Listener mail: How do I get a show on WRCT?

A listener writes:

I imagine you are one of the more seasoned announcers on WRCT. I have some radio experience … I was wondering how I can get an air shift. How important is it to keep a music log?

01_02I guess I am seasoned if you count Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt!

FWIW: I’ve been around the station for about 11 years. In that time, the things I’ve seen get people kicked out have included 1.) failing to show up for airshifts, 2.) failing to fill out paperwork, 3.) stealing or damaging music or equipment, and 4.) misrepresentation (for instance, trying to scam freebees out of record labels or sports teams).

Using the station to try and run a commercial business has also gotten a few DJs in trouble. WRCT is a non-profit organization, and using it for commercial activities would jeopardize its FCC license and its relationship with CMU.

Being a DJ at WRCT is a privilege, and getting that privilege means you have to be willing to fill out paperwork and follow the rules. The station needs to have a way to make sure DJs are complying with federal regulations as well as CMU’s policies. (It also needs a way to weed out irresponsible DJs. If someone isn’t bothering to fill out the required forms, they’re probably doing other bad stuff.) So, yes, music logs are extremely important, as are program and transmitter logs.

Music logs are important, too, because WRCT is a “reporting” station for a bunch of independent record labels and music magazines, including CMJ, and they want to know if their artists are getting airplay.

And they’re important because WRCT reports to the three big music publishing agencies (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) that collect royalties for songwriters, and those agencies need to have an idea of what music WRCT (and all of the other licensed radio stations) is playing in order to proportion royalties. (After all, you don’t want the estate of Michael Jackson missing out on its 0.0001 cent royalty whenever WRCT plays a Beatles song.)

Another key thing at WRCT is making sure to do the required number of public service announcements, promotional announcements, etc., per hour, as well as playing a certain amount of new music (minimum three songs) per hour.

Most DJs regard those as a PITA. I’ve tried to make them fun (or at least interesting) for the listeners.

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