Apparently People DO Win Radio Contests

Posted by Simple Dude | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 30-08-2011


Yesterday I posted a little inside info about how radio station promotions and contests used to be a little shady.  People certainly won prizes, but not every prize meant for listeners actually MADE IT to listeners.  Some prizes made it to unsavory people…  LIKE ME.  

If you haven’t already, read yesterday’s post first.

And now we have some GOOD NEWS.  Apparently these days things are a little more legit, as reported by one of our fellow Simpletons, Mo at Bella Baby Blahg. You see – she works in radio down in Houston and sees things from today’s perspective:


Hey Dude, as a fellow simpleton and a broadcaster you know I have to throw in my 2 cents on this one. Things have actually changed quite a bit – and you can thank everyone’s favorite ‘Ladies Man’ Elliot Spitzer! Shortly after you filled your trunk with all those Playstations and bailed on our glorious industry… Spitzer made a name for himself in NY by going after the record labels.

Don’t feel so bad for your shenanigans – the program directors and music directors were getting crisp 100 dollar bills inside CD sleeves. It is called “payola” and although it’s always been illegal, record labels found creative ways to get their songs played. Not any more.

 Ladies love DJs. Well… most DJs.

Although I am mainly on the creative side of the biz, I have noticed many changes that are good for listeners and bad for underpaid radio folk who were used to getting perks. Here’s a rundown:
 

–  No more free trips to conferences and concerts in other cities. Record labels used to use these trips to throw money at program directors. Nowadays, if the station ain’t payin, we ain’t goin. And you know how cheap radio companies are. We all have to stay in town and actually do our jobs. Bummer.

–  No more free lunches. Labels used to wine and dine the whole staff. Now the label rep can’t even buy the music director a cup of coffee. While the MD can probably afford his meal anyway, this was a nice bonus in the past for starving DJ who happened to be hanging around when the label rep strolled in.
 

–  All prizes are accounted for, and every contest clearly identifies where the prize came from. Do we still get perks that are supposed to go to listeners? Absolutely! The only difference is we have to wait till 5pm on Friday and the staff picks up the scraps from listeners who don’t show up to claim their tickets/CDs/etc. by the deadline.

As for who wins… since the advent of this new-fangled-texting-fad, many stations take “texter 99” so they have to play by the rules on that. What you describe about finding the “10th caller” *might* still go on in some places. Not here of course, I work for a highly respected major market broadcasting conglomerate. We would never do such a thing… but if by chance any of your readers do try to be the correct caller at a radio station from time to time… it never hurts to sound excited if and when the DJ answers. 

Thanks Mo – you have shed some light on things and gave us all hope once again.  I sometimes miss my radio days – it was some of the most fun I have ever had and not a bad way to earn a paycheck, and I still listen radio quite a bit.

Now if I could just get the bastards to play my Duran Duran requests.

SD


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