Your career in radio begins inside a real radio station near you
Here’s a quick summary of what’s on this page:
- The two things you need to break into Illinois radio.
- How, under BMG’s unique mentor-apprentice program, you are trained by a working broadcaster in an actual radio station in your local area.
- Why BMG’s program is superior to brick and mortar broadcasting schools.
- Why BMG costs so much less than traditional schools.
- How to get a free radio career consultation, with no obligation.
Illinois is a great place to break into radio. There are more than 500 stations that could hire you, broadcasting in all the popular formats. Most stations are in the Chicagoland area, but there are also hundreds of smaller outlets in cities like Aurora, Rockford, Joliet, Peoria and Springfield. Small stations are great places to gain experience before you move on to the larger markets.
Two Things You Need to Succeed in Illinois Radio
But wherever you dream of working in Illinois radio as a DJ, sportscaster, newscaster or talk show host, station managers and program directors will look for two elements in your background before hiring you:
- Radio Skills. These include vocal and presentation training, and familiarity with station procedures and equipment.
- Insider Contacts. These are people already in radio, who know you and will recommend you for the job.
Two Different Kinds of Broadcasting Training Programs
There are two sources to get the radio skills training you need, and they’re quite different:
1) Brick and mortar broadcasting schools. These are schools in the traditional sense. They’re in their own buildings, sometimes on a college campus. You attend classes and learn through lectures. You practice broadcasting, but often in simulated studios not actually on the air. Your teachers are likely to be retired broadcasters or former radio business managers.
Brick and mortar schools will teach you skills but because they may be in Chicago or other large cities, you may have to travel or relocate to attend. And they have rigid schedules for classes and semester start dates, so you might have to quit a job or otherwise adjust your life to meet their timetables. Brick and mortar schools also can be expensive. Costs range up to $50,000 when part of a college degree program.
2) Radio apprenticeship programs, like those offered by Broadcasters Mentoring Group (BMG). Apprenticeship is a classic way to learn a trade in which a working professional teaches you, one-on-one, right in the workplace. BMG has adapted this method to radio broadcasting training. We think you’ll see it has many advantages over brick and mortar training.
Here’s a brief look at how BMG’s program works:
- When you apply, you are linked with a working broadcaster (your mentor) in a radio station you select right in your area. No need to travel or relocate.
- The broadcaster is in your chosen specialty: DJ, sportscaster, newscaster or talk show host, so no time or money is spent learning specialties which don’t interest you.
- You meet with your mentor weekly, on a schedule that fits your needs. No need to quit a present job while you learn. And you can start whenever you wish. There are no set semesters.
- Your meetings are right in the real radio station, and you practice on the same equipment the broadcasters there use every day.
- You follow a carefully thought-out curriculum, including producing and hosting your own radio show.
- Over time, with your mentor’s feedback and encouragement, your skills grow and grow.
- You can choose either a three or six month program. At completion, BMG certifies you as being ready to go on-air. And we operate a lifetime job placement program to help you keep your dream going, long after training is completed.
Contacts: The Make or Break Factor for Breaking In to Illinois Radio
Lots of people think of radio as a dream job. So there are lots of people after the same job openings you are. Why should a hiring manager choose you? Often it’s on the recommendation of someone already in the business, an insider contact.
Apprenticeships Build Contacts Automatically
Think about it: You’re training in an actual radio station, side-by-side with the working professionals there. Over time, you and they get to know each other. More importantly, they get to see your skills develop. And if you do well in your training, they become willing to recommend you when they hear of a job opening (often from their own contacts) or even to hire you themselves.
How often does this happen? Industry studies show that more than six of every 10 new broadcasting hires happen through contacts. They’re contacts you’re not likely to make in a brick and mortar school, separated as it is from the world of day to day broadcasting.
No wonder California radio host Jona Denz Hamilton recommends going the apprenticeship route. “Mentoring will put you on the fast track into radio,” she says. She could have added that it’s also the inside track.
Best program, Cost Less
BMG apprenticeships have another big advantage. Because we don’t pay the costs of a brick and mortar school, we can pass huge savings on to you. BMG programs cost up to 20 times less than brick and mortar broadcasting training, when part of a college communications program, and far less even than a stand-alone brick and mortar school.
Kick Start Your Career Now … Free
Of course, none of these advantages come into play until you decide to utilize them. Just read the rest of this website and especially the FAQ page. Or even easier, click on the radio specialty that interests you below or fill out the contact form on this page. Or simply call BMG at (818) 879-0858. One of our counselors will provide more information and a free career consultation. And it doesn’t cost a dime or obligate you in any way to learn more.
Illinois is called the “Land of Lincoln” because Abraham Lincoln and other famous people launched their careers in Illinois. So can you. Contact BMG today!