Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
'I want the show to be more widely available': Christian O'Connell pushes for networking into Sydney
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'I want the show to be more widely available': Christian O'Connell pushes for networking into Sydney


Welcome to an audio-led edition of Unmade. Today we talk to Christian O’Connell, host of Melbourne’s top FM breakfast show. And further down, a slight recovery on the Unmade Index.

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‘Radio needs to change. It has to build a different model’ Why Christian O’Connell is ready to be networked

O’Connell: ‘If I was to design a show to be number one, it would be really bland. It would be like The Fox’

In today’s podcast we talk to Christian O’Connell, who arrived from the UK six years ago and took his show on Gold 104.3 to Melbourne’s number one breakfast show.

The conversation was based around the launch of O’Connell’s mentoring service, Finding Fire, but it was also a well timed opportunity to subtly remind a market distracted by the arrival of the Kyle and Jackie O Show into Melbourne that he’s the biggest voice in the FM market.

Gold’s owner ARN Media has been trying to mastermind a takeover and breakup of rival Southern Cross Austereo. Most likely that would have seen O’Connell move across to a national metro breakfast show on Triple M.

If a deal doesn’t happen - and there’s nothing currently on the table although it’s likely to return - O’Connell might instead see his show networked into Sydney on ARN’s WSFM, with Jonesy & Amanda - Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller - potentially making way by switching into a national drive slot.

In the conversation, O’Connell makes clear that he has been talking to ARN’s management, including CEO Ciaran Davis and chief content officer Duncan Campbell, about taking his live show into other markets.

“I want the show to be more widely available,” he tells Unmade’s Tim Burrowes. “That’s my drive for the next couple of years. I did a national show in the UK for 12 years and I loved it. So here, I want the show to be more available. I do something different and I think that’s of value.”

And O’Connell is talking about more than a “best bits” package. “The magic of radio for me is live. I always has been. There’s nothing better than when you hear a radio show and in the moment something opens up.”

The conversation also focuses on how O’Connell has developed as a leader of his team, including lifting them up when The Fox’s Fifi, Fev & Nick show briefly overtook them in the ratings.

But O’Connell insists that being number one is not what matters to him. “If I was to design a show to be number one, it would be really bland. It would be like The Fox. It would be made of blandishments. I have to make a radio show that is about my values.”

He also says that he deliberately resisted listening to the much talked about boundary-pushing first hour of Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson’s Kiis show into Melbourne, warning that rival shows are letting themselves be distracted by the arrival

“You’ve got to be really careful that you don’t let other shows and their mindsets bleed into your own. I’m hearing other shows that are doing that now. They’re changing in the wrong way.”

O’Connell also reveals that he still hankers after a return to talking about sport on the radio. In the UK he hosted the long running BBC sport-comedy show Fighting Talk. “One of the things I’d love to do is a version like that. That show was the most fun I’ve ever had in radio. It was a whole hour of opinions, arguments. Sports is entertainment and it should be treated like that.”

Meanwhile, O’Connell sees the networking of big shows like his and the Kyle & Jackie O Show as the direction the radio industry is taking. “It’s very clear what Ciaran’s direction is, what he wants to do. It’s very clear what I want to do. Radio here is ready for the next evolution.

“Kyle coming into Melbourne is the start of it. Radio needs to change. It has to build a different model.”

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Unmade Index improves

The Unmade Index improved from Tuesday’s all time low, bouncing back by 1.28% to 466.5 points yesterday.

Nine recovered by 1.52% to a market cap of $2.1bn while IVE Group was up 2.57%.

The only stocks to fall were ooh Mediua, down by 0.74%, and Sports Entertainment group, off 7.14%


This week’s episode was edited by Abe’s Audio.

Time to leave you to your Thursday.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow

Have a great day.

Toodlepip

Tim Burrowes

Publisher - Unmade

tim@unmade.media


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Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Unmade: media and marketing analysis
Media and marketing news with all the in-depth analysis, insight and context you need.
Unmade offers industry news from an Australian perspective, from the founder of Mumbrella and the author of the best-selling book Media Unmade, Tim Burrowes