Making it in Radio- Tom Reeves and Tim Boswell

The Media Coventry Conversation this week featured two local radio people who explained how you can get into radio. Tom Reeves, Producer of The JD Show on Mercia and Tim Boswell, Assistant Editor at BBC Coventry and Warwickshire came along and described their route into radio among other things.

 Tom started the conversation off with a presentation about getting into radio. He began by explaining that he started out in radio as a tea boy and progressively worked his way up until he got a job working properly on the radio. One of the key things Tom explained was the jobs available on radio. It isn’t all about the presenter. There are three sections to radio, Programming, which includes the presenter, producers, news and online stuff, Commercial, which covers the account executive , creative team and the research people and then Marketing and Events which is as it says.

Written by Alex Maidment

Having listed the areas that you can get involved in radio, Tom moved onto to what you need to get into it. First on his list was work experience. “That’s how most people get in,” and backed up the point saying: “Be willing to do anything.” As well as work experience he said that you need to listen to the radio and compare it and also learn how it is done, so how much talking and music there is per show. Skills in MS Office are also important and both audio editing and video editing are skills you need. You need to be a jack of all trades and you need to: “Do everything really.”

He then went through a quick list of the different types of radio you can work in and this spanned from BBC radio to commercial and independent radio.

Nearer the end of Tom’s presentation, he gave some ‘home truths’ of radio saying that you won’t get rich, you won’t necessarily get famous and you won’t necessarily be successful. He then brightened the mood again explaining that despite all of this, you will love it providing it is what you want to do.

Tim Boswell had a similar attitude saying how radio is brilliant and he then moved to the BBC side of radio saying that one advantage of the BBC is that: “It’s huge.” He then gave a little bit of advice saying: “Prepare prepare prepare.” Before moving onto how he got into radio. For Tim it was work experience and with this he did say: “Go and get some work experience.” He then went onto the idea that sometimes you have to work for free to get in and then go from there and work your way into the station.

Tim described that you have to be passionate about radio so you should: “Show it and it’ll absolutely shine through.” He then added that if you don’t show your passion the next person will and they will get the job! You need to learn on the job and: “If you want to stand out, work your socks off,” and “Be able to do as much as you possibly can.” Tim added that this is how you move forward in the industry. It involves lots of multi-tasking and doing a bit of everything. He ended the conversation explaining how to make good radio saying: “Being connected with the audience.”

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