Home > Brand, Interview, Job Search, Podcast, Programming, Radio, Saving Radio, Talent > Prepare for the Pink Slip

Prepare for the Pink Slip

If you have a job in radio right now, Tom Leykis has a message for you.

Iceman-Radio“I’m sure in 1947 the ice-man didn’t see Frigidaire coming and thought the idea of a machine that would cool items would be ridiculous. Sure enough, nobody shed a tear when the icebox went away. Where did the poor ice-man go? Nobody cares!”

Leykis, in an interview with me on the Radio Stuff Podcast, believes radio stations are about to become yesterday’s news.

“They don’t see it. They don’t plan for it. A lot of people are going to be in a world of hurt when the ax comes down. I know they don’t want to hear what I’m saying.”

While you’re still working in radio, Leykis suggests the following:

Don’t be a company man. Many of the companies we know today will be gone, sold, or consumed. At some point there is going to be a fire sale of stations that people overpaid for and everyone will be working for someone else like Google or Facebook or for no one at all.

Don’t assume your job is forever. Assume you have 2 months to clean out your office even if you have more than that.

Get prepared. Make sure you have your own website with your personalized URL. (Tom secured “BlowmeupTom.com” in the mid 1990s. When his show disappeared off radio everyone went to BlowmeupTom.com to find out what was going on.) Also, get your own email address separate from the radio station. This allows your listeners to find and connect with you when they come in with a clipboard one day and say, “Alright, you’re done now.”

Keep Listener Emails. You can use them later when you need to build up a new audience especially if you’re doing an internet project. Tom combed through 10,000 emails over 2-years to build a database and reach his listeners to start his new business.

Tom talked directly to “big stick” talk hosts who rely on call letters, national lead-ins, and big signals for success. “Do you really think after you walk-out of that station you’re going to have numbers that big? You have to look at yourself and say, ‘Is my content unique? Is it special? Can it stand on its own without a big signal or Rush Limbaugh on before me?’ Can my stuff stand on its own? I think a lot of people have not been honest with themselves. I think a lot of people have not looked in the mirror and said, ‘you know what – I need a better act.’”

Is it time to start your podcasting career?

  1. July 21, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Hi Larry! Great post! It’s extremely true and helpful! Just wanted to say thanks for all of the fantastic tips and honest advice you give. I read every post and forward it on to close friends of mine. It’s so appreciated and so rare these days. Keep up the great work!


    Sent from my iPhone


    • July 21, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Thanks Shanda. I appreciate the feedback. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.

  2. Tracey
    July 24, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Umm, I feel like maybe this is American’s talking about American Radio….or maybe just a consultant.

  3. July 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    Got out of radio years ago here. I worked for the snakes at ABC. Worst radio experience of my life. Now, doing PC repair, (and one of the best repair guys around)…. plus starting stand-up comedy. I’ve been doing rant videos for some years now on YouTube. Time to do them live. Great article. Randy, The Lazy Comic.

  1. December 29, 2014 at 12:09 PM

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