1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

The Wacky World of Radio - Contracts and At Will Employees



Wacky World of Radio Logo

Wacky World of Radio Logo

Graphic Credit: © Corey Deitz
Radio is a wonderful business to work in when there are jobs available. A long time ago, during a period called "The 1980s" jobs were as common in radio as promises from political parties. Everything changed in the 1990s when the Federal Communications gave all the radio stations in America away to a few select people with deep pockets. This was also known as The Communications Act of 1996. Today, there are fewer jobs than ever in radio but the good news is radio finally has the lowest personnel turnover rate of any business. Of course, it took getting rid of all those annoying employed people to get there!

Now, if you're going to work in radio you'll need to know a few things. You can never arm yourself with too much information. Let's just concentrate on the on-air positions. Usually, there are two kind of radio talent: those with contracts and those without. First, let's talk about the non-contract players.

At Will Employees Lose the Will to Live

When you do not have a contract with an employer, you are considered an "at will" worker. It simply means your employer has the right to fire you anytime he or she feels like it and you may beg for your job "at will." (Like, anytime. Right now, for instance. Just drop to your knees and cry like a little girl. Don't worry. We've all been there.) "At Will" is actually an old phrase that comes from the Latin word "screwed." "At will" employees are noticeably more nervous on the job and usually exhibit a certain degree of perspiration and stuttering. They are also usually the workers who volunteer to do extra work like arranging the surprise birthday party for the boss. If they could, on his birthday cake they would insist the baker write, "Happy Birthday! Let the Ass Kissing Begin!" "At will" workers invented Brownie Points and secretly keep track of them using a special app on their iPhone.

Contract Players - An Offer You Should Refuse

People who are slightly more important to a radio company are sometimes lucky enough to have a written deal, also known as a "personal services contract." Most contracts are written by the employer's lawyers who are known to eat babies for breakfast. If you don't believe me, just Google it. These lawyers spend years in Law School learning how to delicately fashion something called "clauses." "Clauses" sound like one thing but usually mean something else when read in a courtroom. Dozens - even hundreds - of "clauses" appear in "personal services contracts" for one reason: to dilute the status of the employee back down to an "At Will" worker without him knowing or realizing it. Most potential employees question very little about their contracts and often sign them as is because in their hearts they know that their future employer only has their best interests at heart.

That's so cute.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.