Talk to any station manager or sales manager, and they'll tell you their biggest headache is finding and hiring great salespeople. For those of us who have been in radio for at least a couple of decades, this phenomenon is a real departure from the past. Even for sales, there were always scores of applicants, and some great people who went on to become great managers – and even owners.
So if this is happening on the sales front, it stands to reason that we're going to be facing the same issues in the air studio. Some would argue we're facing that problem already. Where is the future talent going to come from? Who will be the next Howard Stern? How will we be able to recruit and grow talent?
It's about environment. We have to give young, fledgling talent the feeling that radio welcomes creativity and innovation, and that we're willing to take risks. This is yet another reason why voicetracking, while saving money in the short-run will cost radio big-time down the road. There's talent out there, but if we don't give it a chance to incubate, we are destined to become jukeboxes.