The smartest companies never stop looking for new talent. Recently, we featured an interview with Craig Bruce, head of content for Southern Cross Austereo in Sydney in this newsletter, and he said that his company looks under every rock to find new talent. "The minute we have a successful show like Hamish & Andy we start looking for their replacement." As an industry, we need to be on a mission to find the next Howard Stern or Jimmy Kimmel. So, where do we find talent today since we have lost overnights and weekends to voice tracking?
It's a good question. To help you ponder the answer, here are three stories of people who are now successful media personalities and how they were discovered.
Blake Carter: "I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I took the receptionist job at The Beat Vancouver. It never occurred to me to actually be in radio," Blake says. One day, the Kid Carson morning show overheard Blake telling a story about a hot, angry postal worker and invited her to share the story on the air.
Blake became a recurring character as "the hot receptionist" at The Beat and went on to co-host morning shows in Saskatoon and Calgary. Now Blake is cohosting afternoons at Kiss 92.5 Toronto with Adam Wylde. "This is pretty much my dream gig."
Blondie was 22, going to college, and working two part-time jobs. One as a hair salon receptionist and the other as a dance choreographer. "I was too broke to afford cable-TV so I had 97.5 WABB (Mobile, AL) 24/7 on at my apartment. I heard the station promoting their Radio Dream Job Contest to replace the female cohost. I started thinking; I could totally do that job." Blondie came in second out of 300+ contestants. The PD liked her audition so much he put her on weekends. She worked her way up to cohost the morning show a year later. Blondie is now cohosting the morning show with Nugget at KTFM San Antonio. "Now I finally have my radio dream job!"
Adam Corolla was a boxing instructor and a carpenter when Jimmy Kimmel encountered him while working out at the gym and noticed that Adam was a naturally funny character and great storyteller.
We are frequently asked to help broadcasting companies find talent. It has become particularly difficult to find young talent for youth formats like Top 40.
Look Under Every Rock:
Every person you meet (a receptionist, gyms, restaurants/bars, stores, events, etc.)
Conduct your own Radio Star contest
Local TV stations and newspapers
Your panel of experts
Comedy and improvisation clubs/groups
We urge North American broadcasting companies to join us in adopting the Southern Cross philosophy of making talent development a top priority. Someone near you might be waiting in the wings right now to be the next king of all media.
Randy Lane is the founder and owner of the Randy Lane Company which specializes in talent development and personality branding.
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