Media CV

Benjamin Astell

bastell@talktalk.net

@Ben_Astell

07726 300306

https://benastell92.wordpress.com/

Education

University of South Wales (Glamorgan) BA (Hons)Radio 2011-2014 2:1 (predicted)

Queen Elizabeth’s School 2006-2011 -11GCSE’s all C grade and above,                       4 A-Levels including: Business studies A, I.T A

Work experience

The Cardiff City Phone In- Assistant producer (Sept 2012- May 2013) Producer (Sept-Oct 2013) Senior Producer (Oct 2013 -)

Sŵn Radio – Assistant producer (Oct 2013)

Tequila Radio – Presenter/ Producer (Sept 2011 – ) Head of scheduling/Training manager (June 2012 – May 2013) Treasurer (May 2013 – June 2013) Assistant Manager (June 2013- )

Radio Cardiff – Newsreader (Jan 2012- May 2012)

Hobbies and interests

I have a range of hobbies and interests including an interest in sports, specifically Formula 1 & Football, I support Liverpool FC, a keen interest in new music, photography and Cars.

Skills

Basic understanding of Media Law, Camera operation, Adobe Premier Pro and Final Cut Pro

Advanced understanding of Adobe Audition, Setting up and closing down a radio studio

References

Steve Johnson- Lecturer at the University of South Wales & Executive Producer at the Cardiff City Phone in, email: steve.johnson@southwales.ac.uk

Lyndon Jones – Audio/ Visual producer & University Lecturer email:lyndon.jones@southwales.ac.uk

 

Assistant Manager at Tequila Radio (Additional Project)

tequila radio

 

Intro

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

 

Senior Producer at The Cardiff City Phone In (Major Project)

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Intro

For the last 18 months I have been working at the Cardiff City Phone In. The phone in is a football phone in show where the supporters of Cardiff City FC can talk about the club and the latest developments within it, I started off as an assistant producer and over the last 18 months have been promoted to producer and Senior Producer. As senior producer I am responsible for the overall output of the show, ensuring that every show is recorded and uploaded to Podomatic (http://ccpi.podomatic.com/) , briefing the presenters with the latest developments within the club, setting up and closing down the studio before and after broadcast and gathering callers prior to broadcast. The phone in broadcasts on two stations, GTFM and Bro radio, I liaise with the volunteers at these stations to ensure that the show is being streamed correctly and fix any streaming issues that may arise.

What have I learnt?

As a result of producing the phone in I have     learnt what it’s like to produce a professional radio show on a weekly basis and what working in the radio industry could be like after graduation, one of the main things I’ve learnt as a result of producing the phone in is how to manage people in a working environment, for example asking my producer and assistant producer to find information about the club, latest fixtures, keeping the shows social media pages up to date, and interacting with the shows audience via social media. The phone in has taught me that giving productive and constructive feedback to my team allows them to work more effectively, as they know how they can improve for the next show while praising them in the areas that they are stronger and more accomplished in. I can now confidently setup the radio studio ready for broadcast and I can also shut down the studio after the show has finished. 

How have I improved?

Over the last 18 months I think that I have become more professional. After being promoted to senior producer I learnt that the way I interact with my team would be different that it was when I was an assistant producer as I now operate at a more senior level, and I have to guide the shows team as a senior producer in the industry would be expected to do. However I think that I have managed to adapt my skillset to better suit the changing dynamic between the team and myself, I think that my producing as a whole as improved because prior to coming to the phone in I hadn’t produced a professional radio show before, and the theory I had learnt on my course hadn’t been put into practice; however phone in has allowed me to refine the skills I have learnt along the way. I also think it has allowed me to become a more effective producer when producing material for university, for example I feel that my prior knowledge of producing the phone in allowed me to become a more effective producer on my major project Exposure Radio, where a group of student ran a professional radio station for two weeks. During my major project I was able to work more effectively as I knew what my senior producers on the project would expect from me having been in that position during the phone in this year.

 

How is it different to the industry/a more established station?

The main difference between the Cardiff City Phone In and another phone in show on an industry station is that throughout the show I provide the presenters with facts, statistics and information about the club and its players. In the industry the presenters are usually expected to make their own notes about the players and the clubs that are playing prior to broadcast, also the show is a very niche one as it just looks at one club in one sport. In the industry a show may cover a single sport but it will usually look at the different teams and players that compete within it. Sports shows in the industry such as those heard on talkSPORT and the BBC usually have different guests every week to give their opinion about different clubs or players, due to its low listenership and niche target audience there aren’t as many guests on the show however guests from bodies such as show racism the red card have appeared on the show in the past. As a result of the low audience figures the number of callers that appear on the show is significantly lower as over the course of the hour broadcast 3-4 callers may appear on air compared to the significantly higher number seen on similar show on a more established station.


What has it taught me about a career in Radio?

The Cardiff City Phone In has shown me that I want to work in radio after I graduate from university, the show has allowed me to put the theory work I had learnt from studying a degree in radio into practice in a professional working environment. The show has taught me that I need to be adaptable and fill in any producing gaps that the show has to ensure that it runs as smoothly as possible, for example gathering callers and providing facts and statistics, but it has taught me that the skills I have acquired throughout the course of my degree are transferrable and can be applied to the programme. Having skills that you can transfer are key to being successful in the media industry, for example a university module I studied, focussed on social media and I was able to take what I had learnt from that and apply it to the phone in, I also implemented a social media policy for the show which the producing team have to abide by, which allows the show to connect with their online audience more effectively. I have learnt that you need to be able to work as a part of a team as well as being able to work effectively on your own, and that in all cases good communication as key to a successful show. I’ve realised how hard it is to break into the media industry and it crucial to get experience in community radio to refine your skills before trying to make it into the professional world, having practical experience on top of having a media degree is key to succeeding, and making you stand out from everyone else when applying for jobs after graduation.

 

Picture taken from https://twitter.com/CardiffCityFC