Business Overview

Many radio stations choose to specialize in a specific kind of format, such as music. The revenue model for radio stations depends on making money via advertisements, so it is important to cater your programming to the specific demographic you are trying to appeal to.

Who is this business right for?

Running a radio station is definitely a job for a “people person,” as you will eventually be hiring a wide variety of different personalities to work different shifts and hosts different programs, so it's important to be able to relate to a diversity of people. The job is also good for someone who is a “jack of all trades,” as running a successful radio station involves skills in management, advertising, and programming.

What happens during a typical day at a radio station?

In no particular order, your daily activities will include holding meetings with different individuals and teams, interviewing prospective employees, representing your radio station within the community, and creating and editing blocks of programs while managing the station's budget.

What is the target market?

A radio station doesn't have typical business customers so much as it has listeners. The preferred listeners are those who listen continuously and often to your station. As such, your best clients will be commuters who are on the road a lot and looking for entertainment. In a different sense, advertisers are also your clients, as you want to attract them to your station in order to make more profits.

How does a radio station make money?

While there are a handful of other ways you can eventually make money (ranging from running community events to the syndication of any of your programs that become popular), the main revenue for radio stations comes from advertisements that are broadcast throughout the day and mixed in with the daily programming.

What is the growth potential for a radio station?

There is modest growth potential for radio stations, though these businesses may have to be a bit more streamlined than radio stations you knew growing up. For instance, future projections show stations shifting to having fewer (but better educated and trained) announcers and leaning more on broadcast technicians (something that becomes more important when you factor in non-traditional delivery methods such as online radio).