Job shadowing Z100’s Dave DeVille

By Melaina Steig


Dave DeVille in the Z100 studio at iHeartMedia

Recently, I was given the opportunity to job shadow a radio broadcaster at iHeartMedia in Eau Claire. iHeartMedia is a mass media company that controls many different television and radio stations across America. While I was at the Eau Claire location I was able to job shadow Dave DeVille, a radio personality for Z100.

DeVille is on air every weekday morning form 6am-10am along with his co-host Hannah Cole.  The studio where they work at plays “America’s Top 40” and other pop songs from across the country.

While at the studio, I was able to watch and join in on some discussions on air.  It was really interesting for me to see how news stories are talked about before being broadcast-ed.  In between each of the songs being played, DeVille and Cole would have conversations about a topic, and then when it came to for that conversation to happen live, they would say everything almost word for word.  With this technique, they were able to work out any rough patches in the story and make the conversation run smoother and faster.

Another thing that interested me was how DeVille would record interviews with people for the next week because he would be out of town and they needed a ‘live’ conversation for the air. DeVille would also have listeners call in to give answers to the daily give-away question, and he would record the persons answer and then stop the recording so that he could ask personally information such as last name and address.

Through this job shadow, I learned many new things about the broadcasting and journalism field. I learned that one of the main differences from print journalism and broadcasting journalism is that with print, you have more time to ‘sell’ your article to the reader, where as with broadcasting, you only have 30-45 seconds to tell your story.  I also learned that a lot of research goes into those little clips of news.  A broadcast journalist has to do all of the work that print journalist does, but they have less time to pull the stories together in order to have them on air ready.

“I didn’t need a degree to get paid to have fun.” DeVille said after being asked why he decided to enter the world of radio.

Before becoming a radio broadcaster, DeVille had several other jobs, some that didn’t even relate to broadcasting.  These jobs included delivering free publications, working at a golf range, taking care of children before and after school, and being a DJ at weddings, which is what peaked his interest in radio.

Below is the audio interview with DeVille, who talks about his careers before radio and what he thinks is the best reason to become a broadcast journalist.


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