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How to get a radio job in 2020?


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So it's always been an ambition of mine to work in radio, albeit behind-the-scenes in digital, from a young age.

I've been working on different projects over the years, waiting for opportunities to arise when I felt confident about my experience. I now feel I'm in a place where I can demonstrate my ability to "inform, educate and entertain" audiences through different content types. But 2020 has hardly been a great year for the job market, and it feels like even more of a challenge to try to get seen at somewhere like the BBC or one of the other big broadcasters. 

Jobs in digital within BBC Radio often appear advertised as "internal" only, and even, the application process through portals still feels a very dehumanisied way of getting your name seen.

It used to be that people would recommend finding creative ways to be seen, but it doesn't feel like sending something through the post is a welcome way to do things in the era of a pandemic. Local radio used to be a springboard for people wanting to work in radio, but where do people start with so few stations left? 

It feels as if conventional ways are out of the window in this era, so how do you think it's done?

Any thoughts are welcome, feel free to PM me too!

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It feels a seemingly impossible job to hold now. When I got inspired to want to take a job in broadcasting it was 2000 and radio didn't have competition like it has today. The young target audience the most has choices everywhere to rival it, but let's face it. It's even easy for grandad to find his favourite songs on youtube or spotify nowdays. So even Smooth and Radio 2 have it difficult.

There's been 10 tonne of cuts within the BBC recently which has harmed it's local radio output, commercial radio is totally gone too imo. There were 4 commercial radio stations broadcasting from Wolverhampton in 2010, now we just have multiple bands of greatest hits my way.

Community Radio has some shoddy reputation out there, and with some output from some stations the past 15 or so years it's deserved in some ways. But there are some really good ones out there now, basically sounding like local commercial radio did 20 years ago. Part the fact that like the one I'm involved with, is it's chaired and headed by people who ran successful commercial stations like Beacon and BRMB. So they have the experience to make them professional, coupled with the fact that your now getting experienced ex commercial and BBC jocks fronting the breakfast and drive shows it makes it sound that much more polished compared to 10 years ago. The only wall is ofcom restrictions on transmission power and funding, but they are slowly and surely subsiding compared to before.

I'd say that's the best way in, it's even possible to make a small living in community radio now too. It's "community" in licence name, but if your joining a well run station your joining a commercial radio station by everything else but. Anything you try to do on the internet like podcasts or youtube etc, your always going to be drowned out by so many others who can get online with simple setups. Not everyone can do radio, and that's where it still holds a big upper hands.

on the grid.

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  • 1 month later...

Sadly rejected from the dream job at Radio 1 today, working in social media, but I imagine a lot of jobs are designed to already take on people that have departed from other parts of the BBC. 

I'm convinced there's a lot to do with their social media which isn't just about celebrities. At a time of a pandemic, that's when you want to get closer to the presenters. The DJs give great insights on their own channels, but you don't really get that from some of the station socials. But I guess it's tricky when only broadcasters are allowed in!

Anyway I'm looking at other jobs in the industry, but I don't know if 2021 is going to be any better for breaking into the sector.

This guy got a lot of traction for his CV, which I thought was quite creative. I think he could have done with a proof-read on the bit where he wrote "once listened".

https://radiotoday.co.uk/2020/12/youtuber-parks-car-outside-radio-1-with-cv-printed-on/

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3 hours ago, Jono said:

Sadly rejected from the dream job at Radio 1 today, working in social media, but I imagine a lot of jobs are designed to already take on people that have departed from other parts of the BBC. 

I'm convinced there's a lot to do with their social media which isn't just about celebrities. At a time of a pandemic, that's when you want to get closer to the presenters. The DJs give great insights on their own channels, but you don't really get that from some of the station socials. But I guess it's tricky when only broadcasters are allowed in!

Anyway I'm looking at other jobs in the industry, but I don't know if 2021 is going to be any better for breaking into the sector.

This guy got a lot of traction for his CV, which I thought was quite creative. I think he could have done with a proof-read on the bit where he wrote "once listened".

https://radiotoday.co.uk/2020/12/youtuber-parks-car-outside-radio-1-with-cv-printed-on/

I definitely recommend trying a community radio station,  I work for three all as a volunteer one is border line as @DC says almost like a commercial station, one is what I would call "tin pot" and some of the output is shocking, and one is going through a lot of change at the moment but fully engaging the presenters with it 

All three have adapted very very well to the pandemic, and have assisted setting presenters up for home broadcasting, and are doing so again with lockdown "3" in place, be that voice tracking, recording, or live, and if you are fortunate enough like me to have your own kit one better many of the playout systems (Myriad and Playout 1 for example) allow "live" from home, or if you are about for your time slot, then you can voice track it as "almost live" recording the link a few minutes before it goes out 

There are also off air roles at some stations - CR stations always have off air jobs to be done, although I find the program managers are very possessive over this task, and rightly so like to have control over what music is scheduled and goes in, and what order it goes in etc there is also production (promos, adverts etc), news prep (scripts, recording local news etc etc), organising interviews (gathering guests and setting them up with a show, and at the moment getting them connected (cleanfeed is BRILLIANT)), websites (design, upkeep, house keeping, managing a corner of etc etc), health and safety duties etc etc 

At all the stations I work for the presenters don't just come in do a show and go, they clean, house keep, get involved with outside stuff and social media channels etc 

I must say, one of the BEST investments I made recently, as proved with the Radio 1 DJs and recommended by Stuart Clarkson (he recommended it to Scott & Chris for home broadcasting) is the RODEcaster pro - it can do all sorts of fancy things play jingles beds etc its like having your own home radio station coupled with the right playout software 

 

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