Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SCAM OR NOT? “THE RADIO CONNECTION BROADCASTING SCHOOL”



Today I got a message on my voice mail from a person representing The Radio Connection Broadcasting School.  (Scroll down to hear the call)

The caller explained that the school has a student in my area that is interested in learning about radio broadcasting.  He said The Radio Connection is offering $2,000 if I would mentor the student at my station. (The word “intern” was not used but I feel it was implied.)

What could be wrong?  They seem to be offering a “free intern.” Plus, they pay to have the student be mentored.  I enjoy mentoring but what The Radio Connection Broadcasting School is offering doesn’t smell right.

So, I investigated The Radio Connection Broadcasting School online.  The company is located in the North Hollywood area of LA.  The Founder and CEO is James Petulla, who also owns and operates The Recording Connection and The Film Connection.  His bio says he was formerly associated with the Columbia School of Broadcasting.

According to their website, the cheapest course available at The Radio Connection Broadcasting School is $8,800 – more if you let them “loan” you the money for your tuition.  What they offer is an online course with radio basics and the opportunity for the student to be “mentored.”

Maybe these folks are legit – I don’t know enough about them to say one way or the other.  But consider:

• The call I received today (Scroll down to hear it) came from a boiler room call center.  This is never a good sign.

• They have no reason to call me because I have no employees except for occasional contractors.  The Yellow Pages lists me with other “Radio Companies” even though I am not a radio station.

• An internet search turned up quite a few items concerning Mr. Petulla and his schools.  One person described an experience with The Film Connection:

The Film-Connection program I paid $5950 for a few years ago required that I buy several books, which I did, because students were required to do homework. The letter from Film-Connection that accompanied the books had typos in it, and one paragraph was accidentally repeated twice. That seemed very unprofessional to me.

The program pushed an apprenticeship with a director who would be a "mentor." When I met the director, he did not know anything about homework or the books I was required to buy. This director gave me telephone numbers of people involved with films that were being shot in the area. and I would need to go and interview with those people. This was the "one-on-one" time I received from him.

• My search also found MANY posts defending Mr. Petulla’s various businesses.  All of the posts I saw contained the exact same language, including this gem:

The idea that the Recording Connection is certainly being a fraud would come like a great stun to the 72% of the school's graduates whom discover work in the highly aggressive records business after generating the program. The school's success rate should communicate for itself, but graduates are certainly not the sole people raving concerning the Recording Connection. This program may be positively reviewed by high-profile business publications, such as Billboard, Music Connection Magazine, and Mix.

Listen to the call here:
video

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