About Radio Jockey
Radio Jockeys have to take care of most interesting and creative tasks and fill it in their day as this Radio Jockey job is all about entertainment and information. In his or her job role, a Radio Jockey may have to control consoles; write a script for a program, record infomercials and commercials for future broadcast; publicise and make music tracks, program breaks, advertisements, and accept song requests from listeners among many other tasks that may vary depending on the actual role of a Radio Jockey in a radio station. To carry out these tasks successfully, a Radio Jockey is required to have some essential skills such as voice modulation, speech recognition, reading and writing comprehension, along with basic technical knowledge to handle various equipment used in the production of a radio show.
Radio Jockey is an exciting, promising and extremely challenging career for music lovers. If you are really interested in a radio jockey career, then it is very important for you to have spontaneous, pleasant, friendly personality. If you want to pursue a career in this field, a strong command over the language and good voice is always a good thing. Apart from this, in order to become a good radio jockey, you shall also listen to good radio jockeys so that you can understand their style and later develop your own with practice.
As a radio jockey, besides earning the contracted good money, one can earn by advertising ads. You can earn more by voice-over for television and radio ads.
RJ Career Path:
• Announcer: This is the most basic position in the radio station. An Announcer is a person who reads advertisements and is responsible for introducing content on radio. This job profile is the initial post before one is promoted.
• Music Director: This post gives an idea of how music library is maintained on radio station and how music is played when demanded on show. This professional is responsible for the music we hear on radio.
• News Reader: Radio news has a set format and hence one needs to learn the way to speak on radio before jumping into the mainstream jockeying world.
• On-AIR Personalities: These are the radio jockeys we hear on a regular basis and their major work is to keep listeners entertained along with scheduling ads and managing studio arrangements.
• Production Director: This is the position one may attain after being a senior On-Air personality. This is the person who controls On-Air traffic and schedules production and strategizes programs.
• Station Manager: This is one of the senior positions on the radio station. This is the person responsible for managing the station issues and programs.
Some Popular Faces Today
Ayushmann Khurana: Before the success of Vicky Donor, Ayushmann worked as an RJ at BIG FM, Delhi. His show Big Chai – Maan Na Maan, Main Tera Ayushmann was a big hit with the listeners. In 2012, he made his feature film debut with the romantic comedy Vicky Donor, about sperm donation, which received critical acclaim and performed strongly at the box office. Khurrana’s performance won him the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer (for the song “Pani Da Rang”), Screen Award for Best Male Debut, Producers Guild Film Award for Best Male Debut, and Producers Guild Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. He then starred in a series of commercially unsuccessful films, including the comedy-drama ‘Nautanki Saala’ (2013), romantic comedy ‘Bewakoofiyaan’ (2014), and drama ‘Hawaizaada’ (2015). In 2015, Khurrana starred in the Sharat Katariya-directed romantic drama ‘Dum Laga Ke Haisha’ opposite Bhumi Pednekar. His performance was praised, and the film emerged as a commercial success. He then starred in ‘Meri Pyaari Bindu’ (2017), ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ (2017), and ‘Shubh Mangal Saavdhan’ (2017). The latter two were commercially successful. In 2018, he starred in the black comedy ‘Andhadhun’ and the comedy-drama ‘Badhaai Ho’. The former grossed ₹4.56 billion (US$64 million) worldwide, and became one of Indian cinema’s biggest grossers; for his performance he won the National Film Award for Best Actor (shared with Vicky Kaushal for Uri: The Surgical Strike) and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. ‘Badhaai Ho’ became a sleeper hit, earning over ₹2.21 billion (US$31 million) worldwide. This success continued with Khurrana’s 2019 releases, ‘Article 15’, ‘Dream Girl’, and ‘Bala’. For the first of these, he won the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor, and Screen Award for Best Actor (Critics). In the comedy ‘Bala’, he played a man plagued with premature balding and in ‘Dream Girl’, he starred as a cross-gender actor.
a radio jockey can fit into various roles and positions that match their skills. The job of a Radio Jockey is of a diversifying nature
Aparshakti Khurana: Like his brother Ayushmann, Aparshakti also worked as an RJ at Big FM, Delhi. Khurana’s first Bollywood project came with the sports biopic Amir Khan’s blockbuster ‘Dangal’ (2016), which emerged as one of the highest-grossing Indian films of all time and earned him several recognitions. He subsequently portrayed supporting roles in several other commercially successful films such as ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ (2017), ‘Stree’ (2018), ‘Luka Chuppi’ (2019) and ‘Pati Patni Aur Who’ (2019). Khurana starred in Remo D’Souza’s dance film ‘Street Dancer’, a spin-off to the 2015 dance film ABCD 2. Co-starring Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor, which released on 24 January 2020. Aparshakti Khurana has completed his higher education in the field of Mass Communication from IIMC Delhi.
Manish Paul: Manish Paul has done it all. He was an RJ at Mumbai Radio City and enthralled the audience with the Kasakai Mumbai. He has dabbled in acting and appeared on the TV show ‘Radhaa Ki Betiyaan Kuch Kar Dikhayengi’. Apart from that, he’s also made an appearance in ‘Tees Maar Khan’ and played the lead role in ‘Mickey Virus’. These days, however, he is seen hosting various award, shows quite successfully. Paul started his career as a television host and presenter, and gained recognition after hosting ‘Saa Ree Gaa Maa Paa Chhote Ustaad’, and later also appeared in the stand-up comedy series ‘Comedy Circus’. He also hosted ‘Dance India Dance Little Masters’ on Zee TV. He also participated in ‘Star Ya Rockstar’, a celebrity singing show on Zee TV, and co-hosted the celebrity dance-reality competition ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7’ on Colors TV with Ranvir Shorey. In 2011, Paul won the Best Anchor award for Zee TV’s ‘Dance India Dance Little Masters’. Paul has also hosted Science of Stupid on National Geographic. Over the years, Paul has hosted numerous award shows. In 2019, he hosted Sony TV’s ‘Indian Idol 10’. Next, he hosted Star Plus’s ‘Nach Baliye 9’. Paul charges 6 to 10 lakh for half an hour to one hour’s per episode.
Salil Acharya: Salil started his career as a VJ B4U and even worked as an RJ with Radiocity 91.1. He then moved on to movies, making his debut with Awarapan(2007). He has also worked on the TV circuit with shows like Kkavyanjali and Ye Meri Life Hai.
Smriti Kalra: While she is more known for her role in Suvreen Guggal – Topper of The Year as the lead, she started her career in the limelight as an RJ.
Nikhil Chinappa: Before he was known as the coolest VJ in town, Nikhil worked his way as an RJ. Then the MTV scene happened and today he is changing the EDM scene in the country, mainly by promoting talent through his firm Submerge. He made an appearance in the film Shaitan as Inspector Sandeep.
RJ Naved: Mirchi Murga’s brilliant idea that was formed ages ago is still a hit with the audience and all this is due to Naved’s ever-fun personality. He pranks an innocent listener every evening and while it is humorous most of the time, other times it also contains a very profound social message. He is a favorite of people of all generations because of the local Delhi touch in his language that makes him connect with his listeners. He is a great entertainer and also won the Golden Mike 2015 ‘Best RJ’ award.
RJ Anmol : RJ Anmol hails from the capital city of Delhi. He got his Master’s degree in ”Marketing & Advertising” from The ”Times School of Marketing”. RJ Anmol is one of the topmost Radio Presenters in India. A popular TV host for Chat Shows with Legends of Indian Cinema and Anchors Exclusive Live Shows. The legendary singer Asha Bhosle recently quoted, “RJ Anmol is the New Age ‘Face and Voice’ of Golden Era”.
RJ Raunac (Baua): A more toned down and simple man, Raunac, plays the irritating yet lovable character of Baua on the radio. With his stupid antics of calling victims as an innocent child who is unable to grasp some basic elements of life, the on-air celebrity has been able to make everyone laugh. His best feature is his unabashed way of presenting the morning show with a band and a song that discusses the latest news in an engaging and entertaining manner.
RJ Sayema: RJ Saima’s soft, suave, and nostalgic voice is one of the most magical voices to rule the night-time radio band. Her show is all about the 60s, 70s and 80s music, and she also hosts competitions that imitate various legendary musical icons amongst listeners. Sayema has been at the top of radio charts because of her funny, captivating and entertaining style.
RJ Sarthak: The daddy of all things rock on-air, Sarthak was the person who introduced some relatively unconventional but brilliant English music to Delhi listeners, apart from his regular Radiohead and Pearl Jam. Since rapping his links in an amusing yet debonair way as ACDC songs came up next, the way he presents his songs with a flourish was true poetry. Also a great speaker, he is known to be working around to get his listeners the best of on-air fun and music to make their day during the morning.
RJ Malishka Mendonsa: Malishka has got to be the most popular RJ in India right now. Even folks who don’t listen to radio frequently know of her for her bubbly nature and great persona on air. She hosts “Morning Number 1” for Red FM 93.5. An established name among the Indian Radio Jockeys, it is widely known that she is the most liked RJ in the radio industry, who has been on the air for over 10 years. Also, in many Bigg Boss seasons, she showcased her talent as a guest, and she also trained the talented actress Vidya Balan to play the RJ character for Lage Raho Munna Bhai. She was awarded the “Best Breakfast Show” at the 2010 Indian Excellence in Radio Awards and she is the people’s popular radio darling. She made her debut as an actor with the film Tumhari Sulu and also was part of a show called Man’s World.
Most Prominent Old Faces
Ameen Sayani: He is a popular former radio announcer from All India Radio. He achieved fame and popularity all across South Asia when he presented his Binaca Geetmala program of hits over the airwaves of Radio Ceylon. He is one of the most imitated announcers even today.
Melville de Mellow: One of the most memorable broadcasts in the history of radio in India remains Melville de Mellow’s marathon 7-hour live radio commentary on the funeral procession of Mahatma Gandhi on January 31, 1948. His baritone captured the grief of an entire nation as he simply, yet poignantly, described the scenes unfolding in front of him.
Newscasters such as Roshan Menon, Devki Nandan Pandey, Lotika Ratnam, Surojit Sen, Pamela Singh, Barun Haldar, Indu Wahi and Rajendra Aggarwal, over the years, became household names, capturing their listeners’ attention with their authoritative and nuanced reading style.
Sushil Javeri started out in 1955 as a music presenter in Bombay, and became a newsreader in Delhi a year later. Despite his familiarity with the studio setup, he remembers being nervous in front of the microphone during the first few months – “After that, he was confident of going live.” Now 88, Javeri considers de Mellow the “best newscaster in the world”, Menon the “best in India”, and Pandey the “best reader of Hindi news”.
Ramanuj Prasad Singh’s deep voice and relaxed style of reading endeared him to AIR listeners almost from the beginning. Such was his popularity that when travelling by train, Singh had to use his initials instead of full name. On the few occasions that his full name did appear on the passengers’ list outside his compartment, some passengers would seek him out wondering if he was the same person they would hear on air.
There were times during the 1971 India-Pakistan war when the sound of the sirens would cause bedlam in Vinod Kashyap’s Jor Bagh home. As her children would be sent off to hide, Kashyap would rush off to the All India Radio studios for her news shift. “Work for me came first – I had no time to be afraid,” once said Kashyap, whose buland awaaz, or strong voice, made her broadcasts riveting.
When a young Vijay Daniels heard de Mellow’s radio commentary during Jawaharlal Nehru’s funeral, he was moved to tears. That was the day he first aspired to become a broadcaster. “Melville was for radio what Elvis Presley was for rock and roll,” once said Daniels. Daniels’ tryst with the All India Radio studios started not as a newsreader in 1970.
Eligibility to become RJ: One can enter into the field of radio jockey after completing class 12. There are no entrance exams available in order to enroll in a course for becoming a radio jockey. Candidates can also do short-term certificate and diploma courses in this field. What matters most in this career path is, of course, your voice. Your diction and pronunciation should also be clear.
Subject Combination: There is no specific subject combination required in Class 12 or graduation level to become a radio jockey. In order to become a successful Radio Jockey, candidates may have to undergo one or more of the following Radio Jockey programmes:
• Diploma in Radio Programming and Broadcast Management (DRPM): Candidates should have passed class 12 examination or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university/board.
• Diploma in Radio Production and Radio Jockeying (DRJ): Candidates should have passed class 12 examination or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university/board.
• Post Graduation Diploma in Radio and Broadcast Management (PGDRBM): Candidates should have passed a bachelor’s degree in any subject from a recognised university/institute.
• Certificate Course in Radio Jockeying (CRJ): Candidates should have passed class 12 examination or equivalent in any discipline from a recognised university/board.
• Note: Those who have participated in media-related internships have a better chance of landing an entry level Radio Jockey job.
Roles of RJ: Apart from the required qualification, a radio jockey needs certain skills. After attaining the required educational qualification and skills, a radio jockey can fit into various roles and positions that match their skills. The job of a Radio Jockey is of a diversifying nature. The different roles that radio jockey can take up are listed below.
• FM/AM Radio Jockeys: The role of FM/AM radio jockeys is to interact with the audience, play a music or talk or both. They usually work on public radio stations.
• Talk Radio Jockeys: The role of talk radio jockeys is to only talk for the entire time period of the show, and to discuss different social and political issues. They also interact with the audience and viewers of the show.
• Sports Talk Radio Jockeys: The Sports Talk Radio Jockey is required to interact with viewers to discuss different types of sports news and happenings. The Sports Talk Radio Jockeys have to be either a former athlete, a television anchor or sportswriter.
• Satellite Radio Jockeys: The role of a Satellite Radio Jockeys is similar to FM/AM radio jockeys. They usually talk or play explicit content without considering the sensitivity of the issue. They are not regulated by any board.
Employment Opportunities: There is a good scope for a Radio Jockey to get employment opportunities in the government sector. However, there is good scope for the career in the private sector too. The candidates are recruited on the basis of their abilities such as voice modulation, clear diction, accurate pronunciation and command over the language and vocabulary. The following are some of the organisations in which a radio jockey can take up jobs:
Government Sector: Radio Jockeys can find work in government organisations like AIR (All India Radio), state-wise radio stations and other radio stations. In the government sector, there are many opportunities to work and the salary packages are also high. Apart from annual salary, Radio Jockeys are provided various health benefits, retirement pension etc. Government sector employees have job security, as well as the benefits of allowances, perquisites, and retirement like gratuity, pension, superannuation fund, etc. which are absent in the case of the private sector.
Private Sector: In the private sector, there is a lot of scope for job opportunities in companies such as Radio Mirchi, Big FM, Red FM, Radio Mid-day, Radio Wani, Times FM, Radio Star and many other independent radio stations. In the private sector, radio jockeys get good salary package, competitive environment, incentives etc. The working environment in the private sector is quite competitive which is missing in the government sector because they are not established to fulfill business objectives. Over time, a jockey can also apply for voice-over for commercials, television shows and movies.
Top Recruiting Radio Agencies /FM Stations for Radio Jockey
• AIR (All India Radio)
• Times FM
• Radio Mid-day
• Radio Star
• Radio Wani
• Big F.M 92.7
• Radio Mirchi 98.3
• Radio Mango 91.9
• Club FM 94.3
• Red FM 93.5
• 104 Fever FM
• Other independent radio stations
Pay Scale: A Radio Jockey can earn anything between INR 10,000 to 30,000 initially but as one gains experience and popularity, salary of a Radio Jockey can go up to 1.5 to 2 lakhs per month. With experience and time, RJs can earn Rs. 2,500 – Rs. 3,000 per show. Moreover, popular RJs get additional earning opportunities by hosting private shows, voice over for television and radio ads among others. As a radio jockey, besides earning the contracted good money, one can earn by advertising ads. You can earn more by voice-over for television and radio ads.
Books & Study Material: Here’s a list of some of the top books to increase your skills and knowledge in the Radio Jockey field:
• Romance the Microphone: Be a Radio Jockey by Swaty Gupta
• Encyclopaedia of Journalism And Mass Communication by OM Gupta
• How to Become a Radio DJ: A Guide to Breaking and Entering by Mike Staff
• Fundamentals of Radio Broadcasting by John Hasling
• The Radio Jockey Hand Book by Simran Kohli
Pros of RJ:
• Radio Jockey is a fun loving career. You can get a chance to connect with people holding diverse interests.
• The working hours are mostly flexible.
• Innovative work environment that nourishes creativity.
• This career has a great scope to incorporate multiple disciplines.
Cons of RJ:
• In the beginning, you may have to host the show in the morning or midnight – hence weird working hours.
• The job of a Radio Jockey sometimes requires consistent hard work.
• Sometimes you can feel alone because you have to work from a small sound-proof room with studio equipment as your partner.
• As a Radio Jockey, it is very stressful and demanding profession.
• Starting salaries are low compared to other fields.
If you are really serious about following your passion for a Radio Jockey job, this is where you should be heading to get a professional degree to become a Radio Jockey.
Top colleges to pursue a career in Radio Jockey
• Amity School of Communication, Amity University, Noida
• Radio City School of Broadcasting, Mumbai
• Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
• Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai
• Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
• Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai
• The Mudra Institute of Communications (MICA), Ahmedabad
• Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune
• Zee Institute of Media Arts, Mumbai
Radio Jockey Courses: Here are some of the Radio Jockey courses that you can pursue to get started on your journey to become a successful RJ.
• Diploma in Radio Programming and Broadcast Management (DRPM)
• Diploma in Radio Production and Radio Jockeying (DRJ)
• Post Graduate Diploma in Radio and Broadcast Management (PGDRBM)
• Certificate Course in Radio Jockeying (CRJ)
Writer: Prof. Nipunika Shahid