Also known as: Exec, Editor
Career Level: Management
What Do They Do?
An Executive Producer manages production teams and helps them achieve the highest standards of content production. Execs provide editorial liaison with network heads and manage the implementation of any major strategies across the shows they look after. They also work closely with presenters to help them develop their skills.
In speech news radio, an Executive Producer will be far more closely involved with a programme’s content, with the Exec often deciding the stories the show will lead on, and which member of the team will produce each segment. They will also “output” the show, meaning that they will sit in the control room and ensure that the show runs smoothly.
In music radio, Execs are more hands-off on a day-to-day basis, working more as a Producer’s sounding board, but are still closely involved with content production and will be ready to step in to produce a show, should the producer be unable to.
An executive producer's daily tasks may include:
- Leading a show team’s editorial agenda (particularly in speech / news radio),
- Providing compliance and regulatory support to show teams,
- Pitching or developing new ideas,
- Live studio production,
- Listening to and sometimes outputting the shows they’re responsible for,
- Managing staffing and recruitment,
- Giving staff and presenter feedback,
- Analysing performance and figures,
- Future planning and managing budgets,
- Attending management meetings,
- Lots of problem solving!
Who Do They Work With?
- Executive Producers work most closely with the shows that they are responsible for.These teams would involve Presenters, Producers, Assistant Producers and other production staff.
- Executive Producers report to station management, which may be a Head of Network, Editor or Programme Director.
- Having worked in radio for a number of years, Executive Producers are very well-connected when it comes to guest booking, so will have a diverse network of contacts to call on, ranging from music pluggers, to journalists and other experts.
What Skills Do I Need?
- Executive Producers are responsible for the output of the station at any given moment, so they need excellent editorial judgement and to have detailed knowledge of the Broadcasting Code, Editorial Guidelines and Libel
- Executive Producers must stay calm under pressure and are excellent problem solvers, with the ability to resolve conflict and react positively to change.
- Executive Producers need strong interpersonal skills, as they manage show teams and need to motivate the people they work with to do their best. They provide editorial liaison between show teams and network heads and need to maintain a positive relationship with Presenting talent.
- Executive Producers need to be confident communicators, as they provide a communication channel between show teams and management.
- Executive Producers need to be technically confident in a studio and think strategically about how to use emerging technologies or new equipment.
- Executive Producers have excellent forward planning and organising skills, and will have a thorough understanding of network strategies, with the experience and creativity to bring them to air.
How Do I Get This Job?
You don't need to have any particular qualifications for this job - but you will need many years working in radio studios before taking on this role, either as a producer or broadcast journalist. Executive Producers are calm under pressure, and are always the person you look to in a crisis.