Nikole Gunn

10 Questions with Sarah Faour

Sarah Faour is on a big adventure. After getting her break with Hughesy and Kate at Nova 100, she landed a producing role with Triple M’s Hot Breakfast in 2013.

Then, last year, she decided to follow a dream.  She upped stakes and headed to the US, where she now calls New York home.

She answers 10 Questions from Radio Today on her move to the ‘States and what the future may hold.

You’ve been living and working in the US for a while now, what prompted the big move?

The first time I came to New York in 2010, I fell in love with the city and it’s magical energy.  Since then, I fantasised about living here, but as my career progressed, I found it harder to leave my life in Melbourne. I was working on the best show in radio and working as an AFL Boundary Rider on the weekends. I loved it!

However, in 2016, I got engaged in New York, and we quickly decided to get married in New York the following year and thought, “why don’t we just stay there?” So, that’s what we did! At some point, you just have to jump and flip life on it’s head!

So, what have you been doing over there?

Travelling, eating and watching sport! I’ve been freelancing for Sports Where I Am – an Aussie-based travel company which sells tickets to sporting events all around the world.

I’ve been building video content for them at various sporting events around the US. It’s a dream gig, really!

Recently, I’ve started applying for local radio jobs. I’ve interviewed for two positions at Sirius XM.

After working with the Hot Breakfast, how have you found working in the US

The amazing thing about The Hot Breakfast is that the show is so hyper-local –  it’s a show made for Melbourne, but at the same time, it also tackles such a huge variety of content.

There are so many different radio shows here in the US, but I haven’t found anything quite like The Hot Breakfast that covers such a broad range of topics.

Many of the programs here are specialised, so it’s a dedicated music show, or a show which just focuses purely on sport.

Also, as much as we used to complain about lack of resources at Triple M (ha!), I am yet to find a  radio studio which is as well-equipped and as visually impressive as the Triple M, Melbourne set up. There is only one exception: Howard’s Stern’s studio is insane!!!

Have the skills acquired in the breakfast radio environment helped in the US?  

Working in breakfast radio prepares you for any role in media. It sharpens your focus, it forces you to problem-solve on the spot and change direction at a moment’s notice. You are juggling many balls at the same time, but, I really did love the adrenaline rush!

I gained invaluable experience working on The Hot Breakfast and I learned so much from Eddie, Mick and Luke. Nothing is too big for that show; we covered worldwide events including Super Bowls, World Cups, the US Presidential Election. I was always encouraged to dream big; when you work with Eddie McGuire, nothing is off limits!

As I’ve met with programmers here in New York, they are impressed by the diversity of The Hot Breakfast. It’s given me incredible confidence as I prepare to enter the very competitive radio market here.

Has there been acceptance for this ‘girl from Oz’?

Yes! New Yorkers love Australians (there’s so many of us here!) I think they love our attitude and work ethic. And, the accent, naturally.

What’s been the biggest hurdle to overcome in chasing the dream?

You have to be patient! The job application and interview process is painstakingly long. It can take weeks and often months after your apply for a job to hear anything back. So it’s important to be cashed up when you arrive, or, in my case, tee up some freelance work if you can.

What is the long term plan?The absolute dream would be to live half the year in New York and half the year at our home in Torquay. Ideally, I’d be following and working during the AFL season, and then would pack up to come and follow the NFL season.

Any surreal moments working over there?

At my job interview at SiriusXM last week, I walked in the building and the entire cast of Roseanne were sitting in the foyer do a live Q&A. That voice is unmissable!

Do you have any advice for anyone else interested in working in the US?

Firstly, it has to be something you really want to do. It takes a lot of sacrifice and it’s a great financial burden.
Once you’ve established that you’re going for it (good for you!), do extensive research, save your money, reach out to people on LinkedIn, start networking from afar. You’ll find that people in your industry are keen to help you.

Also, speak to the media company you work for and see if they’d be interested in sending you away on assignment.

Can the Blues win the AFL flag this year?

I believe we can win the flag every year! Given what’s transpired the last two seasons, you never know!

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