Radio personality

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A radio personality (Randy J. Allum) at work at WKZV in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1997 WKZV studio.jpg
A radio personality (Randy J. Allum) at work at WKZV in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1997

A radio personality (American English) or radio presenter (British English) is a person who has an on-air position in radio broadcasting. A radio personality who hosts a radio show is also known as a radio host, and in India and Pakistan as a radio jockey. Radio personalities who introduce and play individual selections of recorded music are known as disc jockeys or "DJs" for short. Broadcast radio personalities may include talk radio hosts, AM/FM radio show hosts, and satellite radio program hosts.



A radio personality can be someone who introduces and discusses genres of music; hosts a talk radio show that may take calls from listeners; interviews celebrities or guests; or gives news, weather, sports, or traffic information. The radio personality may broadcast live or use voice-tracking techniques. [1] Increasingly in the 2010s, radio personalities are expected to supplement their on-air work by posting information online, such as on a blog or on another web forum. This may be either to generate additional revenue or connect with listeners. [2] With the exception of small or rural radio stations, much of music radio broadcasting is done by broadcast automation, a computer-controlled playlist airing MP3 audio files which contain the entire program consisting of music, commercials, and a radio announcer's pre-recorded comments.


In the past, the term "disc jockey" (or "DJ") was exclusively used to describe on-air radio personalities who played recorded music and hosted radio shows that featured popular music. [3] Unlike the modern club DJ who uses beatmatching to mix transitions between songs to create continuous play, radio DJs played individual songs or music tracks while voicing announcements, introductions, comments, jokes, and commercials in between each song or short series of songs. [4] During the 1950s, '60s and '70s, radio DJs exerted considerable influence on popular music, especially during the Top 40 radio era, because of their ability to introduce new music to the radio audience and promote or control which songs would be given airplay. [5] [6]

Although radio personalities who specialized in news or talk programs such as Dorothy Kilgallen and Walter Winchell have existed since the early days of radio, exclusive talk radio formats emerged and multiplied in the 1960s, as telephone call in shows, interviews, news, and public affairs became more popular. In New York, WINS (AM) switched to a talk format in 1965, and WCBS (AM) followed two years later. Early talk radio personalities included Bruce Williams and Sally Jesse Raphael. [7] The growth of sports talk radio began in the 1960s, and resulted in the first all-sports station in the US, WFAN (AM) that would go on to feature many sports radio personalities such as Marv Albert and Howie Rose.

Types of radio personalities

Notable radio personalities

Notable radio personalities include pop music radio hosts Wolfman Jack, Jim Pewter, Dick Clark, Casey Kasem, John Peel, Charlie Gillett, Walt Love, Alan Freed, and Charlie Tuna; [9] sports talk hosts such as Mike Francesa; shock jocks and political talk hosts such as Don Imus, Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh. [10]



Many radio personalities do not have a post-high school education, but some do hold degrees in audio engineering. [11] If a radio personality has a degree it's typically a bachelor's degree level qualification in radio-television-film, mass communications, journalism, or English. [12]


Universities offer classes in radio broadcasting and often have a college radio station, where students can obtain on-the-job training and course credit. [13] Prospective radio personalities can also intern at radio stations for hands-on training from professionals. Training courses are also available online. [13]


A radio personality position generally has the following requirements: [14] [15]


Due to radio personalities' vocal training, opportunities to expand their careers often exist. Over time a radio personality could be paid to do voice-overs for commercials, television shows, and movies. [17]

Salary in the US

Radio personality salaries are influenced by years of experience and education. In 2013, the median salary of a radio personality in the US was $28,400.

A radio personality with a bachelor's degree had a salary range of $19,600–60,400. [18]

The salary of a local radio personality will differ from a national radio personality. National personality pay can be in the millions because of the increased audience size and corporate sponsorship. For example, Rush Limbaugh was reportedly paid $38 million annually as part of the eight-year $400 million contract he signed with Clear Channel Communications. [19]

See also

Related Research Articles

Harry Harrison (DJ) American radio personality

Harry M. Harrison was an American radio personality, primarily in New York City, for over 50 years. Harrison is the only disc jockey to be a WMCA "Good Guy", a WABC "All-American", and a personality on WCBS-FM's oldies format. Harrison retired in June 2005. He was known as New York's "Morning Mayor" after having hosted morning drive time through most of his career.

WSBB-FM News/talk radio station in Doraville–Atlanta, Georgia

WSBB-FM is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Doraville, Georgia, and serving Metro Atlanta. It is owned by the Cox Media Group. WSBB-FM is simulcast with WSB, both airing a news/talk radio format. On the air, the stations are referred to as "95.5 WSB," only occasionally mentioning the FM station's call letters or the AM station's dial position.

Voice-tracking, also called cyber jocking and referred to sometimes colloquially as a robojock, is a technique employed by some radio stations in radio broadcasting to produce the illusion of a live disc jockey or announcer sitting in the radio studios of the station when one is not actually present. It is one of the notable effects of radio homogenization.

WXKS (AM) Radio station in Newton, Massachusetts

WXKS – branded Talk 1200 – is a commercial news/talk radio station licensed to Newton, Massachusetts, serving the Greater Boston area. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., WXKS serves as the Boston affiliate for Fox News Radio, The Glenn Beck Program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, The Buck Sexton Show and The Mark Levin Show; and the home of syndicated personalities Clay Travis, Bill Handel, Ron Wilson, Gary Sullivan and Leo Laporte. The WXKS studios are located in the Boston suburb of Medford, while the station transmitter resides in Newton. Besides its main analog transmission, WXKS streams online via iHeartRadio.

WEEI (AM) ESPN Radio affiliate in Boston

WEEI – branded ESPN on WEEI – is a commercial sports radio station licensed to Boston, Massachusetts, serving Greater Boston and much of New England. Owned by Audacy, Inc., WEEI is the Boston affiliate for ESPN Radio, serving as an all-network brand extension of sister station WEEI-FM. The WEEI studios are located in Boston's Brighton neighborhood, while the station transmitter resides in the Boston suburb of Needham. In addition to a standard analog transmission, WEEI is available online via Audacy.

WABC is a commercial AM radio station licensed to New York, New York. Owned by John Catsimatidis' Red Apple Media, the station broadcasts a conservative talk radio format. The station's studio facilities are in Red Apple Media headquarters on Third Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and its transmitter is in Lodi, New Jersey. Its 50,000-watt non-directional clear channel signal can be heard at night throughout much of the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada. It is the primary entry point for the Emergency Alert System in the New York metropolitan area. WABC simulcasts on 107.1 WLIR-FM in Hampton Bays, New York, on eastern Long Island.

KTLK – branded News/Talk AM 1130 – is a commercial conservative talk radio station licensed to serve Minneapolis, Minnesota. Owned by iHeartMedia, Inc., the station covers the Twin Cities radio market, and is the local affiliate for: Fox News Radio and NBC News Radio; The Glenn Beck Radio Program; The Rush Limbaugh Show; The Sean Hannity Show; Coast to Coast AM; and syndicated radio personalities Joe Pags, Bill Cunningham, Kim Komando, Bill Handel and Ben Ferguson. The KTLK main studios are located in St. Louis Park, while the transmitter is located in nearby Scott County. Besides a standard analog transmission, KTLK is simulcast over an HD digital subchannel of KFXN-FM and on low-power Cottage Grove translator K278BP, and is available online via iHeartRadio.

KKSF Black Information Network radio station in San Francisco

KKSF is a commercial radio station licensed to Oakland, California. The station is owned by iHeartMedia and serves the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose media market. It operates as the Bay Area affiliate for the Black Information Network. The transmitter and twin tower array are located on Point Isabel in Richmond, California, on San Francisco Bay. 1640 KDIA utilizes one of KKSF's two towers during the day. KKSF operates at 20,000 watts during the day and 5,000 watts at night, using a directional antenna at all times. Because radio waves travel farther at night, KKSF must reduce its power after sunset to protect other stations on AM 910. KKSF has its studios in San Francisco's SoMa district.

WNTM Radio station in Mobile, Alabama

WNTM is a talk radio station based in Mobile, Alabama. The station calls itself "News Radio 710." WNTM is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and the broadcast license is held by iHM Licenses, LLC. Its studios are located in the same building as Channel 5 WKRG-TV on Broadcast Drive in Mobile, and the transmitter is just north of downtown. WKRG-TV supplies local news and weather, while Fox News Radio supplies national newscasts.

Daniel Trombley Ingram was an American Top 40 radio disc jockey with a fifty-year career on radio stations such as WABC and WCBS-FM in New York City.

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WWBX is a radio station with a hot adult contemporary format in Boston, Massachusetts. The format started at 98.5 FM on February 9, 1991, and moved to 104.1 FM, replacing WBCN on August 12, 2009, to allow for the launch of WBZ-FM at 98.5 the next day. Its studios are located in Brighton, and its transmitter is on the upper FM mast of the Prudential Tower.

KEIB Radio station in Los Angeles, California

KEIB is a radio station licensed to Los Angeles, California, and serving Greater Los Angeles. Owned by iHeartMedia and licensed to its iHM Licenses, LLC, the station brands itself as The Patriot, and currently broadcasts a conservative talk format. The station's studios are located in Burbank and its transmitter is located in the City of Industry.

WXYT is a commercial radio station licensed to Detroit, Michigan broadcasting a Sports gambling format. The station serves the Detroit-Windsor market and the Southeastern Michigan and Southwestern Ontario areas. Its transmitter is in Monroe County at Ash Township and operations and studios are at Entercom's facilities in Southfield, Michigan. WXYT is a 50,000–watt, Class B station broadcasting on a regional frequency. It is not a clear-channel station because of its frequency and highly directional antenna.

KTIE Talk radio station in San Bernardino, California

KTIE is a commercial AM radio station in San Bernardino, California. It is owned by the Salem Media Group, based in Camarillo, California, and it airs a conservative talk radio format. The station serves the Inland Empire of California, including Riverside, Redlands and San Bernardino. By day, it broadcasts at 2500 watts and at night, just under 1000 watts, with a directional signal that also can be heard in parts of Orange County.

WIOD News/talk radio station in Miami

WIOD is a commercial news/talk radio station licensed to Miami, Florida, serving the Miami metropolitan area and much of surrounding South Florida. Owned by iHeartMedia, WIOD serves as the Miami affiliate for: ABC News Radio; The Glenn Beck Program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, The Sean Hannity Show, The Schnitt Show and Coast to Coast AM; and syndicated personalities Clyde Lewis and Bill Cunningham. The WIOD studios are located in the Miami suburb of Miramar, while the station transmitter resides in nearby North Bay Village. Besides its main analog transmission, WIOD simulcasts over the HD subchannel of co-owned WBGG-FM, and streams online via iHeartRadio.

Several events occurred in radio in 2008.

WLAD Radio station in Danbury, Connecticut

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WBEC (AM) Radio station in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

WBEC is a commercial AM radio station broadcasting a Talk and Sports radio format. It is licensed to Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and is owned by Townsquare Media.

Conservative talk radio is a talk radio format in the United States and other countries devoted to expressing conservative viewpoints of issues, as opposed to progressive talk radio. In the United States, it's format has included personalites such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Ben Shapiro, Sean Hannity, Charlie Kirk, Michael Savage, Larry Elder, Dennis Prager, Jim Quinn, Lars Larson, Joe Pags, Bill O' Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, Oliver North, and Jerry Doyle.The definition of conservative talk is generally broad enough that libertarian talk show hosts are also included in the definition. The format has become the dominant form of talk radio in the United States since the 1987 abolition of the fairness doctrine.

History of radio disc jockeys

The history of radio disc jockeys covers the time when gramophone records were first transmitted by experimental radio broadcasters to present day radio personalities who host shows featuring a variety of recorded music.


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