Current Issue:



August 18:
Focus On Independents
Digity CEO Dean Goodman




Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.






Radio Ink Writers




















Orlando Davis

There are few times in your life when you are overwhelmed by an event or a person, but thats because you havent met Orlando. I was introduced to Orlando by a mutual friend, the late Tom Rivers; and like Orlando he was a man of tremendous honor and a gentle nature. 

The first time Orlando gave me his patented hug, I thought the world was perfect because he was in it. When he began to talk about radio, everything he said made sense but he said things in a unique and poignant manner. You immediately and permanently respect Orlando, not because he asks for it but because he earns it. And it is that same respect that is displayed by Orlando when he is listening to Ben Hill or Greg Strassell. Its worth a trip to Tampa, not just for the weather but to meet Orlando; and I promise you will never be the same. His thousands of listeners and followers would agree.

How I got Into Radio
Orlando Davis, Program Director and Freak Show Host at WILD 94.1 in Tampa

My story is almost a history lesson reflective of our industrys current state, as it was only made possible with unlimited part-time hours, overnight shifts and ability to hire based on intuition and on-the-spot decision-making.  While doing an internship for WFHT Tallahassee, working under Lee Reynolds, Ric Austin, Randy D and Lee Clear, I was learning so much that, as an intern, I never wanted to go home. 

But in spite of the desire to work, times were bad; checks were bouncing all over town. There would be a race by the staff to the bank, so you could guarantee having a payday for that period. Later we found out that our leader, Lee Clear, was forgoing his pay so others could have theirs. By the way, we were in the process of being sold by Ragan Henry to Charles Giddens and a local Tallahassee partner. 

One day, as I was filling in for the receptionist and traffic director, a gentleman called and asked me for directions from the airport to the radio station, only to find out later that I had just spoken with the new owner. Upon his first day at the station I gave that same gentleman, Charles Giddens, a cup of coffee, and showed him to the GMs office. He made a point of confirming that I was the receptionist with the deep pipes."

After hearing my name, throughout his various one-on-one interviews with other employees, Charles asked, Well, who is Orlando? Once he realized that I was the kid from the front desk," he asked, What do you want to do, since you obviously have a hand in everyone elses work?" My answer was, Id like to be a DJ during the week, instead of just on the weekends. 

I was hired on the spot. No EEO ads or applicant logs, just a simple, Can you start, tonight?" With a quick yes," I was the new night guy ready for the launch of WXSR-Tallahassee Star 101.5; and just to flex the IMMENSE owner power he commanded (a quality that I would never forget) he walked back into the traffic office and asked me, You answer the phones, right? So you know all of the record reps too, right? My Yes sir! was almost immediate. 

I hear youve been training to be back-up, on logs, and music, so you can keep us afloat in that aspect too."  My reply of Uh, yes I can came even quicker! Good! Well revisit it in six months and see if we need to address anything else. Now Im going to finish assessing if anyone else employed here does anything, or if you just do it all.  He closed the door and laughed all the way down the hall; and there it was, my start in radio 20 years ago. God bless that man, those people and that time; and forever, this industry. 

Lisa Miller is the President of Miller Broadcast Management in Chicago. She's also one of Radio Ink's Most Influential Women in Radio. Miller can be reached at Lisa@millerbroadcast.com or 312-454-1111.

 

How Dan Mason Got Into Radio
How John Gehron Got Into Radio
How Joe Schwartz Got Into Radio

 



Add a Comment

 

Send This Story To A Friend

 
Advertisements

Advertisements