Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ex-Clear Channel morning host still connects with people

Connecting with people was generally more important than specific skill sets when Michelle Maloney was coping with getting laid off from hosting a morning radio talk show in Cleveland by media giant Clear Channel, according to a short news feature broadcast on WCPN-FM 90.3 in Cleveland.

The story by the National Public Radio affiliate touches on the experience of three people from TV, a magazine and a daily newspaper -- all now pursuing other opportunities made possible by their talents.

Here's a portion of a transcript dealing with Maloney --

MALONEY: You can’t be worrying about, “Ohmygod, ohmygod, am I going to get fired?" Because that’s no way to live. And then, of course, it happens to you, and you’re blown out of the water. It was hard.

Maloney sent out hundreds of resumes --- to radio stations, ad agencies, public relations firms. Nothing seemed to be working. But, [a Cleveland] Plain Dealer story about her prompted a response that came out of left field. The manager of a local car dealership sent an e-mail, offering her a sales position.

MALONEY: I e-mailed him back and said, “That’s really sweet of you. I appreciate it, but I know nothing about selling cars.” And he said, “That’s okay, you don’t have to, we’ll teach you that. The big thing is connecting with people. And you’ve been doing that for 18 years, in radio”

SOUND : (PA system at Lexus dealership “Bob, pick-up line 7 please.")

The waiting room of the Classic Lexus store in Willoughby Hills looks like the lobby of a posh hotel, with comfortable couches and a big plasma screen playing the afternoon soaps. To the right and left, new model cars glisten in the showroom. This is Michelle Maloney’s new workplace.

MALONEY: My first month I sold five cars, (laughs) which they say, in this economy, isn’t bad.

She says she misses radio, but finds it hard to listen to her old station any more. It’s just not the same. Right now, she’s cautiously optimistic about her new circumstances.

MALONEY: Somebody said, “What are you driving?” And I said, a pick-up truck. And I’m going to drive it into the ground. I make my last payment in August. So…that will be nice to have a little relief for awhile.