Sacha French: To EP or not to EP
2018 will usher in another one of radio’s periodic shake-ups. Breakfast shows have changed, drive shows have jumped stations and old favourites have ‘retired’.
But it’s not just the on-air teams impacted by the changes. The teams surrounding them are also in for a shake-up.
Saying goodbye to KIIS FM, Sacha French is going over to the Hit Network with Hughesy and Kate as their Executive Producer. It’s a demanding job, but it’s not one she’d swap.
Having been with the pair since the launch of Nova 100 in 2001, French says they’ve “grown with each other” and the high level of mutual respect makes it work.
“I suppose my relationship with Hughesy and Kate is that I know what they need. If something’s going wrong, they’ll look to find me to work it out,” she told Radio Today.
“They trust that I know what I’m doing. It’s a relationship that’s been built over 16 years so It’s a lot different to other shows. It’s like family. We fight at times, but we always want the best for the show.”
Over those many years with Hughesy and Kate, French has seen the role of Executive Producer develop and become recognised as an integral part of the show.
When they started on-air, French was answering phones, panelling and producing the show from behind the desk.
“I think the importance of the producer or the EP back then wasn’t really recognised. It would be ‘such and such on reception can answer phones and has a good manner, they can be a producer’.
“But that’s completely changed now. It’s a career now and they understand that if you have a good EP or producer, that makes a difference to a good show and back then, they didn’t.”
While integral to the success of the Hughesy and Kate show, French has also mentored and helped shape the careers of many of those in the industry here and overseas.
And she knows exactly what to look for when bringing new members into the team.
“I think curiosity is first. They need to be curious, they need to want to know about everything. I want to see that in people who want to work on the show.
“They also need to be resilient. You know, it’s a tough job. There are the hours, the pressure and the presenters – they need to question everything and expect the best from you. If you make a mistake on your research sheet, you’re not the one who looks stupid, it’s them.”
With their time at ARN and KIIS FM now behind them, French is now looking forward to the move across the dial to the Hit Network.
But she insists she’s not given a thought to how the Hughesy and Kate national drive show will differ from what’s gone before.
That’s something to be mulled over in the weeks ahead.