Today I surfed over to one of “big” radio web sites to take a peek at some of the latest job listings in the radio industry. As I figured, it was slim pickins’ on the radio job front. Still, I was happy to see that there actually were a few jobs, outside of the usual radio job openings for the sales department. There was however one opening that did catch my eye…
Nestled about half-way down the job listings, was a job opening for an engineer. The radio engineering opening in question was looking for an applicant to help set-up a new radio station for a streamer transitioning to becoming a full-fledged terrestrial broadcaster. Starting salary? 30k a year. But here’s where it starts to get ‘interesting.’ The employer is accepting bids for the opening and according to the ad, “the lowest bidder wins.”
Yea, this is where the radio job market is. Employers are no longer looking to find the best applicant, the best person for the job, the individual that’s the right fit with the company or even skirting the issue of trying to find the ‘right’ person for the most miniscule salary. Nope, it’s degenerated to ‘the lowest bidder wins.’
And rest assured fellow broadcasters, that the person who wires the board, climbs the tower, sticks their fingers in the klystron tube at the transmitter site will be the lowest bidder. When future jocks at the radio station watch a switch pop off the board and go flying through the air, only to remark, “Who put this station together, the lowest bidder?” They will never know the irony of it all. All of this left me to wonder if these guys putting together this station do this ‘lowest bidder’ stuff all the time? Do they ask for the lowest bidder if they need brain surgery or even repairs on their BMW?
Like it or not, this is where we find ourselves today, even the radio job market goes to the lowest bidder. Ability, talent, skill, background, experience be damned… gimmie’ the lowest bidder! Oh, I forgot to mention, the ad ends with… “and may the best man win.” I thought that was a pretty ‘cheap’ shot.
*John Ford is a Broadcast programming professional with nearly three decades of experience in local and network major market radio Programming and Consulting. Including stints as a VP of New Media Sabo Media, Network Programming and Imaging at ABC Radio Networks, Greenstone Media. Programming, Imaging and Morning/Talk positions at WIOD/Miami, WLLZ/Detroit, KZPS/Dallas, The Edge/Dallas, Zeta 4/Miami, WSHE/Miami and others. John’s also an uber-geek who holds numerous Apple Technical Certifications and enjoys breaking and fixing code and kit. Reach him at his website johnford.net.