Radio Pro - the Making of an On-Air Personality and What It Takes by Joe Martelle
Reviewed by John C. Abbott
(From Radio Recall, December 2012)
If one searches the internet for the term "How to be a successful", the results will cover almost
every subject from "A to Z" Most "How To" searches will include both books written for either general audiences, or for specific professions. Mr Martelle's book is one of the latter, written for those interested in an on·air radio career by someone with over 40 years of on-air radio
experience. Mr. Martelle has the bona fides to give advice, and he has also included advice both from over 150 contemporary radio professionals, and he draws on the advice and examples of radio personalities going back to the first days of radio.
The book is divided into 21 chapters. There isadvice for beginners:
"Learn from the Masters·
"How to Develop Your Own Air-Style"
"How to Break Into Radio"
"The Seven Powerful P's to Perfection'
"How to Communicate Effectively"
"The Importance of Show Prep·
"The Art of Interviewing"
"Attitudes and Actions·
There is advice for those already inside the
"Program Directors - Friend or Foe"
"Inside the world of General Managers"
"The Role of Consultants"
There is information on specific aspects of
"A woman's Perspective on Working in Radio and on the Air"
"How to Win in Morning Drive"
"Radio Formats: News Talk and Sports"
"Radio Formats - Music" "Attomeys, Agents, Ratings and Contracts"
"Some Things to Know About a Career as an On-Air Pro"
There is information about the contributors
and a look to the future:
"Who Inspired the Radio Pros Who Contributed to This Book"
"Radio 's Future"
With all the references and examples, this is not a book full of simplistic rosy prose. Rather it is a practical book filled with solid advice for those seeking a radio career. Some of the practical
+ Do not be afraid to start at an early age
+ Be ready to work hard, long hours
+ Be ready to do almost job to get started at a station
+ Keep your ego in your hip pocket, and
+ Be prepared to be fired - several times!
Not only does Mr. Martelle give his own
experiences (both good and bad) and many
personal examples; but each topic in each
chapter is replete with examples and comments
from his peers in the industry.
While the book is intended to provide sage
advice for prospective radio personalities buried
in the details there is a great deal of information
about the personalities of the past who made
radio great, including entertainers, managers and
personalities such as Will Rogers, Gene Autry, Ed
Wynn, Eddie Cantor Kate Smith, Lum n' Abner,
Arthur Godfrey, Don McNeil, Edward R. Murrow,
Robert Trout. Walter Cronkite, and many, many
more. Additionally, information is provided on
contemporary radio personalities such as Howard
Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Don Imus.
For the Old-Time Radio audience, gleaning
the book for historical information is not easy, and the historical information is located throughout the
oook. For those who want to get into the industry,
Mr Martelle's book is a must-read - especially the
final chapter, "The Future of Radio" Those
seeking to enter the radio industry today are
indeed, the radio of the future.
While the book is large, the information in
each chapter is arranged so that the reader can
select a given chapter without missing the
important points. All-in-all, this is a great reference
book for everyone associated with the radio