Tommy Kramer Coaching Tip #297 – Producer, or just a Board Op?

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.)

Editorial comment:

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.

Tommy Kramer

Tommy has spent over 35 years as an air talent, programmer, operations manager and talent coach - working with over 300 stations in all formats. He publishes the Coaching Tip

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