Meeting Topic: Clear Channel Radio Tour
Moderator Name: Jim Naron
Speaker Name: Josh Chilton - Promotions Director
Other business or activities at the meeting: N/A
Meeting Location: Clear Channel Media & Entertainment
Today CRAS AES Student Chapter took a special tour of Clear Channel Radio! It was a very interesting opportunity for students to see a different side of the audio industry. Phoenix is a major radio hub, ranked #15 in the country, so the amount and quality of their gear was incredible. Within the building resides 32 studios for eight different radio stations: KZZP - Top 40, KESZ - Soft Rock, KGME - Sports, KMXP - Variety, KNIX-FM - Country, KOY - Business Talk, KYOT-FM - Rhythmic Oldies, KFYI - News/Talk. Eight stations per city is the max number allowed, according to the FCC, and Clear Channel Radio owns over 570 radio stations worldwide.
At the Phoenix stations, Clear Channel employs over 80 people. Of those employees, three are engineers and two are IT guys. There is a special section (unique to major hubs) of employees who work in the CSG department. This department edits commercials and ads for smaller radio stations, so their ads sound as top quality as the big radio stations do. Some interesting facts about radio: Each DJ has a 'Dump' button. The computer makes every pause between sentences one second, and these seconds go into a holding area, adding up to ten seconds of delay. So if a bad word comes out, the DJ can hit the 'dump' button and it's like it never happened.
Clear Channel owns five radio towers in Phoenix. These towers' electrical bills cost $4000 per month! This overhead is paid for by selling advertising on their stations. At the end of the tour, Josh gave the students advice for getting hired on a radio station. Make a demo reel. A two hour show showcasing what you can do. Do voice overs, commercials, play your favorite songs and give opinions. Be clear and concise.
The Student Chapter came away from the tour with a different perspective about radio. Many were heard talking about how 'cool' it would be to work at a radio station. We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and hope to work with Clear Channel Radio again in the future.
Written By: Jim Naron