Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Charlottesville, VA

January 22, 2021

Radio 101: Why I Work in Radio Instead of TV.

     Every now and then, I like to answer questions that I'm commonly asked in the form of blog posts. The two most common questions that I'm asked when people find out what I do for work are 1) how do I wake up so early and 2) what my morning routine is. The third most popular question I'm asked? Why I work in radio and not TV. Seriously! For years now (even before I got my first radio job and was still just an intern) I've been getting asked this. So- I figured it's about time to properly answer, as there's a few reasons to why I was more drawn to a career in radio vs. TV. 

 

{Photo originally from this post - can't believe my first radio headshots are almost four years old!}


     Let's start way back at the beginning. As a kid, I was obsessed and fascinated with both radio and TV! I loved both for different reasons. Let's start with radio: I discovered Britney Spears at age five (after my parents let me watch some of her televised Hawaii concert), and from that day on I wanted to listen to my local Top 40 station all the time. My obsession with 90s and early 2000s music started in the height of this era, haha!  I figured out that I could get a decent radio signal using the antenna on my boom box CD player, and I would tote it around the house daily to take the radio with me wherever I was! When I was seven, I got to visit a radio station for the first time when my dad took me with him when he had to go into one to record PSAs for his work (fun fact: he still voices the PSAs for his company to this day!), and it was truly a magical experience to get to see a radio station with my own eyes. (I honestly need to do a whole blog post more on that experience alone someday, because that day defined my future!)

     But with that said... I loved TV news as a young kid as well. All through my childhood, we only got a very basic cable package (10-15 channels), most of which were the major networks like ABC, NBC and CBS. So instead of growing up watching Disney or Nickelodeon at home... I watched both the evening local and national news every night. And loved it! I loved it so much that I would try to tape record it sometimes- I kid you not. When I was very young I really loved ABC Nightly News anchor Peter Jennings, and I once sent him a fan mail letter when I was about five or six. And he actually wrote back! My mom saved it and it's still somewhere in our home. A couple years after I go to tour the local radio station with my dad, my mom and I had a chance to visit a local TV station for a school tour, which was also a really cool experience!

    As you can see, I truly loved both radio and TV news when I was very young. My dream when I was a little girl was to be on-air in some capacity. So why did I end up going into radio instead of television years later when it was finally time to start my own career? 

     1. Became more interested in one over the other: When I was very young, my interest in both radio and TV was equal. But as I got older, I became more fascinated by radio and less so by TV. I stopped being interested in watching the local and evening news, but became even more of an active radio listener. Later on in my elementary school years, I started becoming obsessed with more things about radio. I discovered my two favorite syndicated shows: Delilah and Open House Party. I didn't listen to Christian music or radio when I was very young, but in middle school I got pretty into Christian radio and liked that a lot as well. Once I was in high school, streaming stations online became more of a thing, and I'd spend many afternoons doing homework listening to different types of radio stations from all over the country. I knew that when I went to college I had to try my hardest to get an internship to finally get to experience radio magic for myself! In comparison, my interest in TV news never really returned to what it was when I was young. (Maybe part of that is because my family finally got a good cable package when I was in high school! 😉)

     2. Few TV opportunities that aren't local news: I'm not an actress, so being on any sort of scripted TV show was never really a goal for me. I love the idea of working and being on-air for a show like the TODAY show, or some sort of entertainment focused talk show. Or doing something travel related on TV! I'd still be totally open to working in anything like that instead of radio in the future if an opportunity came my way. But the unfortunate reality with the TV industry is that it's almost impossible to get into more creative on-air gigs like that unless you live in NYC or LA... neither which I'd like to live in. If you're living in another part of the country and want to do TV, there's literally a 99% chance you'll be starting out in local news. And the older that I've gotten, the less that appeals to me as a career.

     3. Fascinated by music: Not only am I a big music lover across many genres, but I also love the science and data behind the music industry. Why do certain songs and artists succeed when others don't? Why are music charts the way that they are? Why is streaming data so different than radio airplay? These are questions that fascinate me, and I could spend every day trying to answer them. I simply do not have that same passion for local news. Music trends are definitely what I love learning more about. 

     4. Healthier views on my appearance: You know the classic saying "That person has a face for radio"? Yep... it's as harsh as it sounds haha! But sadly it's sometimes true. There is definitely a stereotype that people on the radio don't look as attractive as their voices sound. One thing people say to me quite often when they find out what I do for work is tell me I look more like someone in TV instead of radio. I know that's meant as a compliment, but it does always make me feel a little odd, haha! Anyways, women in TV news are often brutally criticized about their appearance. (It happens to male anchors and reporters as well, but definitely not as much as women.) It is disgusting some of the things that are said to women on TV on a regular basis about their looks and outfits. I feel really lucky that body image issues aren't something that I've ever struggled with a ton. (Do I have my moments of insecurity with my looks? Sure- I mean I am human! But I've never had an eating disorder or serious issues with how I view my body.) I fear that if I was in TV and subjected to that type of criticism on a regular basis, it wouldn't be the best for my mental health. The cameras notice everything- bad hair days, a few extra pounds, an outfit a little less flattering than the one you wore yesterday. I kind of like the fact that aside from pictures for work on my radio Facebook page and our station website, no one sees me on a daily basis. Women in radio absolutely still get nasty criticism  from listeners sometimes... but I know it would be a lot worse and a lot more appearance focused to be in TV.


     With all that said- there are absolutely some TV news perks that radio people don't get. Such as the fact that your wardrobe, hair and makeup are often paid for by your employer! How cool is that right?! 😍 Local TV news reporters and anchors also do a lot of good in their local communities- by highlighting touching human interest stories as well as local breaking news. One of my good friends is a news reporter, and I'm constantly in awe of how hard she works and her dedication to her stories. 

     But while I can appreciate and respect those in TV news, I know without a doubt that radio is the right career path for me. Radio is far from a perfect industry- I'm still pretty new in my career and have dealt with my fair share of tough work situations. But I truly love it- every single day that I'm on-air is worth all the hard work and sacrifices I've made so far. 


     God Bless,

  

      xoxo Annaliese 



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3 comments

  1. This was so fun to read! In college, I interned at a radio station so I'm a bit familiar with the radio world (and remember waking up at 4 am for the morning shift!)

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  2. Sooo cool to read your perspective! It always intrigued me that sometimes people's voices don't match how you think they look! Radio is so fun, and it seems like it's more flexible than tv. I grew up getting ready for school listening to the radio!

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  3. This was such a good read- i loved learning about why you were drawn to radio over TV. It's clear you have found your passion in work - which is such a blessing! Some people spend their whole lives trying to figure it out!

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