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It’s Just Business

Posted on Nov 25, 2015

I will be the first to tell you that I know nothing about “the business”. I don’t know how people end up in radio – do they study? Do they under-study? Do they just apply? I have NO idea. The entertainment industry baffles me, and rightly, scares me! I would hate to be in it, would become paranoid and self-conscious and question my own morals as well as others’.

One thing I AM familiar with is being fired. I’ve been axed, kicked out, and shown the door in the most degrading fashions imaginable. But these were just jobs, not careers that I’d worked towards. I was ashamed but I got over it quickly, and now they are simply stories – I can giggle when I tell them.

But if I had worked in media all of my life – studied for it, dreamed about it, had success, been headhunted, had a following – I would have great pride in my work. I would hope that if my job ended, I would be treated with SOME respect. I would hope that those who terminated me would at least give me a parting gift – a bottle of wine, a severance package, a vacation – anything more than a kick in the ass on the way out the door!

Looking at it from the OTHER side, I understand why these things must be done quickly, and often surreptitiously. If a radio host knew that they were about to get axed, might they be tempted to do unorthodox things – have fits, swear, call out their ex-employers on air? Perhaps. We cannot possibly predict the behaviour of people, especially those who feel slighted or backed into a corner.

In the history of radio firings, I don’t think anyone has ever had warning. Rather,¬†when their show is over, they are called into the office and released. I would love to be a fly on THAT wall – do people cry? Do they just shrug and say “okay, it’s just business”? Do they drop to their knees and beg for another chance? I doubt it.¬†Probably they slump their shoulders, nod, and leave to collect their things from the lunch room/desk/locker. They know this side of the business, they probably half-expected it.

But let’s say they are unceremoniously fired and given two minutes to vacate the building – how would they feel then? Would they feel shitty? Would YOU?

I’m not saying don’t fire people, I’m saying fire them with some decorum. Allow them to walk out with their heads held high, or at least with their nuts intact. Take them out for lunch, send them a singing telegram, I don’t know just soften the blow!

These things are happening inside company walls, but thanks to social media, the whole world knows about it. We hear rumours and we make assumptions. The best thing that a company with major cutbacks can do *cough, Newcap and Bell, cough* is treat those getting fired with respect. You don’t want to be the Trump of the Vancouver Media scene!

Let your humanness show – the days of cold cuts are gone! We’re watching you, not just listening…