Program Directors For Radio Stations: What to Know

radio station

Program directors: they’re not the most visible radio staff, but they’re perhaps the most important employee at a radio station. Without a program director, the radio station wouldn’t have a schedule, it wouldn’t have a defined sound, and there wouldn’t be strong radio management.

Yet what are the key duties of a program director? Running a radio station is a difficult task, after all, so what do program directors actually do to keep everything running correctly?

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the most important responsibilities that program directors need to fulfill, and the important skills that they need.

Are you ready to learn more about the role of a program director? Then read on!

1. The Program Director Creates the Station’s Schedule

Timing is a vital skill for DJs. They need to stick to a tight schedule to make sure that everyone’s shows start and finish on time. It’s up to the program director to create this schedule.

They need to be able to figure out the best timeslots. This includes figuring out when you’ll run the breakfast show, the drivetime show, and who will be keeping listeners company during their lunch break. Coming up with a schedule can be a challenging task that requires a lot of research: you need to research when people are listening to your station and make sure that you have you very best radio presenters on during these times.

You need to balance different genres of music, different types of shows, talk shows, news, and more. 

2. Program Directors Will Come Up With Shows

You may think that it’s the task of radio DJs to come up with shows. This is incorrect: the program director will often come up with a show to fill a niche that their radio station is missing. For instance, if you’re trying to compete with a radio station that has a fantastic breakfast show, the program director will need to come up with a breakfast show that can challenge them, and pick presenters who will be a great fit for this type of show.

On top of this program directors will also need to come up with recurring segments that will be featured on various shows. That contest that you love on a famous radio show? A program director will likely have come up with it.

Creating these segments helps keep listeners hooked and keeps content polished. The program director is an incredibly important role in this regard.

3. Radio Station Marketing

Marketing is very important for radio stations, especially online radio stations. You want to get people listening to your station and if you’re exclusively online, people aren’t going to find you when they’re flipping between stations.

Even if you use traditional broadcasting, you still can’t rely on people finding you by chance. Program directors are responsible for market research and analysis. They and the marketing team will work together to plan marketing campaigns and figure out which demographics are listening to your radio station.

This will allow the station to run successful campaigns that are tailored to their target market, which should lead to a larger market share. It will also allow your station to tailor its programming to the listeners, which will keep existing listeners tuned in to your station.

4. Program Directors Find New Talent

Finding talent for a radio station can be difficult without a program director. Unless you’re a community radio station, it’s not really feasible to allow everyone on air, as the quality of your station will drop.

A great program director will listen to a large variety of different radio stations. They’ll listen to radio stations that specialize in every genre of music under the sun, as well as talk radio stations, looking for the next talent.

When they find a great DJ who they think would be a good fit at their station, they may try to contact them and headhunt them. If they can get some top-class talent on their station, they will do that. 

For this reason, program directors need to be happy to listen to a lot of different radio stations, even if they don’t agree with their politics or don’t like the genre of music that they play.

5. Budgeting and Management

Along with the station manager, the program director is responsible for running the station and keeping it in business. This means that they often need to get involved with managing budgets, responding to emails from the public, and taking care of talent, making sure that everyone is performing as they should be.

This isn’t the most glamorous part of the job but it’s one of the most crucial tasks that a program director can do. If the station goes under because of poor management, the listeners aren’t the only people who will be disappointed and angry, after all.

6. Production and Presenting

While the program director will usually not be on-air talent, they may sometimes step in and run a show if the need arises. If the normal host of the radio show is ill or away, for instance, the program director may host their show for a week or two.

However, while they’re not often on-air, the program director will often make jingles, edit pre-recorded shows, and do other production work to ensure that the station’s output is kept to a high standard.

A Great Program Director Wears Many Hats

Unlike some other radio station jobs, the program director needs to be well-versed in a number of different skills, which means that it can sometimes be hard to find someone to take on the role. If you need some help, our virtual program director service could be what you’re looking for! We can get ratings and revenue, schedule songs, and advise you on talent and your website. 

For more information about our services, take a look around our site or contact us today!

How to Program a Radio Station

So you’ve got a radio station. Now you need to have great radio programming to go along with it. Coming up with a programming schedule can be a very difficult job: it’s the bane of producers everywhere! 

Yet, nevertheless, it’s still an essential part of running a radio station. So, how can you create a schedule that your listeners will enjoy? How can you make sure they don’t go anywhere near that dial?

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some tips that will help you to create a fantastic schedule of programs for your station. Are you ready to learn more and start improving your radio station? Then read on!

1. Figure Out What Type of Radio Station You Are

No two radio stations are exactly the same. Some will specialize in a particular genre of music or style of presentation (see radio stations that are exclusively talk radio, for example), while others will have a real mix of programs.

Neither of these is better than the other. However, some new or otherwise smaller radio stations find that their listeners tend to come from a similar demographic that prefers one kind of content to another. For instance, you may find that your listeners love to listen to rock music, in which case you may wish to pack your schedule with rock programs to maximize your listenership.

The disadvantage to this approach is that you may find it hard to attract new listeners from other demographics. If you want to broaden your listenership, you may want to try and produce many different kinds of content, but be warned that this may put off your core demographic. It’s a balancing act: do you want to try and maximize your current listenership or break into new markets?

2. Understand the Key Times Where You Need Your Best Talent

While you may want to pack your radio schedule with top talent, there are a few crucial timeslots where you need the cream of the crop. Let’s take a look at these right now.

The Breakfast Slot

Even in this day of vocal radio audiences, one thing hasn’t changed: breakfast radio is one of the most important slots. Running from around 6 AM until 10 AM, you need to have some of your best talents on first thing in the morning when people are starting their day.

The right content here can put a spring in your audience’s step and have them coming back for more day after day. If you make a poor impression during this timeslot, you’ll lose some audience share in other timeslots too. 

The emphasis here needs to be on feel-good vibes. Play great music and have fun chat.

Lunchtime Slot

Many people like to tune into the radio during their lunch break. While breakfast needed to be a little lighter, this is a good time to start introducing more challenging topics. If you’re a talk radio station, you could use this slot to discuss news and current events, while if you’re a music station, you could do interviews or album reviews.

The lunchtime slot traditionally runs from around 11 AM until 2 PM.

Drivetime

Drivetime is a great time to broadcast content. Running from 4 PM until about 6 PM, many people will be sitting in their cars, ready and waiting for some fantastic radio to keep them occupied.

A varied mix of music and chat is very good here, while this is also a great time for talk radio shows to run phone-ins, challenging your listenership and keeping them thinking. 

Many people will be flipping between stations at this time of day, so keep your content varied, too.

Late-Night Radio

Late-night radio is the time for more provocative radio that you wouldn’t run at other times. This includes edgier radio shows that may make use of shock jock tactics. 

However, this is also a great time for long-form radio. If you want to do a very eclectic music show or if you’d like to listen to an album in full and discuss it, late-night is the time to do it. This is also a good time to run audio dramas or plays if you have this type of content.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Pre-Record

Getting staff to man the desk during the graveyard shift of midnight until the breakfast show can be quite difficult. If you want to, you could always try prerecording your shows. This allows you to curate a highly edited selection of shows that will give your station a polished nighttime lineup without requiring staff to be in the studio overnight.

The only disadvantage to this approach is that it makes audience interaction impossible. You can’t run phone-ins or have other features like this, which may make your listeners feel slightly cut off from the show.

4. Tweak Your Schedules

Ultimately, the only way to find the best programming schedule for your radio station is to try multiple different approaches. Don’t make sweeping changes to your station overnight, but try making small tweaks every so often and seeing how your audience reacts.

Over time, you will be able to use your audience’s reactions to create a schedule that both you and they will love. 

Coming Up With a Great Radio Station Schedule Takes Time

Coming up with a fantastic radio station schedule is a marathon, not a sprint. Try different approaches, keep your primetime slots golden, and keep track of your audience reactions and demographic changes.

If you’d like some help producing your radio show, we’re happy to help. We can create scripts, program your music selections, and a whole lot more. For more information about our services, look around our website or contact us today!

Advice On How to Be a Radio DJ

radio dj

Being a radio DJ is, to many people, the dream job. It’s impossible to think about radio DJs without thinking of all-time greats like Dr Dre on The Pharmacy, Wolfman Jack, or Rodney Bingenheimer.

Yet if you want to reach their level and become a popular DJ with a big fan base, you need two things: access to a radio station and some serious skills. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at the skills you need to master if you’re going to grow a great fanbase.

Are you ready to learn more and realize your dreams of being a radio host? Then read on!

1. Getting a Voice for Radio

People of any background, accent, or language can forge a career as a radio DJ, but there are some vocal skills that you need to practice. Mumbling, for instance, is a bad trait for a radio DJ: if your listeners can’t understand what you’re saying, they’re going to switch to another station.

You should learn how to enunciate clearly and project with your voice. You don’t need to shout (mics are very sensitive), but you may need to put a little more effort into speaking than you would if you weren’t broadcasting.

2. Great People Skills

Being a DJ means communicating with a lot of different people. As part of your production work, you’ll need to discuss ideas for your show with the producer. If you’ve got a new feature you want to run, you’ll need to pitch it to them and refine it based on their advice.

You should also be great at speaking to members of the public. This is especially important if you want to host a phone-in show, but even if you’re more music-focused, you’ll still want to run competitions and other features that will require speaking to the public. 

On top of that, you’ll also need to be great at speaking to any guests that you have on the show, which means polishing your interview skills. 

3. Excellent Research Skills

One of the most important skills for a radio DJ is the ability to create fantastic content that your listeners will actually want to hear: a lot of this will be the discussion of current trends, the latest music, or news, depending on your station’s style. This means that you’ll often need to speak about things that are brand new to you.

The key to doing this and still sounding confident is research. You need to be able to quickly find out the latest facts about current trends, whether that involves researching on social media, listening to the latest single by a popular artist, or reading in-depth news stories.

You need to be able to skim these resources and get a good understanding of a wide range of material so that you sound well-informed when discussing these trends with your listeners.

4. A Good Knowledge of Music

If you’re going to be a radio DJ, you need to have a very good knowledge of music. This could be a very deep knowledge of one particular genre (for instance, if you’re on a hip hop station, you need to understand the history of hip hop), or it could be a solid knowledge of a wide range of genres.

You need to listen to a lot of music if you’re going to host on a music-oriented station. Even if you’re hosting on a talk radio station, having a solid knowledge of music is important for interviewing musicians and industry figures.

Music is one of the key languages of radio: you need to be very well-versed in it to succeed.

5. A Sense of Timing

Timing is very important when it comes to being a radio host. Dead air is the enemy of any successful DJ, which is why the ability to start speaking as soon as a song has ended is so vital. If all your listeners hear is silence, they’re not going to stick around.

Timing is also very important for speaking over the intro to a song: you need to know when the vocals are going to kick in and when you need to stop talking.

Timing is also critical for making sure your show is the right length. Radio schedules are packed and you can’t eat into someone else’s show because you mistimed your ad breaks or songs.

6. Be Able to Moderate Your Language

Broadcasting means that your speech comes under a lot of controls that your off-air speech doesn’t. Firstly, most stations will not allow you to curse on air: you could get in serious trouble if you do. You will also need to make sure that you don’t express contentious opinions unless your station is slanted towards a particular stance on any issue.

You will need to make sure that your guests don’t curse, libel anyone, or express an opinion that’s likely to outrage your listeners too.

7. Great Technical Skills

Being a radio DJ means managing what’s going out on air, so you’ll need to get to grips with a wide array of software. There will be software that will manage the songs that are coming up, software that you’ll need to use to edit songs and ads, and software to handle callers.

You’ll also need to run your mixing desk, which involves keeping microphones and music at the right level of volume, among other things. 

While your producer will be able to help you out a lot, you’ll still need to be able to run this software and the desk alone.

Ready to Be a Radio DJ?

Being a radio DJ is a fantastic job, but one that requires a wide and varied skill set. If you want to produce fantastic content, we can help you. We can design a radio station format, schedule music, and help you produce your show.

For more information about our services, take a look around our website or contact us today.

The Best Ways to Get Listeners For Your Radio Station

radio station

A huge 83 percent of Americans listen to the radio on any given week, which means that there’s a massive audience just waiting to hear about your radio station. While your listenership may start small, eventually you could be broadcasting to thousands or millions of people.

Knowing how to capture the attention of these people is essential. A radio station without listeners is a costly waste of time. So, how can you attract radio listeners and start to increase your radio show’s popularity?

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some great ways that you can grow your audience. Are you ready to learn more and improve your station? Then read on!

1. Create Compelling Content

Without great content, your radio station won’t have a chance of attracting listeners. You need to focus on giving your listeners content that they really want to hear, whether that is talk radio or fantastic music.

Creating a quality radio show isn’t easy and it requires you to really know your audience.

If you’re broadcasting to an audience that wants to hear about the latest news and events, you probably shouldn’t focus on playing classic rock, for instance. However, if your audience is made up of music lovers who want deep dives into various genres and musical styles, you should avoid trying to also be a phone-in talk show. 

2. Spread Awareness

If people don’t know that your radio station exists, your listenership will remain small. This is a particular problem for internet radio stations, as you can’t stumble upon these while tuning a radio.

There are a lot of different ways to spread awareness about your station. First off, you should make sure that your station is listed in directories of radio stations in your local area. If you’re an internet radio station, list it on an internet radio directory.

You should also be taking full advantage of social media to spread the good word about your station. Create a Twitter account and a Facebook account for your station, then upload shareable or interesting content that will make people click through to your main site. Don’t be afraid to hop on appropriate viral hashtags and the like!

Finally, you should also create some gear that can advertise your station. Branded t-shirts, caps, stickers, and the like can all help spread the word to anyone who sees them while they’re out and about.

3. Run Competitions

Another fantastic way to spread the word about your show is to run competitions. Give away prizes that your fans will actually want, whether that’s tickets to a nearby tourist attraction, copies of movies, or something else.

When you create the competition, you can set one of the entry conditions to be that the contestant needs to share information about the contest on social media, which in turn may attract more listeners. You could also ask them to answer a question, then give the answer out once during the show. 

However you run your competitions, they’re a really good way to attract fresh listeners. With any luck (and some great content), they’ll stick around after the competition ends.

4. Bring Guests Onto Your Shows

Bringing guests onto your shows comes with multiple advantages. It raises the profile of your radio station but it can also bring a lot more listeners to your show.

The guest will likely promote their appearance on your show, which will help their fans find your radio station and listen to the show. Inviting guests onto your show is a fantastic opportunity for both you and the guest: for a fairly short interview, you both get promotion.

5. Create a Station Blog

While the audio content is the most important part of any radio station, the importance of a solid content marketing strategy can’t be underestimated. You need to blog about your station online, practicing great SEO and keyword research to help people find you in the search results.

Local search is a particularly important aspect here. If you host a radio show that’s famous for promoting local artists, you should blog about local artists, their latest releases, and any upcoming gigs that they’re playing. When people search for the band’s name, your articles should come up, which will draw more people to your website and your station.

6. Run Outside Broadcasts

If you’re covering a local music festival or a mayoral election, why not run an outside broadcast? If your station broadcasts over the internet, all you need is a laptop and you’ll be good to go. 

Running an outside broadcast in a branded tent or van will allow people to see your station’s name and understand your niche at a glance. This can help people find your station and, if you set up a small set of speakers near your outside broadcast area, they’ll be able to hear the style of show that you produce.

7. Release Your Shows as Podcasts

Podcasts are incredibly popular, and your radio station needs to offer them. Not everyone can tune into your shows when they’re live, so a podcast version (with any music edited out for copyright reasons) is a great way for them to hear your great chat and features.

When you release podcasts, make sure that you post a link to the podcast on social media so that others can find it easily and share it with others.

Now You Know How to Grow Your Radio Station

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how to grow the listenership of your radio station. Put our tips into practice and you’ll be able to get more listeners and grow your profile.

If you’d like some help with creating compelling content for your show, we’re here to help. We can create a script for your show, program the music that you play, and more. For more information about our services, take a look around our site or contact us today!

PROGRAMMING TIPS FOR RADIO STATIONS

Do you run a radio station and want to take step it up a notch? Are you planning to increase your fanbase and get more listeners? If so, then you need to get your programming perfect.

Programming is much more than chatting and playing music. In a world filled with streaming and social media, you need to entertain. Below, we give our must-know programming tips for radio station presenters. 

Get Current

People want new content, and they want to know about what is going on in the world at the current time. This means staying on top of what is new and reflecting trends and events that are taking place. Avoid bringing up old ideas and discussing dated topics on your radio show, unless they suddenly take their place in the news once again. 

This does not mean your station has to change its whole approach to be new and fresh. Every demographic and genre will have new events or news occurring daily. If you are playing older tracks and music, then supplement it with new releases related to the genre or artists you have on the station. 

Finally, if you have promotions and competitions then keep them fresh. Even the most successful of promotions will start to lose its effectiveness over time. Stay on the pulse by offering something new and inventive. 

Use Programming Tips on Podcasting

How people listen and consume media has changed. They now want more choice, with regard to how and when they listen to shows. For you, that means that you may find your live show is no longer the primary method in which people engage with your radio programming. 

Combat this by embracing the podcast. You can either record the live shows or create additional supplementary programming to put on your website. The beauty is that you will already have the skills and equipment to create podcasts, you just need to find a great show that people can listen to whenever they want. 

Avoid Dead Air

While this is a broadcasting basic, not every station follows this rule. No one wants to listen to silence on your radio show. People tune in for entertainment and information, and if they are not getting it from you they will go elsewhere. 

Try to make sure you have enough material to fill all of your time slots. If you are a commercial station, make sure the segmentation between advertising, music, and programming is seamless. 

Of course, sometimes things do go horribly wrong and you may be left with dead air. This could be a mishap in the studio or with technology. In this instance, make sure you have a backup plan which may be soundbites, advertising for another program, or particular tracks you have lined up ready to play. 

Get Social

Being on social media is a key part of any radio station’s marketing efforts. Not only does it allow you a direct way to talk with listeners, but it also allows you to share news and upcoming events. By using it to interact, you are forging better relationships with your audience, fostering their loyalty. 

The platforms you choose to use for social media are totally up to you. However, if you have a small station it may be better to stick with just one or two. 

Finally, you should seriously consider doing live streams to social media channels. Video is one of the most engaging content types, and with the simple addition of a camera on your radio shows and a live stream, you can increase your audience exponentially. 

Hire Marketing Staff

Many large radio stations have a designated marketing team. They are in charge of promotions and social media. While you may think that they are an added expenditure, they can actually bring in a lot of revenue. 

A marketing team can offer advertising packages to companies. The companies will then have adverts or joint promotions with the station. This could be the sponsorship of events or more traditional advertising methods. 

You can send your marketing team out to meet the public to promote joint ventures. This markets your station and advertises the paying business. With a few shout outs on your shows, it is a great, all-encompassing marketing strategy for them to use. 

Match Your Presenters to the Correct Time Slots

Finding the best presenters for your station is down to the demographic and preferences of your audience. However, putting these presenters in the right time slot is an art form, that if done correctly, will pay dividends.

Your most energetic, vibrant presenters will probably want to be placed in the prime morning and drive time slots. This is when people most need a lift and some positivity, as they begin and end the day. 

After this, place your more mellow, niche presenters in the evening slots. This is the time people want to unwind and need some relaxation. Unless of course, it is Friday or Saturday night, in which case you need some party people who are heavy on the music and lighter on the chat. 

One great technique is to pair up presenters on your flagship shows. This gives both people someone to bounce off, making their job easier and reducing dead air time. If you are really lucky, try to find two people who are quite opposing in their personality that still have a natural chemistry on air. 

Experiment Off Air

When using these programming tips, do not be afraid to experiment. Combinations of presenters, new formats, and competitions can all be tried beforehand, in one-off guest slots or on podcasts. Once you find a method that works, then run with it. 

If you still need assistance, then Virtual Jock is here to help. We have a host of great services, from talent to format advice. Contact us today to discuss your needs and let us supercharge your station in the coming year!

WHAT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL RADIO SHOW

radio show

Thinking about starting your own radio show?

Today, it’s easier than ever to start a radio show. There are certainly perks to doing so.  There’s no better way to express yourself, talk about things that interest you, retain creative control, and even possibly get paid.

However, it’s not always clear which steps you need to take to make a successful radio show. It’s also not apparent to some people what they need to do to be a likable radio host, which is absolutely key.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you have to do to make your radio show successful.

Establish a Clear Topic

In today’s digital age, your show has to be about something. And whatever it’s about has to be clear right away.

There has been an explosion in podcasts and radio shows in recent years. The best way to stand out and help listeners find you is to create a show that communicates what it is right away. That helps it not get lost on the pile of other radio shows.

Ideally, the topic you choose to focus on is something you’re passionate about. Being a likable radio host is important, and passion is one way to instantly attract people to you.

You’ll most likely be knowledgeable on the subject you discuss on your, which adds value to your listeners.

Have a Hook

Parlaying off the first tip, you want your show to be original. Creating a hook or giving your show some type of twist is always a good idea. This helps your show stand out from others in your genre and give potential listeners a reason to check it out.

But how do you create a hook?

Say your show is about basketball. There are thousands of basketball shows out there. So, take some time to plan out what makes your show different from the rest.

For example, maybe you make your project the definitive radio talk show for basketball trivia. Or pregame fashion reviews. Or whatever you want—the sky is the limit!

A great way to figure out your hook or twist is to listen to shows in your genre. See what your competition does well and what you don’t like. Try to fill a void or market need that isn’t being met.

Publish Content Regularly

The best way to grow a radio show is to publish regular content. In the early days, it may be challenging to find motivation when your listener numbers are low. But grinding through this phase is necessary for growth.

The content you publish should always come out at the same time. Either your live show airs at the same time and hour, or your prerecorded version gets released on the same day.

You want people to be looking forward to Thursdays at noon for your show! 

Advertise Your Show on Social Media

Social media is an amazing platform for promoting your radio show or podcast. You don’t have to be on every platform—in fact, you probably shouldn’t be at first. But the more channels you can create, the more potential listeners you’ll have for your show.

In the early days, it’s best to start with one or two channels. This way, you don’t get overwhelmed with creating content. As the show grows, you can expand to other networks.

Give People a Way To Download and Listen Later

Not much beats a good live radio show. If you want to host a radio show, this could be an awesome format to choose. However, you should still give listeners the option to check it out later if they want to.

Did you know the average person consumes almost 7 hours worth of content per day? One reason for that spike is platforms allow users to watch what they want when they want it. (This is also a reason cable television is seriously struggling right now.)

It’s probably a good idea to have a website linked to your RSS feed. This way, people can download your show from popular podcast apps and stay up to date. Remember, any way you can get new listeners is a good strategy.

Adjust as You Go (Listen To Your Listeners)

The audience is always right. Okay, maybe not always—but it’s still important to listen to your listeners. They will ultimately tell you what’s good about your show and what you can do without.

Avoid overplanning if you’re starting a radio show. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually the best thing you can do. Having a loose outline for what your show gives you the freedom to adapt and grow as you go.

Your show is yours (of course), but asking listeners for feedback is always a good idea. Give them ways to easily message you on social media or email – to offer suggestions on ways you can improve the show. You’re there to serve them – remember that.

Content First, Money Second

The best radio show broadcasters have one thing in common. The host of the show makes it their “own.” No one else could replace what they do well. Your show won’t be an exception to this rule.

Ultimately, the content of your show matters most. What you talk about, how much planning goes into the show, and all the other variables are up to you.

It’s exciting to have so much creative freedom. But too much creative expression and not enough value won’t help you grow an audience. And that could limit your ability to make money or sustain this venture.

Radio shows and podcasts are notorious for making money these days. But if your content isn’t good and easily marketable to a wide range of fans, you won’t make any money. Figure out the creative side of your show before you dive into monetization.

Hosting Your Own Radio Show

Many things go into hosting a successful radio show. The core of it is caring about your audience and identifying what your show is or what it does.

Make it so people can easily find you, and create killer content that they’ll want to share with their friends. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising!

Learn more about our services and get started with your own show today!

THE BEST MIC FOR BEGINNERS AT YOUR STATION: WHAT TO LOOK FOR

best mic for beginners

Microphones are the most essential pieces of equipment for a radio station. After all, you can expect anybody to listen to you if you are not able to provide high-quality content.

It’s relatively simple to find the best mic for beginners, but not everyone knows where to start.

Let’s explore everything you should keep in mind during your search.

1. Price


As you may anticipate, the price of the microphone is one of the most important factors to consider. In general, you won’t want to purchase highly expensive equipment for a beginner since they won’t have the experience to make the most of it.

Additionally, beginners don’t always handle microphones as carefully as they should, which can easily damage the device. So, purchasing a microphone that costs thousands of dollars is generally unwise in this scenario.


However, this doesn’t mean that you should aim to purchase the cheapest microphone possible. Although this equipment is easy to replace if something happens to it, you will likely find that it produces subpar quality.

Instead, a reliable microphone for a beginner should cost around $200-$300. 

2. Directional Capability


There are many different microphones on the market that all have different functions. Some are specifically designed to pick up sound far away, while others are perfect for close-range speaking.

There are four directional categories that you’ll encounter:

  • Cardioid
  • Omnidirectional
  • Bidirectional
  • Shotgun

In the context of a radio station, cardioid microphones are the most favorable type.

Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from every direction, as the name suggests.
 This can easily prove to be an issue when you have multiple speakers on your show.

Although not quite as much of a problem, a bidirectional microphone can still be difficult to implement. Shotgun microphones are geared more toward filming as opposed to speaking.

This information will ensure that you make the decision that’s best for you while also streamlining the purchasing process. 

3. USB vs XLR


This is a debate that many people find difficult to settle. For those unfamiliar, a USB microphone plugs directly into a computer via a USB port.

In general, there is no additional required setup, but you may need to download drivers in order for the microphone to function. More often than not, you can get the microphone functioning in seconds.

An XLR microphone, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated and is the type of device that you’ll often find in a music studio.

This device requires an XLR cable to be connected to an audio interface. The interface is then connected to the computer. 
Due to the way an XLR microphone functions, it requires a secondary source of power in this manner.

The main benefit, though, is that your recordings will be of a much higher quality. You will also be able to adjust the gain on your audio interface, which can help give the recordings a bit more fullness.

For beginners, it really depends on the type of quality you’re looking for. If someone new at your station simply needs a microphone to use, a USB microphone will suffice. If you need a warm, professional sound, though, it’s best to go with an XLR microphone. 

4. Frequency Response


All sound exists on a spectrum. The range that most of us can hear from 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz. Interestingly, microphones typically do not convert sound on a one-to-one ratio.

This means that some frequencies will be a bit more focused while others will be more muted. When speaking directly into a microphone, it’s best to have a bit more emphasis on the highest frequencies while maintaining a dip in lower frequencies.

This is due to the fact that the lower frequencies of somebody’s voice often make you sound congested or muffled. By enhancing higher frequencies, you’ll give the audio recording a more crisp, warm sound.

Although you can use software to change these values, many people prefer to use a microphone that is already crafted to accommodate this endeavor. For a beginner, the same concept applies. Even if you choose a USB microphone, you will want to find one that is built in this manner for the best results.

5. Durability

As previously mentioned, cheap microphones will need to be frequently replaced. But, microphones that are highly durable are ironically often also cheap.

Microphones that can produce high-quality recordings are often extremely sensitive to movement or shock. Dropping one even a single time could sometimes be enough to affect its performance.

However, beginners are not always the most careful when handling microphones. So, it’s best to find a microphone with a good balance of quality and durability.

You should also consider the general longevity, as well. By reading online reviews, you’ll be able to learn from other people’s experiences with the device and determine how long you can expect it to last. This is especially important for smaller stations that don’t have a particularly large budget to keep purchasing new equipment.

To increase the longevity of a device even further, be sure to properly train your users on how to handle them.

Finding the Best Mic for Beginners Can Seem Challenging 

But the above information will make the process far smoother. From here, you’ll be able to ensure that you find the best way for beginners and prevent any issues from arising in the future.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.

9 CREATIVE RADIO SHOW IDEAS FOR RIGHT NOW

radio show ideas

You turn off the radio, frustrated. It all seems to be the same old thing. You want to hear something new and interesting, or at least a new spin on the same topics. 

If you’re looking to spice up your local radio channel, there are plenty of radio show ideas to explore. No matter what radio programming you choose, having enticing show topics is what will keep your listenership levels large. 

Are you feeling stuck with brainstorming radio ideas? Don’t worry! Here are some of our favorite radio show ideas to help you make some changes to your radio show content. 

1. Politics and News Galore

There is no shortage of world politics and news in 2020. A radio show sharing pertinent politics and news are in high demand, and you’re guaranteed to have a lot of people tuning in to get their fill. 

From COVID-19 pandemic updates to exploding American politics and more, you will have plenty to talk about and share with your listeners. Check out our services to see how we can help you make your radio show ideas a reality.

2. Media: Movies, TV, and Music

Thanks to quarantine and nationwide lockdowns, many are turning to old comforts to get them through these times. One great example is Netflix streaming all of Avatar: The Last Airbender (in addition to the sequel The Legend of Korra). Returning to an old movie or TV show favorites with a fresh eye will appeal to a lot of listeners. 

There are several different routes you can go. From character analysis to general rewatch commentary, you have a lot of material to work with. 

You can also focus on music as well. It’s radio, so talking about your favorite music and playing it for your listeners will give them something to relax to! Maybe your listeners will discover new musicians to follow thanks to your suggestions. 

3. Gamer Paradise

Quarantine means gamer paradise (well, maybe)! A radio show dedicated to the newest, up-to-date news in the gaming world will also bring in a lot of potential listeners. 

Reviewing gameplay can help listeners decide if they want to play a game or not. It also provides listeners with any affirmations about how they feel about a game. 

You can also speak about upcoming releases and what gamers are anticipating in terms of the game. Don’t be afraid to ask listeners what they would like to hear you talk about too in terms of gaming! 

4. Appeal to Your Fellow Foodies

If you’re not a gamer, you’re definitely a foodie: who isn’t?

Talking about food isn’t just reviewing the taste of food. It can be sharing new recipes or speaking with cooking experts about tips and tricks. 

Having a radio show about food should explore local options as well if your listenership is local. Supporting local businesses during these times will provide them with free advertising and will also incentivize them to recommend your radio show to potential views. It’s a win-win for everyone! 

5. Radio Drama for Those Missing the Theater

The theaters are closed! Drama nerds everywhere are itching to be back listening to stories unfold onstage. Well, if people cannot gather in a theatre, they can listen to a radio show performing radio dramas

Radio dramas are not a new concept. Because of the pandemic, podcasts and other radio shows are growing in popularity. Cater to a new audience with radio dramas. 

From Orson Welles’ infamous War of the Worldsto new devised pieces, a radio drama could provide your listeners with some well-needed creative release. 

6. The Sports Zone

There’s nothing wrong with having a good old sports radio show! 

Between sports like baseball and football making returns amid the pandemic, you still have plenty to talk about. Analyze teams’ and players’ skills and project scores. Allow your viewers to call in to get their thoughts known too. 

Better yet, consider talking about fantasy football line-ups and prospects as well! 

7. Travel (But Not Today)

Travel isn’t an option right now due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t think about it! 

A radio show focused on travel can provide listeners with travel tips on certain places, as well as showcase more unique travel destinations that listeners maybe aren’t familiar with.

Take time to acknowledge how the travel industry has been hurt but also the importance of staying safe during the pandemic. 

8. Stay Healthy! 

A health and lifestyle radio show isn’t a bad idea either. Given the current public health crisis with COVID-19, a show about staying healthy is important. 

Talk about proper precautions to take to keep people and their communities safe. You can also explore which foods keep people more energized or helps to boost their general immunity. Bring medical experts on your show to give their point of view as well. 

In terms of lifestyle, speak to how people are staying active despite the pandemic. You will inspire your listeners to take steps in their own lives to stay active too! 

9. Listen to the Listener

If you are feeling unsure about content, you can always reach out to your listenership to see what they are interested in listening to. 

Your listeners tune into your radio show because they are interested in what you have to say, so let them offer topics or suggestions on how to spice up your radio show a bit more. They know best, as the consumer! 

No Shortage of Radio Show Ideas

Radio show ideas are plentiful. You can take your radio show in any direction you would like to. Most of these topics are flexible and won’t get old. 

Are you looking for assistance on virtual PD, imaging/voice talent, or formats? Contact us so we can help you make the most of your radio show!