10 Questions: Dave Cameron

Staff Writer

Dave Cameron is Fox FM Content Director, and Head of Content for the Today Network, so he has a fair bit on his plate.

However he found time to give us his perspective on the following 10 Questions.


You are responsible for the Today Network, and at a station level for Fox FM, when you share a group role with a station role it requires the station product team to be very good otherwise it can't work. Tell us about your team at Fox.

Regardless of my dual role, it’s critical for any radio winning station to have an outstanding product team. The Fox team are specialists, but also trained to be hands on in each other’s areas.

Like footy clubs, The Fox has a senior leadership team of Sam Cavanagh, Paul Dowsley, Adrian Brine and Harriett Legg that make decisions together daily across all of Fox’s on-air product. Each has the killer instinct that drives the rest of the product team and talent every day.

Melbourne is an interesting Breakfast market in that the two oldest Breakfast shows on the FM band, are on the two youngest targeted stations (Fox's Matt & Jo, and Nova's Hughesy & Kate). With a mature Breakfast show on a CHR station, is it a challenge to keep them refreshed and on-brand given their personal life-stages?

To be a big, successful CHR station you need to start with a broad, mass appeal breakfast show. Shows that appeal to both mums and daughters. Mature shows have this great advantage of having long time fans, while building new ones. The Matt & Jo Show fits right in that slot. It’s a show that’s been on-air for 8 years, so finding new content angles, twists and spikes for our target takes a lot of focus and attention every week but I don’t believe doing the same show we did two years ago is ever an option for any show.

Luckily my team agree!

It is always tough to follow a massive show with big ratings, Fifi and Jules did so, and for the first year they sounded like they were finding their feet to us, however in 2012 they appear to be more settled. Fair comment?

Sure. All new shows find their feet, and have a bit of trial and error about them. New shows that don’t make mistakes aren’t trying hard enough. What a lot of people don’t remember is that Hamish and Andy’s first two years on Drive were full of experiments and ideas that didn’t quite work while we built the brand.

Comparing Hamish and Andy at the end of five years on air, versus Fifi and Jules in their first year on-air is unfair, however we have been so impressed by Fifi and Jules growing chemistry , and the killer content moments that come out of it every week. What I do know is that busy, noisy shows will win. Fifi and Jules is, and it is winning.

Mix FM's Chrissie Swan recently commented (here) that if you wish to cut it in metro radio, it is advisable to first learn your craft in regional radio. Your thoughts?

Any airtime is invaluable to learn the craft, and regional radio certainly doesn’t have the same pressures on it that Cap City shows have. Ultimately though, an X-factor over experience will win the job in the big smoke.

Your background was as a Music Director, however these days it seems the more usual career progression to programming is not through music, but through breakfast producing. Why do you think that change has come about?

The best Content Directors need to know a little about a lot and ultimately be great leaders of their team, but it only makes sense that we start to look at Show Producers for roles as future CD’s given that most stations point of difference now is not the slight variations on playlists, but it’s breakfast and drive shows.

Show Producers have generally learnt the skills of talent management, thinking on their feet, the chase for great content, a finely tuned ear to production, and running a team. That’s the exact base skillset for a great Content Director.

What was the last station you listened to that wasn't an SCA station?

Nova Melbourne. Sounded remarkably like The Fox.

One talent you would love to have on-air at the Today Network (from anywhere).

For someone not currently on-air, I reckon Zoe Foster (right) would be fantastic on Today network. Females love her.

Last concert you went to?

Elton John. Present for the parents!

Last song you added to the playlist and why?

Reece Mastin. Great Aussie pop song that is perfect for us.

Survey 3 is out on May 8th, give us your prediction for the Melbourne market on Fox, Mix, Triple M and Nova.

Fox, then Triple M, then Nova, then Mix.

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