Case Study. She Quit Because She Had Too Many Jobs. Managers: What Would You Do?


It’s just the way of the world in radio these days. Managers need to push their people as hard as possible, to get as much work out of them, while keeping them happy and on the team. It works for some people and doesn’t work for others.

On the programming side, you do your own shift, voicetrack for other markets, cut a few spots, and complete whatever else the boss needs. Thirty-year Cincinnati vet Bobbi Maxwell said that that life wasn’t for her anymore and, after three decades of being a voice in the city of Cincinnati, she quit.

Maxwell said she quit her job at WRRM-FM when managers refused to ease up on all the work she had to do. According to in Cincinnati Maxwell couldn’t take the stress anymore when work kept being added to her plate. She tells Radio Ink it was either her pride or her paycheck and now she’s ramping up her own voiceover business. She says she still loves radio and she’s not done with the industry.

As a manager in the radio industry today, what is the correct way to manage the work down, while keeping people happily employed? We look forward to your comments below or you can e-mail [email protected]

Send a note to Bobbi Maxwell at [email protected]


  1. No, Aaron,

    I never complained. I enjoyed my radio career. You’re the one who agreed with the original bitchin’ babe about how hard you work. But to your generation of computer zombies anything other than watching data on a screen is exhausting. Go bale hay on a farm for a week.

  2. Oh Aaron,

    Radio’s past pros did a lot more than I listed-and a lot more than you did (watch for a local story of relevance?

    hahaha)- must exhaust you. We also did meter readings every HALF HOUR..and the logs meant you know what ca or cc mean? You were never in the studios I manned, but I’ve been in yours. Not even close, sonny.

    • If you did these things, why not list them. Why go on bitching to others about what was done then and now. It makes you look negative. Now that you bite back, even more negative. Grow up realist. We all have allot of work.

  3. Note to The Realist: The mult-tasking of station staff is truly overwhelming. And many of the jobs have little to do with radio!
    Indeed, we the lucky and talented few did all those things you mention, as well.
    The upside – which is not available to current on-air folks – is that we had the wild satisfaction to be attempting risky performances, talkin’ dirty an’ playin’ the hits. And we did it after every tune. We weren’t lost in a series of music-sweeps combined with spot phusterclucks.
    We did all those menial chores – until we cracked the majors. After that, it was cool runnin’s, mon.
    To be successful, radio will have to re-do portions of that approach. But this time, with even better trained talent.
    What are the chances….?

  4. You whining pussies. All you have to do on an air shift is watch the screens. T’was a time when we pros had to cue records, read all live copy (triple-spotted) answer the phone, keep up with the UPI machine, change UPI ribbons, get ready for the next newscast, call the weather bureau for the forecast, take down lost dogs on the phone, call for other football high school scores, make coffee and answer the front door. All while sounding clever between songs. ..And we did.

    • Wow, must be nice to just be able to sit back. At most stations… Here’s what talent has to do:

      1) REQUIRED show prep.
      2) Read emails on events, remotes, new station rules, contests, promotions
      3) Calculate times and segues, to not sound automated. FORWARD MOMENTUM gets ratings.
      4) research community events, gas prices, public service issues, events, and other community elements.
      5) Facebook and twitter updates.
      6) Answer the studio lines… it just might be corporate (or your boss) calling to test you.
      7) Traffic updates
      8) Current WX forecasts and temps
      9) Voice a spot or promo
      10) Meter readings that are required by the FCC
      11) Double check the log, before things get played. If you do not, traffic and continuity will eat you alive
      12) Yes, like you, answer doors and field questions in the lobby. Make that contact point count!
      13) FoxPro or winner sheets.
      14) Did you sign on the logs? Check all your spots, per “Sarbanes Oxley?”
      15) Clean the studio
      16) Watch local news for something that might be relevent.
      17) Eas Test… Weekly, Monthly? Did you sign the slip and mark that you did it on the EAS log?

      Shall I go on?

      The few things you list make yesterday a picnic! Nowadays, it is actually allot harder. I have not gotten into the remote and Promotions parts. I will if needed. You clearly had it allot easier!

  5. At this time unfortunately Bobbi’s situation is somewhat pervasive throughout our industry. Even those who have the heart, courage and intelligence at the highest level, may find it difficult to perform to the admirable degree that they have come to expect from themselves. But more importantly, this situation may begin to effect an even more valuable characteristic that these people possess, Passion. Once you start to diminish the passion that these radio advocates have, listeners, owners and stockholders will be effected. Broadcast entities will begin to be at the mercy of seeing performance and revenue negatively impacted. What you will have done is taken your crusaders, who have led the charge seeing that radio continues to compete in a heavily congested media universe, move to the sidelines. You have turned your most important asset into an “employee,” not someone who continues to deliver the message that radio and all its assets will continue to be a vital part of the media landscape well into the future!

  6. I worked for an outfit that had its owners touting the ol’ “Family” approach. Essentially, it was offered as a required attitude where everyone was compelled to do their bit and cover for each other and where sacrifices were expected for the “common good”. That was code for: bottom line.
    Fortunately, I already had a contract to do afternoon drive – only. But, I still asked the question of one of the owners. “Who gets to be ‘Dad’?”
    In the meantime and for years, I was witness to my friends and colleagues being overwhelmed by tasks and deadlines that were impossible to accomplish. As a result they were encouraged to feel the shame while they were being beaten like discounted rugs. There’s a book title in there. “”Sadistic And Stupid Management – It’s How We Do It.”

  7. There are far too many managers who only know how to, and are willing to, “manage DOWN” to employees. They need to have the HEART…the COURAGE…the BRAINS to “manage UP” in behalf of employees to the corporate suits. And if you as a manager don’t have the HEART, COURAGE and BRAINS to do so, then dust off a copy of the Wizard of Oz and get some. Time to get some integrity as well. The COSTCO model of treating employee well has proven to trump the WAL-MART model of not valuing employees.

  8. I know her feeling. I was at one station and had way too many hats and duties. I wouldn’t have minded so much, but the pay was way too low. If I got normal raises, which were against corporate policy, I would still be there today. I knew how to do everything from IT, Engineering, Production, Imaging, Producing, and even researching. Too bad the cloud company abused the heck out of me. Add micro-managers to the mix… you get an employee that feels slighted. Then to be called “disgruntled” by name on a video, for a local paper video shooting the morning show. I loved the Cloud Company job. Just hated the abuse that came with it.

      • If I was not as high profile, I could say more. But I flat out walked out. Was even yelled at by the PD, in front of others. That was the last straw. Then was told to change a client’s spot WITHOUT THE CLIENT’S APPROVAL. I then walked out, knowing it was wrong to do such a thing.

      • I know the other employees were not told the actual story of why I left so quickly. I know a few of them, who now know what really happened that May morning in 2014.

  9. Bobbi’s situation underscores the state of the industry and the mindset of managers/ owners/ stockholders. (trickling down in reverse order, of course) It is possible to be in one place for too long. It should be no surprise that the longer you stay somewhere, the more you are taken for granted. There are exceptions, but the overlying drive (in any business) is for profit and people are a disposable means of getting there.

    I coined a phrase decades ago, and it becomes more relevant each day . . . Loyalty Breeds Poverty.

  10. It’s all about morale. Many of us feel overworked these days…it seems to be the state of business everywhere. But a truly effective manager can help improve morale by simply showing appreciation for work well done. When workers feel that they have no voice…that their superiors don’t even know they exist, and when they never get rewarded for excellent performance, they will feel unhappy. A little appreciation can go a long way. I wonder if Bobbi’s boss ever gave her positive feedback about the quantity and quality of work she was doing?

  11. As a P.D., you have to be aware of the work load you place on your staff. You have to recognize that an overworked employee becomes a thinly spread, creatively lukewarm, unproductive employee. You want your staff to have some margin in their work lives to avoid burnout. Someone on the verge of burnout will only hurt the station(s) s/he work for. Head that off by protecting the workload placed on valued staff.


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