Leaving the Radio (Again)
These last couple of weeks have felt momentous in my life. For 13 years, all I did was radio. From leaving university to not having my contract renewed by Viking FM in late 2013, that was my sole job. Since then, I have moved into content writing and video making, but I have always had at least one foot in the world of radio. Until now.
Having finished my run on the daytime show on Pulse 2 in West Yorkshire last week, yesterday was my last Pulse 1 Sunday Breakfast programme. It’s a show that I’ve hosted for six years, which makes it my longest running appointment at any station. Longevity not being high up in the list of benefits for radio presenters. Here’s what went on yesterday:
Why I Left Pulse 1 and Pulse 2
Leaving Pulse 1 and Pulse 2 was not my idea, but that is the way of the freelancing world. Particularly the radio freelancing world. Essentially, the stations have been taken over by a bigger company that now owns a stack of sites across the country and is busy integrating them into what will be a couple of massive networks.
This has left a number of presenters in exactly my position – having to say goodbye to shows they loved. I’m in a more fortunate position than many, as I have other work coming in. I write content for business websites among other things (you can hire me today if you like, or maybe tell a friend who might be interested). In addition, the takeover was already underway when I signed up for Pulse 2 last September, so I had an inkling it would all come to an end eventually and, to be honest, I had longer than I expected.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly sad.
The Lure of Radio
Before I went freelance for my writing work, I was in an office Monday to Friday and only able to commit to Pulse 1 on a Sunday. It was fun, but I was very excited to be able to put myself forward for cover in the week once I was fully self-employed. I even wrote a blog about getting back into radio.
I had been badly burned by my experiences at a previous station. The bosses there had informed me just two weeks after the birth of my first child that I was no longer of use to them. That led me to get a ‘proper job’ and I had vowed not to go back onto the airwaves full time again. And yet I did. Because it is ace. There is no job like it. The adrenaline, the challenge, the interaction – the Pulse 2 audience interacted like nowhere else I have ever worked. It was a joy to chat to so many people.
This time, of course, I kept up my other work as well because you definitely need a Plan B. Don’t get me wrong, I also love writing for websites, blogging for business, creating videos for clients and all that, but I want to do it all while also being paid for talking and playing records. Greedy, I know.
So it is a strange time. The industry has shrunk in the wash. There aren’t many vacancies and there are an awful lot of talented presenters going for the gigs that do still exist. It could be that I never work in radio again. It would be a real shame, but at least I did it. At least I experienced it. And I am thankful for that.
Next, it’s back to knuckling down on the writing, videos and live event work. I have some wonderful clients who I have continued to work with throughout my return to full time radio. I’m also on the lookout for new collaborators. If you know someone who needs their web content sprucing up to bring in new custom then I would love it if you would pass this website on to them.
I’m still making videos about Yorkshire for my Bewildered Dad blog and, I imagine like most of those leaving the radio industry at the moment, I have a slew of ideas for around 27 different podcasts floating through my brain, so we’ll see how that works out. Make sure you follow me on Twitter or Like my Facebook page (or both) to keep up to date with what I am up to.
I told you I was greedy.