In April 2015, Adam and I had a big life changing moment. We both lost our jobs in broadcasting – on the same day. After the initial shock had passed, we had to make the decision as to whether or not we wanted to continue in broadcasting. Sadly, the answer was quickly realized. We both realized that the answer was no. There were many reasons that we both decided to turn our backs on our combined 30 years of radio experience and move on. The main thought that we both shared though was that we were putting way more into our career/company than we were getting back.
As soon as we said “no more radio”, we sat down and talked about everything that we wanted out of life. Little did we know that at the time the seeds for Full Time Canada were being planted. Before we could start planning anything, I still felt the need for closure. I had to say goodbye to a part of my life that I had loved for over two decades. At first, I wasn’t sure of how I was going to do this but then I finally decided that it would be easiest just to write a letter to Radio, to let it know how I felt and why I was done with it. It may seem to be a silly exercise, but it really did help get any negative energy out and help to clear my mind.
I didn’t write this to give a middle finger to the industry or those that let me go. I wrote it because I was truly sad to say goodbye. Unfortunately, the negatives outweighed the positives of what used to be a great industry and it was time to move on.
This is what I wrote down in the spring of 2015…
You said it was me and let me go because my salary was too big and the ratings weren’t there. But really, it was you.
It’s taken me a while to write this. You dumped me on April 23, 2015. I was hurt and desperately trying to understand why you rejected me.
It took some time for me to see how you ate away at my life. I dedicated 20 years to you and in the end, you were actually making me sick. I no longer had any joy to get up in the morning to work for you. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t your listeners that made me sick. The listeners – along with the music- were the only joyous things I had left. No, it was when I made the mistake of wanting to make more money and be a manager. That was the step in the wrong direction for this relationship.
At first, when I was just 20 years old, this relationship was so sexy – so exciting! I had people coming up to me complimenting on my voice and how well I read the news or how I made someone laugh talking about my dog. But that sexiness wore off when you paid me less than minimum wage and paid my male colleagues more than me. When you told me that I would never be news director because I was a woman, it made me want it all the more. And when I got News Director, you punished me Radio. You paid me less than the former male News Directors. But I took it -like so many women still do. I am proud to say I was the first woman News Director in my small hometown.
I did have fun Radio. Some of the memories make me smile. I remember waving in parades at fans, introducing rock bands on stage and meeting the Prime Minister of Canada. I have many memories of staying overnight at the station during big snowstorms and also trying to help listeners find lost dogs. I also have sad memories. Like 9-11. I was trying not to cry while talking about hundreds of people dying.
I couldn’t avoid what was happening to us over the years. You started cutting staff and you still treated women poorly – typically putting them second on morning shows, as co-hosts and not the show host. Sometimes you wouldn’t give women remote broadcasts for car dealerships. You barely pay staff enough money to live on, and even still women are making less than a lot of men in the same positions in radio.
Radio, I tried to make it work. I went into management and I worked hard. I was promised so much, as long as I was a slave to my phone. I worked all hours of the day. You were the last thing I thought about before I went to bed and the first thing I thought of when I woke up. I got up in the middle of the night for you and drove to the station because you were off the air. I would have done pretty well anything for you because I loved you so much. When I went into management I pretended to care about hockey while sitting around the table with the old boys club. I laughed at your blatant sexist jokes. I looked up to the women who were busting it to get a seat at that table. Then, I heard you make snickering comments behind their back.
Radio, I can usually no longer listen to you. You have started cheating on me, even more, this year. Where have the local announcers gone? Why am I listening to a recorded voice from British Columbia talk about the Maritimes town I live in? You aren’t fooling anyone. I am turning you off.
It’s unfortunate you are choosing money over talent because the talent is what brings in the money. You know this and choose to ignore it. So many talented people have been let go over the past couple of years. You have so many talented people who are still in the business that are doing 2-3 jobs and you are causing them to get sick. You’re causing them to have high blood pressure and stress and forcing them to walk on eggshells in the workplace because they’re constantly worried they might be next because no one feels safe.
Radio, you have some great people working for you, try to remember that. Treat them well. Stop slowly killing them. The job is supposed to be fun.
Radio, I thank you for dumping me. That’s right, I do! Thank you so much for kicking my ass to the curb.
I am no longer as sick as I was when I was with you. My high blood pressure is better. The armpits of my shirts are no longer soaked in sweat from nerves. I have a life again and I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I don’t regret being with you because you taught me an important lesson. I learned to be resilient.
So, here is what I am doing Radio. I am selling all of my stuff and I took all of my radio mugs and t-shirts and gave them away. I am going on a Canadian adventure. I’m going to work hard, play hard, and not worry anymore about you. We are completely through. I wish you nothing but the best and I hope that one day you will learn that you are not fooling your listeners.
Before I say goodbye for good – Radio, please treat women better. Seriously.
It was fun, but now, it’s time to say goodbye.