Nonprofit community radio station WORT-FM is looking for a new voice for its Tuesday mornings, and especially wants women, LGBT+ folks, and people of color to apply.
“Eight O’clock Buzz” is the station’s morning drive-time talk show, hosted by a different local volunteer host every day. Currently, there’s a hole in the schedule on Tuesdays.
“For me, the perfect Eight O’clock Buzz host would be upbeat, informative, engaging with listeners, responsible and reliable and showing up,” WORT News and Public Affairs Director Chali Pittman said.
Pittman said no radio experience is necessary, but some sort of performance background is helpful.
“We provide training. We welcome anyone to apply,” Pittman said. “You don’t need to have hosting experience. Any performing experience is great, whether it’s on stage or, you’re a community leader and you’re used to public speaking that way or anything like that.”
The show usually consists of three interviews, each 10 to 15 minutes, interspersed with music. The topics cover a wide range.
A show can include “interview segments with members of the community, perhaps state leaders or issues on a state scale. Sometimes national leaders or political candidates or something like that. We get a whole range of science, arts, culture, news, what’s happening at the Capitol and also things that are for community. Ways to file your taxes or complete healthcare applications or public service kind of interviews. So my goal would be to have someone who, consistently has a show that covers all of that and is prepared to, to host,” Pittman said.
The hosts get to choose and pick their own guests, so having a solid network of community folks willing to be guests on the show would help, too.
“There’s an opportunity for your voice to come through both literally on the air, but also through who you book and what you choose to highlight, which I think is one of the most interesting parts of hosting the show,” Pittman said.
Pittman stressed that members of communities traditionally underrepresented in the media are especially urged to apply.
“It’s literally a part of our mission statement to highlight (underrepresented voices),” Pittman said. “There’s a traditional mold of what journalists are and I’d like us to kind of break out of that. You don’t have to be a full journalist, but I do ask that there some basic journalism ethics. Even if it’s arts or culture story, paying attention to stories that are underrepresented.”
The Tuesday morning host is a volunteer position, as all on-air positions are. The same applies to the producers and engineers, which are also needed.
“All of our hosts are volunteers as our producers and engineers. But, one of the things, that is kind of the trade off for that and makes it worthwhile and so exciting and valuable. A valuable opportunity is the ability to highlight things that you think are underrepresented in the media,” she said.
Anyone interested should fill out an application online at the WORT-FM website. Pittman said there will be an interview process, and there also may be something of an audition.
Pittman said applicants should be willing to make at least a one-year commitment.