If you dream of being heard on the airwaves or want to work in production or marketing at a radio station, you'll first need an internship. As an intern, you'll learn the inner workings of a radio station and how its affiliates operate in terms of sales, booking talent, hosting a show and segment production. This hands-on experience, coupled with a degree in journalism, broadcasting or communications, will give you the necessary experience for a radio career and make you a desirable job candidate.
Radio stations run all kinds of contests and promotions in which listeners call in. Interns answer phones and take personal information from winners, field song requests and screen callers for talk shows. You'll also communicate with listeners and advertisers through email, and make follow-up and research calls to potential clients and advertisers for the production staff. Distributing mail, filing membership information, maintaining concert and appearance dates, coordinating station giveaways and writing literature are also part of the job. General office duties could include emptying trash cans, tidying the office and fetching a guest's favorite food item.
A radio station's production team relies on an an intern to help producers run a smooth show. These duties include assisting on-air talent with anything they need, such as setting up the host with her scripts for advertisements, endorsements and personality segments, and gathering research and reading material for those speaking on-air. You might also be asked to use the recording equipment so that the station has clips it can use in the future. An intern is also likely to maintain the station's podcasts, produce fresh and newsworthy website content and post guest-interview transcripts.
Interns are usually invited to creative meetings. If you are not, ask to be included. These brainstorming meetings are a good way to get your name in front of the decision makers as one who can research, write or lend a comedic voice to the station. If you come to the table with funny, cutting-edge and fresh ideas, your creative potential will get noticed. This is where your duties may turn from emptying the trash to filling up segment time. In addition, show your outgoing, responsible personality. Radio stations sometimes plan humorous reality segments that may involve interns. Show that you are a quick thinker who knows the value in bantering with hosts.
Radio stations rely on grass-roots promotions and public relations events for attention. As an intern, you'll be asked to work with schools, communities and advertisers to promote the station and its guests. You'll be writing news releases, speaking in public and utilizing social media to connect with listeners about songs, artists and contests. When heading on the road, you'll help load the station's vehicle with promotional items, prizes and giveaways. It's crucial that as an intern you dress and act in a manner that represents the station's values and music. An intern's lively attitude and positive, well-controlled voice is always important while promoting the station.
2016 Salary Information for Announcers
Announcers earned a median annual salary of $30,860 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, announcers earned a 25th percentile salary of $21,320, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $50,780, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 52,700 people were employed in the U.S. as announcers.
- Alabama Broadcasters Association: WJOX-FM Radio Intern Job Description
- Dream Careers: Radio Broadcasting Internships
- Audience Dialogue: Participative Marketing for Local Radio, Chapter 3
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Announcers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Announcers
- Career Trend: Announcers
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.