How To Run A Radio Station

Learning how to run a radio station is an admirable goal in most cases. Talk radio stations can contribute to society even if it is another outlet to listen to Rush Limbaugh. The age of radio dramas such as "The Shadow" and "Little Orphan Annie" may be long gone, but the spirit of radio lives on.

Things you'll need:

  • Starting capital
  • Large collection of music
  • DJs, talk show hosts or syndication agreements
  • License from the FCC which assigns your broadcasting frequency
  • Microphones and all necessary radio broadcasting equipment
  1. Learn to enunciate English well. This goes for anyone who intends to do public speaking, writing or communications. English language classes may not seem like an essential part of running a radio station, but humans can't avoid the necessity of conveying information.
  2. Apply for a broadcast license with the Federal Communications Commission. No one likes dealing with red tape, but opening a radio station after getting approval from the FCC ensures that the applicant has clear air space to use and prevents two local stations from operating on the same frequency.
  3. Decide on a format for your radio station. An a.m. radio station might decide to run talk radio, while an f.m. station might focus on a specific type of music. People running radio stations in small towns frequently focus on classic rock, top 40 hits or country. 
  4. Hire the necessary personnel. An all-music station may get away with not having on-air personalities. Talk radio stations usually rely on syndicated content and a news feed, but they still need to sell advertising to make money. Even if an operator does not need on-air personalities to run a radio station, he still needs salesman.
  5. Music radio stations need a fairly large collection of music to begin broadcasting. Most record companies license their music to radio stations for a fee. Some record companies provide promotional material from time to time. Cultivate contacts in the record industry if an operator wants to run a radio station that plays music.

Learning how to run a radio station successfully is a matter of striking a balance between commercial time and the time playing music or running shows. A station running syndicated talk shows has this element decided for it. Running a music radio station means keeping up on the latest trends in the genre or if you are an oldies station operator, paying attention to songs that came out twenty or more years ago.

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