The Traits Of A Great Program Director

I love watching the Oscars because I love movies. I love the creativity that goes into writing and directing this type of art form. There is nothing better than watching a movie, becoming absorbed in the story, invested in the characters and, for a couple of hours, escaping.


This leads me to the focus of this article, the parallels between great movie directors and great program directors. Follow me here. If you read the many articles on what it takes to be a great film director you will find these traits:
– Has to be a strong LEADER, who can direct and guide a diverse group of talented actors.
– Is CREATIVE, takes a script and interprets it in his or her style. This creative magic make a successful film.
– OPERATES WELL UNDER PRESSURE. Budgets, crazy actors, creating a product that will perform well at the box office, all live under the director.
– Is a VISIONARY, thinking about the future in a creative and imaginative way.
– Is a good COMMUNICATOR. Must communicate and articulate this vision to the lighting, camera, makeup, and sound teams as well as the actors.
– Is a PROBLEM SOLVER. During a shoot there are problems and issues that occur, meaning a director has to “figure it out.”
– Has a POSITIVE attitude that energizes the team.
– FLEXIBILITY. “S*** happens” on a movie set and the director has to be open to new ideas and be able to collaborate with the team.
– PASSIONATE. This passion is contagious.

Are these relatable? I often remind program directors that they are the Martin Scorsese’s or Ava DuVernay’s of their radio stations. Most times they have never thought of it that way.

There are over 600 movies released annually in America — and that’s just theatrical releases. How does a director make a creative, compelling hit film that cuts through?

There are well over 15,000 radio stations in the U.S. — how does a program director make a station creative and compelling so it cuts through?

Great program DIRECTORS create great content — a masterpiece, a blockbuster, an award-winning, iconic radio station.