Radio Presenter

A radio announcer is basically someone who makes announcements on the radio.  Announcers may work in radio or television.  They may provide narration, news coverage, voice overs on television commercials, and so forth.  They are also known as disc jockeys, or on music television – vee jays (VJs or video jockeys).  

Because of the variety of tasks involved in being a radio announcer, you must be well organised, able to think on your feet and have a good speaking voice. This doesn't mean you speak with a perfect accent any more. More and more, regional accents are becoming fashionable in the radio and media industry. For example, at one time, most radio announcers in the UK had “cut glass” English accents. Today, regional accents such as Geordie (Newcastle) are fashionable.

Announcers may be responsible for announcing programme information and also for operating equipment in the studio.

You may be involved in talking to listeners, taking requests, running contests and so on. Some radio announcers will choose the content of their shows, such as the music played, whilst others will follow the instructions of a producer or editor on the show.

Good radio announcers need to be:

  • Intelligent 
  • Funny
  • Well informed
  • Smart
  • Opinionated
  • Like to talk
  • Like to listen to others

...And people need to want to listen when YOU talk.

There are many different roles available in radio announcing, such as:

  • Voice actors - who read prepared scripts. Some radio stations have ongoing radio shows rather like television soap operas which these voice actors star in. They may also perform roles in radio plays.  
  • News readers - who might also be involved in reading the news, the weather, the time, and also sometimes radio advertisements.
  • Ad-lib commentaries - such as when introducing a new music CD.  They may be involved in interviewing guests, taking calls from listeners, moderating discussion panels and so on.
  • Pod cast Presnters
  • Some radio announcers will write and present their own scripts.

  • Besides doing radio work, announcers may also be required to undertake public appearances at promotional events. Some radio channels may have summer “roadshows” where they go round beaches playing music and so on.

They may also be involved in sports shows. These can be talking about sports in recent days or it can be sports commentary for live matches, contests or events, such as a football match or horse race. This requires you to be able to think quickly about what is happening, recognise individual players or horses, have knowledge of the sport and its history, and to inform the listener clearly what is happening.

Radio announcing takes a lot of skill and precision in your language as you are painting a picture with your words.

Risks and Challenges

Radio announcing can involve unsociable hours. For example, announcers who work on breakfast shows may have to be up very early in the morning to start a show at 5am, for example.
They must also be able to ad-lib as required, cover up any mistakes and work well with listeners, interviewees and other team members. So-called "shock jocks" can quickly fall foul with the public through espousing controversial viewpoints or slandering public figures. Some are hit with lawsuits, others may be fired as radio stations and sponsors distance themselves from them. 

Employment isn't always regular. Some of the most popular presenters will often have periods (even years) when work is difficult to get; and other periods when it is plentiful. It can be costly to maintain a profile in the low times; without much of an income.

How to become a Radio Announcer
Radio announcing is about personality and enthusiasm.  The best way to get into radio announcing is to get relevant experience. This may be unpaid or voluntary work. You can get work like this in hospital radio, school, university or college radio, local radio, and similar.  Often in radio, it is not what you know, but who you know, so gaining references and mentors through voluntary work can be an excellent place to start.  

Other Related Jobs

  • Television announcer
  • Voice over actor (such as adverts)
  • Voice Actor
  • Podcast presenter



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