Always assume the microphone is ON.
4/25/2013 9:50:00 PM
We all got a laugh out of the unfortunate incident involving former TV news reporter AJ Clemente. If you missed it, and I don't know how you could, moments before the BRAND NEW anchor at an NBC affiliate in North Dakota went live on the air, he said 2 very bad words, loud enough for the microphone to pick up. His profanities went over the air, and Clemente, obviously, went out the door. Within hours, he became a You Tube sensation; so much that he's been a guest on both the Today Show and Letterman, JUST FOR SWEARING ON TV! (Note for the management of Greater Media: no, I'm not even THINKING it). Let me give you an inside look at broadcasting. From the moment I set foot in a radio station for the first, there was always one simple rule I keep in mind, and it's one of the first things I ever learned; ALWAYS assume the microphone is ON. Even if it's cleary switched off, STILL assume it's on. It's amazing to me how many people to this day use profanity in a LIVE studio, just because they have the microphone turned off. I like to pretend it's always on, and that keeps me from using bad language in a studio. When I'm having a conversation in a studio, I never swear, and I take issue when other people do. I know of a few people who made that same mistake. The first was another DJ who I worked with in Port Jervis NY about 14 years ago. He was playing a request of a Beach Boys song, and the CD didn't play when he hit the button. Out came a "@#$%^", and needless to say, his career came to an abrupt end. The other involved a former Governor of New Jersey who was throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game, and the engineer back at the studio, hoping to get the game moving along for some reason, used a profane insult, which the Governor heard. The next chain of events were letter to station from Governor, pink slip to engineer from station. So the lesson here we can ALL learn is ALWAYS ASSUME THE MICROPHONE IS ON. Think of that the next time you're at work, and have something negative or sensative to say about a co-worker. If you pretend "the microphone is on", there's no chance you'll say the wrong thing. <tap> <tap> Is this thing on? You bet it is. It's ALWAYS on.
Bert Baron is the host of New Jersey TODAY, heard weekdays from 1 to 3 PM on 1450 WCTC and WCTCAM.com