Mike Russell Radio Presenter
I’m Mike Russell and I’ve worked as a radio presenter on radio stations around the world.
I started out by covering the overnight show on Thanet’s TLR 107.2 (my first freelance commercial radio gig way back in 1999). Before that I was heard on Maidstone RSL (restricted service license) 20/20 FM which later went on to win the license for Maidstone in Kent, renamed itself to CTR 105.6 FM, and I went on to become the breakfast show presenter for a year.
In 2000 I was hired by the GWR Radio Group to present overnights full time on Sussex & Surrey’s 102.7 Mercury FM (now Heart – Crawley & Surrey). Then, in 2001, I set off for Australia and while in the country for a working holiday ended up presenting breakfast for North Queensland radio station Kool FM. I’ve since been heard on UK radio stations talkSPORT (as Mike Mendoza’s producer and sidekick Mini Mike), Capital Life (GCap UK DAB), Rock Radio Manchester (now Real Radio XS), BRMB Birmingham, Southern FM (now Heart – Sussex), kmfm in Kent, Time 106.6 in Slough Time 106.8 in South East London and 107.2 Wire FM in Cheshire.
Mike Russell on Isle of Wight Radio
My most recent full time on air stint was as a freelance radio presenter for Isle of Wight Radio. I live on the Isle of Wight and am a big fan and supporter of the island’s radio station and believes that it is one of the best remaining truly and independent local radio stations.
— Mike Russell (@MikeRussellDJ) September 13, 2013
Read on for my thoughts on becoming a radio presenter. Tweet me for help with your own radio presenting career.
Radio Presenter Jobs
Radio presenter vacancies are far and few between in today’s competitive radio climate but it doesn’t mean to say landing a job on the radio is impossible. You just need to make sure that you have a great looking CV, radio presenter demo and a winning attitude. All new radio presenter job descriptions are listed regularly on Media UK. If you’re outside the UK there are websites for US radio presenter jobs, Canada radio presenter jobs and Australia radio presenter jobs too!
Radio Presenter Salaries
A radio presenter salary can vary widely from nothing (or expenses) if you’re starting out on a community radio station, commercial radio pay is variable (depending on the size of the radio station) it could be anywhere from £15,000 to £90,000 a year. Finally BBC and well known national radio presenters can earn six figure sums plus! You may wish to read this Digital Spy article on the salary for an average radio presenter to get more opinion on the subject of radio presenter pay.
How to Become a Radio Presenter
I started my own radio presenter training in 1995 at Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells in Kent, UK where I picked up all the essential radio presenting skills. How to prepare a radio show, broadcast a radio show and invite feedback from the radio listeners. Hospital radio is a fantastic place to volunteer at if you’re looking at becoming a radio presenter. You’ll learn the basics and gain other valuable skills such as working in a team, collecting requests and meeting potential listeners on the hospital wards, fundraising for charity and broadcasting from events in your local area.
I’m still a supporter of hospital radio stations to this day. As hospital radio voice over man for many hospital radio stations in Kent and the South East of England (such as Hospital Radio Tunbridge Wells, Hospital Radio Maidstone) and I’ve attended the HBA Annual Conference to promote my audio production company – Music Radio Creative.
Another step, if you’re studying, would be to land some work experience at your local radio station. I started making radio contacts and helping out at my local radio station, Kfm in Tonbridge, from the launch in 1997.
Radio Presenter Training
If you’d like to pay for the knowledge then here’s a radio presenter course that I recommend.
Robin Banks Radio Training – Robin is one of the highest profile radio presenters in the UK radio industry. He has presented radio shows for some of the UK’s biggest radio stations such as Virgin Radio, Kiss 100, Xfm and Atlantic 252. Go to Robin to learn all the tricks and radio presenter tips you hadn’t even thought of before. You can read my recommendation of Robin Banks on LinkedIn.
Radio Presenter Tips
If you’re looking to become a radio presenter or you’re already a professional radio presenter you should read Memoirs of a Fruitcake by Chris Evans. Here’s an excerpt from the book with top radio presenter tips:
- Content, content, content
- Put yourself down before anyone else has a chance to
- Be yourself but just a bigger version
- Never forget music is your friend (The Beatles are always to hand if you need them)
- Empower the listeners
- Reflect the world
- Reflect the day
- Avoid your weaknesses
- Play on your strengths
- Know your audience
If you’re planning a career as a radio presenter I’m happy to help you with some advice on Twitter. Tweet me with your question!