I hear it all too often these days “I want to land a breakfast Radio gig in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbaine or Adelaide”. Awesome that’s great ambition! But what are you doing to start the process?
Sorry to burst your bubble if you’ve just posted a YouTube video that has racked up some serious numbers or you think your funnier than the current crop of A List talent that you hear on the wireless. What you need is experience!
I can’t begin to tell you how valuable my time in regional radio has been. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was equipping myself daily with new learnings and experiences that I was going to need later in my career. When I worked at Hot 100 in Darwin the Music Director asked me one day to reconcile the music logs after everyday. To bring you up to speed on what that means it’s basically me running a report everyday on the music that has been dropped from the music logs for whatever reason, at the time remember thinking that he just wanted me to do the jobs he didn’t want to do! As I look back on my career though I can’t thank him enough for that little task because it gave me an insight into the music scheduling system and off the back of asking some more questions and learning more about the music philosophy of the radio station it led to me being appointed Assistant Music Director at Triple M in Melbourne some years later.
In my early years of radio I was doing Breakfast at Magic FM (River land, South Australia). I was 21 at the time and because I was so young my show was mostly made up of “Battle of the Sexes” and frivolous talk topics that I would make up 10 mins before the show started. On September 11, 2001 the world of broadcasting changed for me. It was the day The Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center collapsed after being deliberately struck by two commercial passenger jets, a devastating day for the world! I arrived at work that day and my Program Director was watching it all unfold on the TV – I knew this was a big moment but I had no Idea how to handle it. I remember opening the microphone and sitting in the fall out with the listeners. My first words that morning were “How are you feeling”? calls came in from all around the River land from people giving their thoughts and opinions on what happening in America. People were crying on the phone while watching the after effects, kids were confused as to why someone would do this, callers were angry, scared, some even wanted revenge. This was a moment that I learned that breakfast Radio was not just about the fun you can have between the songs but authenticity is what radio is all about!
I talk about flying hours a lot in Air Heads – The Podcast and they are so important when it comes to your radio development. Not only will you improve your skills with every shift you do but experiencing life changing events in from inside a radio studio is the best education you can get.
If you are starting out in radio and you really want to grow your career I can’t stress enough that Country/ regional radio stations are the perfect breeding ground for young announcers.