Working in Radio

There are many different positions available in radio broadcasting. Below is a listing of the typical jobs at a radio station. However, please note that not every station will have all of these positions.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: The person who sells advertising time and works closely with businesses to help them market themselves to the station’s listeners or viewers.

ANNOUNCER: Announcers are a radio station’s “voice” and are often the people with whom the public identifies. This person introduces programs and music, reads commercial copy and public service announcements, and is involved in the overall public presentation of the station.

CHIEF ENGINEER: The chief engineer is responsible for the technology necessary to put the station’s broadcast on the air. The engineer works to maintain broadcasting capabilities and provide quick solutions to problems that may arise with the transmitter, tower, satellite receiver and other related equipment.

COPY WRITER: This staff member writes commercial and promotional copy in support of the station’s sales, marketing and promotion efforts.

GENERAL MANAGER: The person responsible for the overall operation of a station. This position requires business knowledge, leadership ability and a technical understanding of how a station operates.

GENERAL SALES MANAGER: This person hires and supervises the sales staff, reviews programming for the best sales opportunities, develops sales plans and goals, oversees billing, studies and understands the station’s market and approves all sales promotion campaigns. Some stations have multiple levels of sales managers, including National, Regional and Local sales managers who focus on various aspects of sales.

MAINTENANCE ENGINEER: The maintenance engineer installs and performs preventive maintenance on the station’s control consoles, boards, recording equipment, microphones, and a wide variety of other station equipment and electronic systems.

MUSIC DIRECTOR: This person manages the station’s music library and works with the program director in selecting new recordings to be played as they are submitted by record companies.

NEWS DIRECTOR: The news director runs the news department. The news director assigns stories to reporters on staff, monitors the wire service and is involved with identifying the important news issues within the community.

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: The production manager assigns announcers, schedules studios, arranges recording sessions, produces commercials, and directs programs.

PROMOTION DIRECTOR: This position promotes the station’s image, programs and activities. The promotion director works closely with the program director to create on-air promotions and also with the sales department in securing new clients and maintaining current advertisers.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Responsible for the entire on-air product, the PD governs the sound of the stations. With control over production, talent, work schedules, and program schedules, the PD’s programming objectives support the goals of the general manager and the general sales manager.

RECEPTIONIST: The duties of the receptionist vary according to the size of the station. This position is ideal for understanding all the aspects of how a station operates.

SALES ASSISTANT: This position offers support to the sales staff and managers by handling much of the office work, including drafting proposals, which allows the sales staff to focus on meeting with clients and developing business.

SPORTS DIRECTOR: This position is similar to the news director position. Sports directors often handle the play-by-play coverage of local sporting events. Stations that do a lot of sports sometimes hire a “color” announcer to complement the play-by-play talent.

TRAFFIC DIRECTOR: Collects data from other departments in order to prepare a minute-by-minute schedule for the broadcast day. The traffic person is the daily link between the sales department and programming department, keeping up-to-date commercial time availability.

These job descriptions are provided by the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations.