Secrets of Great Content Directors



The title may have changed over the last few years – but the role hasnʼt. It remains the key leadership role for successful radio stations and networks. 

A great Content Director, or Program Director, needs to be able to understand what his or her listener wants. Even more than that, the great CD must understand the listener more deeply than what the listener can articulate through research – the great CD must deeply understand ʻpeopleʼ in general, and what makes them tick at a primal, subconscious level.

In competitive markets you need to have that ʻkiller instinctʼ and a strong desire to win. Everybody says they want to win – but very few are really prepared to do what it takes to win. Great CDʼs/PDʼs have the ability to ʻget things doneʼ – and a desire to seek out constant
improvement of themselves and their station.

Focus is critical. Itʼs easy to get caught up in the ʻsexyʼ side of radio.

You need to be a good team motivator, have the ability to stimulate a team and lead them. You should have a thirst for knowledge and learning, be goal focused, honourable, trustworthy – and have loads of integrity. The great Programmer needs to constantly monitor the station and has to have, or develop the ability, to ʻhear itʼ. You should be creative – or have the ability to source and facilitate creativity.

And you need to be a guardian of the brand.

To be a truly great Content Director you should be a student of the all important breakfast show. And you should have the conviction and courage to be able to direct, coach and aircheck headstrong breakfast talent.

In 2012 Content Directors need to be across multimedia platforms – online, mobile media, social media – but remember the main game is radio content – the breakfast show, music and packaging. The content ʻon the airʼ is still where the ratings and revenue are.

Expectations are high for Content Directors today. Youʼre expected to be operational, creative, strategic, an expert on new, mobile and digital media, and analytical all at the same time.

Itʼs a demanding role – yet it remains one of the most satisfying and highly valued vocations in media today.



Brad March

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