Radio Producers co-ordinate the content of a programme and/or work on the station's on-air imaging. They control the creative aspects of the show - from booking guests to scriptwriting and editing, and are often closely involved in the business and technical sides.
Some producers start as Broadcast Assistants, particularly in the BBC.
Broadly, there are two main types of Producers: those who work producing speech or music-based radio programmes; and audio producers who might work with on-air imaging, make trails and promotions, or work as commercial producers making radio adverts. The role varies across BBC and commercial stations, and across national and local programming.
Depending on the nature of the station and programme, a radio producer's tasks may include:
- generating ideas and researching content
- creating a schedule, booking guests and selecting music
- writing scripts
- recording and editing (both audio and video)
- managing the budget
- updating the website
Working hours can be long and unpredictable. In live producer roles shift work is common, and may include evenings and weekends. However, most of the working day will be in an office environment, planning the show. Station sound producers tend to keep more standard office hours, and spend time in the studio sporadically as and when it is required.
A radio producer needs to be:
- a strong communicator - verbally and in writing
- able to generate fresh ideas and make them happen
- able to take the initiative and remain calm under pressure
- good at working in a team
- comfortable working with computers and broadcast equipment
- knowledgeable and passionate about radio
- able to exercise editorial judgement
What Can I Expect to Get Paid?
Salaries may range from £12,000 to £80,000 a year. Some work on a freelance basis.
Who Employs Producers?
Producers work for radio stations, newspapers and production companies all over the UK. Many of the large national radio stations and production companies are in London, however, and many producers gravitate there.
Do I Need to Do a Course?
It is important to get practical experience of radio and make contacts in the industry. Many radio producers start off by volunteering on hospital or student radio or gaining work experience on a local or community radio station. Producers tend to be educated to degree-level.
Radio producers develop their skills on the job. They are expected to keep up to date with advances and new technology in the industry.
Radio producers may advance their careers by moving to a more high-profile programme or to a national station. Some progress to a management role.