Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The downside of working in "Radio"

I love my job. I do.

It's fun. It's crazy. It's different. It's me.

However, there are downsides.

Insane hours. Egos. Low pay.

You get the idea.

However, there is one downside that hurts me to the core.....

Working in radio prevents me from ever being a Nielsen's Family.

I am what we like to call a Entertainment/Media Geek.

Always have been, always will be.

As a child, I could tell you exactly what times a show would break for commercial.

I would do my own form of editing on my answering machine so I could leave really cool outgoing messages (to the tune of "Everybody Dance Now", "Are You That Somebody?" and others).

By middle school, I knew what Sweeps were and looked forward to them with great gusto.

In high school, I was fortunate enough to job shadow the Stage Manager for the Beauty & The Beast production at MGM Studios. The SM gave me a Park Hopper ticket and told me if I ever got tired of watching the same show over and over, I could go ride rides, etc. Do you think I did? Heck no. I stayed there for almost 12 hours, fascinated.

In college, I sat through endless tech rehearsals, for dance and theatre.

Those are just a few examples.

Now, I'm in radio.

Like I said, a geek.

*I* find my job fun. *I* think radio is interesting.

However, despite the perception others' have of the business, it's actually very boring. The majority of people would be bored in about 30 minutes, because the minutia of what we do is only entertaining to geeks. Behind the fun, glitter, and glamour is gray walls and a bunch of people talking about TSL and clocks.

As geeks go, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a Nielsen Family.

That's when you either get a diary or a digital box to record your viewing habits. That's how they determine ratings and therefore advertising rates (and, therefore, whether a show ultimately stays on the air).

One time in college, I was getting surveys from Nielsen. They were looking for families. They didn't end up choosing us, but they did send me a tape to watch. It was a Pilot of a sitcom they were testing. I was so thrilled to watch that awful show and tell them not to air it.

However, now that I work in radio, I will NEVER get chosen to be a NF. I know too much. And, because some radio stations are also owned by companies that own TV stations, they can't allow it. Radio's version of Nielsen is called Arbitron, btw.

So, imagine my insane jealousy when my friend Lisa just FB messaged me that SHE is now a Nielsen Family.

As in, she just got a diary.

Her viewing habits will be documented and will matter.


I want to move to Texas and bunk with her family, just so I can participate.



Lisa said...

I swear to do my best to provide an accurate listing of my television viewership while using our journal. I am WAY too excited about this!!

Marianne said...

Um. I really wish I understood what all of this was about. And as someone who has a degree in journalism, I feel like I should. But I don't know what a Nielsen Family is, even with your paragraph describing it.

Lil' Woman said...

I want to watch and judge things....that's right up my alley...lol :)

Krystal said...

Hahahaha I totally understand all your jargon in this. :) PS, I'm back in radio. Part time at least. I'm nuts.