If you think of any pop station on the radio, it most likely has one factor in common with every other pop station in the country: it’s run by iHeart Media. Flash forward to all of the upcoming Jingle Ball’s and Jingle Bash’s around the country and one more thing in common, the iHeart Media Logo shown behind almost every performer. During last week’s Chicago Ideas Week, we had the chance to take a tour of the iHeart Media Chicago office, learn how a radio station functions and even produce our own commercial.
When Beyond The Stage first stepped into the iHeart Media office, we were overwhelmed with photos of some of the top artists in the country performing at iHeart Radio Music Festival. Music is playing in the background along with several flat screen TVs displaying different radio station logos and it completely fits the description of a radio station. First, we went through each studio as Rufio (one of the DJs for Chicago’s Top 40 Station) guided us along. But what you might not know, is that all of the stations are run by the same company, despite their titles of being Top 40 or Spoken Word.
If you’ve ever won a radio contest to see an exclusive performance, you know how it works. You’re led into a small room where the artist plays and you’re able to do your meet and greet. We were allowed to not only see this exclusive performance hall but sit on the stage, see the green room where your favorite artist might have warmed up, and even take photos with the background where meet and greets happen.
Going through the daily process of how a radio station works, BTS was able to see more than just how the songs play on the radio, but also how they are picked and programmed. Ever call into a radio station? We might’ve taken your call. Learning how to record and talk to listeners was an important part of this Chicago Ideas Week event!
Rufio showed us how the station takes calls, adds your favorite songs into the program and gives away tickets. But, we’re not spoiling that, because that ruins the magic of radio. If you’re attending a Jingle Ball show in the next few months, you might recognize this familiar logo behind all of your tickets, and you might’ve won your tickets talking to Rufio in Chicago.
We had a blast learning more about iHeart Radio with Chicago Ideas Week. More than that, we know some new radio secrets!
Have you ever toured a radio station? Let us know in the comments below!