The Program Director's Job in Five Years | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

The Program Director’s Job in Five Years

| August 2, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media


sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Television stations have program directors.  What do most of them program?  Nothing.  A network affiliate airs network shows, syndication packages and movie packages—usually bought by corporate.  There may be a local morning show but it is probably under the auspices of the news department.  When you receive a TV station program director’s business card it reveals the future of the radio programmers job: “Program and Research Director.”

There will be variations:

Program and Promotion Director

Program and Marketing Director

Program and Public Relations Director

Today, some major companies are already calling their program directors, “brand managers.”

As more on-air content decisions are made at the corporate level and delivered from a central source, the program director job will morph to meet the demands of the tasks that must be completed.   Smart companies will evolve the position to one that has been desperately needed: the aforementioned “Program and Public Relations Director.”

Radio has a great story.  As usual, radio audience levels remain constant year-to-year.  Radio brilliantly adapts to all competitive environments.  If a medium is  being consumed aggressively by the US population then it is not old media.  It is proven media.

Radio’s ability to move people to events, charitable acts, websites, retail stores is not duplicated by any other medium.  Radio’s efficiency of distribution and ubiquity remains untouchable.  That story is best revealed with facts AND passion and only a “radio person” — a programmer really pulls that off.

Suggestion to management, look for programmers with training or backgrounds in public relations.


Walter Sabo is CEO of Sabo Media, a New York City-based consulting firm.  He can be emailed at  Meet Walter Sabo at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday, October 10.

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Category: Analysis