This interview was originally published by mUmBRELLA on 7 April 2016. You can find it here.
Well-known radio programmer Craig Bruce is back in the radio game, preparing to launch his own ‘Actors Studio’-style podcast looking at what it takes to be successful in the radio industry.
The former Southern Cross Austereo programming boss left the media company in August 2015 after 27 years with the station, but said he was excited about the launch of the podcast next week, which will include interviews with Eddie McGuire, Chrissie Swan, Mick Molloy, James Brayshaw and Sam Cavanagh, the executive producer of the Hamish and Andy show.
“It was an idea I had when I finished up at SCA,” Bruce told Mumbrella. “I’ve always been fascinated by the creative process and I’m a fan of really good communicators.
Bruce said he would interview one person each week, unpack their career and discuss how they rose through the ranks.
“I have watched the Actors Studio a lot on Foxtel and I love the idea of pulling-apart a career in chronological order, and (discuss) where it is more a technical exercise in process and thinking.
“Learning about the habits that performers have that help them find the creative space. That’s really the idea behind the podcast.”
Asked if thought the radio industry did enough to train people and enable their success, Bruce noted that he had set up a “grad school” at SCA to help with just that but argued more needs to be done in the industry to teach people the craft.
“(With grad school) it was fantastic to get these people in front of the industry, and what you learn from people who have had success over a long period of time is that none of it comes easily. There is no easy path to a number one breakfast show – it is a long and winding road.
“For young people starting out, to hear that is really important, and a lot of these people are really happy to share their insight.”
Bruce is working with Bad Producer Productions, which is owned by Jay Mueller, executive producer of Triple M’s Hot Breakfast program, and says they are working on how to commercialise the podcast.
“I’m working with Bad Producer Productions; I wouldn’t have been able to get it off the ground without Jay,” said Bruce.
“We haven’t got an end-game in mind at this stage, but the thought might be to, down the track, do a live version of Game Changers for media students and radio people.”
The first episode will feature an interview with stand-up comedian Marty Sheargold, who talks about how he didn’t receive one phone call or one single offer in the 12 months after he left TripleM.
“Series one will be with a bunch of people I know and like,” he said. “I started my career behind the microphone but I haven’t been on the air for a long time and I didn’t want to take a really good interview subject and not interview them properly, so I’ve chosen people who I’m comfortable with.
“My view has always been if you want to be good at anything you’ve got to go off and find the benchmark in the industry and understand how they go about being successful.”