Great News! WE just doubled your work load!

This was and still is a very common theme.  Either by purchasing more radio stations and combining them, firing all of the overnight DJ’s and automating, or “combining market forces to create a better synergy,” the radio engineer gets more work dumped on him.  Naturally, they also have given out a hefty raise to boot, right?


Has this happened to you? Why is it that the engineers always get shit upon?  I’ll tell you, look in the mirror.  Engineers (and IT guys) do it to themselves because they accept it.  Here is a news flash:

Radio stations cannot run without engineers

Think about it. Is the market manager going to be on call in case the Audiovault crashes?  Will he answer the phone when the automated station’s silence sensor goes off at 2 am?  Will he be able to fix it?  How about the transmitter or the internet web stream, or the e-mail, the broadband internet, the phone system, STL, the traffic computer, etc.

The more technology driven a radio station becomes, the more technology people will be needed.  It is also a little peculiar, at least to me anyway, that there are fewer and fewer radio engineers.

It is about time that radio station owners in particular come to realize a basic tenant of supply and demand.  As a commodity (our collective skill and knowledge about broadcasting) becomes rarer, the price goes up.  After all, the radio owner’s certainly are making money, Lew Dicky got his bonus this year in spite of the collapse of Cumulus stock prices.  I am sure that Lowery Mays is doing quite well in spite of the rumors of the looming Clear Channel bankruptcy.

What I am talking about is not stabbing your fellow engineer in the back.  If the above scenario plays out for you, don’t accept the additional work without a raise.  If you do, you diminish your value and the value of every other broadcast engineer.  When it comes to corporate management, these people are not human.  They are very well trained bean counters who know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

One thought on “Great News! WE just doubled your work load!”

  1. I remember when the FCC Rules allowed only 7, 7, & 7. Seven AM, Seven FM, and Seven TV licensees. Reagan’s FCC raised it and Bubba Clinton almost completely eliminated the lid! Clear Channel came along with “junk bonds” and the car dealer mentality and got real big Texas style. Since then, the industry has seen big changes. I remember when a CE had an AM and an FM to maintain and that was it. Revenues were good and everybody was pretty happy. The re-structured stations and consolidated operations into one building per market was a good idea at streamlining, but put extreme pressure on the downsized engineering departments. T1s were run all over the country for voice-tracking, and other cost slashing measures. I can remember listening to a local station with the voice tracker giving the wrong call letters! I asked my friend about it and he said it was some new guy voice-tracking in Florida who got it goofed up! I believe the dust will settle and there may be a correction for the better if we get some real leaders instead of the current trend of “copy-cats” in this industry. Lee Iacocca recently wrote an excellent book, “Where Have all the Leaders Gone?”. They say, “Technology Always Wins”, but domestic radio broadcasting can still be saved if broadcasters start being leaders instead of followers.

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