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How to Become a Radio Station Manager in the US

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Many radio stations strive to maximize revenue while educating, entertaining and informing listeners. Radio station managers are responsible for ensuring stations meet these goals. If you are interested in pursuing a top-level career in the radio industry, and you have great leadership skills, this could be the career for you.

See lso: How to Become a Radio Producer in the US

1. What Do Radio Station Managers Do?

Their duties include:


  • Ensuring seamless communication and coordination between production, sales, administration and finance departments
  • Hiring and supervising news directors, program controllers, program producers, on-air presenters and other radio personnel
  • Evaluating the quality of content being aired by the station
  • Negotiating employment contracts with top radio presenters and producers
  • Ensuring broadcast content complies with the federal communications act and other relevant laws, and swiftly responding to violations
  • Representing the station at industry events
  • Maintaining positive relationships with advertisers and other business clients
  • Evaluating listeners’ feedback and implementing necessary programming changes

2. Work Environment

Although many radio stations are on air around the clock, managers have fairly regular, 9am to 5pm jobs. They work from Monday through Friday, and quite often on Saturdays.

These managers spend most of their time in their offices, which are usually located within the station’s premises.

3. Salary

The Radio station managers average salary in the U.S. is:

$40,000 per year

Source: Indeed

4. Entry Requirements

The surest way to become a radio station manager is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in radio production or media studies. This credential will enable you to find work as a radio producer or program manager, from where you can work your way up.

Here are some institutions offering programs that can open doors to this job:

It is also possible to start in a technical role, such as audio engineer, and rise through the ranks with increased experience.

5. Important Qualities

To be an accomplished radio station manager, you need:

  • Excellent business and financial skills
  • Excellent personnel management skills
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Strong decision-making skills for exercising editorial judgment
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Strong computer skills
  • A solid understanding of the broadcasting laws
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Good presentation skills
  • Good planning, organizing and multi-tasking skills

6. Career Advancement

As you gain the experience required to become a radio station manager, you can undertake the following activities to fast-track your upward movement:

  • Obtain the Certified Radio Operator credential from the Society of Broadcast Engineers
  • Pursue a master’s degree in business administration

It is also important to attend industry events, where you can interact and exchange contacts with station owners, established radio managers and other industry players. This should enable you to learn of job vacancies (some which may not be advertised) as soon as they occur.

7. Job Opportunities

As a qualified radio station manager, you can be hired by:

  • Commercial radio stations
  • Community radio stations
  • Educational/college radio stations

Commercial radio stations are the primary and most lucrative employers. Some radio managers often work in community and college stations for several years before moving into commercial ones.

With vast radio management experience, you can be hired as the general manager of a corporation that operates several national and regional radio stations.

See Also: How to Become a Broadcast Journalist

Unlike in the past, establishing a radio station in the US today is quite straightforward. The Federal Communications Authority has recently reviewed the licensing processes, eliminating bottlenecks that previously deterred aspiring radio station owners. As a result, the number of stations is gradually increasing, meaning the services of radio station managers will be needed.

So if you feel you have what it takes to make a radio station a listeners’ favorite, this is the job you should chase! Good luck!