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RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Getting Your Own Show, part 2

Now for some specifics as to what directions to look into, with regards to getting your own show. This information is broken down into two parts... your first single-station, which is covered in this article, and the possible syndication which you could later attempt, which is covered in the following article.

You first must get on one real station, somehow, somewhere. Note that we are talking here of a traditional AM or FM broadcast station that you can tune into while driving in your car. Web-only stations do have a purpose, but setting yourself up for a career as a radio talk host is probably not one of them.

The size of the station is not important since you need to practice anyway, and you don't want your mistakes to cost you a big station that you'll need later on. Also, if you later try to syndicate, you can just use the audio from the first small station.

For your first step, you can always try your luck and see if you can get a "paid gig" hosting your own show (as a station staff member) at a commercial station, Walking in from the street like this and getting an on-air shift, thereby passing everyone else who was trying for it too, is extremely rare... but it can happen. Try with your local stations within an hour's drive... probably the AM's... where you'll have the most chance.

Next up, you can try for an unpaid slot at a community or college station. Community stations will put you on a waiting list, and college stations will require you to enroll in a communications or broadcasting class. Either option is not bad, if you are in this for the rest of your career.

If you fail at finding a slot on a commercial or non-commercial station, you can always offer to be a volunteer at either type of station, thereby getting a feel for the inside of them, and also meeting with some of the people that you'll need to impress if you want your own show there in the future.

Your next option is to buy the time (which is also called "brokering") on one of the local stations. Yes, you can buy an entire half or full hour on almost any station, for the right price, which ranges from $20 to $20,000 per hour. The advantage to brokering is that you do whatever type of show you want, and, the station will help you put it together for you, even including an engineer and and producer/screener if that's what's needed. There are some good reasons why you should not broker, however; only after doing a lot of learning will you be able to decide whether it's right for you or not.

Your last option is to broker the time as stated above, but do the show from your own home, having the show recorded and sent to the station for a later broadcast, or, having the show sent live to the station while you are doing it. The at-home option is very difficult, expensive, and introduces a lot a room for errors. It therefore is recommended only for those who have been doing the other options for quite a while.

Whatever option you choose, you should stay with the one station for at least (repeat... at least) six months before ever considering trying to syndicate. You may think that you are wasting your time on "just one station", but you won't know the real meaning of difficult until you try to syndicate without any single-station experience.

Next topic: Getting Your Own Show, part 3

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