(SPORTS TALK) Having The Right Producer
No question, one of the most important things a PD can do to help the success of a radio show is find the right producer to give a host the best chance at success.
In my 21 years of sportstalk radio, I have worked with GREAT producers like John Mamola at WDAE in Tampa and Craig Larsen who was with me at Fox Sports Radio or Joy Taylor at 790 the ticket in Miami. And I've worked with some brutal ones who will remain nameless here. My perfect producer is a producer who does not want to be a host but a future PD who will be able to understand the hard climb it is for both jobs. Any time you have an on-air host who is PD of the station, means to me the PD is not 1000 percent into his/her job as PD. Both jobs take incredible sacrifices to get to the top of the business. The ones who hedge their bets are usually the ones who are putting his/her best interests first rather than the station's success.
I want a producer who, when I walk into work, I already have my show mapped out and he or she asks me what direction we will be going in so that the producer can find the right sound and matching stories that make a national story seem relevant in the local market. To me, a producer is vital for making sure the environment is calm and that there are no distractions. If the director of a movie is distracted, you are usually not going to have a good movie made. Same in radio. A host producer needs to keep the studio under control with as little drama as possible…and many of us know the drama that goes on daily when putting on a radio show.
The producer has to be the director for the host. Personally, I don't appreciate producers who come into a show and start dictating content and teases and story lines. For radio to be real, the host needs to speak from the heart, not some producer's notes. This latter will come out on the air as read content. And that, my friends, is the difference between a great host like Limbaugh and the local radio guy who reads headlines every day and gets 1 shares.
So, PDs: You have the toughest job in radio. Finding the right people to make radio shows work starts with you!
Dan Sileo, also known as "The Bonecrusher," is a sports talk show host who has worked at KGO & KNBR-WDAE and WQAM. He can be reached at Umiam93@yahoo.com and on Twitter at @dansileoshow
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