The ND’s Role in Programming

News is both content and programming. As such, both news directors and program directors have a say in it. But how do we distinguish where the role of the news director ends and the job of the program director begins?

Program Directors have primary responsibility for programming the radio station. They 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. They exercise journalistic judgment in the gathering, assembly and delivery of news.

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. And the PD will see to it that time is made available for news according to the needs of users.

However, collaboration is often required so that content, presentation, scheduling and audience interests are all woven together.

When there is breaking news, the News Director often may lead the decision-making — especially during a crisis when “breaking news” is of maximum public concern.

See also How-To’s → Establish a Crisis Coverage Plan

In general, the ND and PD work together to see the news is presented in the best interests of the audience.