Butterball hires males for Turkey hotline

The Butterball talk line, seen here in an The Butterball talk line, seen here in an undated photo, turns 32 this year, and has long offered advice to anyone overwhelmed by making the perfect turkey for Turkey Day and the rest of the year-end holiday season. Photo Credit: AP

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This year if you call Butterball's Turkey Talk Line for some cooking advice, you might get a male voice on the line.

For the first time, Butterball is hiring men as well as women for its holiday hotline. The company is seeking its first male talk-line spokesman as well.

The 32-year-old talk line offers advice to anyone overwhelmed by making the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving Day and the rest of the year-end holiday season. Last year it launched a smartphone app, Facebook live chats and Pinterest posts.

But the line, which has grown from six operators to about 60, has never hired men before. The company says it wasn't specifically excluding men, but it usually relied on word-of-mouth to hire its talk line operators and its hires were always women.

Now it's taking a more active approach.

"It's the perfect time, because we have seen more and more men involved in Thanksgiving dinner," said Mary Clingman, director of the Butterball Turkey line. When the line started, about 9 percent of calls were from men. Now, about one in four calls are from men.

Butterball, based in Garner, N.C., will offer an online application for men age 25 and up to apply to be the spokesman or one of the operators. The spokesman can be based anywhere, but hotline operators should live near Chicago, where the line is operated.

Most operators have a background in food or nutrition; and have culinary degrees or are dietitians, food stylists or scientists. They also take a crash course in turkey making at Butterball.

The talk line is staffed during business hours in November and December, reaching up to 1 million turkey makers via all of its channels. -- AP

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