A Day in the Life of a Radio DJ

Photos by Savannah Calhoun

Everyone listens to the radio, but many people do not know the behind the scenes work that goes into playing your favorite top hits that you listen to on the daily. Dylan Salisbury, an afternoon DJ for 99.5 WZPL, sat down with PATTERN to talk about a day in his life. Salisbury has been a radio personality for seven years and explains that “a day in the life of a DJ is never normal, every day is drastically different” but gives us a look into the most basic schedule he has.


Every day I wake up and start my day with a shower and a cup of coffee. On my way to work, I listen to the radio and only have time for about one song because of my short commute. I typically listen to country, oddly enough.

9:00 am

When I get to work, I either have a morning meeting or I go right into scheduling music. I schedule the music that I am playing before I get ready to go on air. I also schedule commercials and voice overs for events. There is a lot of behind the scene things that most people do not know about. We play the top 40 songs in the nation and have to schedule these songs at specific times of the day so people do not hear the same songs multiple times a day. I schedule my whole day of DJing before I go on so it’s nice.


1:00 pm

I get ready to go on air and do all of my pre show rituals. I have everything prepared during this time and I am getting ready to go live.

3:00-7:00 pm

I am on air from 3-7pm. I play my songs that I have scheduled throughout the day, play the commercials and talk every so often for roughly eight seconds at a time. I have everything that I am going to say planned out on a log and the times that I need to say them. I get a hot sheet of things I have to say about what specials WZPL is putting on. Throughout the whole time that I am on, I like to watch Netflix on the big TV screens in the studio. I love Stranger Things and movies. It is the best job!

Dylan explains to us that his favorite part of his job is that “no two days are ever the same” and he is always meeting new people, traveling to new places and discovering new music. As a radio personality, he gets to go to events and meet some of his favorite artists and celebrities. The fun and laid back atmosphere of the office is also something that Dylan enjoys about his job. Being a DJ might seem like a stressful job having to play music and keep a large audience entertained, but Dylan enjoys every bit of his job and loves going to work everyday.

Follow Dylan on Twitter and Instagram and follow WZPL on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

All photos taken by Savannah Calhoun.

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