Talk Radio Board Op vs Producer…What’s the Difference? Scott Ragain – EG Radio Marketing

I’m sure many network executives recognize and reward excellence and hard work by their production staff.  Even so, there seems to be a lot of turnover in the radio production industry segment.  Pay scale certainly contributes to that turnover rate with production staff moving on to better paying positions or production work that is full-time rather than part-time.  I’ve seen some exceptional producers leave the industry for higher paying non-radio jobs.  So, they leave a career they love to get a job they dislike in the pursuit of financial security and ‘regular’ work hours.  I don’t blame them.  I’ve been there.  Sometimes you have to make tough decisions.  Math does not lie and at some point you have to ensure essential priorities (your family/quality of life) are addressed.  I want you exceptionally gifted producers out there to know you ARE appreciated.  And, I hope you at least continue to dabble in the creative space you love…audio production.  We need you.

Hey, there is a huge difference between a ‘board op’ and a producer.  For those of us who are not producers but create and syndicate radio shows (and podcasts), the difference is analogous to attempting to play a football game without a quarterback.  At EG Radio we have a phenomenal producer, Shoe Smith.  I was introduced to Shoe by Jade Harrell of Rare Gem Productions.  Wow.  Let me try to explain, from the perspective of a person who develops a concept and then finds hosts, creates the shows and markets them, the difference between a board op and Producer Shoe.  Board ops make sure the sound is recorded, that the audio fits the parameters of the show clock and that the audio is packaged so it can be forwarded to affiliates.  A radio show producer…PRODUCES the show.  He/she takes charge, tactfully educates show hosts (and me) about various aspects of production, providing the show team with valuable nuggets of information that make the show a BETTER show.  A great producer is in-the-moment because they LOVE what they do…and the energy and passion is almost palpable.  Producers recognize this very important fact: their knowledge and creativity is just as important as that of the show hosts or guests.  A board op does not engender trust.  A producer commands it.  Why?  Because by making the show better, they earn that trust.  A board op will make sure the show is ‘ready-to-go’.  A great producer can’t let the show go until it is RIGHT.

Because we have the benefit of both Producer Shoe and Synchronicity (our phenomenal multi-media content management and distribution platform), we are now producing our pre-recorded shows more like TV shows (and this can be done, believe it or not, for live shows as well).  This change has been a very positive but significant adjustment to our recording process and the way we think about putting each show(s) together.  Humbly I tell you, we could not make this adjustment without Shoe. He GETS Synchronicity and makes expert use of the production advantages the platform provides.  Thus, not only can we piece our shows together to produce a better product, but Shoe’s ‘producer brain’ has enabled us to integrate targeted/special short content pieces into the shows…short content that can be sponsored both in the show(s) and outside of the show(s) as a stand-alone product.  I’ve met very few ‘board ops’ who would devote time and energy to do that.  A producer is passionate about their craft.  He/she creates, teaches and assumes a good portion of the responsibility to put forth a top-tier, marketable radio show worthy of both the listeners time and the show/sales team’s efforts.  Thanks, Shoe.  You ROCK!

The Radio Web Marketing Resource For Business & Family-Centric Programming | Scott Ragain – President, EG Radio Marketing


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