Q It Up: Tell Us a Story! - Tell Me the Truth

Tell Me The Truth

From Richard Stroobant [richard.stroobant[at]sait.ca], Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Best radio story? Most often told? Here it is.

I, like everyone else who first goes into radio, wanted to be a jock… BAD!! It’s 1987. I had been in radio for 2 years as a jock. Working in a small town, and nothing made me happier than being on the radio, playing my favorites and yakking about whatever was on my mind. It was my dream! I finally make it back to the big city as the all-night guy and I get my first air-check with a Program Director -- very famous PD, legendary, a reputation for making stations #1. I trusted this guy’s opinion more than anyone. He puts tape in, listens to the first 2 minutes and then stops it. He looks at me, and I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for him to tell me I’m gonna be the next Rick Dees. He says “You want me to tell you the truth or blow wind up your ass?” I say “Tell me the truth!”… ”You’re F&%$ing terrible!! Awful! Worst jock on our station, probably the worst announcer in the whole city. The best you will ever get in this business is mid-days in Scrubwash, Saskatchewan. And the worst part is, you work your ass off for hours prepping, and you’re still that bad. I can’t even listen to you!” As I watch him rip my beating heart out of my chest and throw it to the ground and step on my dreams, he says the one sentence that changed my life… FOREVER! “If you put as much effort into production as you do that thing you call an air shift, you would be a wizard in production!” End of story, I went on to have a 20 year career as a senior producer at a legendary rock station (one that he actually put on the air in 1977), I was lucky enough to win several international awards, including 2 RAP Awards. And now, I teach production at one of the best radio colleges in Canada. I look back now and wonder what he would’ve said and how my life would be different if I woulda said “Blow wind up my ass” instead.

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