Did I even work on any of the things mentioned my last aircheck? All of the insecurities I’ve ever amounted to come down to this moment.
You begin the pilgrimage down the valley of the shadow of death towards the spot where the unleashing will begin.
I don’t care what anyone says! No one likes to get airchecked and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t get easier over time. This could be due to ego, pride, or a result in airchecks past gone bad.
Earlier in my radio career I was told not to bother with attempting to win an ACRA because I would never be considered to equate to anything in the industry, however I somehow bagged one. I was later told by an ACD of another station that everything I had ever done on air was a load of S%&$* and I was not deserving of a job let alone any awards.
There is a good chance this is where my insecurities of the humble aircheck have come from.
One thing I’ve learnt over a number of years is that you often have to take this feedback with a grain of salt, easier said than done when you are getting critiqued and criticized not only of your delivery style but ultimately on your personality. Having the ability to distance your personal feelings from your professional development to find that balance is paramount to becoming successful in radio and dominating the airwaves.
Your personality is your weapon; you will never be the next Hamish and Andy, but you are the next you. The key is remembering that you’re unique and utilizing that knowledge is what will make you different from the others.
The reality is that 99% of the time airchecks are never as bad as you think they will be, seek out someone who you really admire in the industry and get them to listen to your work, train yourself to be thick skinned if you’re not. Welcome their feedback with open arms. In the long run you won’t regret the feedback you receive.
Good, Bad and Ugly…