Almost everyone who works in broadcasting — including me, laws yes — has had an “open mic” moment when a microphone was live when it wasn’t supposed to be.
A good rule of thumb for all broadcasters is to assume, whenever one is in the proximity of a microphone or a camera, that it is on, whether it’s supposed to be or not.
Often, this is forgotten, and that’s why broadcasting lore is littered with stories, and YouTube is filled with the recorded moments, of professionals inadvertently revealing their private foul mouths to the world with barrages of f bombs.
KFI’s Gary Hoffmann and I were discussing this the other day, and he told me he has a good rule of thumb that’s helped him in his career — He said, “I always pretend my mom is holding the microphone.”
That is a GREAT philosophy! I think every person who works in broadcasting, be it radio, TV or Internet, should adopt the same rule:
Pretend that Gary’s mom is holding the microphone.