How to Produce a Radio Show

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Programs ranging from "WKRP in Cincinnati" to "Frasier" to "iCarly" have prompted many television viewers to dream of producing their own radio shows. Modern radio shows make the process seem easy. Depending on your method of getting on the air, may be true. There are several steps to creating, funding and producing your own radio show, whether you do it in an existing commercial radio station or you broadcast from your home computer.

Commercial Radio Station

Decide on a specific format for your show. Market your show to stations that use the format. Record a demo session of your show lasting at least 30 minutes representing the approximate content of a typical episode.

Contact radio station general managers to see whether they have open-format broadcasting time and to schedule an appointment. Public access channels and small, rural channels hold the most promise.

Meet with the manager to discuss terms and content policies. Depending on the popularity and format of the radio station, you may expect a cost per program ranging from zero to $200 or more for one half-hour episode. Some public access channels offer free subsidized airtime.

Verify with the station manager methods you can use to raise money to support your show. This can come from selling advertising time to soliciting and accepting donations.

Sign a contract with the terms of your show. This contract includes preemption policies, cancellation procedure and other provisions.

Market your show locally and on social media. Design a website that explains your show and lists the show times and station call letters and frequency on the dial.

Learn about radio equipment from radio station staff, if possible. This will make your production of content in a suitable format easier. Many stations use the MP3 format.

Home Radio Station

Download podcasting software such as Spreaker, Garageband, Audacity, iPodder or Propaganda for a PC or Podcaster or Podcast Producer 2 for a Mac, A podcast is a recording of your show that you can stream to other people's computers using a music player or an RSS feed. There are dozens of viable options, so experiment to see which you can operate easily.

Select a hosting service for the podcast. The hosting service will broadcast the podcast you send them. Popular podcast hosting services include Podbean, PodBlaze, Blipmedia and Odeo, although hundreds are available.

Record your first show using a headset with a noise-cancelling microphone. Save the show in the format requested by your podcast hosting company, typically MP3.

Establish a website. Insert a media player plug-in or put a link to your RSS feed so customers can receive your show as you produce it. Promote these feeds on social media every time you release a new show.

Download live-streaming software such as Shoutcast, ubroadcast, Spreaker, Live365 or one of many others if you want to broadcast your show live instead of playing recordings. Download Skype phone service and establish an account to provide another method for callers to reach your show.

Log in to your streaming software. This software is point-and-click once you install it correctly and let it configure your network. Plan not to get many callers or listeners for the first few shows until people begin to find you among the channels.

Tips

  • Script your shows in outline form. Prepare to use every minute you have allotted and avoid dead air.

    Produce your show at the same time every day unless you give notice on your website.

Warnings

  • Study FCC guidelines to verify public radio content restrictions.

References

Resources

Photo Credits

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