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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 2:27 pm 
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Here's a hypothetical situation -- Talent comes in once a week and tracks six five hour daytime shifts covering a total of 30 hours. This is usually accomplished in about 3 hours, and includes show prep time. Owner pays ten bucks an hour, or 30 bucks a week. Talent is on the air 30 hours a week, which amounts to a buck an hour, and believes they should be paid more. What do you think is a fair wage under this circumstance? If you were an owner, would you pay this? Or do you think the talent is being taken advantage of?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:16 pm 
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I believe if you get x amount of hours of production out of a person, you should pay them for that amount of hours. Unfortunately that ain't how it works these days and most jocks only get paid for a few hours of work, when they generate several more hours of production for their stations. I guess if they did pay you for the amount of hours you produce, then there wouldn't be any need to voice track. Imagine that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:55 pm 
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If I were the talent, I would be fine being paid for 3 hours. I would have a problem with $10 an hour. I used to charge $25 an hour for production.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:42 pm 
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I agree with Sage.

I know some guys whose stations are mostly VT'd.

They actually pay per track.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:27 pm 
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Location: Central WA
My last VT gig, I got paid a free lunch once a month. But then, the station was bankrupt, the PD was a friend of mine, I did it from home, and by that time, radio was pretty much a hobby for me as I had a "real" job. That lasted 5 years, my longest single stint with 1 station.

I do agree with The Sage that the pay scale in the hypothetical is to low, but also agree that if you're only putting in 3 hours of work a week, that's what you should be paid for. At one point, I was contacted by a station on the Washington (state) coast to do weekends. They were offering $50 per 5 hour VT'd shift. I accepted the job and the next day the PD and GM were fired, and they flipped formats. So much for that gig......


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:29 pm 
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jry wrote:
I agree with Sage. I know some guys whose stations are mostly VT'd. They actually pay per track.
I should mention that the last time I did production was in 1994. I would expect more these days, but I just don't have the interest.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:46 am 
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Sage, it's a good thing you don't have the interest. If you believe you'd get more than what you did in 1994, you're like the fast food workers who want an instant doubling of their pay. It just doesn't work that way. This service is market driven just like any other, and you simply wouldn't be working.

There are many GREAT sounding announcers either retired, or "outsourced" who would gladly do it for less than $10/hour. Especially given that a 3 hour show can be done (and done well) in about 1.5 hours or less....may not seem like much, but a "once a month" paycheck of 1.5 hours x20 weekdays=30 hours, and is still a nice check for sitting home and "sounding local at even "minimum"....

But, you're not interested so it doesn't matter.

Most people who voicetrack don't do hourly anymore anyway, it's an agreed-upon "by the job" kind of thing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:47 am 
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From 1993 - 2001, I was producing between 4000 and 6000 commercials a year, employing 22 voice talent. Thanks for the education, but we never employed talent in the manor you are suggesting, and I would have never paid $10 an hour then or likely now. People willing to work for that kind of money lack the confidence in their own abilities to do a great job, and it is obvious with the finished product.

There is such a thing as standards, and I have always respected those who care about their craft. I have not paid much attention to those who lack the ability to employ high standards in their work.

So HugeEgo, it's great that there are people willing to work cheap, but it's very likely that they are getting paid exactly what they are worth and in some cases paid more than their contribution to the finished product.

I suspect (although I haven't heard them in a while) that my old stations are now voice tracked and economized to the max. I exited the industry about 8 years about and became an amametur critic. Lately, I have been investing my listening time to non-terrestrial broadcasting due in part to the $10 VT-DJ's that dominate the industry.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:42 pm 
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The Sage wrote:
From 1993 - 2001, I would have never paid $10 an hour then or likely now. People willing to work for that kind of money lack the confidence in their own abilities to do a great job, and it is obvious with the finished product.


I'm (not) sorry to say this, but based on the people I've met in radio who are either outsourced or retired and DAMN F-ING GOOD ANNOUNCERS you just insulted a great deal of the people who are real radio people, who love the medium, but are out of it (full time) for one reason or another. Many of them either would:

a) Welcome another 300 bucks a month give or take for minimal time invested and are probably either unemployed or have found a different line of work but love the medium...or....
b) Be glad to be part of any credible organization wanting their voices just to stay IN radio.

There's plenty of qualified announcers, that would do VT work hourly if it fits their lifestyle and needs. You're also leaving out the people who may want to work for an associate who NEEDS their services, doing so at a low rate as a favor!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:57 pm 
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You know, with 20/20 hindsight, per "shift" is probably the better way of being paid. It usually took me an hour and a half (including prep) to do a 5 hour shift, but sometimes it took me longer, and sometimes less.


And I'm going to poke a hole in the hypothetical. I've never said I was a very good jock but one thing I prided myself on was the prep work I did for my VT. I assume the six 5 hour shifts are for a six day a week slot. There is no way that I could prep for a show 6 days out and not sound like I was canned. Maybe my ethics are too strong, but unless you're doing a "That was, this is" show, I wouldn't take the job to begin with.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:44 pm 
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B.S. on that, I ran my network of stations; 15 in total with a staff of 8 dj's and an advanced Sat delivered content system (like local cable insertion) before Scott studios got so fancy, and before T1 was affordable. We sounded great, all it takes is planning.

A) You know where these acts are playing around the country
"That was Dave Mathews, he had an excellent show at The Gorge last week"
"That was Neil Young, who is still recovering from Open Heart Surgery he had earlier this month"
"Coming up next, it's the Rolling Stones, they have a new album slated for release in November"

B) You have your station promotions and events
"Don't forget to listen to Dick in the morning for your chance to win X"

C) You have a local community calendar of events
"Don't forget this weekend is the BrewFest"

D) You can look at one of several almanacs to talk about birthdays and unusual historic snippets
"Today in 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland."

Tell me, besides weather, which can be delivered by a weather service, what is so time sensitive that it can't be planned 6 days ahead? If you break down what makes a good DJ, time sensitivity isn't one of the issues exactly.

One of my favorite DJ's of all time is Vin Scelsa. He was a major force in FM Rock in the 1970's in NYC. He does a two hour show that will blow your socks off. He usually records the shows a month in advance from his basement. Great show, nothing date sensitive.

It can be done.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:26 am 
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The Sage wrote:
B.S. on that, I ran my network of stations; 15 in total with a staff of 8 dj's and an advanced Sat delivered content system We sounded great, all it takes is planning.


So, are you "BS'ing" the last person who suggested PREP or something else? If the BS was regarding our last post, your content thus far would promote, "less prep more pay".....which would imply bad radio. The previous post simply said that he put some time into prepping to sound better! Are you FOR or AGAINST this kind of prep for VT work?

I'm trying to understand where this plays into the compensation question. A $10/hr or even a $300/mo person can do a great job, as good or better than what you remember! Let's see a show of hands....

If you, reading this, and if you could work for a small radio station on a daily basis from home studio, (or with permission from a boss's studio) would $300/month entice you to to well-done voice tracking? All it takes is great announcer and some prep material from the "parent" station so you can BE local! Nobody needs to "see" you anymore, and when properly done, the audience has no clue you're far away. Who would do this for $300/mo? Betcha there's quite a few announcers (employed or unemployed) who would!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Well done, Sage, well done....


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:55 pm 
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This was a small market station, and by doing my VT no farther than a day or two in advance, I had the ability to talk about how the local high school basketball team put the hammer to a league foe the night before or, if a game was postponed due to bad roads (not an uncommon thing in the North Cascades of Washington), when it's rescheduled for.

Yes, I DO think being as current as possible is necessary, especially in a small market where radio is the primary daily outlet for news and information. By your sample, Sage, it implies to me that you had a "That was, this is" format. That's fine, there's nothing wrong with that. But in the market I was in and with the philosophy of the station, it was "community radio" from one end of the day to the other, and that to me calls for a shorter time span between cutting the show and it's airing.

"Miss me last night? Well, you're not alone 'cuz I missed me too. By now you probably know that the feeder line over the pass failed, and when there's no power, we go bye bye. But thankfully the PUD got it fixed. Sort of. To that end, what you may not know is you're going to miss at least a part of me tomorrow night, as there will be a power outage starting at 11pm till about 3am as they try to make a long lasting fix. But's that's tomorrow. This is tonight, we've got power....at least for the moment....and music from Toby Keith on Valley Country......"

Try doing THAT 6 days out.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:31 am 
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Sybil Gooley wrote:
Or do you think the talent is being taken advantage of?


Despite the fond reminiscences from past experiences in radio (I'm guilty of that too....it's part of being old), complete with the jumping up and down and statements refusing to do something that no one is asking you to do, it's just another part of the death of radio.

Like other old people whose day has passed, I rattle on and make such statements, but doing so doesn't make them accurate or even relevant to the current condition. Have ya noticed there are no more Purtans......Harpers.....Almonds.......all with very large salaries, chauffeur delivery to the station, and a new trade car every six months? Big pay for VT'ing is the same thing. Harper can sit and reminisce the past, and refuse to work for today's price....but, still,......no one is asking.

There were great gas-pump attendants.....absolutely great milkmen (I remember "Ray", our Twin Pines milkman).....high quality elevator operators.......police officers standing on the streets directing traffic.......the sidewalk snow plows in Dearborn.....three shifts of assembly line workers at every auto plant.

These are all items from the past, like live DJs, that have disappeared due to costs, and the advancement of technology.

Due to costs, we can barely hang on to fireworks displays, parades, and many other staple events that were 'givens' in the past.

No one is knocking down the front doors of those that feel VT'ing is worth more than the industry is willing to pay....no one forcing their hands open, stuffing in cash, and demanding participation. Ditto the assembly line worker that used to make 80 grand a year with wonderful benefits back in the 1980s, all without even the necessity of a high school diploma.

The paradigms have changed, and $30 a session/show is right around what voice tracking is worth now. If one person won't work for it, someone else will.


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