Students in the ICNYC program share their experiences and insights from one of the greatest cities in the world.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Ithaca College senior Sport Media student Matthew Stenberg is interning with Sirius XM radio this fall through the ICNYC program. He will share some of his experiences of living and working in New York City in this blog. Check back for updates.
Every installment of a radio show has something called a rundown. It’s essentially a schedule for the day, giving hosts and producers a list of what topics will be discussed and what guests that will appear on the show.
Rundowns are important to the success of a show because they give structure, but just because something is scheduled to happen doesn’t mean it will. Segments run long. Guests drop out. News breaks. It’s this imperfection however that allows a good producer turn a stale show into a topical, relevant four hours of radio.
At my internship at SiriusXM radio, I’ve had the opportunity to see how this works from behind the scenes. When a story breaks, the producer immediately tries to find someone who can come on air and discuss the latest information. We have a pretty extensive list of people we can contact at Sirius and my producer has a cell phone full of numbers for different NFL players, coaches, and people from around the league. So basically, if news breaks he can be on the phone with somebody asking if they want to come on within minutes.
A few weeks ago the Monday Night Football game between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots ended with a questionable call. This is something that you can’t really predict, so we had to adjust. Our producer quickly changed what was originally planned and got in touch with the officiating analyst at Fox Sports so we could get his take on the final play.
Flexibility is important in radio and our producer keeps that in mind when he puts together the rundown. He’ll often schedule in extra time to allow for news to break and an unplanned guest to pop in. For example we had five guests the other day, only two of which were planned. Throughout the show our producer kept asking us who we thought was relevant to come on and give a couple minutes of their time.
With just a few weeks left in my internship, I’m continuing to refine my skills and learn a few new ones along the way. Practice makes perfect so every day doing the same things over and over, you hone your skills, you become better at everything and if you’re not, you’re doing something wrong.
In addition to screening calls, editing audio, and working the board, I’ve also started working with different types of audio storage software. The program SiriusXM uses is different than the one I used at Ithaca College, so there's been a learning curve but I've got the hang of it now. Not every station uses the same type of software so it's been helpful to add a new program to my repertoire.
On the personal side, I was able to see Third Eye Blind in concert a few weeks ago and I plan on seeing Eli Young Band in early December. After that, it won’t be long before I’m back home for the holidays. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone but I’m glad I did the semester in New York City and I’m definitely glad I got the experience I did.
Check back at the end of the semester for one final update.