What it takes to tune in

24th October 1997 at 01:00
* Journalist: radio journalists need a good nose for news and an excellent reading voice. The job involves finding and researching stories, interviewing people, editing material and reading bulletins.

Relevant qualifications: most journalists have a degree; many will hold postgraduate qualifications, such as a diploma in broadcast journalism. Related NVQs include broadcast journalism, broadcast, film and video production and public relations * Sales and promotions: commercial radio depends on advertising. A job on the sales team entails selling air-time to advertisers and co-ordinating production and scheduling of ads. The promotions department is responsible for taking the station out to meet the people, as well as raising the profile of the station within the community it serves.

Relevant qualifications include a degree or diploma in business management, marketing or communication. Sales experience is also useful.

* Business administration and finance: the station director is responsible for ensuring the company is making a profit and carrying out strategic business planning. Commercial radio depends on advertising, sponsorship and promotions. Apart from business overheads, one of the biggest costs is royalties, paid for every piece of broadcast music.

Relevant qualifications include a degree or diploma in business management; NVQs in administration, accounting or management.

* Producing and programming: producers are responsible for preparing programmes and supervising the broadcast. Other tasks include choosing records and people to interview, compiling programme features and organising phone-ins. The programme controller has overall responsibility for output, ensuring the content is the right mix for the target audience, while making sure the station's licence application criteria are fulfilled.

Relevant qualifications: Most producers have a degree, but many start as assistants and work their way up. Relevant NVQs include use and support of information technology, broadcast film and video production and using technology.

* Engineering: radio engineering covers everything from repairing, maintaining and operating equipment to preparing outside broadcasts. Chief responsibilities are to make sure the station stays on air and ensure broadcast quality.

Relevant qualifications: an engineering degree or HND, or a specialist course in electronics, after which many stations will provide their own specific training. Linked NVQs, include electronic post-production support, sound assistance, sound direction and sound operation among others.

* Contacts: Commercial Radio Companies Association, 77 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1V 7AD; Radio Academy, PO Box 452, 3-6 Langham Place, London W1A 4SZ; The Radio Authority, 70 Brompton Road, London SW3; Ocean Radio Group, Whittle Avenue, Segensworth West, Fareham, Hampshire PO15 5SH. Tel: 01489 587705

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