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Lisa Miller - "How I Got Into Radio"

Scott Herman

3-1-2013

One of the smartest people I know is Scott Herman, he knows everything about the radio business and can tell you the history of anything having to do with radio over the past 30 years. A true student of the industry, Scott knows radio from every angle. From on-air to engineering to sales, Scott can tell you anything you need to know about any station in any market.

I first met Scott when he worked in Chicago when he was the Program Director of WMAQ. But it was his return to New York and his new responsibilities as a VP which gave me the opportunity to work with Scott. There is no one funnier than Scott. I cant get through a phone call, let alone a business meeting without laughing myself into a stomach ache. His viewpoint on life, business, people, and everything walking, breathing, or growing is spot on and always funny. It is this warm and wonderful personality combined with his knowledge and tenacity that makes him an outstanding asset for CBS Radio, where he's Executive VP of Operations.

So tell us, Scott: How did you get into radio?
I never did ask my parents what they thought when they walked into my bedroom and saw their then 10-year-old son sitting in a mock broadcast booth on a storage trunk and broadcasting New York Mets baseball play-by-play into a cassette recorder. The sound of the game on the TV was turned down and I acted like I was broadcasting to a million people. Thats my earliest memory of my love for radio; and, probably, my parents earliest memory that I needed some kind of professional help.

I was always talking up records with artist, title, time, and temperature while cruising through Brooklyn in my 1970 Dodge Charger. But, in reality, my radio journey truly began at Brooklyn College in 1976.

I went to college because thats what I was supposed to do, but I really wanted to work full-time in the family hardware business.  My Dad -- always my biggest fan and the one who always had a great influence on me -- prodded me to join a campus club and get involved in the school so I wouldnt drop out. I saw a sign for openings at the college radio station, WBCR. I auditioned and they actually hired me.

My first job at the station was 30 seconds of sports on Mondays at 4:30 p.m. I took three hours to write that half minute but it was always timed and written perfectly. From Sports to News, from News to DJ, from DJ to Assistant General Manager to General Manager to President; I did every job at WBCR Radio in my four years. It was a college station totally run by the students, and boy did we run it well. In some ways, it was more of an education than my regular liberal arts classes.

In my junior year, I met Sister Camille DArienzo, my professor for TV/Radio 16, Broadcast Speech and Writing. She loved me and told me I should do this for a living. She was also a Religion Commentator for Group W-owned 1010 WINS in NYC. She not only gave me an A in her class, but she recommended me for an internship. When I showed up for the interview at WINS, they loved my college radio experience and hired me, paying me $3.85 an hour as a News Production Assistant.

After 35 years and 16 jobs (a real number), Im still here doing what I love to do for the company I love doing it for.

As for Sister Camille, she has become a lifelong friend, a constant in my life for almost 40 years, and I remain the only Jewish member of the Sisters of Mercy Advisory Board. But, thats another story.

You can email Scott at scott.herman@cbsradio.com

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.

So, how did you get into radio? We'd love to hear the story about why you're passionate about radio.

Read more of Lisa's "How I Got Into Radio" features HERE




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