On the Air: My Radio Station Internship Experience (by Amber Grant)

In the summer of 2011, I was studying at my local community college in southern California as a radio and television major. I had the opportunity to intern with a few different companies. I signed up for the class that would allow me to do the internship. I was able to make a connection with iHeartMedia, Inc, formerly Clear Channel Communications, which is one of the largest radio companies in the United States.

I was a little apprehensive as this was my first big internship. Although I had worked with other on-air personalities in the past, I still had never done anything this big. Because of my prior experiences in the radio world, I got an interview, and I was officially able to start interning with iHeartMedia.

When arriving at the radio station complex, I learned how inaccessible the programs were. The phones were not accessible, and neither was putting in the contact information for contest winners. When logging in listener requests, that was a little bit easier because I could put a number next to the song that the person wanted to hear.

There was also a producer in the studio with me. He would tell me when the phone lines were ringing, which would light up, and which ones to answer, but if someone put in a request, he would   bring up that particular program and tell me to put a number on the keyboard in there. I was able to do this quite successfully.

When doing giveaways, it was really easy for me to navigate the phones because there were only five buttons on them. I would just keep pressing the buttons and call out a number. I did actually have to take the 93rd caller a few times, but that was not very complicated. Once I was able to hear the call cue from the station, I would start answering until I got a winner.

One of my favorite aspects of the internship was getting to interact with the listeners. This involved taking requests, handling the giveaways, or  answering listeners’ questions. Another favorite thing of mine was getting to participate in a live remote broadcast. During the live broadcast, I got to interact with the listeners of Star 94.1 (KMYI-FM), one of the many other stations I had worked with alongside Channel 93.3 (KHTS-FM). In addition to interacting with the listeners of Star 94.1 at the live broadcast, I handed out stickers and t-shirts with the radio station logo on them. I also loved getting to help collect toys for a local children’s hospital,, which was what this particular event was for.

Getting to interact with the on-air personalities from Star 94.1 was awesome! I actually had been a fan of this particular station for years, so it was nice to meet some of the on-air folks. I primarily worked with Channel 93.3., so I was glad I got the chance to experience Star 94.1 in this type of setting.

One of the other inaccessibility challenges that I experienced   was the programs that were used to record and edit commercials. While I got to hear all of the on-air talent record their particular commercials for the station, and sometimes I’d get to hear them do their shows, I was not able to use this program as the software they used was not accessible.

I will say it was a great experience learning from the morning show co-host, as well as the nighttime DJ, about what their experiences were getting  to this point in their careers. Most of them gave me  really valuable advice as well, which I appreciated.

I was so elated to have had this experience with iHeartMedia, and I will never forget what all of the staff, from the promotions department to the on-air talent whom I got to know , did for me. Everyone was so accommodating, and they really  made my experience of interning at IHeartMedia working with Channel 93.3 and all of the seven other radio stations something that I will never forget.

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