Presenting producers: the unsung role of radio producers in creating listenability

Activity: Talk or presentation › Presentation


Whether accessed online, via podcast, through digital or analogue signals, resilient talk radio is built on interpersonal and relational connectivity. Technological developments do not diminish the need for a presenter or host with the capacity to connect with and build an audience; these fragmented reception conditions enhance the requirement.

The role of producers in the co-creation of radio is an area that has been significantly neglected in analysis of the radio production process. This paper analyses the relationship between producers and presenters through a series of interviews with high profile Australian Broadcasting Corporation presenters and their producers. A range of producer roles is described, along with a series of dysfunctions that can emerge within the presenter-producer relationship. The research finds that across both functional/technical and relational/emotional roles, the producer carries significant weight not only in the generation of content, but in the co-creation of the presenter’s on-air identity.

An understanding of the functional and relational work of producers is critical to an understanding of the broadcasting phenomenon. In analysis of the media, in the recruitment and training of media personnel, and in the development of organisational policies, the absence of such knowledge is likely to significantly inhibit the effective constitution of broadcasting practice.
Event titleEuropean Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA): Radio, the resilient medium, University of Sunderland, London campus: Radio, the resilient medium
Event typeConference
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map