Purposeful Broadcasting: Internship Leads to Radio Position
Mass Communications major and MNU alum, Travis Walker (’13), knows it takes persistence to land a great internship. For Travis, that persistence resulted in an internship with Entercom, a radio broadcasting company with stations located in Kansas City, Mo.
Travis uncovered the opportunity while browsing the Internet for sports broadcasting internships. He applied in the spring of 2013, but did not get accepted. Applying again in the summer he landed an interview. Travis explained that the interview was a fairly easy process. The interviewer asked if he listened to any of Entercom’s many other stations such as 96.5 The Buzz, 98.9 The Rock, and 610 Sports Radio. He did listen to them and thinks that knowing the company probably helped.
As an intern, Travis worked for all of those stations and mostly in promotions for 96.5 The Buzz and 98.9 The Rock. His work took him to many events to help promote the stations.
“If we were the ones hosting the event, we would be there to help the bands set up,” said Travis. “If the bands needed anything, we were the ones to give them what they needed.”
While working in the office, Travis did recaps and airchecks. Travis explained that after all events, a promotional recap is compiled. The recaps are essentially a one-page PowerPoint of pictures and captions showcasing the event. After completion, the recap is sent to an account executive for approval and then it goes to the client. These recaps do not go on the website, they are used for the client and to promote Entercom and each event. Airchecks are two, 1-minute clips of the station DJ talking about where the event is located to get listeners to come out and join them.
Travis recalled his most memorable experience was when 610 Sports asked him to join their crew.
“Sometimes I would help with the music stations and other times I helped 610 Sports,” said Travis. “Working with all three stations, I was able to experience working at a lot of concerts and Sporting KC (Kansas City’s professional soccer team) events.”
At first Travis thought promotions were not his long term career goal. He soon realized however, that promotions gave him exactly the opportunity that he needed to begin a career in radio broadcast, especially after 610 Sports asked him to join their staff.
“I was able to experience and shadow some of the broadcasters and board ops crew,” Travis said. Board operations staff play commercials and announcements at predetermined times, check transmitter readings, prepare logs, and air programs or music.
“At some point in my career, I want to be on-air in radio or TV, reporting sports,” he said. “If not, I would like to be behind the scenes in sports, whether it’s running the camera or doing board ops for the stations.”
As a student Travis was involved in yearbook, newspaper, and was part of the TV station crew. He also played football all four years at MNU.
Travis says the internship helped him gain more self-confidence.
“In the business of broadcasting, you have to be prepared to get out of your bubble,” he said. “The DJs basically just told me to be myself. They said that no one is here to judge you and when you work in an environment where you can be yourself, but also act in a professional way, it is awesome!”
Travis was recently hired part-time for 610 Sports Radio. This position will give him more training in the board ops and in reporting.
“Every day I learn something new,” said Travis. “I love being around sports and this is the perfect job to start my career.”