Station managers have quite a full range of duties. At the top of the list
is keeping the staff motivated and happy.
That can be a very big job, but the reward is worth it. Happy salespeople
sell more advertising and happy announcers keep listeners tuned in. Communication
is important at every level in broadcasting.
Keeping up with the technical end is also a big part of a manager's day.
From the computers that keep the shows running smoothly to the cameras and
microphones, a good manager has to know how everything works.
Working with the advertising staff to develop new promotions is important
too. The industry is very fast paced. Viewers and listeners will quickly switch
to another station if they aren't entertained or informed the way they like.
Often, this means conducting polls to find out what the audience wants.
Some stations have on-air promotions that involve the community and other
companies. This means the manager has to work well with people outside the
Some radio and TV stations are community owned. These often offer public
access to the station's facilities for private individuals and groups to make
their own shows. They can be fun to work at because the format and business
requirements aren't so rigid.
Many people get their start in broadcasting at these stations. Since the
staff is often small, many managers work as on-air personalities and technicians
too. It's a great way to gain experience without the pressure of a commercial
Schools and universities often have campus stations. These are typically
small outfits. The manager and staff are usually enrolled in the school's
communications or journalism programs. Their instructor will often be the
honorary station manager.
Aside from teaching duties, the instructor will do all the usual manager
work. This means coping with an ever-changing staff from semester to semester.
Andy Marlow is the station manager of the radio station at the University
of Minnesota. "Students are coming and going all the time; the station changes
often and quickly," he says.
There is little travel involved with most positions. Usually the only travel
will be to meet with out-of-town owners or to attend a meeting or trade show.
Hours are pretty typical -- Monday to Friday, 8 to 5 is normal. But at
some places, managers start around noon and go home around 7 or 8 p.m. Some
places have flexible hours.
"I have never had two days the same," says radio station manager Jeff Delvaux.
"Hours are flexible, but you usually work 7 to 5, Monday to Friday."
While many TV stations broadcast local news and sports as well as network
shows, some television stations are cable providers. This means they receive
TV programs over the air with huge satellite dishes and then send them to
homes over cable. This is common in small towns.
These stations may not produce any shows of their own. The station manager's
role will be more technical and administrative, though certainly not less
Radio stations are looking at a much different world. Since there are so
many entertainment options for people to access, they have to be more creative.
Managers have to continually look for new and different ways to keep listeners
Many stations now broadcast on the Internet as well as over the airwaves
Keep a station running smoothly