Also known as: Content Creator
Career Level: Mid-level
What Do They Do?
Producers are at the heart of content creation within a radio station or production company. They work closely with on-air talent (presenters) and other production staff to bring the best content to air.
The term Producer is used generally to refer to someone who makes radio or audio content, and as such can have many different interpretations. We deal with a number of specific Producer roles in other profiles, including Drama Producer, Comedy Producer, Documentary Producer, Imaging Producer, Live Music Producer and Technical Producer.
This role profile is for a general radio producer, who might be responsible for live entertainment radio output involving a presenter playing music with talking in between.
A radio producer's daily tasks may include:
- Live studio production
- Talent management and development
- Generating ideas and researching content
- Booking guests and contributors
- Choosing music (including contributing to playlist meetings)
- Writing scripts
- Recording and editing packages and other pre-records
- Managing budgets and other logistics
- Supervising the work of other team members
Who Do They Work With?
- The most important relationship a producer will have is with their presenter. They make sure the presenter is feeling confident and relaxed in the studio, and may offer feedback to help the presenter develop their skills. They often act at the presenter’s voice in station meetings, to ensure that the presenter’s interests are fairly represented.
- Depending on the station and programme, a producer’s team may include an Assistant Producer, Broadcast Assistant, Production Management Assistant, or Team Assistant, but sometimes Producers work alone.
- Producers generally report to Executive Producers, Editors or Content Controllers. In smaller stations, they will report directly to station management.
What Skills Do I Need?
- Producers are responsible for the output of the station at any given moment, so they need to be reliable, trustworthy and have excellent editorial judgement.
- Producers are creative and must be able to continuously source or generate ideas for their show.
- Producers must stay calm under pressure – particularly in a live broadcast environment when unexpected things can happen.
- Producers need strong interpersonal skills, as they create the atmosphere in a studio and need to motivate the people they work with to do their best.
- Producers need to be confident communicators with strong writing skills, as they relay any station messages, and make them relevant to the presenter and audience.
- Producers need excellent time management and planning skills to make sure that the programme makes it to air at the right time, with all the correct components, but also that trails and adverts are played in full (particularly important in commercial radio), and that the news is played at the right time. This sometimes involves “back-timing” where you calculate exactly when to start a song in order for that song to end at exactly the right moment, so mathematical ability is also important (but there are apps that can help here).
- Producers need to be technically confident in a studio, and ready to learn about emerging technologies or new equipment.
- Producers need to be flexible
- Producers tend to have curious minds, a fascination with people and a love of story-telling.
How Do I Get This Job?
Being a radio producer is a vocation, so although there are courses that will teach you the technical skills, you will need to prove yourself by gaining enough experience in a live studio environment.
Many producers will have started in community, hospital or student radio, some will have their own podcasts, and most will have done internships, before becoming an Assistant Producer or Team Assistant and working their way up.