Survey of Broadcasting: Assignment 1, Question 3: Describe in detail the four “core” departments usually found at most radio stations.

Posted on June 20, 2011. Filed under: Law, Music, News, Public Relations, Radio, Regulations, Technology, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

3: Describe in detail the four “core” departments usually found at most radio stations.

http://www.ablongman.com/stovall1e/chap06/radioorgchart.html

The four “core departments” usually found at most radio stations are sales, operations, engineering, and programming.

The sales department  led by a sales manager is responsible for the sale of all commercial time to local, regional, and national sales advertisers. Larger stations may have a sales manager for local advertisers and a national sales manager of spot advertising accounts. The sales department usually includes a promotions director and research manager.

The operations department or traffic department led by an operations manager is responsible for placing the advertising on the air in compliance with the contracts executed with advertisers. This can be a complicated and difficult task in that there may be dozens of different contracts each requiring scheduled air time, position and length. Therefore many stations have automated their traffic functions to varying degrees using computer applications and systems.

The engineering department led by the chief engineer is responsible for keeping the station on the air with the best signal possible. The improvement of electronic equipment, competition from other businesses for engineering talent, and relaxed Federal regulations has led to smaller or streamlined engineering departments at most stations. Some stations also employ a part-time consulting engineer to keep the station operating optimally.

The programming department led by the program director is responsible for the audio sound and format of the station including news, music and public affairs coverage. Stations with a news/talk format may have a news director to coordinate news and public affairs coverage. Stations with a music format may have a music director to coordinate the development and implementation of the station’s music format.

The general manager or station manager has overall responsibility for  leading the four “core departments” and the day-to-day operation of the radio station. The general manager must hire the department heads and establish their goals and monitor and evaluate their performance. The general manager has overall responsibility for the station’s business performance including profits and losses, business and financial matters, budgeting, and forecasting revenues and expenses. The general manager must maintain the station’s reputation in the community. Finally the general manager must run the station in compliance with all local, county, state and Federal government laws and regulations.

 

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