Grand Jury Confidential: Neil Moore

The 2016 NYF International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury is comprised of some of the most recognizable voices and captivating programming producers in the radio industry who are dedicated to judging and selecting the 2016 World’s Best Radio Programs℠. New York Festivals Radio Awards recruits the world’s most awe-inspiring, award-winning,  radio talent from around the globe and one of those talented individuals is Neil Moore, Principal Programmer Station Sound for BFBS Radio worldwide.

Principal Programmer (Station Sound) British Forces Broadcasting Service

With 20 years experience in producing and presenting live radio shows for the British Forces worldwide, and more than 2 decades as a DJ and Audio Producer, Neil has just celebrated a landmark 600th edition of his weekly Club Culture dance show for BFBS Radio. His back-catalog spans over 1000 Specialist Dance Music Radio Shows, most live, and many from locations including Hostile environments, Café Mambo in Ibiza and dance festivals across Europe.

In today’s Grand Jury Confidential, NYF catches up with  the 2016 Grand Jury member, gold award-winning Neil Moore. Keep reading to find out Neil’s thoughts about the evolution of the radio industry, what he learned from his first job, defining moments in his career and more.

New York Festivals: Tell us a bit about your evolution in the radio industry?

Neil Moore: My involvement in Radio began in the late 80′s early 90′s whilst I was serving in the Royal Navy, As a Radio/Radar Engineer, one of my early responsibilities was to look after a compartment on the ship that used to broadcast TV/films and Radio internally throughout the ship. These were either through picking up land based signals when close enough to land or through videos or tapes. Having been a DJ and mobile DJ since I was 14, I was pretty familiar with the kit, so I decided to try and do my own shows in between the shows that were sent out to the ship (on cassettes by BFBS). So essentially every lunchtime whilst at sea I would do an hour show, and during the early evening I would schedule and manage all the cassette tapes that would be received on a regular basis, where ever we happened to be in the world. I left the ship in 1991 and was sent to Gibraltar for 18 months. In Gib, BFBS had a fully manned Station so it wasn’t long before I’d found my way there and had volunteered my services. The PD there seemed to be pretty impressed at how quickly I picked up using the kit and my grasp of what it took to be a broadcaster and at an early dedication I had to learning all aspects of production. It only took a month before he was happy for me to produce and present regular evening and weekend sequences. And within six months, I was regularly covering for the main weekday programs.

After this posting, I returned to the UK for a short while before being sent to Hong Kong for 3 years. While in Hong Kong, I once again sought out the BFBS’s station and with references in hand from my time in Gibraltar it didn’t take long before I was given freelance status, presenting both specialists and daytime shows. After three years, I decided to leave the Royal Navy and concentrate on a broadcasting career with BFBS which included time at our stations in the Falklands, Northern Ireland, Brunei, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait and Iraq. (some not so nice places in war zones) And the UK. After several years presenting every show across the day, my production ‘bent’ came to fore, and I decided to take up a number of roles overseeing production and Station Sound across the various BFBS platforms, which led to my current role as Principal Programmer Station Sound

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Neil Moore: One of the things I picked up very early on in radio was the intimacy and immediacy being a broadcaster gave to you with the listener.

Especially within local communities, being a broadcaster who lived and worked in the same community enabled you to share a wealth of content with people who would welcome you in to their world both as someone they were listening to and someone who they could approach and chat to in the local shop. The one on one aspect of being a broadcaster is something I have taken with me all the way throughout my career and it’s also the very first thing a pass on when taking to prospective presenters

New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?

Neil Moore: When it comes to producing engaging, interesting radio, attention to production detail often comes top of my list. It’s not so great having an amazing piece of content then producing the story in a way that takes the listeners mind away from what they are listening to. However, careful and clever production techniques can often elevate an ordinary story into something that stands out. Whether production is subtle or in your face, it needs to blend with the story your trying to tell. Also, having the drive to showcase content in the best way possible is key to me, no matter how long it takes. Another really important quality to possess is the physical skills to know you way around your production software of choice. Know it intimately, and the efficiency that provides allows to be able to produce the highest production standards, even in the face of tight deadlines

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Neil Moore: There have been two defining moments in my radio career, the first being when I was offered my first full time position with BFBS in 1998.

It was the moment when I first thought to myself… yes I can really do this and not only just do it, but really love doing it. Whilst broadcasting had always been there in the background during my military career, that fact that I decided to give that up, and take the leap into broadcasting, was a big moment for me. That fact someone else thought I had the skills to success was a massive boost. The second defining moment was and I don’t want to sound out of place here.. was picking up a New York Festivals Gold Radio award in 2013. It was a moment when I thought,  I am pretty good at what I do. All those hours of practicing my production skills, learning how to get the best out of various software platforms, all those tight deadlines achieved with quality outcomes made me feel really proud.

New York Festivals: What’s your favorite radio program that you’ve created?

Neil Moore: This is a difficult one to answer, as I’ve created many programs on my own, from concept to production all the way through to broadcast. But I’ve also worked with many other people on programs that together we have produced to a stand out level. Quite often in my role as principal programmer Station Sound other producers often bring me their programs for the final step in the production process before broadcast. Which can be a really enjoyable process. Another consideration is I feel very much at home producing Specialist Music programs for niche audiences and have done several I’m particularly proud off, along side several speech documentaries. So essentially if you asked me that question at the weekend of an evening, you’d get a completely different answer to one you might get if you asked me in the week.

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