NYF’s Grand Jury Confidential profiles New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards award-winning Grand Jury members. Each interview provides a glimpse into the brilliant careers of prominent award-winning radio executives from around the globe who are recruited to select the World’s Best Radio Programs℠. These dedicated jury members are committed to their craft and are an inspiration to us all.
This week, NYF caught up with Grand Jury member Ashleigh McIntyre, Producer for 1233 ABC Newcastle, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ashleigh’s been sharing her producing skills at 1233 ABC Newcastle for almost 5 years. Before her position at ABC, Ashleigh had producing stints at Australian Radio Network and Northside Broadcasting FM99.3.
NYF first met Ashleigh when she jetted to New York City to the 2013 Radio Awards gala when she accepted the Silver Trophy for “The Story Box” with Presenter, Aaron Kearney and Senior Producer, Karen Shrosbery. “The Story Box” awakens 1233 ABC Newcastle’s morning listeners with a magic box that showers adventure, romance, terror and comedy onto the Morning Drive/Breakfast airwaves every day. The award-winning premise is immediately engaging–a listener collects a box which contains a battered cell phone that they must answer when it rings and be prepared to answer any question asked, and then after the call pass the box to someone else who must follow the instructions.
In the interview below Ashleigh shares early career influences, lessons from her first job, how her company encourages creativity and much more!
New York Festivals: Who or what were your early influences in your career?
Ashleigh McIntyre: Looking back, I feel like it’s inevitable that I ended up working for Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC. My parents have always been big fans of local radio, so from a very young age, its importance was deeply ingrained. I would get up in the morning and our kitchen radio would be tuned to ABC, I would get in the car to go to school and my dad would have it on in the car, I would come home from school and he would be working in the garage with ABC blasting. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, it did make me realize what great company the radio can be, and the connection to the community that local radio specifically provides.
New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?
Ashleigh McIntyre: I moved to Sydney to get a start in radio, and my first paid gig was at a commercial station aimed at 35 year-old-women. Starting out as the Assistant Producer on Breakfast, my boss taught me two very important lessons: speed and thoroughness. Getting material to air quickly and making sure it is right the first time – two things that still serve me well in getting a daily Breakfast radio show to air.
New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?
Ashleigh McIntyre: I think in order to be a successful producer, you need to be persistent to the point of being a little annoying. The ability to wear people down into talking to you is a very useful tool to have!
It’s also important to be a good listener. It seems obvious in our industry, but so many people I know don’t listen to their team, their presenter, their radio station or even other radio stations. Listening closely, self-critiquing and taking on feedback from others is crucial to making better radio.
Ashleigh McIntyre: I still feel as though I’m starting out in my career, but I truly felt like I had found my passion when I received a World Radio Award for our ABC Newcastle Breakfast segment the Story Box with Aaron Kearney and Karen Shrosbery. Standing at that podium and speaking about our work to the best minds in radio was both an honor and a privilege – and it made me want to do it again!
New York Festivals: Will you share how the culture of your company encourages creativity?
Ashleigh McIntyre: One difference between the ABC and other radio stations is the freedom and encouragement you get to work on passion projects. So long as our team works hard to meet our daily deadlines, management give us the freedom and opportunity to develop our ideas, see them through and turn them into world-class radio that can be used not only on our station, but across the network. One of the ABC’s core values as a company is innovation, but it’s so great that this is actually put into practice on a daily basis in local stations across the country.
For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ Stay Tuned, the 2017 Radio Awards competition opens January 11th.