Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Interview with Bob Flynn of 1340 AM and 92.1 FM WCSR Hillsdale, MI

How did you get started in broadcasting?
My dad worked part-time at WCSR for nearly 30 years. I used to come to the station with him sometimes and found it fascinating. He taught me the basics, and when he died in 1981, I took over his part-time hours, and it grew from there.

How long have you been employed in the field of broadcasting?
Officially, since 1981.

What type of education did you get in order to do what you currently do in broadcasting?
I did not attend a broadcast school, but did take a number of English and writing classes in college. These classes have helped me in writing effective commercial copy, news and sports stories, and being able to speak proper English keeps me from sounding stupider than I normally do.

What is your motivation for being in the field of broadcasting?
It's definitely not the money!! I like the potential each day's not the same thing day after day. You just never know what's going to happen. Plus, I like to talk. And, if I can get paid to do that, what's not to like?

Could you describe what your job is like?
Jobs, plural, actually. My main job is my afternoon radio show from noon to 6pm each day. Playing music, reading news, sports, weather updates, human interest stories, keeping the listener entertained and informed. I'm also a part of our sales staff, so I spend each morning going on sales calls, writing and recording ads, keeping clients happy and current. Plus, during sports seasons, I broadcast high school football and basketball. That entails travelling to the field/court, setting up and tearing down the broadcast equipment, calling the game, keeping stats, etc.

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a job in broadcasting?
Be prepared to work hard for little pay. I think most people who are interested in broadcasting only see the "big name" stars who make the big money. They don't realize that the vast majority of broadcasters start at small stations, working nights, weekends and holidays for just over minimum wage.

What do you think of the current state of radio?
Personally, I'm a bit disappointed. A large percentage of radio today is run by a few corporations, who buy up radio stations left and right simply for the money. The true "mom-and-pop" stations are disappearing, which is sad. It's those stations that do what radio was meant to do in the first place: keep listeners informed.

What is you opinion of satellite radio?
I understand why it exists, but I don't understand why someone would pay to listen to something that's free. Plus, satellite radio doesn't tell you what's happening when the power goes out, what schools are closed, whether there's severe weather headed your way, what time the parade starts...if all you want to do is listen to music, then fine. But if you want to be an informed listener, then local free radio is the way to go.

Bob, Thank you for your time


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