RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Getting Your Own Show, part 1
After you've done about a hundred interviews, it may be time for you to consider starting your own show. You may have wanted to do so from the beginning, but it is much more complex and expensive than you probably think, so we recommend that you do at least a hundred interviews first. If you won't be doing this many interviews, then you'll go farther faster by just sticking with interviewing, and forgetting about getting your own show. Plus, it's difficult enough getting your own show on just one station, but syndication to other stations is extremely tough, so you want to make sure there is a real long-term career need to do so before you drop your interviewing efforts in favor of your own show. We'll cover here why you need lots of interviewing experience...
First, you want to do enough interviews so that the people at the stations (who remember when you interviewed there) will be there to recommend your new show to the PD. And you'll need lots and lots of recommendations, since only a few PD's are going to actually consider your show, i.e., it's a small percentage of the total.
Another reason for doing many interviews first, is that you'll need the experience dealing with radio stations. Someone walking in off the street wanting to do a show right away would never be able to pull it off... and stations know this. Thus, being able to demonstrate to prospective stations that you have been on lots and lots (hopefully hundreds) of interviews will be somewhat of a resume' for you.
Also, you are (presumably) going to want to do a show whereby you interview other guests, so, being able to demonstrate that you have been on the calling side of the fence is going to be very valuable when asking PD's for a slot on their stations. Knowing what callers go through in terms of busy signals, dropped calls, cells, idiots, and (especially) screeners, will all help. After all, stations are trying to get more of a particular type of caller on the air; enough of the wrong callers and your show is going to be pulled.
Yet another point, often overlooked by almost everyone, is that by having done many, many interviews over the course of a few years, you have shown that you are not growing tired of radio, or the media in general. This is important because many people have started out their show with a bang, only to throw in the towel in 6 months because of boredom, nervousness, or something else. Stations know this, and would rather have you bomb out on somebody else's dime, because the last thing they need is to get listeners accustomed to a particular show, and then have that show disappear (especially if sponsors have sponsored the show, in which case some suing could result.)
Lastly, there is the focus of your show. While you may have been doing interviews for a while, focusing on your particular topic of interest, it's rare that this one topic can sustain an ongoing non-brokered show. Your interviews appeared once, maybe twice, on any particular station, and were probably just a few minutes at that. Your show, on the other hand, is going to be at least a half hour, every single week. So, you are going to have to spend some time honing your show-focus into something which will hold listener's attention without boring them.
Next topic: Getting Your Own Show, part 2
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