Working on air is fun, and most Program Directors worked as Talent before transitioning into management. Being an executive comes with power and responsibility, and growing older isn’t held against you as it is when you work on the air of a format targeting younger listeners.
WLTW (106.7 Lite FM)/New York Midday Talent Helen Little and Ebro Darden, Morning Show Talent for WQHT (Hot 97)/New York were both very successful Program Directors who relinquished their executive roles and returned to life in front of the mic. Helen made the move eight years ago, and Ebro has been heard hosting “Ebro In The Morning” on Hot 97 since 2014.
Both seem very happy with their current positions, and it made us wonder, is the quality of life better for Talent than PDs? Here’s why it just might be…
- The Hours: Program Directors are expected to be in the office for a full business day, but often have to work additional hours. Plus, since they are the ones responsible for what comes out of the speakers and radio is a 24/7 medium, it’s hard to truly have downtime. But when you are Talent, your concern is your 4 or 5 hour shift.
- Additional Income: Most PDs receive bonuses for outstanding station performance in the ratings. But as Talent, you get the benefit of focusing on one shift AND being rewarded financially. Also, the opportunity for endorsements and appearances are presented.
- Better Understanding: As a PD, you understand programming, marketing and sales and how they all work together. Because of a PD’s ability to look at the big picture, a PD-turned-Personality has a great chance of creating a successful show.
- Quality Of Life: Spending so much time at work as a Program Director means you’re spending less time with family and friends. By having your attention on a shift instead of a station, you have more time to live outside of the station and are less likely to burn out.
- The Fun!: Being on the air is fun, and while being an executive is rewarding, it’s not always as enjoyable as being the Talent is.