Your guide to jobs in UK radio and audio


Station Manager

Also known as: Head of Station, Controller, Content Director
Career Level: Management


What Do They Do?

The Station Manager is responsible for the overall health of their radio station and helps their team achieve the highest standards of content production through creative leadership.  It’s their responsibility to make sure the team are focussed on the network’s goals and strategy with everything they do.

They are ultimately in charge of what content manifests to the audience and may decide on the schedules, direct the music policy, establish programming priorities and campaigns - and in commercial radio will decide on how commercial partnerships manifest on air.

A Station Manager's daily tasks may include:

  • Setting briefs for shows and projects, providing feedback and patting ideas into shape.
  • Responding to commercial or partnership opportunity briefs and coordinating their implementation on air and online.
  • Generating ideas for on air content to underline what we stand for and working with digital, marketing and events teams to make sure the right people see and hear that.
  • Working with the music team on playlist, guest strategy and implementation and industry relationships.
  • Working on wider company projects around Innovation, Diversity and Inclusion and commercial strategy.
  • Staying on top of research and insights around our audience and target audience and ensuring the teams have this.
  • Keeping on top of talent trends and relationships with existing and potential on air/ online talent and agents.

Who Do They Work With?

  • Station Managers work most closely with senior production staff, like Executive Producers, Editors or Deputy Content Directors.
  • They will also work closely with the Head of Music and music team members who schedule music and look after guests strategy and implementation.
  • Being responsible for the station in the broadest sense, they will also liaise frequently with Marketing and Digital teams to ensure messaging is on track.

What Skills Do I Need?

  • Station Managers need strong interpersonal skills and strength of character, as they need to motivate the people they work with to do their best.  Being decisive yet having humility to take on board others’ views and feedback is key.
  • Station Managers 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
  • Station Managers are resilient, calm under pressure and excellent problem solvers, with the ability to resolve conflict and react positively to change. There will be tough days – so bravery and a sense of unstoppable passion is essential.
  • Station Managers need to be confident and inspirational communicators as they will often be called upon to lead meetings and head up other events and discussions.
  • Station Managers 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 experience with the medium of radio, social media and video content is essential. You don’t necessarily need a degree or any formal media training.

Having empathy with your production teams is important for respect and to be the best content director you can. Having made mistakes in the past is also important, as it only makes you stronger too.

Experience with leading teams and projects is essential. The more complex, lumpy, difficult the experiences the better – it’s wild out there, so having some stories to bring to your present-day challenges is what it’s all about!