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On-Air Personalities

This position can also be known as the following: On-Air Talent, Show Hosts, Announcers, Disc Jockeys


  • Conduct interviews with guests and interacts with listeners if a call-in component is added.
  • As digital and streaming have become all-important, many on-air personalities also are involved with creating social media content or participate in podcasts. There are many ways to incorporate visuals into the digital content, expanding radio from just an audio format to a multi-media experience.
  • A disc jockey, or DJ, is responsible for the music, introducing the next song or giving info on the artists.
  • Knows the technical sides of broadcasting, as many may work the audio and editing equipment involved in the broadcast, and a number also act as their own producers.


  • A voice quality that resonates with listeners, personal pizzazz and a flair for original content.

Experience level

  • Prior experience and having a show reel are important parts of the hiring process, with the larger stations requiring more years of on-the-job experience.
  • Most on-air personalities have sought these coveted positions by gaining as much experience as possible, either in college, via internships or becoming social media influencers.

The type of on-air talent employed depends on the station's format and whether the station is independent or part of a big media conglomerate. There are a number of titles for on-air personalities, from show hosts, and announcers to DJs and news reporters. Show hosts are heard during the all-important drive times. Or, they may be independent voices heard during the evening hours when some stations go to programming underwritten by advertisers. Some stations employ announcers to differentiate between content driven by the show hosts and information that might be related to weather, traffic or paid advertising in order to create a separation between editorial and advertising. Traffic and weather - especially in geographic regions where weather might suddenly shift into life-threatening situations - are huge areas of interest to listeners, so stations may employ talent dedicated mainly to traffic and weather. Sports and news could also be big components of a station's on-air mix so some stations employ a news and sports team.

Voice training always helps talent to get legs up on competition applying for these jobs, and many on-air personalities have become national names with the paychecks that go along with outstanding talent.