Tell us a bit about you:
I have been programming radio in the UK for over 30 years’ managing all aspects of the music and content side of radio — from recruiting to coaching, and presenting.
My love of radio started from a young age when I got into music and spent a ridiculous amount of time pretending I was on the radio and DJ’ing with my mum and dads old record collection. Suffice to say while the vinyl got pretty scratched, I got the radio bug. I also managed to set up my own bedroom pirate station when I was a teenager! I always feel grateful that I managed to follow the career I wanted and have enjoyed every step of the journey.
Outside of work most of my personal time is spent with my family, I am married with three grown up children and have an interest in traveling, golf (playing), football (watching), photography and of course listening to music.
What does your role entail?
Never do I have one day that’s the same in this job! I work with a brilliant and talented team of people who share the same passion and love for music and radio that makes every day absolutely worth it. My role involves making sure the music and content is as good as it possibly can be across all our radio stations and looking at new talent who will be tomorrow’s stars on and off the air. The world is changing, and radio certainly is too so my role is also to keep us one step ahead and looking at new ways to we can engage with our audiences across all our platforms.
Tell us a bit about how you came to join Bauer Media?
I’ve worked with Bauer (or EMAP as it was previously) pretty much since I left school. I started out at Northsound Radio in Aberdeen during the summer of 1986 as a presenter covering various day time and evening shows. I eventually ended up getting a full-time gig presenting afternoons then moving into management. I also had stints working at Radio Clyde, Hallam FM and Key 103 - quite the radio journey some might say but I wouldn’t change it for its taught me a lot of life skills and lessons along the way!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Lots of chat about music and show content is usually the common thread. I have three different networks I oversee and musically they are pretty varied. We have Hits Radio Network which is our biggest network with close to 6 million listeners a week, Country Hits Radio - our newest network - and Greatest Hits Network which just plays those songs you loved when you were growing up. What might start off with a playlist meeting for Hits Radio or Country Hits Radio might lead to an amazing idea for an artist gig or an engaging piece of content or special show. A lot of time is spent keeping them all on point for our audiences, listening to music, reading all the research we get in and staying on top of the latest trends.
Why do you love working at Bauer?
The culture. I’ve worked elsewhere and it didn’t come close to the culture we have in Bauer. We have incredible people working in this business who are hugely passionate and driven to succeed. The culture allows you to make a difference, especially in the areas that really matter. Two recent examples, I’ve been championing how we make our programming teams more representative of our audiences and a good place to start was trying to get more women on our programming teams, and we’re making good progress. The support from the top of the business down has been fantastic. I also felt the UK was possibly missing a country music radio station and after various presentations, Bauer supported the idea and Country Hits Radio was born.
What are you proudest of in your time at Bauer?
I’m pleased to say there have been several very proud moments, however, winning station of the year at the Sony Radio Awards when I was the Programme Director at Key 103 in 2011 was certainly up there among the best. I’ll never forget how happy the whole station was and if you could bottle a feeling that would be the night to do it. I’m also extremely proud of my family. I met my wife when I was in my first job at Northsound (she worked in sales) and shortly after we started a family. They have given me the belief and the encouragement when I’ve needed it and also been there every step of the way, meaning a life with a lot of removal vans and house moves. I’m proud that my they are successful, happy and all over the world, one in Melbourne, one in Toronto and one in London and working at Bauer has been a big part of that.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to join Bauer?
If I were to back in time and give advice to my shy and unassuming 15-year-old self, who at times questioned if they should ‘make a go of radio’, it’d go a little something like this: believe in yourself, you join Bauer because you can offer a different voice, a fresh perspective and add real value. Age and experience mean less than your own unique life experiences and passion you can bring to any potential role.