Thursday, May 11, 2017

Letters from old friends

 I have been thinking a lot about my career in radio. It has been a stunning journey full of all of the requisite highs. lows & somewhere in betweens. I've been so fortunate to have worked for some truly shining souls who helped guide and nurture my passionate yet tender creative spirit.

One of the very best of them was Steve Hoffman at The Edge in Vegas whose leadership was inspiring and to this day so cherished and galvanizing. He sent me an email in March and his precious words were a salve to my aching spirit. His letter was a treasured reminder of just how incredibly blessed I have been in this crazy industry. After being out of work for 7 months and no forseeable prospects I have decided to close this chapter of my life. It was an agonizing decision because radio has been my life for so long that the idea of moving on withoutit is daunting & frightening. It makes Steve's letter even more comforting and special.

Hi Jess,

I'm glad you've taken some downtime. My biggest mistake when I left KCAL was not taking more of it myself.

I'd be quite happy to help you out, though this whole week is nuts, and it'll be the weekend - and probably Sunday - before I have a chance to listen.

In the meantime, I'm going to tell you something that I hope will put your current situation in perspective. When I talk to people about what it takes to be a great creative talent, I inevitably mention some special things about the morning shows I've worked with, a few other very successful talents I've been lucky enough to be associated with, and then I tell them about the single best creative talent I've ever worked with. That speech starts with, "I heard her do one live break on the air and knew I wanted her on my team," and closes with, "She's been on the air in three top-10 markets since then for a reason."

You have a gift, several of them really, primarily:
Your boundless passion for what you love;
Your creativity in expressing that passion; and
Your willingness to throw yourself into directions that most people would be afraid to go.

Those are very special things. Yes, the business is a mess, but the good news is that there are myriad new ways to make a living doing what you love. There will always be a place for you; the challenge is finding it. (That doesn't mean you can't improve. We all can.)

Keep looking for the right place, and you'll find it. Someone will be very lucky to have you.

Talk to you soon.