How an air-conditioning mechanic in Sydney Australia became an award winning broadcaster in Britain; Part 115.


You don’t find out what a boss is really like until you end up working for them.

One of the biggest problems I’ve had with radio station bosses over the years has been how obsessive they can be over things that don’t matter that much. After my first show on a big radio station in England, I walked into the Program Director’s office to see how he thought I’d done. He was turned around in his chair, facing the stereo behind his desk and had a flat hand pointed out towards me indicating he wanted me to stand still and be quiet.

He was flicking between our station and the one he’d decided was our direct competitor (even though we were a top 40 station and they were an Adult Contemporary station aimed at an older audience). Both stations had midday news bulletins on. Then he swore loudly as he realised that the A/C station’s bulletin had finished and they were now playing a song. He turned to me and said, “What the F*** do you think you’re doing, going to the midday news LATE? THEY have gone back into music BEFORE us!!! You’re not at, TWO CRAP RECORDS, or CEMETERY now (Two of the radio stations I’d worked at previously were 2CR and Century)! This is the F***ing BIG TIME!!!!”

I remember being shocked that he’d got so upset. All he had to do was say, “Make sure you go to news on time in future”. I could understand if he’d made it clear how important it was to him before I went on the air. It was my first show, I’d just been on the radio for three hours and now my contribution to the success of the radio station was being measured by the forty seconds of music that the A/C station was playing while we broadcasting the end of the news.

I have yet to see any research that says if the top of the hour news on a top 40 music radio station is not exactly on time then listeners will desert that station and never listen again.

I suppose it didn’t help that I said to him, “If it’s so important, why don’t we just run our bulletins at five minutes to the hour? Then our news will finish first and we’ll be playing music while they are still in news.”

I wasn’t off to a great start with this bloke. This was day one, I was in for a bumpy time over the next couple of years which included missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime, being paid more money than I ever thought possible and ultimately being sacked.

Craic on!

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