Has someone told you that you have a voice for radio? Do you like to meet people? Are you willing to learn and put your ego aside? Then you might have what it takes to break into the radio business.
I feel like it’s important that you know who’s writing this article, because there are many people who claim they know how to get into the radio business, but have never worked in the industry. I started off at a small AM/FM combo radio station in Ithaca, NY in 2003. I was going to Ithaca College at the time and wanted to do anything I could to get my start in my dream of being on the radio. I literally fetched people coffee, but I also got to announce the weather on the AM station, and that was the beginning to a great career!
Since then, I’ve worked in 9 states as a Morning Radio Host for stations from Memphis to Hartford, CT.
If you have a passion for radio and you’ve got the heart and determination to be an on-air announcer, that’s a good start. Most radio program directors (those that hire announcers) like people who are willing and eager and display a true love for the art of radio.
Are you still here? Do you want to take the next step? Here are some suggestions on what you can do now (I’ll describe them more fully after this list).
1.) Make a Demo Tape.
2.) Set up an interview with a program director.
3.) Be persistant, but not annoying.
4.) Take any job at a radio station you can get.
5.) Don’t take “no” for an answer.
Making a Demo tape is an important step. When you contact a program director, the first question they’ll ask is, “Do you have am MP3, a tape or CD Sample.” To make your sample, I suggest getting in touch with a radio station in your area and asking them if you can get a
tour of the radio station. Then once you’re at the station, ask if you would be able to make a demo tape. You’d be surprised to find how many radio people are willing to help you out. If you can’t get into a professional studio, then record yourself on an MP3 player and submit it to a Program Director. As far as what you say on your demo. You might want to transcribe your favorite radio personality as a guide.
The next thing you’ll want to accomplish is to talk with a program director. Be persistant, but not overly persistant. I suggest sending an email, since they can respond to you on their time. Talk about your love for radio and that you’d like to help out the radio station in
anyway you can.
Once you have your demo tape, it’s time to send it to area program directors for your first chance to be on-air. Remember that each Radio Programmer is looking for specific types of voices for their radio station. Don’t be upset if you don’t get a callback right away or if
they don’t think you’ll fit the station. If you send out 100 CDs or MP3 samples, your chances are good that someone will think you have what it takes. So don’t give up.
There are many people who say they’d like to become a radio announcer, but never pursue their dream. If you love radio enough and want it bad enough, I know that you’ll be a great success, and I look forward to hearing you on my radio soon.
Chris Kellogg has been a Morning Radio Show Host for over 13 years. He currently works as the morning personality at WMAS, 94.7 in Enfield, CT.