Developing Studio Director

This job posting expired and applications are no longer accepted.
March 4, 2020
Job Type
Closing Date


Output Operations – Audio is part of BBC News UK - Output Operations, a department made up of highly skilled and creative staff at the heart of the News Group, working closely with editorial teams to provide high quality output across TV, radio and multimedia platforms.

Radio Studio Directors (SDs) are part of a team working, around the clock, on a wide range of output including Today, World at One and PM on Radio 4 and Newsday, Newshour and World Update on World Service. In addition, SDs are expected to Studio Manage (‘live mix’) across a wide variety of output made up of R4 News, World Service English News, Global News, Radio 1 Newsbeat and some Asian Network output. We also work on some 5live programmes such as Kermode and MayoMills and Stark and Elis and John. We’re at the heart of flagship radio, broadcasting across all these networks.

On air, Studio Directors provide pivotal communication between Presenters, Output Editor, Studio Manager and the production team. They will direct Presenters and guide contributors through programme sequences reflecting the editorial content and schedule of the running order created by the production team and ensuring the programme runs precisely to time. The Studio Director will additionally be responsible for establishing all incoming lines, assessing their quality for broadcast and initiating workarounds as appropriate.

Studio Directors combine the technical and operational skills of a Studio Manager with equally important personal qualities - clear communication, resilience, calmness under pressure and strong organisational and planning skills. They provide first class technical operation of our radio studios and alongside live mixing of news programmes, they provide creative, technical and logistical support both in the run up to transmission and on air in the studio. This can include everything from package mixing, music balancing and podcast creation as well as overseeing some visualised output for multiplatform use.

We currently have a number of Developing Studio Director (Band B) opportunities in our London team.  We are seeking people with extensive live operational experience, outstanding communication skills and a demonstrable interest in News output to take on these roles. Following an initial period of training, successful candidates will start as part of the team Studio Managing/mixing a wide range of live radio programmes, and afterwards will progress to Studio Directing. We’ll provide an introduction to the role and skills needed, but previous experience of team working and operating complex speech based radio programmes in a pressured and live environment is key.

We are supported by an experienced team of schedulers and operational co-ordinators who make sure that our demanding output is staffed by people with the right expertise, 24/7.

The BBC is committed to redeploying employees seeking suitable alternative employment within the BBC for different reasons and they will be given priority consideration ahead of other applicants.  Priority consideration means for those employees seeking redeployment their application will be considered alongside anyone else at risk of redundancy, prior to any individuals being considered who are not at risk. 

Role Responsibility

You will be part of an experienced, professional and creative team, operating broadcast equipment on-air in radio studios. You’ll ensure that the finished audio satisfies the programme maker’s aims as well as the BBC’s delivery aspirations and technical standards.  Following a short period of supported training and familiarisation, you will cover Studio Manager shifts, providing technical operation, mixing programmes to ensure aurally balanced output.

Once you have the relevant Studio Manager experience, you will begin your training in Studio Directing, working with programme teams in the run up to transmission and on air (to be scheduled in line with operational requirements). You’ll combine your operational, technical and creative knowhow with production support, recording and preparing audio for transmission whilst ensuring it’s quality checked and ready for broadcast. The Studio Director will be facilitating live sequences, talking to and guiding programme contributors through sequences. You’ll be required to communicate effectively with colleagues in the cubicle and direct Presenters and Guests in the studio. Whilst on air you’ll be responsible for timings and providing Editors with a range of options to bring programmes in on time. This is a non-editorial role but a clear understanding of the news agenda and editorial aspirations of the programme, coupled with an awareness of BBC Editorial Guidelines and values is part of the role. Shifts will then combine both Studio Manager and Studio Director work, so successful candidates will need to demonstrate the flexibility to work on the associated range of duties.

The role incorporates 24/7 shift work including weekends, nights and Bank Holidays. With this in mind, candidates should be aware that commitments are allocated to an indicative pattern with shift times starting and ending around the clock. As well as work during daytime hours we have many early shifts that start at dawn and late shifts that finish around 1am. Overnight shifts comprise around a third of the scheduled work.

Are you the right candidate?

Great communication skills and the ability to work flexibly both autonomously and as part of a changing team is essential. Experience of operations within a live radio broadcasting environment is also key.  In addition, you’ll have operated mixing desks, worked with digital audio playout systems, handled live calls and outside sources and have some knowledge of all areas of studio technical production. You’ll have the capacity and resilience to work on busy live programmes, keeping an eye on the clock and ensuring a consistent sound for the listener. Candidates will need to demonstrate creative flair and the technical know how to deliver it.

With knowledge of various IT systems used in broadcast environments, you’ll show the willingness and ability to learn new systems and processes quickly. Through our training and mentoring, we provide support as you progress but it’s essential that you’re able to prioritise, problem solve and remain calm under pressure.  A demonstrable interest in BBC News output and an awareness of the need for cultural sensitivity is also required.

Once successful candidates have gained sufficient familiarity with the range of Studio Director skills and programme commitments, they will later have the opportunity to apply to become qualified Studio Directors. (Band C)

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a familiarisation session on Sunday 29th March which will involve at technical test.  Practical assessments and an interview will be scheduled after this date.

Please watch the video here for an insight to working in BBC UK Operations.

If you have any more questions, please contact:

Package Description

Band B

Contract: Continuing

These roles are being advertised on a full-time basis, however, part time applications will also be considered. If you do wish to apply on a part-time basis, please include detail of the proposed arrangement in your application. Similarly, if you have an existing BBC flexible working arrangement you would wish to continue, please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application. There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to. Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.

  • Excellent career progression the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days holiday (1 of which is Corporation Day) with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

Any offer of employment with the BBC will be conditional upon you having the right to work in the UK.

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