Presenters and announcers are the 'anchors' of broadcasting. They have a high-profile role at the front line of broadcasting that calls for technical expertise and an outstanding communication style.
Presenters are found across the whole spectrum of broadcasting. They present news and documentary programmes, and sports, music, entertainment, reality and children's shows. They may introduce material ranging from political analysis to pop music and quizzes. They must communicate by building a rapport with an audience that is generally unseen. Announcers include newsreaders and continuity announcers who introduce and link different programmes on a network.
Presenters and announcers work as part of a team with directors, producers, floor managers, camera, sound and lighting operatives and other colleagues.
The hours vary, depending on the type of programme. Some presenters and announcers have to work long and irregular hours. The work is based in offices and studios. Presenters may also work on location, which can mean outdoor work in all weathers.
What Can I Expect to Get Paid?
Salaries vary widely, ranging from £14,000 for a presenter starting out on a local radio station to more than £150,000 for the best-known celebrity presenters. Many work freelance.
- A presenter or announcer must have excellent communication skills and a clear and attractive voice for broadcasting
- confidence, a likeable personality and the ability to create a rapport with an audience
- research and interviewing skills
- the ability to handle stress and make quick decisions under pressure.
Who Employs Presenters?
The main employers include local and independent radio stations, the BBC, ITV, digital, satellite and cable TV companies and independent production companies. Competition for jobs is very fierce.
Do I Need to Do a Course?
There are no set entry qualifications, but many presenters and announcers have higher-level qualifications although practical experience is equally important. Student radio or newspapers, hospital broadcasting and community radio and television can offer useful experience. Entry routes are very varied: for instance, presenters in news or current affairs generally need training and experience in journalism; music radio presenters may start out as club DJs. Having specialist subject knowledge may be an advantage.
Many companies offer short courses for announcers and presenters. Some can be expensive, so check their content to make sure they are going to be useful. Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for Creative Media, can offer practical advice.
There is no formal career structure for announcers and presenters. Many presenters seek to move on to a national station or to a more high-profile, peak-time show.
With thanks to Connexions-Direct
For more information, visit www.radiopresenting.com