Meet Your Boss -- Walter Sabo

By 1stFive Archives
Cover image for  article: Meet Your Boss -- Walter Sabo

It is the best organized music/radio conference, with a robust agenda covering radio, music and tech. Stunning performances by hundreds of bands including the powerful group Dismemberment.

On Friday, October 18th over 3000 people attended the College Music Journal Festival at New York University.

Your next bosses attended: Alison Johnson, Music Director and Melissa Bond of KTSW, 89.9, Texas State University, Austin.

KTSW is a true student run college radio station. Unlike too many college licensed stations, it is not ruled by the finance department, wretched administration staff or faculty members under the guise of being a training ground. It is run by students. The power of that experience was revealed in the conversation with Ms Johnson and Ms Bond.

Here are their rules for operating a station successfully.

1. "We are paid for 15 hours of work per week but we put in at least 40."

2. "Every second of the station we oversee." The general music programming is selected by the music director. Specialty shows present music selected by their hosts. Alison then detailed each specialty program demonstrating a pristine knowledge and pride of their on-air line-up.

3. Respect the business of radio and music.

"We are all top 40 fans." Even though you may not like Taylor Swift's music, she is to be respected for knowing her business and managing her career brilliantly.

4. The music director and program director must be in 100% synch.

5. DJ's should be prepared and have an opinion about the music they play.

6. Talk programming? "Don't put on a talk show unless the host is committed to hours of preparation a day or it won't work."

When asked about the shows on the station that give them particular pride they bragged about "The Other Side Drive", the PM Drive show. In detail they expressed why it worked, why it sounded good and how it was put together.

Career Plan: "We think you should start in the city where you want to work and stay there. Others think you should go to a small town, but then you just might work your way to the middle and be stuck there."
Allison and Melissa, both 20, are moving to New York City when they graduate next year. In a one hour conversation neither mentioned any concerns at all about the future of radio.

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