Radio industry voices approval, frustration at Ted Williams story
Ted Williams is seen in this still from a Columbus Dispatch video posted on YouTube.
January 7th, 2011
01:12 PM ET

Radio industry voices approval, frustration at Ted Williams story

There is no doubt that Ted Williams has an amazing voice. It's a voice that only belongs behind a microphone announcing a basketball game, voicing an infomercial, reading the news or reminiscing with us on our favorite oldies station.

And who doesn't love a story about someone getting a second chance at life? It's inspiring to know that when we might need that second chance or if we are looking for one right now, there's hope. To see the outpouring of jobs, opportunities and support Williams got after his video went viral, reminds us that there are good people in our world ready and willing to help.

But let's put the fairy tale aside for a second. This man was struggling and looking for work - a story that many people nation wide can very much relate to, especially in the radio industry - filling out resumes, applying for jobs, practicing voice exercises, re-editing the voice reel. Take a look at It's a warehouse full of voice talent. A basic search for an adult male voice will give you thousands of quality voice samples to listen to. And then you see "Homeless Man Gets Radio Job" top the headlines across the country.

Industry expert Tom Taylor who blogs on has heard the backlash this story has created in the radio world. Taylor summarizes the frustration, not in a way to completely deflate this "feel-good" story, but to remind everyone there is a harsh reality to the business.

"What you're hearing from some radio folks isn't jealousy or resentment, exactly - but a reminder that life's not fair," Taylor blogged. "Especially in an industry that has tossed talented people out the door for much of the last decade."

Did Ted Williams' voice change everything we thought we knew about radio? No. So this post is for the people in radio working hard to get their break. It's to acknowledge that no matter what the industry, people are struggling to find work. As inspiring as this story is, it's got to give some people a headache.

Imagine you get that automated e-mail sent from an HR department after they closed your profile saying, "Thank you for your interest in job #0002792614, but we have filled the position. In fact, we actually hired a homeless guy who we saw on YouTube. Good luck in your job search!"

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Filed under: Drugs • Jobs • Ted Williams
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Lynn

    This just proves that God is the one in control. He makes things happen for those who believe in him. Ted was at his lowest and used his God given voice to at least entertain some people for some change. He didn't ask that man to record him and put it on youtube. He was at least trying to EARN the money he was asking for by entertaining people. And funny the man who recorded him was heading to church himself when he found him. Ted is an example of divine intervention. Some of them who are complaining and crying need to find God in their life too and see what wonders happen for them as well.

    January 10, 2011 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. MidTnMan

    Now folks may start to understand the resentment from struggling musicians towards shows like American Idol and Nashville Star. Why work at your craft for years, playing on the road to try and make a buck, when some mediocre kids can be selected for a TV show and get the record deals? I think Ted Williams is a great story, but this has been going on for years in the record business.

    January 10, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Brad

    This is no different than people who go on American Idol who NEVER went into bars or festivals singing and getting paid little or nothing to start their careers.

    January 10, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. cPg

    for Wanda-no one has from what I've read thus far said anything about shade-only you to Pete-shame, shame on you. Everything is not about race-except to you perhaps-you can help stop that by not bringing in up time after time I suspect..

    January 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Anne Leighton

    How about someone getting his ex-wife a job as a TV and radio talk show host on her expertise of raising nine kids on her own for 20 years.

    January 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anne Leighton

    I think every media outlet that has exploited Ted Williams can use their resources and sponsors to help the homeless.

    There are so many talented homeless people who try to do the right thing.

    How can they help the local community? Every homeless person is going to benefit in some way, get back in touch with their God-given talents and help the world be better in either a practical or an ethereal way.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    I have a good voice,too. But not the face for radio like this guy. People on radio usually are not good looking....

    January 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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