What does a Program Director do?

The Program Director, or PD is in charge of selecting the music that a radio station plays. Their job is one of the most influential in the entire management team. It is so important because the music that is played if reflective of the radio station itself. Building a repertoire of good songs that accurately reflect is called Imaging. Imaging is not only done by the music chosen, but also liners, themes and sound effects used.

The Program Director has to maintain relationships with local musicians by promoting their events and adding their songs on air. They also have to deal with record labels and promotional representatives to give honest feedback about the music that is sent.


The PD at a major station shifts through hundreds of songs a week and they usually have a staff of people whose job is sorting through music choosing the songs that best fit the radio’s image. At a smaller station such as an on-campus station usually does not have a full team of Programming people so it really all does fall onto the PD to decide how the station is interpreted by the listeners.

Creating a Relationship With Listeners

When television came out many were sure that it was the death of radio. When the internet emerged and started to include multimedia, radio was considered by some to be a dying breed. When streaming services such as Spotify, Youtube Red and Apple Music came around, no one could possibly still be listening to terrestrial radio, right?

The reason that local radio is still alive and thriving is not because of the song selections, limited advertisements and exclusive promotions that the streaming services have to offer. It is because audience members like listening to local talent. They enjoy the fact that the DJ is a member of their very own community and they can relate and build a relationship with the jockey.

The local DJ is an important member of the community because they provide a lot of different information to the majority of the public in any given area. They provide weather, traffic, news and event information to the masses in a friendly way that is easily received.

I spoke about this in an earlier post, but in order to create a relationship with the listener, you have to talk to them like you would any actual friend you have. Speaking in a broadcast manner does not build relationships, while a normal conversational tone speaks volumes. IMG_20171015_185754.jpg

DJ Mannerisms to Stay Away From


When people think of a radio DJ a few things come to mind: Loud, booming voices. Wild personalities and fast talking. None of these are truly what a radio DJ should be unless that’s their personality. Today’s radio DJ is someone that the audience wants to be friends with, a relatable voice who connects with the listener one-to-one.


Here are some things to avoid as a radio DJ:

  • Avoid making your voice deeper, booming or “Announcer like”
  • “WHATS UP EVERYBODY” – this is bad because you want to seem like you are having a conversation with the listener
  • Avoid talking about too much in a single on-air break
  • “Coming up next” while said song is now playing – this is very common, but it’s not coming up next it’s “now playing”
  • Avoid being wacky and using weird voices for the sake of doing it

If you want to learn more about being a good on-air dj check out this. For general information about advancement, salaries etc. check this out. If you don’t know where to start click here.

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How To Enhance Vocals Using Production Software

As always I am using Adobe Audition.

Okay, you have your recorded vocals but it doesn’t quite sound how you want it to, or maybe you want it to sound bigger and better. I’m going to show you what I do to enhance all of my vocal tracks and I learned these from some production people on Youtube and at radio stations I’ve been at.


So here I am with my raw audio file


First thing I do is find any parts of the clip that are too high or too low and I raise or lower the DB accordingly to match the rest of the clip


I highlight the entire thing and click Multiband Compressor


There is even a broadcast preset under this effect but I wouldn’t just click it every time because not all voices will work with it


After that I take out all the breaths in the clip by highlighting it and going to 0DB


After that I take out the silences at the beginning, during the breaths and the end of the clip


The clip will be really loud so you should use another effect called Normalize (process)


It usually is automatically set to a good point but 60% is solid

And then you’re done and export it to a .wav or other format that isn’t too lossy. If you do not know what lossy means, read this!

If there was a single Youtube channel I would recommend it would be:

https://www.youtube.com/user/musicradiocreative – Mike Russell, Voice Actor

This guy has tons of videos that range from very specific sounds to concepts to hour long tutorials on entire promos.

As always, like, follow and share!