NYF Open Mic: Radio on Radio with Daithi McMahon

NYF’s Radio on Radio features New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury’s insights and observations on the transformation taking place in the industry today. NYF’s Grand Jury is comprised of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives who are actively involved in creating the innovative radio programs heard on radio today. Who better to share their insider information on the wonderful world of radio than this respected group of prominent industry thought leaders?

Daithi McMahon: Producer, Editor, Dramaturge, Writer, Henchman Productions Ireland

2017 Grand Jury member Daithi McMahon spent a few minutes with NYF sharing his creative insights on the integration of social media into Radio, the favorite programs he created, and  his thoughts on what dream project he would like to create.

Daithi McMahon is multi-award winning radio playwright, director, dramaturge, producer and sound engineer with Ireland’s Henchman Productions. His productions range from historical radio dramas to contemporary documentaries and features. His projects have earned him awards and accolades from both international and national awards competition including multiple wins at New York Festivals, scoring a Gold Medal for Best Writing and a Silver Medal for Best Drama Special for “Tom Crean – Endurance”  as well as national radio awards in Ireland and two nominations for Prix Europa.

Daithi is lecturer in radio production and scriptwriting at the University of Derby in England. His research interests include radio’s convergence with social media, the future development of radio drama, Millennials and radio, and the recording of oral history. Daithi is currently writing his doctoral thesis on the impact of Facebook on the Irish radio industry.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Daithi McMahon: The biggest changes continue to come from social media and the integration of these platforms into radio programming. I’ve noticed also that there have been attempts lately to use radio drama as a lure to attract younger audiences. Whether this strategy works or not remains to be seen but at least the stations are trying something different and innovative, and ironically, going back to what made radio such a great entertainment medium in the past.

New York Festivals: Is there a revolution going on today in radio content?

Daithi McMahon: Yes I think so and this is with regards social media and the integration of social media interaction into the radio producer’s remit. This is particularly relevant to the next generation of listeners who are more likely to come across a radio station’s content online than on-air. Whatever way the audience is engaged it must be good news for radio because it is vital the next generation has radio in their lives in some form or another for the medium to survive.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

Daithi McMahon: I would really like to produce a radio drama series set amongst the soldiers during wartime. I think the dramatic possibilities and audio soundscapes would be fantastic. Or else a sci-fi production set in space would be fun to make also.

Irish explorer Tom Crean prepares to travel to the South Pole with Captain Scott in 1911.

New York Festivals: Audio landscapes, theatre of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Daithi McMahon: As a radio dramatist I am all about the theatre of the mind and creating images in the listener’s mind. Some of the work I am most proud of are the Tom Crean dramas that were set in the Antarctic. I really enjoyed creating those locations in the audience’s mind, something that is very difficult and expensive to do on TV/film.

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Join New York Festivals Monday, June 19, 2017 as we honor the World’s Best Radio Programs at an awards ceremony at in New York City. To view the 2016 World’s Best Radio Program Ceremony Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/media/rp/2016/


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