SAM CAVANAGH ON PRODUCING AUSTRALIA’S BEST RADIO SHOW

Sam Cavanagh is a game changer. Since 2006 he has been the Executive Producer of the Hamish & Andy Drive show (with Hamish Blake and Andy Lee). He is the National Executive Show Producer at Southern Cross Austereo, and is an expert in radio content and creative team management.

Sam won the Best Show Producer at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards for a record four years in a row (between 2007 and 2010). He has also received two ARIA awards for executive producing the Hamish & Andy’s CDs, ‘Unessential Listening’ (2008) and ‘Celebrating 50 Glorious Years’ (2010). Sam has produced many world first media moments, including broadcasting live from Afghanistan with the Hamish & Andy Show.

Sam Cavanagh_Game Changers Radio_Season 1
Sam Cavanagh records Game Changers: Radio

READ THE SHOW NOTES

2:45 According to Jules Lund, Sam is the perfect bloke

3:47 Talking about the Reach Foundation

4:20 Changing from studying criminology to producing Jules Lund

6:06 Starting out producing radio

6:55 Working with Tracy and Matt (without having listened to Breakfast radio before)

7:43 Talking about Mel Murphy as a mentor

8:27 Being welcomed to the team by Matt Tilley, who went to extraordinary lengths to set the culture

10:06 Seizing opportunities to grow when his Executive Producer went on leave

11:50 Moving from junior producer to Executive Producer

13:10 Learning lessons from the shows that don’t ‘make it’

14:15 Telling talent to be different and interesting, while also asking them to tow the line is a common contradiction (as happened with Marty Sheargold)

14:55 Talking about Marty working to his strengths

15:55 Working with Hamish Blake

16:26 Moving from The Shebang to Hamish and Andy

16:55 Building Hamish and Andy

18:40 Remarking that Andy’s gift is never taking no for an answer

19:48 Knowing (Hamish and Andy) was something special and remembering Fred Bassett (the greyhound)

21:53 Keeping the program on track and knowing what the program stands for and why it exists

24:55 Making ‘the people’s show’ and the Caravan of Courage

26:02 Building the relationship with the audience at events

28:40 Leading with content, so if you’re in the press you’re discussing something funny related to the program

29:10 Balancing between 50 per cent content and 50 per cent team

31:50 Sharing wisdom with others

33:30 Being asked to provide your ‘Top 5 tips on Twitter’ shares knowledge and acknowledges the good work of the individual

33:40 Outlining the key attributes of a good producer

37:50 Transfer skills from one creative talent and applying them to a new show

40:00 Remembering Jules Lund pushing the boundaries

40:30 Getting U2 on the final show for Hamish and Andy

46:23 Learning from Clive Dickens

48:30 Learning from Jim Stynes about being the best you can be