We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Panel Operator Do?

By T.S. Adams
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A panel operator is any individual hired to operate any kind of control panel. Although the job title is used in various industries, it's most often used for the person who runs a broadcast console during live or pre-recorded broadcasts. Also called a board operator, the term is most commonly used in the radio industry, where these individuals are a critical part of the supporting staff for on-air talent, helping to keep broadcasts moving smoothly and effectively, maintaining timekeeping duties, and managing other inserts for shows, such as commercials, music, and other special announcements.

Although a radio panel operator performs many different tasks during a standard shift, his or her general objective is to support the on-air talent who may actually be performing. Before managing all of the aspects of a live or recorded broadcast, the panel operator must make sure the equipment is in working order and any material that has been pre-recorded is ready for broadcast. If there are problems with the equipment, he or she should make sure they are fixed before broadcast, or find suitable replacements or work-arounds.

Panel operators are responsible for the majority of non-speaking roles in a broadcast performance. They often provide performers with cues related to the timing of the show, letting them know the amount of time remaining in the broadcast or until the next commercial segment. Additionally, a panel operator works managing phone lines; sets the quality and volume level of microphones and other sound effects; inserts segments into programs such as news, weather, and traffic; and ensures that shows proceed on schedule.

In addition to having the technical skills to operate the equipment in a broadcast studio, panel operators must also be able to think on their feet. Live broadcasts rarely proceed without snags and hitches; when a problem occurs, it falls upon the panel operator to smooth it over through any means necessary. This requires a significant level of improvisational skill, which develops through long experience dealing with on on-air problems. Regardless of whether those problems involve a guest who has yet to appear or a segment that is running over its allotted time, all of these fall to the panel operator to correct.

After the broadcast, the panel operator's work isn't done. The panel must be turned over to the next operator, and any equipment used cleaned and stored appropriately. Recorded material usually needs to be archived. He or she may also need to work with technical staff to resolve any problems that were found before or during the broadcast.

Another common issue for panel operators is dealing with on-air talent. The egos of performing artists can often prove difficult to manage, requiring a calm demeanor, along with effective persuasive communication skills. An operator must be ready and willing to absorb stress from on-air talent in order to ensure that the show proceeds as intended.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.