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Encyclopedia > Radio producer

The person primarily responsible for the creation, organization and direction of live radio programming, primarily talk shows, and sporting events.

Radio Producers have a wide range of various duties, and not all of them are discussed here. These duties can include actions like screening/briefing callers, keeping the show on time and within format, suggesting and implementing ideas, arranging guests, and editing live and prerecorded audio pieces for broadcast among many, many other duties.

The role of a Radio Producer also may include that of a Board Operator or Technical Operator who may operate the technical controls for another person, the on-air talent.

Some producers involved in the field of radio are actually better known as "Production Directors", "Creative Producers", "Imaging Specialists", or even "Imaging Producers". This type of radio producer primarily creates and produces audio content for a radio station or radio network. Some examples of their work are promos (promotional, commercial-like audio clips), jingles and various other audio clips, better known in the radio business as "imaging".

Many radio stations and station clusters have their own 'Production Director' who may tackle any of the above listed responsibilities daily, including loading audio content into a station's computer system. Some large radio groups may have their own in-house production team, who produce audio for more than one station across the group, or even across the country.

Most radio producers are not well known, but their work can be judged quite easily. If you are listening to radio programming, and - regardless of whether or not you like or agree with the content - if it sounds the way it should, you will never be able to pick up where the creative hand of the producer stepped in. The guests will be appropriate. The message of the advertiser will be perfectly suited to their intended audience. The music, sound effects, sound quality, and all manner of sound will fit together in a way that seems correct to the listener.

Only when a Producer does NOT perform their job well, does their existence even cross the minds of many of those who listen to their work.

Not only does this perceived natural perfection create a heightened level of expectation among the Producers' talent and peers, but also that expected level of perfection is often also expected of the Radio Producer from a Producers' management. Unfortunately, most members of modern corporate radio management have gained their position through the sales department, and often have no idea what kind of work and dedication are involved in the production of high-quality talent. Like listeners, the management also often wrongly assumes that content created and managed by a talented Radio Producer just came together automatically, with little to no work involved - akin to "finding" a Mona Lisa materialize in their office, out of thin air.

It is this kind of "sin of omission" or "natural perfection" that often puts those who work in this job field - like those in many comparable fields of work - at constant risk for being fired, being treated poorly by management, being disrespected, and being paid far below their value.



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