What You Can Control In Today’s Choppy Radio Career


(By Loyd Ford) It feels like there should be a song about radio these days. “Tryin’ to keep my job, just trying to make it through.” This is a reality of where we are today, sandwiched between super debt and Covid-19. But if being on a radio programming team (programmers to talent) is your chosen career path, 2020 is also a time for reinvestment, skill improvements and mind change about how it works.

Money is still being made in this business and change is everywhere. Embrace it, master a variety of roles you can play and elevate your profile to keep your career moving. Here are some examples:


  • Now is the time to learn all the technical skills you can in the traditional modern pure broadcast arena
  • It’s also a time to really become skilled at digital advertising and social media so you can hold your own with anyone at a corporate level and contribute in a wide variety of areas beyond the traditional on-air roles of yesteryear
  • Learn how to create a useful concept, create, launch and consistently produce your own podcast and find a way that entity can generate revenue
  • This is a time for you to learn and master software skills that can elevate your opportunities within your own company or help you be recruited to a better job
  • Invest in getting in front of the industry by networking, doing favors for others and establishing that you are growing skills
  • Learn how to do design work, even if you don’t end up being a designer (having the skills will make you more valuable)
  • You have to give more thought and strategy to your overall career path today – not just what is happening day to day; this means you have to generate opportunities beyond the role your company is asking you to take
  • Go out of your way to make sure people see you are motivated and focused on making the work we do easier for leaders, managers and the team
  • While others are focused on staying off the radar, perhaps now is the best time to contribute more, engage more and grow ahead of the turbulence in our business today

You can’t change the framework we work in today. You can’t change Covid-19, the debt levels of any company you work for and a variety of other issues “above your pay grade.” What you can do is seek opportunities to make yourself someone people want on their team.

I have a mentor that says when there is a downturn or an economic challenge, money doesn’t disappear. It goes somewhere. This is true for all broadcasters. Our value is to be an important communication channel so entrepreneurs and business people in your market can effectively reach their targets. Become a part of extending the value of your station, your cluster, your company and you will have a growing career that doesn’t leave you living in fear.

Loyd Ford consults radio stations, coaches personalities, and provides behavioral and strategic programming to radio with RPC. Reach him anytime. 864.448.4169 or [email protected]


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