Saturday, July 19, 2008
Howard Stern has done what few radio talents have achieved during their careers--gotten super rich. So rich in fact that CNBC's High Net Worth show did a feature on Howard and soon-to-be wife Beth Ostrosky. (See the video below)
No sour grapes here. Just admiration for a guy who started out with a dream of being on the radio, worked really hard, had talent, had a vision, found his UNIQUE space, and had a good agent. A little good luck didn't hurt either.
You may be thinking, given the state of the radio industry today that achieving Stern level success is a fool's game. I think not. Despite the cuts, the all-music formats, and the gloomy outlook I believe the days of superstar radio talent are ahead of us. In the years to come as music becomes even more commoditized radio will be FORCED to look to talent to keep the medium alive and thriving. The specific delivery system won't matter.
Sure, some of this superstar radio talent may come from Hollywood--stars taking to the microphone and trying to make the difficult transition to radio. It's way different talking live for 3 or 4 hours than scripted TV talk shows, sitcoms, or movies. Casting will be key. Look at "failed" Whoopi Goldberg--she tried to make the move to radio and it didn't go so well. From the beginning I thought she was miscast. Whoopi's strengths did not mesh well with breakfast table happy talk; instead she should have been dishing strong opinions and politics mixed with her unique comedic skills. Now, we have a show!
Don't think for a minute that there are enough celebs to fill all of the hours with great entertaining radio. Tomorrow's star will be coming from many different places--including local talents who have a knack for comedy, conversation, information, and engagement. What's special about your personality? Can you write? Can you connect? How are you different from everyone else? Those with the answers might just get the big break.
Here's a hint: even if you are currently in a tightly regulated format take some initiative and start producing entertaining podcasts on your own. Start a personal blog. Share your podcasts on iTunes and other podcast distribution sites. Take your future into your own hands. See the forest through the trees as they say. (***before enbarking on a blog and podcasting endeavor make sure you are not violating your current employers rules***)