What does a Radio Producer do?
A Radio Producer is responsible for orchestrating almost every aspect of what makes a successful radio show function.
What makes a great Radio Producer?
A great specialist radio producer will be knowledgeable of their field, passionate about championing new artists and extremely proficient at dealing with talent. You often become the point of contact between the network and the presenter / guests, so clear communication with all parties is key. It is also essential to understand what you are up against in a saturated audio content market where podcasts and streaming services are very much in their prime. Your radio show needs to provide something which those other services simply cannot compete with, be it the standards of curation or the exclusive insights to artists and their music.
What are the basic professional requirements for a successful Radio Producer?
Whilst there are some basic technical requirements such as proficiency in audio editing, organisational skills, etc., I'd argue that personal skills are even more important. You will deal with talent day in day out – sometimes volatile and/or tepid creatives who you will need to get the best content possible out of. Motivating people and making them sound enthusiastic is a skill that, unlike audio editing, is very hard to teach though not necessarily that hard to learn.
What are the common misconceptions about the role of a Radio Producer?
I think the main thing is that, when I tell people what I do, they usually have genuinely no idea what it entails. Naturally the public will recognise and praise presenters, but the amount which producers actually contribute to their shows is definitely overlooked. I don't mean to remotely undermine the art of presenting – a radio show is nothing without an engaging, passionate and knowledgeable host – but in many cases producers source a huge amount of the music, book a lot of the guests and ensure that the shows stay relevant to the ever-changing landscape that surrounds them. So I guess the misconception here would be that a good radio show is the success of an individual, rather than of a whole team of hardworking and passionate people.