A Day In The Life of a Radio Station

Only half seriously - this is what happens in an average week day at the radio station...

5am - And the breakfast presenters (or jocks) start roll into work and begin their day with a coffee. They usually start their morning earlier at home by looking at the news services and emails and last minute notes that may have been sent through by the program manager... they then prep show content for social media, have a cup of java, research what they are going to talk about and have another drink made from the beans of the gods - freshly brewed, before they slink into the studio and turn on the microphones... AND This is why it is called 'stupid o'clock!'

6am - YES! The breakfast jocks are live and on-air catting with our listeners, with a fresh brew in their hands. Their commitment to being up and happy at this time of day only shows that they should be seriously committed to do this everyday. Our in-house journo is already rocking the top stories of the day - with a decaf or mocha or two already underway.

7am - It's time for a fresh Cafe au lait and breakfast for our morning Jocks as they pause for 5 minutes - ahhhhh! Then, they start to prep promo material for tomorrows show and recording promo spots to play throughout the day today. The digital department are in the house and our socials and websites are updated.

8am - Our dedicated promo team arrive and get ready to hit the road and hand out the freebies you all love. Admin roll into the station and start their individual rolls. The kettle is filled and boiled awaiting the new onslaught of the rest of our staff arriving, waiting to be refreshed... Some bring in iced coffee's, others have already visited their favourite dens of caffeine and come in with cups clutched in their claw like hands ready to face the ordeal of the day. Our traffic department starts to prep the commercial logs for the next day.

9am - Most of the staff are on station, from sales to production, and our management team... the caffeine intake is now measurable in litre's not cups - and now the hard-work REALLY begins! How... Meetings of doom, death, no escape and planning usually are the order of every single morning with accompanying cups of Joe. Production starts it's engines and the commercials for tomorrow are being worked on. Then our sales team are rocketing out the door and meeting with clients for a coffee and a chat. And the Day Shift on-air presenters start prepping their shows.

10am - On-Air shift change, one team out and the next ones are in! Meanwhile our music programmers are hitting it hard and planning for tomorrow's music - today - if not for the day after that... they always seem to have a coffee or a espresso in their hands! Production are pumping out the scripts and ads at a great rate, supported by either a brew of tea or cup of mud, or a carbonated caffeinated beverage or two, or maybe three. Podcasts are uploaded. 

11am - Deadlines for ads starting on-air tomorrow slam shut. Our copywriter (that's me) relaxes for 5 mins with yet another caffeine hit. Then faces the growing pile of new ads as they hit the in-tray or in-box. Traffic now also close the logs for tomorrow and start to look at what is coming up the day after that... They could both do with a nice hot cappuccino about now.

Noon - The breakfast teams head home for the day, and kick back and try to unwind - sans caffeine. Meanwhile the rest of the station breaks for lunch. I could do with an ice cold Coke with lunch - you?

1pm - The drive shift presenters are already pumped and chaffing at the bit to get into the studios with their show prep done... they want to hit the airwaves, but have to wait for the day-shift to finish and so... they have a small percolated drink or two to while away the time.

2pm - Another Shift Change and the Drive team swing in and take-over the studios. Chatting, keeping listeners up to date with traffic hazards, news, and more - and lifting their flagging moods with nice cool water - just joking - more coffee beans are sacrificed to maintain the order of the day for them too!

3pm - The slowest part of the day for everyone else but production who are dubbing into our on-air computer systems the ads from national advertisers and finishing up the promo's, credits, ids, liners, and ads for tomorrow. Didn't 3 o'clock used to be Diet Coke break time?

4pm - Our sales team are dragged kicking and screaming back into the station - carrying bookings and details of the next few days or next weeks ads - ready to be written. They hand those off to the copywriter (I know - it's like hell in here - I need a drink!) who starts to write said ads, while the sales team put everything through our internal systems. Last minute deals and done and sorted out... phew!

5pm - LOOK OUT! Like rats leaving a sinking ship - the majority of us abandon the station and head home for the day, while the drive team are still on-air and rocking on 'til 6pm. 

6pm - The Drive team tap out and our overnight shows and shifts that have been pre-recorded throughout the day (by various people when they are free), those shows start at 7pm and go through until 5am.

And that's pretty much it - I averaged out the caffeine intake over a week to see just how many cups of coffee are consumed in a day at our station and it came too... drum roll: 45 cups a day! Now that's not one person (although I used to contribute between 6-8 a day until the doctor told me to cut back) - so that's in total for everyone on station, on an average day, over an average week. Not a public holiday week (which sometimes will see that doubled!) It's no wonder we need a caffeine fix - radio runs on coffee after all!

The centre for caffeine intake - aka - West Coast Radio!

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