That is good news for job searchers, but it does mean the industry may have changed a bit and there are new skills you will need to remain competitive. Here we will look at some potential radio positions and what they require.
The bread and butter of the radio industry are sales. The station needs to sell ad time to stay in business and local businesses need the radio to sell their product. The first in the sales chain is the person who goes out and beats the streets looking for new advertising clients and retaining current clients. This is, in brief, a radio-advertising job.
Radio sales is an extremely important part of the radio business, nonetheless it is relatively easy to break into the field. Radio stations are always on the lookout for talented people to add to their sales staff and willing to train those who show that they are eager to learn. A background in sales is helpful but not required.
When you first start out you will need to be aware of some key facts:
- Know who is listening, when they are listening and for how long
- Know the demographics of the people the radio station reaches, i.e.… age, gender, and sex.
- You will need to know why radio advertising is cost effective
- You will have to stay on top of what commercial slots are available
As far as income potential goes, that will depend largely on you. Most radio stations will compensate sales people on a commission basis. Your drive and ambition as well as the area you are selling in will of course affect this. Large metropolitan areas have more opportunity. Unfortunately, with that opportunity comes more competition. Radio sales people have the opportunity to make enormous amounts of money.
If you are interested in radio sales jobs then you should prepare a resume and get it into the hands of the stations general manager. Be sure to highlight any previous sales experience as well as relevant education.
Radio stations depend on their DJs to keep people interested in their station. Since radio programs are live for the most part a DJ must be able to think on his/her feet. The ability to think fast and present information clearly is the key to a DJ’s success. It also helps to have a good grasp of current events and trivia. You could say that DJs are the backbone of the station.
To land a position as a DJ will be a bit more complicated than getting into the sales force.
It is not impossible but it will mean a lot more work on your part.
There are a couple of ways you can go about becoming a radio disc jockey. Many people begin their careers early by doing the announcements in school then moving on to college radio and school sporting events.
Others will pursue an education at a school of broadcasting. Schools like the American Broadcasting School offers 43-week courses that give you hands on experience in the many areas of broadcasting. Here is a sample of the things you will do:
- Prepare and deliver live on air radio shows, newscast, sports, and entertainment
- Create and produce winning radio advertising
- Learn FCC laws and regulations, plus much more!
Radio to Television
It is quite possible to transition from radio to television. Television and radio jobs are similar, both require you to reach out to the audience and connect. One successful example of this kind of transition is found in the career of Johnny Carson.
After he graduated college, Carson became a radio announcer for KFAB out of Lincoln Nebraska. His beginnings in radio quickly led him to television. In three years, he transitioned to TV on a comedy variety show called Carson’s Corner.
He then worked for about 10 years as guest host and comedy writer for Red Skelton. By 62 he took over hosting the tonight show, and the rest as they say is history.
The essential element to any area of broadcasting is passion for the job. To stay on top will require a lot of dedication and desire. Hosting your own radio show may sound fantastic, but you should know it could be a lonely position. Many DJ’s say the hardest part of their job is the isolation, hundreds of people hear you but you are often all alone in a booth for several hours.
It takes a special entertainer to capture people’s attention over the radio. If you are the outgoing entertaining type, television and radio jobs may be the venue for you. Of course, if you are more inclined to stay out of the limelight, you can always work in radio sales jobs or radio advertising jobs.