The Top Three Things I’ve Learned Working in Radio

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By: Rebecca Adelmann, Director of Finance

Between iTunes and apps like Spotify or Tidal, it’s easy to push radio to the wayside and forget about it. But, there’s a lot about this forgotten jewel that you probably don’t know about. I didn’t before I dove into the radio scene head-first this summer. Here are the top three things I’ve learned about radio so far this summer:

1. It isn’t dead

First let me shut down the common myth that radio is on its last leg. From my experience (and research) that is anything but the case. I’ve heard our sales representatives talk about ratings and numbers and while I can’t say that I’m fluent in radio jargon just yet, I can tell that radio’s popularity is still booming. According to Nielsen in 2015, radio was found to be the United States’ number one mass medium. It reached 93% of adults over the age of 18. Radio also beats TV, PCs and mobile devices when it comes to reaching people during the hours of 6am and 7pm. It is shown to reach 245 million listeners weekly. I can vouch for these statistics. The promotions department is always busy preparing for various events and constantly updating the website. There is rarely a time during my eight hour shift when I’m not busy at work doing some form of promotions for the station. I can’t believe how many people call during the day and how many are in and out of our main office picking up prizes that they win on the air. I also can’t believe what celebrities the radio personalities at our stations have become in the Greater Lehigh Valley area. Radio has been around for over a century and to witness evidence that proves it to still be incredibly relevant is eye-opening to say the least.

2. There’s more to it than just what you hear

Before I started interning in radio, I never really thought about everything that went on behind the scenes. I always just thought it was music interspersed with commercials. I never realized the extremely large amounts of planning that are done each week to make the radio station run smoothly. While interning, I get a taste of everything that the station has to offer. I get to see the production side with the radio personalities. I also get to see the programming side of things where everything is laid out and scheduled. Of course the promotional aspect is great with me being a PR major and all but I also get to put my business minor to use with the financial aspect in radio. There is also the sales side which is responsible for all of the commercials and advertisements. It’s great to get to be behind the scenes for all of these branches of radio and then hear the finished product when all is said and done.

3. It was one of the best decisions I ever could have made

When I decided to intern in radio I had no idea how many doors the business would be able to open for me. I have learned more than I ever could have imagined in just a few short months. Even though it’s an unpaid internship, I still find my work to be tremendously rewarding. I’m treated like an equal at the station. I’m trusted with responsibilities and I get to fly solo during many different tasks throughout the day. As an intern, I’m the lowest rank on the proverbial totem pole but it never really feels that way. I can tell that my work is appreciated and that I am a valued asset at the station. Interning in radio has taught me more than I thought I ever would have learned and I can honestly say that accepting this internship was a decision I will never regret.

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