10 Questions : Irene Hulme

Staff Writer

Irene Hulme is the Program Director of Nova 919 Adelaide, and we grilled her with '10 Questions'.

List the stations you’ve worked at

SAFM – Adelaide
SEA FM – Gold Coast
B105 – Brisbane
2DAY – Sydney
THE FOX – Melbourne
TRIPLE M – Melbourne
MIX 1011 – Melbourne
NOVA 919 – Adelaide

Excluding your present station, at what station did you have the most fun at and why was that?

Impossible narrowing it down to just 1, so here’s my Top 2: 


Working on the Triple M rebuild with 2 of the best Programmers, Grant Tothill and Jeff Allis. There was nothing to lose at this point; Triple M was in bad shape, it essentially felt like we were handed a frequency, told to do whatever we liked with it, we just needed to make it work.

That’s precisely what happened, we created a new and bold Triple M, nothing had been done before, a Breakfast show (The Cage) with a cast of 5 and a broad music universe selected with a chart book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other and plenty of gut feel, we threw songs together that just sounded great, there was no pre-determined format.

Within 12 months, the station was Number 1 outright; it had gone from a narrow rock format to a station with broad appeal, it was a new era for Triple M with one of the stand out line ups and product offerings still to this day.


My first PD role, naturally a highlight, Mix was going through a number of significant changes at the time, I learnt fast, format adjustments, brand repositioning, breakfast builds, you name it, we changed it, I learnt more in those 4 years than I had in the previous 15. 

I realized that as much as you think you know as an aspiring PD, it’s not until you’ve stepped in those shoes does the true learning begin and with that came an enormous amount of reward and satisfaction.


You have been at Nova 919 for about 18 months and have worked with four different, or variances of, Breakfast shows. What makes you confident about the 2012 show?

It’s only 3 variations and I’ve never felt more confident about a win than I do now with Maz, Dan and Shane. Maz and Dan have worked together previously, you can hear that, Shane Lowe stepped in to the fold this year and I can’t believe how well he’s settled in already.

The guys enjoy spending time together socially, on air they talk about the things they are collectively passionate about and this gets them going, laughing, playing and in turn creating a very infectious show to listen to.

There’s simplicity to our ethos, it’s a very funny show, they are the hardest working team in the market, they understand that in order to get in to the minds of the listeners it requires much more than presenting the daily show, the guys also live the most interesting lives. While I understand it’s much more complicated than that, the above is what I believe sets our show apart.


Putting aside those who with DMG, who is the most exciting broadcaster in radio today?

Excluding DMG makes it difficult; Ant and Becks on the ARN Network are very good and I think Rachel Corbett from SCA is one of the most refreshing females on air today, wonderfully transparent, what you see is what you get with Rachel, real and honest, you immediately feel like you know her.


You are married to another radio programmer (5AA PD Brad Hulme), how does that work?

Not very well, we spend our time together with ear phones in and listening to our stations, we don’t talk, I wouldn’t recommend it, although, Brad would say it was the key to a long lasting marriage.


SA-FM and Nova were neck and neck in the final survey of 2011, why should Adelaide listeners choose Nova over SA-FM in 2012?

The stations are very different, we both play hit music and that’s where the similarities end. What you listen to depends on what particular personality and attitude you’re drawn to. Our people are down to earth and laid back; they don’t take themselves seriously, whatever they’re doing it’s just about having fun.  They talk to our listeners as they would their friends with a real natural banter, nothing changes when the mic’s on.

Our music is exciting, we dictate trends as well as reflect them, NOVA was the first to get behind Adele, a bold move considering the urban / pop cycle at the time, and one like others that have paid off. There’s great creativity around our brand and product, our listeners want new and exciting experiences and that’s precisely what we deliver.


What was the first concert you went to and where?

Paul Young in 1985 – Adelaide


Last station you listened to besides your own?

NOVA 969 – FITZY AND WIPPA, I’m a fan, it’s the only time I can switch off and just enjoy radio.


Most recent song added to the playlist?

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright – Babysitters Circus, love it.


Finish this sentence for Nova Adelaide to be successful in 2012 we need to………

If I told you that, I’d have to kill you!

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