A radio producer is essential in all stations, regardless of what kind. They’re responsible for a number of different elements in the radio station. Producers are needed to shape the station’s content and to help produce broadcastable material to the audience.
Co-ordinating the creative process is an integral part of a producer’s role. They will also be required to plan and manage business and technical aspects of programmes. Generating content for other mediums including podcasts or radio station websites is also necessary for the role of the producer.
It’s essential for radio producers to have a thorough understanding of the purpose and format of the station and programme they’re working on. They will need to be able to understand the characteristics of the station target audience and what content they will be creating.
Radio producers will need to manage the whole production process. This means that they will need to respond to listener’s queries and complaints. They will also need to oversee the department’s budgets. Knowing broadcast regulations, codes and legislation is essential to ensure that no copyrighted material or libel material is broadcast.
However, each station will have its own responsibilities for producers. Usually, they will be required to work in a small team with a presenter, researcher, broadcast assistant, studio manager and engineer.
They will need to be able to operate all of the technical equipment as well as organising other elements of their programme or station. They will need to edit, mix and produce audio from broadcast, podcasts or the website. Producers will need to gather and create images and videos for social media and writing blogs.
Essentially, radio producers will need to oversee the work of their team members and commission material from outside sources.
Radio producers will more than likely operate from an office and communicate with outside contacts every day. This can include interviewees or band promoters, depending on what station you work for. They will have the opportunity to get out of the office and manage outside broadcasts.
Talking based stations producers can work on topical talk shows, dramas, comedy and documentaries. Live radio can be a very high-pressure environment to deliver content on time and in good quality. Many producers may have to work long and unsocial hours to make sure that deadlines are achieved.
Producers can operate on a freelance basis and can work for a number of stations.
To become a radio producer, you have two routes available to you. The first of which is undertaking a degree in radio or media, or taking on a different degree and going on to further study radio or media. You can also work your way up through the ranks in radio to become a producer. This means that you could start off as a reporter or even start off in a traineeship programme and develop your skills as you go.
As always, having hands-on practical experience is essential and will stick with you when going for jobs. Even volunteering at stations will help you learn the ins and the outs of radio.