I recently enjoyed two very enlightening experiences. The first being a tour of iHeart Media hosted by Loraine Ballard Morill, Director of News and Community Affairs with an amazing group of Network Now members. The second being an on air appearance with Radio Personality, Phyllis Smith, of The Scoop radio show on WWDB AM. What I find interesting is how the one actually prepared me for the other.

The tour of iHeart Media was fascinating, but the conversation we had with Loraine prior to our tour was priceless. After meeting her I was awestruck by the warmth an willingness with which she welcomed us into her world. Loraine absolutely loves what she does and more importantly she made our group feel so at home and very at ease at the station. We talked with her about her experience in broadcasting and she shared some amazing insights with us on how she has kept up with fast pace changes over her 33 years with iHeart Media. She spoke of her experience and her many service opportunities within our community with humility and poise. We visited several studios, met media personality, Mina “SayWhat” Llona who was full of as much excitement about meeting us as we were about meeting her, and had a great conversation with Wes Franks, SVP of Sales, who spoke about his media experience and the broad reach and benefits of targeted radio advertising.

Last week’s tour of iHeart Media and the access to the studios and Loraine with her wonderful stories and insight really helped me to prepare for my on air experience. The second part of my journey into radio happened this week when I had the distinct pleasure and honor of being invited to join my dear friend, Phyllis Smith on The Scoop Radio show. She’s been asking me to join her for months and my schedule has never been right, until now. (Amazing how the two coincided so nicely!)

Phyllis did an amazing job preparing me for our live in studio broadcast. She made me feel totally comfortable prior to the beginning of the show with a basic outline, some information about her guest experts who would be calling in, and a few simple tips about the format. Her casual demeanor in which she approached our time together helped me to feel relaxed and comfortable. I was somewhat familiar with the format of her show, having listened to several shows in the past, which also helped me prepare and know what to expect. The two best tips Phyllis offered were that it would be as if we were having a conversation and she would be leading with questions that would que me as to when to jump in and no one word answers, which was a little harder than one might think. There were a few more tips that helped make the conversation seemingly smooth and inviting.

All in all it was an exhilarating experience that I enjoyed thoroughly because of the comfort level with which both Loraine and Phyllis instilled in me through their amazing guidance. I thank them and look forward knowing that if another opportunity presents itself I will gladly accept and enjoy the experience.

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