My Life, Student Life

Becoming the Producer of The Demon Chart Show

After an eventful year on Demon FM, here’s my story of how I became the producer of the Demon Chart Show!

For the last three years, I have had many opportunities to take at the University of De Montford. Now, with Graduation being so close, I am glad that I took them. One of these opportunities was to be apart of Demon FM.

It has definitely been one of my favourite parts of university life. I was able to get to know some wonderful people and enjoyed the time I spent with them both inside and outside the studio. I had the opportunity to work with some really talented people and to produce live radio shows; in first year I presented alongside two presenters on a Tuesday’s Afternoon Show and then in my second year, I co-presented on Thursday’s Home Run Show. I will miss it.

Producer Application – Demon Chart Show

Applying for the Role

Since I first got involved in Demon FM, I knew I wanted to gain the experience and the skills to take a further active role in my third year; which would benefit me when it came to pursuing a career in radio. A few months prior to beginning my third year, I finally got my chance by applying to be a Demon FM producer. I thought about the possibility of seizing this opportunity for a long time. The more I thought about it the more I decided it was a great idea and then I just had to decide upon the specific producer role that I wanted. Glancing through the list of producer roles available, there was one particular role that caught my eye; I wanted to become the producer of the Demon Chart Show.

On the application, I was asked whether I had any previous producer experience and unfortunately, I didn’t. I did worry that this would damage my chances of seizing the Demon Chart Show producer role; knowing I needed to put an answer to this question.

I was careful to articulate my answer to say that being involved in Demon FM for three years had given me the specific knowledge and skills that I can use in the role and my time with Demon FM gave me an appetite for more and the opportunity to combine this with passion for chart music makes the role so much more perfect for me.

I have always listened to the top 40 countdowns every Sunday on my favourite radio stations and I wanted to transmit this enthusiasm the chart music as well as the entertainment news that came with it through the production of the show every show. Finalising my application, I submitted it and could feel a sense of pride and enormous satisfaction that I had applied and I had the chance to give something back to this station that had benefited me so much.

The Interview

Following my application being submitted, I was offered an interview to be completed via my phone; I was really nervous by the thought of this interview, but I had thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with Demon FM over the past two years and I used the memories to see past the interview and visualise being the producer of the Demon Chart Show.

Immediately, I became more confident when I heard the questions and I felt strong when I delivered my answers; I could use the problem solving skills that I had acquired while on the fundraising committee on behalf of Birmingham PHAB Camps, particularly when I had to help organise fundraising events for the charity. It didn’t always go to plan and we often had to do some on the spot thinking to make sure everything ran smoothing at the time of the event so it was a success.

Problem-solving is key in any job but as regards to this role, producers must do some on the spot thinking when a presenter is unable to fulfil a show or there is a technical difficulty before or during the live show, something that happens on a weekly if not daily basis.

My interests

Next came interest in my ideas that I would put into action if I was successful in securing the role, I expressed my love for chart music and that I wanted to build on the show that is already standing and ensure it vibrant and current to be able to reflect the taste of the campus and around the city in every show.

As well as playing the top 40 tracks every week and covering that week’s entertainment news, I had the idea of providing more information about the tracks that feature in the weekly chart to add a new dimension to the show, which could possibly strengthen the connection between listener, artist and their track. My last idea was to work on a weekly basis, deconstruct and rebuild each show, giving them all their own unique twist, so every show is different.

I had always known that third year would be much more pressure and a giant balancing act and I knew that if I was successful, producing the Demon Chart Show would be one more thing to balance., However, I really wanted to do it and if I remained organised and dedicated my time accordingly, I could develop and pre-plan each week’s show that if an aspect doesn’t quite go to plan then I could sort it more easily than if I was trying to do everything last minute.

Waiting to hear

I felt really pleased and excited after my interview and now I had an anxious wait for an email to see if I was successful; the longer I waited, the more I started to doubt parts of my application and interview, fearing that my lack of producing experience would prevent me securing the role. Regularly checking my emails for a reply, I was finally happy to see I had got a response and I am delighted to say that I was successful in becoming the producer of the Demon Chart Show! Now over a year on, I can say that I had a fantastic time in this role and I would love to do it again

When I applied to be the Demon Chart Show producer, I in no way thought that I would be successful in securing the role. My first mission was to pitch the Demon Chart Show to freshers and try to recruit them to sign up and be a part of the team.

I wanted to create a team who were as passionate about Chart music as me and who would help me achieve my goals for the show. As I was preparing my pitch for the freshers’ introduction to Demon FM, I was approached by one of the two presenters that presented on the Demon Chart Show and was asked if they and their co-host could present on this show as well.

Hearing how they built the show from scratch and their ideas for these upcoming shows, I decided to go ahead with them taking the presenter roles and instead, recruit freshers who might be more interested in the production of each show.

Demon Chart Show Recruits Freshers 2018

With the upcoming freshers meeting with Demon FM coming up, I was anxious and excited about pitching to freshers about the Demon Chart Show, I am not very good at speaking in front of people when I see them looking at me; this is why I was so keen on being on the radio.

I knew that I would be alongside one co-host and I would be broadcasting across campus and Leicester, I was aware that we were live but I could grow in confidence without being aware of the people listening and as well as my aims and goals for the Demon Chart Show, I was to transmit this feeling of immense confidence and powerful adrenaline students get throughout and after each show.

Feeling inspired by this, I spoke to freshers about joining Demon Chart Show and working to produce and enhance the show that is ongoing as I aimed to build it to an extent which it is classed to be of the standard as other hit chart shows which are currently broadcasting.

The Pitch

After delivering my pitch to the group of freshers, I had a number of freshers approach me and sign up. I enjoyed meeting these new students and spoke to them about the Demon Chart Show while getting a feel for their own personalities and finally taking down their details I promised to be in touch. In the days that followed, I started to roughly plan how I wanted to operate the shows to make that when the shows began broadcasting.

I wasn’t too overwhelmed; I also made sure to put a Facebook post on the appropriate groups to make sure I reached those students who were unable to attend the freshers introduction, I didn’t want anyone to miss out if the chart show was something they were interested in. While I awaited responses, the presenters and I began the shows and I found this the easiest and most efficient way to see exactly what roles we needed to create a wonderful of shows.

Carefully considering all of the elements of the role; I decided to find an assistant producer to help me manage the overall workings and organisation of the series of the shows and help me make important decisions and assist me to liaise with the team. Alongside an assistant producer, I decided to recruit a researcher, broadcast assistant to join me and my current two presenters. 

Building a team

A researcher would assist with the preparation of the chart every week, finding out all of the 40 tracks that feature in the chart and any content related to the artists in the chart, like if they have any upcoming albums and, or concerts that may be of interest to the listeners. The researcher would also be in charge of discovering whether any of the artists have been involved in any controversy that week and make sure the chart is clear of scandals before it goes on air. Finally, they must research any of that week’s entertainment news ready to be discussed on air by the two presenters. A very important thing that the researcher how to remember was things is likely to change on a weekly basis and make sure every piece of content that goes on air is current and in the public’s eye of interest. 

Next was a broadcast assistant role, this person needed to have technical knowledge of how to source and upload tracks, which are featured in that week’s chart. This person also needed to know how to produce audio sounds bites to be placed at the start of the show, in front and in between tracks and ensure that elements such as audio sound bites are pre-recorded and are uploaded to the system to help the shows run as smoothly as possible. Finally, the broadcast assistant must communicate with all members of the team, making sure everyone is up to date with everything that is going to be in the shows.

Finally, I needed a social media assistant; this person was to communicate with all the team while being mindful of the trends related to artists featured in the chart on a weekly basis.  This person needed to make sure to attend each show and tweet live updates related to the artists and the content that is being aired to encourage listeners to interact with the presenters of the show, which could only be done efficiently from the studio. I requested for the social media assistant to have a basic understanding of Adobe Audition and iMovie to be able to create and upload videos to go with that week’s content. This would also help their ability to create GIFs and create eye-catching tweets for potential and current listeners, making it visually interactive as well as the original tweets encourage interaction.

Hiring the assistants

After putting the word out, I was able to appoint a strong assistant producer who was very eager for the role and very onboard with everything that I suggested for the shows as well able to suggest her own ideas. I knew right there from the start, our personalities would be a great match by just talking to her. Uplifted by this new feeling of energy, I began to start recruiting the rest of my team members.

I began with corresponding with those who had signed up to be a part of the Demon Chart Show at the freshers’ instruction talk and those who had messaged me following my social media posts; getting in touch with them via the contact details they gave me to touch base with them to see whether they were still interested in joining the team.

I know for myself how overwhelming it can be to retain that much information and I wanted to double and triple check with these interested parties that this is the show for them. Arranging to meet each of them in person.

I went into more detail about my ideas and aims for the shows, emphasising the elements I had been unable pitch during the Demon FM introduction talk and finally the three roles that we needed to be fulfilled; researcher, broadcast assistant and social media assistant. I conducted informal interviews to get a feel for each of their personalities and to see what role they would be most interested in and to find out what their ideas were for the show. I was very happy to meet all these people and discover their own ideas for the show.

A success?

In the end, I was able to successfully recruit every single member of my team and I was really excited to incorporate these fresh ideas in the show, allowing every member of my team to add their own style to the shows and allow their own personality to shine through while we make shows which people can enjoy listening to on their way home after a stressful week and get them in the mood for the weekend. I know that this is something that is said a lot of the time, but I really thought that I had a strong team and each of these members of my team has different but complementary styles and ideas which could take the Demon Chart Show to the next level.

I couldn’t wait to start producing the Demon Chart Show which broadcasted live on Demon FM every Friday from 6pm-8pm.

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