The description “Producer” seems to be thrown around pretty loosely these days. So let me try to help you with what a Producer really should be:
A true show producer is a right-hand man (or woman), an extra set of hands and feet, and a resource in finding material, in addition to the right “framing” for something (music, sound bites, etc.).
A great Producer should have superior Production skills, too.
And you want a Producer to be a source of feedback, so a Talent has someone he or she can count on to weigh in on whether something is a good “fit” for the show, or in some instances, will even work at all.
Most producers I see work with morning shows, although there are some exceptions. But a lot of these so-called “Producers” are pretty much nothing more than board ops.
When one of the shows I coach is looking for a Producer, we start there: we want a Producer. If we needed another air talent, that’s what we’d be looking for. (Frustrated air talents usually don’t make great Producers.)
I really don’t like – and have never liked – the idea of a Producer being a board op. I don’t like the idea of ANYONE running the board instead of one of the air talents. If for no other reason, it’s really hard to get the split-second timing it takes to master the “First Exit” if you have to point to somebody else to hit the button for you.
A great Producer can be a valuable asset. But be sure that your description of Producer is an accurate one.
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