Filed under Education, Mentor, Radio, Sales
Tagged as Al Albarran, Augie Grant, Bruce Mims, Charles Warner, college, Continuing Education, Dave Connelly, Erica Farber, GM Journal, Henry Lackey, higher education, Mark Levy, radio sales, Radio World, Sales, sales training, university
Great but sad read Dick.
When so many young people are graduating with Broadcasting, or Jounalism, or Radio and TV, or Communications degrees, it’s sad that Broadcasting programs at many colleges and universities are taught by folks with advanced degrees but with NO broadcast experience! Way back when, I taught Introduction to Broadcast Engineering for 2 years at my Alma mater, CW Post College. At that time, I was 7 or 8 years into my Broadcasting life, having worked at 3 New York market radio stations, including my home for the rest of my broadcast life, WABC Radio. The text book had been picked out by the Department head, and looked nice, with lots of great pictures, but had little to do IMHO with the “introduction” part of the course title. I had them get the Third Class FCC License Study Guide. That plus field trips to WCWP (the college radio station), and to WABC, gave them a better “intro” than the expensive text book ever would have.
Turn the clock ahead to my last years at WABC, when so many young hires, right out of college joined the Sales Department. Many had come out of college with expensive degrees, but no usable skills! They had Journalism, or Communication, or Radio/TV degrees, but no idea what a job in the Sales Department entailed. The retention rate was about 1 out of 8 who lasted 3 months. How much better could that one who lasted have done, and would the other 7 even entertained an idea to take the job, if he or she had been educated in Broadcast Sales?
My son spent 12 years at Fox, not because of what he learned working for his very expensive Journalism Degree, but rather because of what he learned in 2 intern experiences at Fox. When the letters after one’s name, are more important that one’s experience in the field, you are turning out a graduate ill equipped to make it in the real world. We all know that this is the norm in broadcasting, but you have to wonder if other areas of study are as disconnected from real world experience. Back in 1967, when I started college, it cost something like 10% or less of what it costs today’s students. What a sad commentary on higher education that students who need real world experience in the classroom are NOT getting it!
Bravo Dick, for trying to do your best to change that, and sad that it won’t continue!
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Thanks Frank. I’m totally in concert with you on this. -DT
Hello Dick … Thanks for the article in Radio World. My wife, Tara, and I owned and operated small market radio stations in Georgia and South Carolina for 25 years (1975-1999). After selling our business I went back to school and earned my PhD. I have been teaching at Piedmont College since 2002. Every other year I teach an elective course, Electronic Media Sales and Programming. I have to twist the arms of most of my students to take the course BUT when I hear back from my alumni almost all who have taken this course say it was the course that helped them the most after graduation. I strongly support the effort to expand sales training at the undergraduate level. Account Rep. was always the hardest position for us to fill at our stations AND we had to do all of the training. Colleges would be doing their students and the industry a big favor by making sales a part of their curriculum.
Thank you for adding your experiences to the discussion. The big disconnect is between what the radio industry desperately needs and what the academy wants to teach. We need to bring both sides together for the good of the radio industry. -DT
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