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Tune into radio, earn upto 70 K
Raj Lalwani |
June 05, 2006
You can't get through your day without listening to your favourite RJ.
You take extra trouble to dial-in with traffic updates whilst travelling.
Obviously you're a major radio buff.
Well, television/ radio anchor Roshan Abbas, who is also dean of the Encompass Institute of Radio Management, Mumbai, has some great news: as many as 338 radio stations are expected to launch across 91 cities in India, resulting in a huge demand for budding, new talent.
"Radio will emerge as one of the most powerful media," says Abbas.
To put it simply, radio is rocking and, hopefully, so will the radio job market.
Do you have it in you?
"The pre-requisite for doing well in radio, whether you want to get into jockeying or production, or anything else is to love the medium," says Abbas.
"You must be totally involved. Often we have people who want to get into radio because they aren't getting an opportunity in television and this is the next best alternative. They are wasting their time. Radio is a choice, not an alternative," he says.
Utkarsh Naithani, senior producer, Radio City 91 FM, chips in.
"Talent is secondary. Passion for the medium is of paramount importance. Putting together even one radio show involves a lot of hard work, so I would advise anyone to enter this medium only if they are willing to put in that extra effort," he says.
A lot more than jockeying
The RJ may be the voice of the radio station. But the workload is handled by anywhere between 30 and 150 professionals.
While there will always be openings technology, software, legal department and marketing (as in any other industry), the job profiles exclusive to the radio medium include radio jockeys, producers, music managers and scriptwriters.
The producer is the unsung hero of radio. Unlike in films, radio production does not equate to handling the finances.
A producer is in charge of how the radio programme sounds. His job is to make the RJ sound good. He decides on the sound effects, the kind of music to use as an underlay (the background music that plays while an RJ is talking), when to insert advertisements and so on.
"The producer decides how the show sounds. Keeping in mind the target audience and the time slot of the programme, the producer decides what concepts the RJ will talk about and the kind of contests and promotions that take place on the show. The producer gives a show its structure, while the RJ gives it a voice," says Naithani.
In order to be an effective producer, one has to have a great sense of sound. An added advantage is if a producer can imagine how something that's being recorded will eventually sound when played back.
"An artiste may give three to four takes while recording a promo. The producer needs to decide which sounds best. If a producer has the ability of knowing which capsule sounds best while the take is being recorded itself, he is able to save time. You have to cultivate the art of being able to imagine the capsule in your head and structure your show accordingly," says Naithani.
Being computer-literate is important. The station runs on certain softwares and another software called Vegas is used for production. While most people learn how to use these softwares on the job, you must be acquainted with the basics of computers to begin with.
"When a beginner comes to work at a radio station," says Naithani, "he ought to basically be aware of how the station sounds, what kind of songs and capsules it plays and so on. Be an active listener. Analyse what you listen to, and be opinionated."
While the pay structure begins at approximately Rs10-15,000 per month, it can go up to Rs 70,000 for the more experienced players.
The music manager
S/ he conducts research to gauge which songs are most popular and, according to the results of the research, decides how often each song must be played, what time it will play, the sequence of songs and promos and so on.
For instance, the most popular songs (say, current chartbusters) may be played as frequently as once in two hours.
The music manager, in consultation with the producer, also decides when to play a certain song. For example, Jaago re jaago (from the soundtrack of the film Mangal Pandey) will be oft-played in the mornings, but never at night.
If you are interested in becoming a music manager, you need to be passionate about music; besides, your knowledge of music must be strong. If the station has programming that caters to a niche audience (a show playing English songs, for instance), it is an added advantage for the music manager if he knows about different genres of music. At the same time, a music manager must have basic managerial skills.
A music manager may start with an initial pay of Rs 10,000, which may go up to Rs 60,000 after a few years of experience and a good professional track record.
Scriptwriters prepare scripts for contests, promos, general announcements and advertisements.
Budding writers and copywriters are the ones who usually manage this job.
A scriptwriter has to work in tandem with the producer, manager and RJ and deliver effective, catchy scripts for the kind of capsules that are required.
Nowadays, however, promos are often written by the producers themselves, so certain stations do not have the services of scriptwriters.
You could start off at a minimum pay of Rs 10,000.
Students can try bagging an internship at a radio station. It isn't very easy though, as radio stations aren't always open to the idea of interns. If you are persuasive and lucky enough to get in, do not expect a very high remuneration.
You may be paid a maximum of Rs 4,000-5,000, but even that's a remote possibility. Often, you will have to be content with no pay if you are just a student intern. Eventually though, it's a valuable opportunity to learn the works of a radio station first-hand.
Abbas concludes, "First prepare. Then, go to the station in person. Do not expect a phone call to do the trick. Keep showing them your face until they get so tired of you that they agree to give you one chance. Then, make the most of it."
Have the hunger to succeed
"Things won't come easy," warns Abbas.
"But if you have the drive to make it in this field and if you are adequately talented, no one can stop you. The drive is most important; I remember how I struggled for my first break. I even bribed the watchman with a cup of tea so I could enter the station's building," he grins.
Part II: How to be a GREAT RJ
Can talk? Will RJ
The best thing about an RJ? No Face!
Get paid to talk
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