Jay Onrait is successful (duh). The broad strokes of his resume are: 10+ years hosting SportsCentre on TSN, 4 years on FS1 (FOX Sports 1) in the US, and 2 best-selling books. He’s set to return to TSN in September with Dan O’Toole….Canadians haven’t been this jazzed since the Golden Goal.
Jay was the keynote speaker at NAIT’s annual Media Broadcast day Saturday. If you’re thinking about getting into the Media, here are the Top 10 Tips I took from his presentation:
- Establish industry contacts early and put together a “demo” ASAP (read “What Color is your Parachute” for more on this)
- There is no replacement for face-to-face conversation when looking for a job.
- Embrace any city/town you land in.
- Find common ground with others to get over personality conflicts and always turn the other cheek.
- Remember: you’ll always be working when your friends and family are not. Get used to it.
- Don’t judge anything/anybody/anyplace until you get there and see/meet/experience it/them for yourself.
- Get used to hearing “no” a lot. Lose your sensitivity to it, but never stop asking.
- Writing is STILL the most important skill in this industry. Find a reason and an outlet to do it more.
- For that first job, be willing to move anywhere. Your first job is the toughest one to get.
- As of now: your social media existence is different. Be a professional because anything you say can and will be used against you.
“How did you become a Music Director?” That is the question I answer most as a Radio Instructor at NAIT. And my answer is always the same, “you learn on the job.” I was lucky enough to work in environments that fostered and accommodated my learning and development; a rare luxury afforded to many media companies and offices these days. Today’s MD’s and PD’s are swamped –often managing multiple properties– so how does the next generation of Music Directors get started?
Music Director Bootcamp is a weekend course I’m developing with the help of NAIT’s Continuing Education Department and contacts at leading industry software companies including MusicMaster.
Students will learn the basics –and into the “next steps”– of selecting, scheduling, and managing a station’s music library and industry relationships. Is this the sort of course you, or somebody you manage, would benefit from? Do you have a suggestion to make the experience the best it can be? I’d love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Review from last weeks picks: +/- is from the BDS Canada: Modern Rock 7-Day Rolling Chart and reflects total spins on the chart
- JR JR – Gone (-13)
- Finish Ticket – Color (not on chart)
- Struts – Kiss This (-5)
- Kaleo – Way Down We Go (+40)
- Bear Hands – 2 am (-20)
- Cage the Elephant – Trouble (+16)
- Struts – Kiss This (so nice, I named it twice)
- Disturbed – The sound of Silence (+1)
- Catfish and the Bottlemen – Soundcheck (+10)
- Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – High Dive (not on chart)
This Weeks Picks
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – TBA (out tomorrow)
- Radiohead – Burn the Witch
- Bishop Briggs – River
- Sheepdogs – Bad Lieutenant
- July Talk – Push + Pull
- Joywave – Destruction
- Silversun Pickups – Circadian Rhythm (last dance)
- Kongos – Take it from Me
- Kurt Vile – Pretty Pimpin’
- Young the Giant – Something To Believe In
What are you adding this week??
These 10 songs (in no particular order) are poised to explode at Modern Rock Radio in Canada before mid-May. My research indicates these tracks are on the rise and could demand regular-rotation spins soon.
- JR JR – Gone
- Finish Ticket – Color
- Struts – Kiss This
- Kaleo – Way Down We Go
- Bear Hands – 2 am
- Cage the Elephant – Trouble
- Struts – Kiss This (so nice, I named it twice)
- Disturbed – The sound of Silence (this is not a typo)
- Catfish and the Bottlemen – Soundcheck
- Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – High Dive
Hockey and Rap Music would be an odd couple. Imagine those two out to dinner: Hockey with the mullet in all denim; Rap in Gucci with gold chains. Makes zero sense. That said; here are 3 rappers who have seamlessly worked hockey refrences into their music
I’m in it to win it like Yzerman. – Kid Rock (Wasting Time)
Kid Rock is from Detroit so this adds up. Yzerman is a hockey legend in Michigan so it makes sense that Rock would compare himself to the three time Stanley Cup champion.
I’m still walking through the crowds like I cant be touched. Top back all black Gretzky puck. – Rick Ross (Tears of Joy)
Geography can’t explain this one. Rozay is from Mississippi and went to university in Florida. Gretzky was a West Coast guy (with the Kings). Maybe Ross just loves the idea of comparing himself to the Great One?
By chance I see her in the lobby of the Ritz. When her man, the one that swings a hockey stick. – Action Bronson (Easy Rider)
Bronson is a strange dude. A former chef turned rapper. Is this lyric about Action bumping into a hockey-player-dating-ex of his? It’s possible.
My dad renovated our family’s basement when I was a teenager. This meant my older brother and I got our own bathroom. We felt like royalty. Every young man should have his own space to shower and apply liberal amounts of Calvin Klein “Obsession”. Our new “puberty chamber” was also another space my engineering brother could engineer in some music.
Upstairs, my parents controlled the CD player and Radio tuner. (CD players; remember those?) My Mom loved Patsy Cline and Stevie Nicks. My Dad was into Jethro Tull and ZZ Top, and we got one radio station. Let me be clear: I consider myself fortunate to have had parents who were into good music during my young years. But it still wasn’t “our” music. Before an abundance of radio stations, mp3’s and on-demand music a kid had to WORK to hear his or her own music. Thankfully my resourceful brother found a way to rig some small external speakers via his stereo onto the bathroom shelves by dropping them through the ceiling tiles. This was some next level stuff as far as I was concerned.
We listened to a lot of different music getting ready for school. Pearl Jam’s “Ten” was a favourite as was Collective Soul’s “Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.” Then it happened. At some point, my brother dropped in the smalls self titled debut. The tape (Tapes; remember those?) was probably a dub, of a dub, of a dub. Neither my brother or I were old enough to get into a bar to see the smalls and actually buy a tape. I was impressed. I was even more impressed when somebody told me that the smalls were a band from Edmonton. WHAT? You can DO that?! I assumed that only bands with actual recordings were all rich rock stars who lived in Hollywood.
I can remember, like it was yesterday, those little speakers blasting out Dan-Diddle-A-Na. I’d be pulling on a t-shirt, snugging on my Atlanta Braves ball-cap, and adding an extra dash of Obsession while my brother honked from his Honda CRX in the driveway. I had to respect his timeline, he was my ride and he owned a leather jacked.
I can safely say that it was the smalls, not the Clash, The Ramones or The Sex Pistols that introduced me to “punk”. It was Edmonton’s own the smalls. Now for the first time in over a decade, the band is back together to play SONiC BOOM 2014. I hope to see you at the show, and if you can’t find me, follow the strong scent of citrus notes with a musky undertone.
**Reliable IN/OF/P on the #YEG Slo-Pitch Free Agent Market**
Dave Sawchuk is a strong defender with a good arm and high “Baseball IQ.” In addition to being able to play every defensive position at a high level, he can also be counted on in a pinch to throw a few innings. Don’t expect much on the hill though; just strikes and plenty of good-natured banter.
His real strength is consistency. “Sawchuk is the kind of ball player that shows up every week with a 6-pack”, says former teammate Len Wangen. “He’s just slow. Really slow. I mean, how is a guy that tall so slow?” added Wangen, unprompted. While Sawchuk has never been clocked in the 40 yard dash, many top scouts think he’d be average with a tail wind.
His consistency isn’t limited to just showing up with libations. Dave is a singles hitter from the right side with the ability to hit .500. That is not a typo. “He hits to all fields, albeit with the power of a 14 year-old”, says one former manager with ties to the free agent. Think Wade Boggs, not Mike Trout.
Why you should sign him: he won’t throw behind the runner; but knows to hit behind one. His “Good Times IQ” is also a strong point. Dave Sawchuk isn’t a “Gary Go-Hard” or a “Sammy Serious” on the diamond or in the club house.
Teams interested can email email@example.com.
In Canada, we talk about hockey all the time. Those who can’t at least debate Gretzky vs. Lemieux or traditional icing vs. no-touch icing are black-bagged and sent to Siberia. In an Olympic year, we somehow over-turn the laws of physics and talk about it even more than a 24 hour day allows. There are no shortage of story-lines to follow as Team Canada prepares to defend Gold in Sochi. This is one story we can all learn from. The story of team Canada forward Chris Kunitz.
Team Canada is a team of NHL All-Stars littered with a few NHL Super-Stars: players drafted first overall into the NHL. John Tavares, Rick Nash and Sidney Crosby were all picked first after accomplished and acclaimed junior careers. In addition, there are eight men on the roster drafted in the top 10. These are guys who were born and raised to play hockey. Then there is Chris Kunitz.
Kunitz was not drafted. Not one single NHL team thought he had the goods to play in the NHL. Not. One. Did he quit? No. After a decent college career, he signed a contract to play in the American Hockey League in 2003. He skated well enough for the Cincinnati Ducks to be called up to the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL. He played in just 21 games recording six points. What was his reward for decent play? He was released. Did he quit? No. He was signed by the Atlanta Thrashers, where he played 2 games and was -guess what?- Yep, released again. “Your services are no longer needed, Mr. Kunitz. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors…” Did he quit? No.
Anaheim gave him another chance in 2005-2006 and that year he won a Stanley Cup when the Ducks beat the Senators. Eventually, he was traded to Pittsburgh where he currently plays along Sidney Crosby. There is little doubt that it was Sidney who recommended Chris to be on Team Canada. When the best player in the world asks for somebody on his wing: you listen. That speaks volumes about Chris’ ability and work ethic.
I can only imagine how many times Chris wondered if all the hard work would be worth it. If all the hours in the gym would pay off. If all the long bus rides, sacrifices and bruises would get him anywhere at the profession he chose. He’s gotten to the point where every NHL team would love to have him; just eleven years after they all passed him up. And he’s been given the personal stamp of approval by Hockey Royalty.