What Does A Radio Producer Do?
If you love listening to music on the radio or look forward to the lively and interesting banter between a DJ and his guest at a regular radio show, you should know that all these would not have been possible without the radio producer. As a very integral part of the team of any radio station, radio producers play a very important role in developing its broadcasting content. They work with DJs and other on-air talents, the engineering team and other employees to come up with ideas for a show, present it every day and get audience feedback to determine if it is successful. In the digital age, radio producers may also produce content for the radio station’s broadcasts aired on their online and mobile platforms.
Coming up with the concept for a radio program takes a lot of work. The radio producer has to brainstorm with other members of the production team, narrow down the list of possible ideas and conduct thorough research on the chosen concept. If it’s a talk show, for example, radio producers have to determine the target audience for the topics that they will be tackling on the show, the things that should be discussed and the financial resources needed to get it off the ground. Thus, radio producers aren’t only creative and have the penchant for storytelling, they also have intimate knowledge of the radio market and programming styles and are able to organize different people to achieve one common goal.
Radio producers who are in charge of producing talk shows need to have the ability to write interesting copy because they will be asked to write scripts and develop content to guide on-air talents. They also need to make sure that there are going to be guests for the show. If the show is going to be aired from a different location other than the studio, radio producers are responsible that the guests, hosts and necessary equipment are transported to the location at the right time. In case the show accepts callers—such in shows where the talk show host dispenses advice—the radio producer is the one who accepts the calls and screens them, passing only the callers he deems fit to go on air to the host.
Radio producers may also be responsible for creating playlists for music shows. They see to it that the music that will be played are the ones that will be patronized by the target audience. As such, they need to have a very thorough knowledge of the music industry and the popular and classic hits that singers have recorded through the years. In many radio stations that follow the music format, contests and promotions are generally one way to entice listeners. Radio producers are often responsible for coming up with the gimmicks that will persuade audiences to listen only to their radio station and not to that of the competitor.
Aside from being a creative genius in programming, radio producers need to possess technical knowledge about the various kinds of equipment that will be used to bring music and interviews on air. There are now many different kinds of computer programs that make it easier for radio stations to produce and edit music and interviews so producers need to be constantly updated on them. The sound quality of a radio station often affects its ratings because listeners will always gravitate to those stations that deliver the clearest audio experience.
When not dabbling on the content and technical aspects of production, radio producers are in their office crunching numbers. They are not accountants but they collaborate closely with management to determine how much budget is needed for advertising, new shows, salaries and others.
Indeed, you rarely hear radio producers on air because they work efficiently and silently at the background. They see to it that a live broadcast proceeds without any hitches as much as possible, always ready to address issues that could potentially lead to a “dead air” that is always a no-no in radio broadcasting. Whether the problem is with the technical equipment, the no-show of an invited guest or the talk show host getting sick and unable to make it to the show, radio producers are the ones who find solutions to these challenges and get the broadcast done to the delight of its avid listeners.