It's natural to get excited when you get a job offer. You're tempted to simply accept it on the spot, but you're not thinking clearly when you're excited. And remember, the minute you accept an offer, the negotiation is over.
Then, all of a sudden, stuff you wished you'd asked about pops into your head. But it's too late. You can't go back after you signed and say, "Hey, can I have a few bucks for this?"
So, here's a list of stuff to ask about before you sign on the dotted line or accept an offer:
-When does health insurance kick in? In some stations, it starts on day one. In others, there's a three month waiting period. Paying for health insurance for a few months isn't cheap.
-Will the station pay moving expenses or offer a moving allowance?
-Relocation: Will the station put you up in a hotel while you find a place to live? Or pay for a house hunting trip before you start?
-Does the station pay/trade for hair, clothing and makeup?
-Do you get overtime and/or comp time?
-Do you have an out clause in your contract, and, if so, when does it kick in?
Finally, don't forget to have a lawyer look over any contract. If a News Director says, "It's standard, you really don't have to check it out. Just sign," then you should run.