Typical Roles at a Radio Station


A radio station staffs a variety of people to ensure quality content gets delivered across the airwaves. Broadcasters are the most visible roles, these employees are usually assigned specific on-air timeslots and are responsible for planning and executing content. Account managers are responsible for securing advertising for the show, they must analyze viewer data and prepare marketing strategies to convince clients to purchase advertising slots on the radio show. Broadcast engineers oversee the technical aspects of the radio station, ensuring audio and transmission equipment function properly.

Station Manager

A station manager will have a variety of roles depending on the size of the station. Larger stations typically have separate managers for the technical, creative, and financial sides of the business.

Typical Salary: $95,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Managing operations of running a radio station
  • Hiring and scheduling staff
  • Oversee the creative and fiscal directions of the station

What to look for:

  • Mix of creative and managerial experience
  • Strong understanding of the radio industry’s financial aspects

Broadcaster

A broadcaster is responsible for preparing and delivering on-air content during a specific timeslot. Depending on the segment’s theme, this may entail live interviews, reading news, relating personal stories, and DJing music.

Typical Salary: $45,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Preparing content while off-air
  • Delivering content on-air in a professional and upbeat manner
  • Recording interviews and commercials

What to look for:

  • Energetic, agreeable personality
  • Strong verbal communication skills
  • Training or education in radio broadcasting

Account Manager

Account managers are responsible for securing revenue streams for the radio station, primarily through advertising sales and donations. Salaries typically consist of a base salary and commissions.

Typical Salary: $70,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Presenting the radio show to clients
  • Convince clients to buy advertising slots or underwrite certain segments
  • Maintaining existing client relationships

What to look for:

  • Strong business/marketing background
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Understanding of radio station business model

Broadcast Engineer

A broadcaster engineer manages the radio station’s equipment relating to the recording, storage, and transmission of programming. This job involves setting up and maintaining equipment

Typical Salary: $60,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Maintaining a variety of computer and audio equipment
  • Archiving radio content as needed
  • Troubleshooting technical problems at any time of the day or night

What to look for:

  • Education or experience in broadcast engineering
  • Strong problem solving abilities
  • Flexible schedule and ability to work nights and holidays when problems arise.

Radio Station Hiring Tips


Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

Most radio stations will need a station manager (sometimes the owner) who will determine the overall tone and creative direction of the station’ content, as well as oversee the business aspects of running a station. An accounts manager job can be done by the station manager for very small stations, but it is an important job to fill in the interests of securing revenue for the station. At least one technician is required to manage the technical aspects of the broadcast, including fixing audio problems to eliminate station downtime.

The major variable in station hiring is the broadcasters. These employees create and execute the on-air content, and though the station manager may dictate overall themes, the broadcasters themselves are responsible for carrying out that idea. It is important to hire broadcasters with some experience on-air. Given the freedom broadcasters have, and the impact they can make on your station’s listeners (and by extension, advertising revenue) it is important to hire trustworthy broadcasters with a history of integrity.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

With consumer trends shifting to new ways of consuming media, radio stations are evolving to deliver hyper-localized content with larger internet footprints. In light of these industry shifts, radio stations are putting emphasis on hiring broadcasters who are engaged in the local community and have developed personal brands through social media. Recruiting broadcasters who have already developed personal brands on popular social media platforms will provide you with applicants who understand how to connect with and retain an audience — an important skill in modern radio broadcasting where listener loyalty is supremely important.

 

Many radio stations offer internships to students interested in the entertainment industry, this can be a great way to increase exposure for your station and gain access to young talent. Other talent pools to draw on are non-profit radio stations run by colleges or universities

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is perfectly natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most radio stations look for broadcasters who are:

  • Extroverted personality
  • Skilled at public speaking
  • Trustworthy and reliable

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • What did you like/dislike about your last radio station?
  • Describe a particularly challenging radio broadcast. How did you handle it?
  • Talk about your favorite radio broadcast you’ve ever done.

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll


Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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