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Program Directors Career

Career Description

Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs, such as sports or news.

What Job Titles Program Directors Might Have

  • Director
  • Program Director
  • Program Manager
  • Programming Director

What Program Directors Do

  • Plan and schedule programming and event coverage, based on broadcast length, time availability, and other factors, such as community needs, ratings data, and viewer demographics.
  • Coordinate activities between departments, such as news and programming.
  • Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in broadcast news, sports, or programming.
  • Monitor and review programming to ensure that schedules are met, guidelines are adhered to, and performances are of adequate quality.
  • Check completed program logs for accuracy and conformance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations and resolve program log inaccuracies.
  • Establish work schedules and assign work to staff members.
  • Monitor network transmissions for advisories concerning daily program schedules, program content, special feeds, or program changes.
  • Prepare copy and edit tape so that material is ready for broadcasting.
  • Confer with directors and production staff to discuss issues, such as production and casting problems, budgets, policies, and news coverage.
  • Develop ideas for programs and features that a station could produce.
  • Evaluate new and existing programming to assess suitability and the need for changes, using information such as audience surveys and feedback.
  • Develop promotions for current programs and specials.
  • Perform personnel duties, such as hiring staff and evaluating work performance.
  • Act as a liaison between talent and directors, providing information that performers or guests need to prepare for appearances and communicating relevant information from guests, performers, or staff to directors.
  • Review information about programs and schedules to ensure accuracy and provide such information to local media outlets.
  • Select, acquire, and maintain programs, music, films, and other needed materials and obtain legal clearances for their use as necessary.
  • Operate and maintain on-air and production audio equipment.
  • Develop budgets for programming and broadcasting activities and monitor expenditures to ensure that they remain within budgetary limits.
  • Read news, read or record public service and promotional announcements, or perform other on-air duties.
  • Direct setup of remote facilities and install or cancel programs at remote stations.
  • Conduct interviews for broadcasts.
  • Cue announcers, actors, performers, and guests.
  • Participate in the planning and execution of fundraising activities.

What Program Directors Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Program Directors Should Be Interested In

What Program Directors Need to Learn

  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Median Salary: $70,950

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.