Job descriptions and industry overviews

Broadcasting presenter: job description

19 Jul 2023, 08:58

Broadcasting presenters host shows broadcast on TV, radio and the internet.

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Broadcasting presenter : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Broadcast presenters provide a public voice or face to TV, radio and online shows. The role involves behind the scenes work as well as hosting individual shows.

Typical duties include:

  • writing and rehearsing scripts.
  • meeting with programme directors/producers to discuss programmes/shows.
  • choosing and playing music, jingles and audio excerpts.
  • organising meetings, interviews and schedules.
  • undertaking background research.
  • meeting and interviewing guests.
  • presenting traffic, weather and/or news summaries.
  • providing programme links.
  • responding to changes in scheduling to ensure shows keep to their allocated time.
  • operating technical equipment such as broadcast desks (equipment that brings together multiple audio channels).

Most jobs are in major cities such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff and Belfast. Vacancies attract intense competition so you’ll need to be persistent with both networking and applications.

Graduate salaries

Many broadcast presenters are self-employed or paid via their own business, and are paid on a contract or day rate basis rather than getting an annual salary. The six-figure salaries of well-known TV presenters are not the norm, however according to salary survey websites: radio presenters’ yearly income starts at around £17,000 while TV presenters’ income starts at around £21,000.

Typical employers of broadcast presenters

  • The BBC.
  • Commercial and independent TV and radio stations.
  • Independent production companies.

Many jobs are unadvertised but you can find ones that are on specialist jobs boards.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into broadcasting for both university graduates and school leavers.

You don’t’ need a degree to become a broadcast presenter, although if you’re interested in a specific genre (such as reporting on politics) then a background in this will be an advantage. Experience in journalism or performing arts will also help as you’ll need a show reel demonstrating your skills to send as part of your applications.

As with many skills-based roles, experience is just as important as qualifications, so aim to gain as much work experience as possible. This can include producing your own online content as well as placements with media organisations, self-employment (such as a DJ) and voluntary work for student newspapers/radio stations and local/hospital radio and television stations.

A number of organisations run training courses for aspiring presenters. You could also consider a journalism course such as those run by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BCTJ). The BCTJ also offers bursaries to help students from under-represented groups finance work experience placements.

It’s common for presenters to move into their roles from other broadcast-related ones, such as journalism, research or production. The BBC runs graduate schemes in journalism and production as well as other fields, while Sky offers graduate schemes in a number of business areas. The BBC also offers apprenticeships focusing on a variety of areas that are open to school leavers.

Key skills for broadcast presenters

  • Confidence.
  • Adaptability .
  • The ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • Excellent communication skills , including the ability to work with people from all backgrounds.
  • Listening skills.

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