Jake Challenor
Publisher & Editor

SEN 1116’s Sam McClure on radio, scoops, sport

Sports journalist Sam McClure grew up in radio before moving to print, first at 3AW as a teenager in 2011; it’s a medium he loves.

In January he joined SEN 1116’s new breakfast show as a regular guest reporter while juggling his commitments covering AFL for The Age in Melbourne.

Talking to Radio Today, McClure said he loves the immediacy of radio and how quickly the new show with Garry Lyon, Hamish McLachlan and Tim Watson, is finding its A-game.

“We’re only two weeks in, so like any new radio show, it’s going to find its groove whenever it does. But to be honest I’m pleased with the way everyone is just connecting, we seemed to have found a niche already, and we’ll continue to build on that, it’s exciting.”

On the immediacy that radio can bring to journalism McClure said, “You can say something on-air, and if you’re working with good people, you can have a discussion and potentially a debate about the issue that you’re talking about. Then you can get callers in, and you get this whole broad ranging spectrum of an issue within five minutes.”

McClure credits his late father Geoff ‘Chook’ McClure – who lost a long battle with cancer in 2010 – as the number one influence in his career.

“I grew up around him, and like any son, they just want to grow up to be their dad, and he was my hero, everything I wanted to be,” he said.

“The best part was all the stories, he loved hearing stories and telling stories, and I loved hearing them, and I guess that’s how my fascination with journalism began.”

Photo: Joe Armao, Sydney Morning Herald

Chook was a highly respected veteran sports journalist, also with The Age. He too had a reputation for scooping some of sport’s biggest stories, many in his popular Sporting Life column that he scribed for about a decade.

“He interviewed some amazing people, and I’ve love to hear those stories now so we could compare notes.”

Just like his hero, McClure picked up a nickname of his own, but it’s one he earned himself as a sharp journalist creating his own luck and playing by his own rules on the same beat as his father.

Sam ‘Scoop’ McClure, which he told Radio Today “was a Gerard Healy creation” has well and truly stuck, but McClure laughs it off with a humble sounding shrug.

“It’s often the stories that people don’t want to be told, that are the best ones.” He added, “I don’t look at the past too much. You always get told you’re only as good as your next story, so there is no point thinking about the last one.”

McClure said he expects the first few months of his new primetime gig with SEN 1116 will be learning how everyone works and finding a planning and prep rhythm, but he admits that won’t include air-checking himself.

“I’m a massive one never to watch myself back, even though you probably should. I just find it uncomfortable, and I try not to read any of the stories I write either once they go to print because you always find errors and mistake,” he said.

“We are constantly planning all time. A group of us and our producer John Clark are always talking about what’s coming up what we’ve done and what we’re doing. It’s just this constant rolling planning and preparation.”

You can hear McClure with Garry, Tim and Hamish 6am to 9am weekdays on SEN 1116.

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