As a Program Director I am responsible for cultivating great on-air talent for my radio station(s). Every Tuesday, I will share a tip that can help on-air talent (broadcasters) be the best talent and/or assist a Program Director in developing great talent. Let me know what you think below or using the hashtag #TueRadioTip via Twitter or IG.
I am asked more and more by students of radio on what it takes to be a morning show producer. A radio show producer is the person ultimately in charge of the flow of the show. Good radio show producers are very hard to find because the job requires long, stressful hours, for low pay. These jobs are also often entry level jobs at small and medium market stations.
- You’re the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave sometimes hours after the show has ended.
- Know the host(s) you are working with. You don’t have to like them, but there needs to be mutual respect to get the job done. Know the target audience the show is broadcasting to.
- Be a stickler of the standard station formalities. The Program director is going to charge you with the responsibility of making sure the call letters are said, time and temp gets read, etc.
- Be a problem solver. You have to think fast on your feet in this type of job. Whether it’s a music or talk show, situations come up that force you to jump in immediately and resolve.
- Be organized. Have a system that can be followed, especially if you’re out sick and the show doesn’t skip a beat.
- Keep/build a rolodex of people/experts you can call on when needed. An example would be, in the recent Orlando shootings at the night club, having a local person that can speak on behalf of the LGBT community. Rely on credible sources for information.
- Know how to screen the right callers for your host to talk to.
- During a show, you’re responsible for keeping it tight and on time. Learn your host’s ways, so that they respect you when it’s time to move on. If you’re a producer that runs the talent’s board, then you are in control of the flow.
- After the show, before everyone leaves the station, have an outline of what tomorrow’s show is going to look like.
- Always over produce a show. Have more material than gets used. The job never ends, you could be watching TV and get an idea for a topic to be discussed. Keep ideas fun and entertaining.
A good producer is the back bone of a good morning show. It’s often a thankless job but it can be rewarding when the show gets good ratings, awards and recognition.