While in my third year at university I have been the Assistant Station Manager at Tequila Radio. Tequila Radio is the University of South Wales’ student radio station that broadcasts from the Atrium campus between 10am and 9PM during the week and between 11 & 4 at the weekends. I have been a part of the radio station since joining university, in my second year I became the head of scheduling and training manager for the station which saw me organising the station schedule at the beginning of every term and training any new members that would be joining the station before they went to air. In my third year I started out as that stations treasurer but was soon promoted to the stations assistant manager.
What have I learnt?
While working as Tequila’s assistant manager I gained an insight into what it’s like to hold a senior management position in a working radio station and all the things that come with it, for example looking after the newly trained presenters while they find their feet on air, as well as ensuring that the station is broadcasting legally by ensuring that the stations PRS licence is valid. I have learnt that communication is key to success and keeping in contact with the rest of the management team, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page so that the station can run as smoothly as possible.
How have I improved?
Over the course of the year I have learnt how crucial good communication skills are to success because it prevents something becoming more problematic and convoluted than it needs to be, for example this year the station had a problem with some of its members and as a result of good communication between the management staff and the person(s) involved the issue was quickly resolved.
How is it different to the industry/a more established station?
Tequila differs to a commercial and BBC station as the management wouldn’t be expected to deal with licencing issues, as they would usually be dealt with by the stations owners such as Global Radio in the case of Heart and Capital. Also in a professional radio station the assistant manager wouldn’t be expected to deal with technical issues, as well as my role of assistant manager at the station I also became the stations technical manager, which involved me fixing any technical issues such as broken microphones or streaming issues that arose as there was a gap in the management that needed filling. In the industry there would be a dedicated team that would deal with the stations technical issues and the assistant manager/ controller of a station wouldn’t be expected to deal with technical issues.
What has it taught me about a career in Radio?
My position within tequila radio this year has made me consider an area of radio that I hadn’t given much thought about before. Prior to this year I hadn’t thought much about station management and what it would be like to run a professional station. I feel that my experience at the Cardiff City Phone In and my role at Tequila will enable me to become a successful station manager should I choose to take that career path in future, because I have learnt how to evaluate the successfulness of a station in terms of catering for its target audience. Being in this position has enabled me to look at a station critically to see if it’s hitting the right targets, whether the stations content is appropriate for its target audience, and what areas need improvement to ensure that the station its self can become more successful in future.
Picture taken from the tequila radio website