So many mixed emotions and after almost 8 years February 16 was my last day at CBS Radio. Not the easiest decision considering that I always dreamed of working in Radio when I was a teenager growing up in Mexico.
I remember I used to ride in the car listening to the radio and wonder how that music and the DJ ON air would come out through those speakers & How would it feel to be the one on the other side?
Fresh out of High School and thanks to my Tia Marta Leticia that met a General Manager who’s son was a patient at the Clinic where she used to work at and talked about me and my passion for music and radio got her card for me to call her and apply for a part time gig in promotions at Clear Channel Radio now IHeart Media.
I believe I was 18 when I got that gig getting paid minimum wage driving from Cedar Hill all the way by the Galleria Mall without any highway driving experience, I mean I learned how to drive in Mexico since I was 13 but the roads do not compare to these huge freeways and being that I had just moved here from MX I barley knew how to drive on them but that did not stop me.
I went to Mountain View in the morning, helped my parents at the bakery at midday in Oak cliff then headed to work promotions in the afternoon.
My step dad hated me working in radio, he would bump in to me sometimes in the parking lots of a supermarket while I was working during a Van Hit in the middle of the summer putting bumper stickers on cars and he would say “is this what you came to the US to do? To put bumper stickers on cars? And stand out in the sun all day for $7.25 an hour”. And I would just look smile and greet another listener. You know for me that was my dream, as ridiculous as it may sound, working at the radio station was everything for me. I Stayed at La Preciosa for a year left because my step dad hated Radio for me and one day helping my parents at the bakery closer to my time to go to the station my stepdad did not allow me to leave the bakery and made me call my boss and quit my job over the phone. I was crying, I was mad because there was nothing I could do. Yes, I was 18 but that was his car not mine, that was his bakery not mine and I lived at their house not mine, So I became a limited lines car insurance sales agent lasted a year when I hear a new Radio Station that played Latin pop was in town. Left my $14 an hr insurance job I had gotten at 19 to go back to Radio at 21 to get paid $7.50.
Took a major pay cut for me in that time but it was the Passion that I had for Radio that didn’t make me think of the pay. Yes, I struggled. I was trying to go to school, work and make it with minimum wage which thanks to God, I could by living at my parents house.
From there, I kept moving on. I started picking up every shift, every event, working weekends, holidays learning as much as I could.
Board Operating, production, voice overs, traffic, events, operations, promotions, ideation, on air shifts, everything. Name the shift, I would work it. Eventually after a yr and a half from $7.50 I got a raised due to working in the office and doing a Promotions Coordinator job to $10.
I was scheduling brand ambassadors, creating content for the website, executing on air promotions and assisting the promotions department, then after that another year went by the opened a full time position to be a coordinator for Mega and 98.7 KLUV which I was already doing the job of a coordinator as a part timer for Mega 107.5. I interviewed for the position but since I was not too familiar with KLUVs format I was not selected. So another person got the promotion and I kept working as a part timer.
Long story short they separated the position and opened up the position just for Mega which then got offered to me after 3 years. Obviously I took it since I was going to get benefits and a now full time job. Things got a little crazy for me at times, work was always my escape. I started on the air as the traffic reporter for the afternoon show with Pelos Parados then later added weekends on Mega 107.5 while I was also running the promotions team and executing events, contest and all that good stuff!
It was all about work, work, work! I enjoyed helping people, being in media allowed me to help a lot of people either directly or indirectly with fundraising events, to free music festivals, concerts benefiting great causes, to creating food drives, toy drives and tons of awesome things for the community.
So even when I wanted to leave that always kept pulling me back. I went on and kept going on, the work kept increasing the pay never did. I was overwork, unappreciated and I went through periods where all that mattered to me was to have everything taken care of at the radio station. I knew I had to get out, I knew it was not healthy for me, I was under the direction of very sexist boss, who was infatuated with me and got mad because I wouldn’t go out with him. He tried, he tried really hard to make me go out with him and he could not handle rejection. I saved up my money, stuck it out for a couple of months then when I felt I could survive for a couple of months. I Quit! I put my 2 weeks notice and left that place. I needed to leave to find something else. I was going through a lot personally from my parents separating and losing every thing including our home. I was homeless for a minute and my aunt took me in. I just couldn’t help it. I needed to leave in that process I was offered a job in Hollywood working for a movie agency, recommend by a good friend and while I was interviewing in their office in LA. I received a call from the radio station offering me a position and letting me know that all prior management were no longer there and that they wanted me back!
They offered me $45,000 for a position where I would be working for the station I have worked so hard for Mega 107.5 so i just couldn’t refuse the offer. Once back in things were different, the atmosphere was better and I was happy again!
But then came another restructuration at the same time that my husband was deployed in Afghanistan (I met my husband back in my college days but reconnected when I quit my job and took a part time at Barnes and Noble) the restructuration consisted of me now overseeing La Grande 107.5 which was previously La Mega, then 98.7 KLUV (the station I didn’t get the full time position for back when I applied) and then 1080KRLD.
Life is crazy, well I had to take the responsibility since there was no other option but to take it or quit the job. My pay did not go up, so I kept the same salary and was now doing the job of 3 people. (Not too strange in radio). My husband was deployed so again I went ahead and took the challenges being busy didn’t leave me with much time to think that he was gone and that I was once again alone but not only with myself but with our 1 y/o baby girl.
Times were hard but passion kept me going, my dream kept me going.
The times I spent at CBS were a rollercoaster they were fun, they were stressfull, they made me mad, angry, hopeless, smart, knowledgeable and most importantly at my time in CBS I made some of the strongest friendships.
So saying goodbye to radio was not that easy buy I knew it was my time to move on and go on to my next adventure.