Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Find your voice: Scott Metcalfe

'Find your voice' is what 680 News - News Director Scott Metcalfe opened his lecture with. 

Scott played audio examples of artists such as Bob Marley, Paul McCartney and Janis Joplin before - and after - 'finding their voice' . The point being to demonstrate to the Radio Humber Class of 2016 that who they are now ~ their talents and capabilities ~ will continue to evolve and get better ~  but only if they continue to practice and find their voice. Scott reiterated the point with a piece of audio of celebrated sportscaster Dan Shulman, who went from a green weekend sports anchor who Scott hired in the 1990's (audio piece 1),  to award winning ESPN play-by-play announcer (audio piece 2). Dan found his voice.

Scott has a great deal of perspective on things like this after having been in the business for more than 40 years - many of those years as a manager. He maintains a calm, mild-mannered disposition despite running the busiest and arguably the most hectic newsroom in Canada - Toronto's 680 News. Scott's leadership style has him clearly thinking outside the box in many cases - including with young up and coming broadcasters. Scott used an example of looking at someone who may be a Britney Spears expert as  'curious' - not 'limited' - and instead of scoffing at them,  he would attempt to  direct and channel that natural curiosity into other areas like politics or community issues.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of freelancing for Scott at the Fan 590 more than 20 years ago and can attest that he was one of the nicest, most pleasant, approachable bosses I have ever worked for. Scott brought up his own experiences with bosses - good and bad - and offered to the class (who are currently searching for their first jobs) that they will most likely have experiences with both good and bad bosses. His advice? Focus on the job - not the boss; 'you may want to quit the boss, just don't quit the job'. 

Looks like that - might in fact - be the secret to such longevity in the radio.