10 Questions with Geoff Field
That all came to an end in 2015, when he was made redundant by the network. After taking a break from the industry, Field is now mentoring young journalists at 2ser.
He answers 10 Questions from Radio Today.
Your departure from SCA came as a shock to many within the industry, how did you deal with it?
After 18 years with a company and being constantly told how valued you are, it came as a shock, as I was informed two days before taking my annual leave and a few days after my partner’s grandmother had died that I would be replaced by a national reader.
To be honest I couldn’t really relax on my overseas vacation, and for the first month or two I was angry and bitter.
It was nice to come home and find several job offers, but I was in the fortunate position of not having to work, so I decided to travel the world with Jason for 12 months.
You’ve clearly picked yourself up and dusted yourself down, what are you doing now?
After my year of travel, I was out at the theatre, and the legendary Grant Goldman approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing some news reading at the 2SM supernetwork
After meeting with news director Dianne Coveny-Garland, I was employed as a casual.
I really enjoyed working there for 6 months, mainly reading news for Grant, but also getting to read for the great John Laws!
Then unexpectedly I was contacted by 2serFM’s general manager Melanie Withnall, who was looking for a news director.
Initially I wasn’t sure whether I would be suited to a mainly teaching/mentoring role at the UTS station, but I’ve just signed for a second year and I love my new career.
You must find it rewarding working with and nurturing young talent?
I never thought I would find such a job so satisfying. I get to work with students who are so keen to learn, and the vast majority of them are like sponges, in that they want to learn new skills, to advance their goal of getting into the media industry.
What advice do you give to those embarking on a career in radio?
Be prepared to be flexible, and start in a job that may not be your first choice. In this day and age of fragmentation and shrinking newsrooms getting your foot in the door is often the best way of starting your career.
Also, don’t give up – if you get knocked back, keep on reapplying until you get a position.
What has been the biggest lesson radio has taught you?
Nothing lasts forever. As I mentioned earlier, I was initially bitter when I was made redundant at 2DayFM, but as time passed I realised just how lucky I was to have had so many good years in the one workplace.
Where did you get your start in radio?
I started at 2ST in Nowra in my hometown. I finished school on the Friday and started on the Monday!
What have been the career highlights?
So many, but being promoted to afternoon reader and editor at 2GB in the 90’s, only months after I was employed on mid-dawns, and of course being with Kyle and Jackie O from Day 1 as they embarked on a National Drive show and then the move to Breakfast that included my now infamous “illegal gay wedding” which Marriage Equality historian Alex Greenwhich says in many ways was the catalyst for the push to marriage equality because of the national radio and TV exposure it received.
My move from the newsroom to be part of the on-air breakfast team and involved in most of the show’s segements was also a highlight which also led to a four year stint on Mornings with Kerri Anne.
If you hadn’t gotten into radio, what career path would you have chosen, do you think?
This may sound strange, but even as a a kid I had radio in my blood, and would spend a lot of time at 2ST annoying the staff, so I have never really thought of anything else.
It was once suggested to me that I go to “PR” where the money is, but that never interested me, and as it came to be I ended up making a very comfortable living from my years on FM breakfast and drive radio.
If you could have your career over again, would you change anything?
No, as Kylie once said I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sure I’ve made mistakes and done things I regret, but I’ve had a life long career, complete with it’s ups and a few downs. But if I was able to go back and change things, maybe I wouldn’t be in the place I’m in now?
You’re hosting a dinner party, who would you invite and why?
I would invite Queen Elizabeth II as I would like to see if I can find that sense of humour she apparently has.
Oprah would be list as I have admired her all my life, I’d also ask Madonna to see if I could find the real woman behind the icon and also the honourable Justice Michael Kirby, a man who I’ve admired all my life for so many different reasons.