Program Directors have primary responsibility for programming the radio station. PD’s have authority over the allocation of airtime, format choices and the overall sound of the station.
News Directors have primary responsibility for the editorial content that fills the allocated airtime for news.
Since news can be both editorial content AND programming, it requires consideration by both the PD and the ND.
In general, it is easy enough for the PD to attend to formatics of news and the ND to focus on the content. In most cases, the News Director will see to it that editorial considerations conform to the format considerations. For example, assigning brief reports for the newscasts and long reports for the magazine cut-aways.
However, sometimes the nature of news calls for changes in format. Usually the ND will see this need first and clear the change with the PD. Perhaps the greatest example is when the News Director leads during a crisis, when “breaking news” is of maximum public concern. The need for urgent broadcasts, breaking format, mobilizing staff and other resources for live and continuing coverage — these are matters of presentation that go hand-in-hand with coverage considerations.
In general, the ND and PD work together to see the news is presented in the best interests of the audience.
See also Outside Help → LNI: PD/ND Relations