Have you ever toured a radio station before and heard background conversations peppered with lingo you just did not understand? Someone talked about a clambake and you assumed it was a new restaurant in town, or a different individual brought up a belly punch and you rushed to the window because you thought a fight had broken out in the parking lot?
Like other technical industries, radio broadcasting uses very specific phrases. No matter where you go with your radio broadcasting degree after Miami Media School, different locations and stations will use mostly the same radio broadcasting lingo. So, the more up to speed you are on the industry-specific vocabulary, the better off you are going to be.
Here are six different phrases you need to be sure to learn before you head out to your first radio gig.
- Belly Punch
A belly punch can usually be a good thing, especially if you (or the producer) wanted to make someone laugh. A belly punch means that a comment, joke or other radio broadcasting activity drew a belly laugh. This isn’t just a general chuckle, but one of those long winded laughs that are sustained and can be felt all the way down to the gut.
Now, unlike a belly punch, this is not something you want to have – it is something you want to avoid whenever possible. A clambake is a program or segment that completely fell apart simply because of the lack of preparation or rehearsal prior to the show. This is something that is just going to crash and burn on air and is littered with on air mistakes. That is why it is always important to rehearse everything before going in front of a live, listening audience.
Here is something else you’d like to avoid whenever possible. If you are ever conducting an interview, if the equipment is not calibrated properly or if there are other issues at hand, you might pick up what is known as cross-talk, which is an external conversation picked up from an outside source. That is why it is necessary to make sure everything is properly connected and that all outside interference is removed whenever possible.
This is something you’ll learn pretty early on in radio broadcasting school and it simply means the radio waves you’ll see while editing audio tracks.
- Listening In
This is another slang term that isn’t hard to pick up and which comes up all the time. Listening in is simply when someone is listening to the radio. They are “listening in” to the broadcast.
- Put in a Wire
Not all of your radio broadcasts are going to be done from within the station. There are going to be times where you conduct special interviews and broadcasts from other locations. Maybe you do it from a convention center or other location. Whatever it is you do and wherever it is you do it, if the broadcast does not happen inside of the studio, doing so is known as “put in a wire.”
While there are plenty of other slang terms you are going to learn during your time in school and then in the professional radio world, it is important to know that these are some of the most common used phrases in the industry.