Gemma Walsh is a former Fox FM & Nova Announcer and is currently of the Editor of TheSocialPages.com
Announcers. You always get sacked on Fridays. Yes every time.
Unless, of course, you try to give away $10,000 to your friend by rigging a competition. Then you get sacked straight away. But if you are on-air and they decide (I guarantee you it will be one of these options), you’re not quite the right fit / they want a new sound / the station is moving in a new direction. You will be told on a Friday.
You see, it’s pretty much guaranteed at some point you will get fired, or be forced into a ‘role-change’, or be so significantly demoted you would probably rather be fired. It’s just the way on-air works. Even the greatest announcers of all time have been ‘let go’ at some point.
But why? Firstly, being on-air makes you an easy target. Firstly because every time a new Program Director or General Manager comes in, they want to make their mark on the station. And the first thing to change is announcers or the music.
Secondly, for every announcer on-air… there are ten thousand other ‘street team/ promotions team / journalism graduates/ post-grad broadcasting’ girls who want your job. And they are willing to be paid less and work longer.
But knowing all this doesn’t lessen the blow. When it happens, it’s devastating. It’s the ultimate insult, betrayal and a major slap in the face. And usually, you won’t see it coming. You see, radio people are very good at hiding their feeling while plotting against you.
So knowing all this brings some big lessons;
Be gracious when you get your dream on-air gig… because there is a chance someone else has just lost theirs.
Be thankful. Don’t take advantage of your time behind the mic, work hard and don’t get lazy… you never know, you might be one of the few that gets through unscathed.