Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Tomorrow's Show..The Process

Last week a well meaning friend sent me a text regarding a job. My first thought was to be insulted. Are you saying that what I do isnt work ? I proceeded to defend myself.After giving it some thought, I came to realize sometimes people just dont understand.

Harlem Talk Radio is a collaboration of many great minds. A year ago, I walked into the studio and met the Executive Producer Nizer Saunders. Now Ive worked with MANY start ups. More than I care to count. I sit back and take note of a few things before I consider working with a start up. Have you changed the name of your company several times ? Is the phone working LOL ?? From day one, it was about a mission. In fact my interview turned into my first day on the job. The message was clear: EMPOWER THE HARLEM COMMUNITY. Certain media outlets will only tell one side of the story. When it comes to the underserved, the message is usually a negative one. "These people dont want to work, they are out to cheat the system..."
This is not true. 

Harlem Talk Radio gives an opportunity for our listeners to engage in a weekly town hall. We are working closely with many agencies. I was honored to talk to HRA Commissioner Robert Doar last spring.  How many times do you get to hear straight from the top what changes will be made. It was my pleasure to give feedback on what the HRA clients are saying and their concerns. Harlem Talk Radio listeners have a voice. We also spoke to the Office of Child Support Enforcement. What a difficult topic !! Our listeners had the opportunity to learn how they can collect child support from an unwilling non custodial parent.

When I first told people I was going to have a Talk Show they probably expected me to try to be the next Wendy Williams. I couldnt do that. But HOW YOU DOIN' WENDY !! (had to say that ...) They expected me to be my usual goofy, joke cracking self.

Perhaps if this was 2002, I would have been that way. However since 2003, I have experienced so many things I never thought I would experience. It has inspired me to help others face the same challenges. I have to take that back, since 1998 I have experience things I never imagined experiencing.

So each week, I reflect on something I have gone through especially as a single mother. If all I can do is enlighten another woman, then Im all for it. Many times mothers feel tremendous loneliness, shame and embarassment for different reasons. They need a place to feel secure. They need to hear, "I went through that too.."

Alot of thought goes into the process of planning the shows each week. The first step is getting the show idea approved by the Executive Producer. If he doesnt feel like the topic will help the masses, then its not a go. Try something else. Getting the guests is rarely a problem. Organizations are always willing to spread the word when it comes to meaningful projects. Once the guests are booked, the research begins. Wednesdays feel like Im back in school. I have to do alot of reading, studying etc. After all, would you want to call into a show and the host knows nothing about you ? A strong introduction is crucial. Can you imagine your first question is:"So...what do you do again.." or "For the third time..tell me your name..." After the research is complete, the questions have to be written. Good questions are extremely important. You dont want to ask questions such as: "do you like your job ?" Your questions have to reflect the research you have done.

Once all of that is done, its show time. The show goes faster than you think, and then its time to start the process again.  Tomorrow, we are re airing the interview with Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of Her message cannot be missed. We need to get healthy foods into EVERY neighborhood. I say we hold the media partially responsible. The media constantly gives the message skinny is beautiful, yet they target the minority communities with the McDonalds and KFC commercials. 

A few small changes make a big difference. In my household, I stopped buying white potatoes and white rice. I cook sweet potatoes and brown rice. I try to buy alot of fresh fruit. We only drink 100% juice or water. I still have a long way to go, but Ive tried to make some changes. My weakness is definitely fried foods and sweets. What tasty weaknesses lol.

Well gotta get ready to talk to you all tomorrow..Take care and tune in...

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