10 Questions: Scott Menz
Scott Menz is the Program Director for Star 104.5 on the Central Coast, and is currently in the middle of the markets only survey of the year.
Menzy took time out to answer our 10 Questions.
You've been at a few stations now, tell us the history of where you've been and your roles?
Got started in high school answering phones at Triple J, moved to the country at 18 doing breakky on Mixx FM Hamilton VIC, then commercial producer at the dmg Albury Hub, Imaging & On Air at Hot 91 Sunshine Coast (from what I remember, a lot of bourbon consumed back then), down to Adelaide launching Nova 919 as imaging producer, then transitioned into show producing with their local nights show, eventually EP’ing breakky with Fitzy Jules and Lisa, back to Melbourne in production and EP’ing development shows, then into AMD role and now to the Central Coast PD’ing and generally annoying my breakfast team each morning at 9:15.
This is your first PD's gig, notwithstanding the responsibilities you had in Melbourne, tell us about the difference when the buck stops with you?
The difference is you’re directing a product team who, with their own abilities and ‘radio heads’, can help you realise a goal or fulfill a strategy. In Melbourne I was part of that product team and shared the responsibility of creating an idea then building it on the air, all via the direction from the PD.
Now, it’s less about the operational work for me and more about motivating and directing my product team on creating great content. When we’ve got it wrong, then it’s back to the drawing board – and I’m accountable for that which I’m 100% happy with.
Star 104.5 is quite unique in dmg, in that it's the smallest station, the only regional, and the only rock station. How have found going from one of the groups biggest stations (Nova 100) to the smallest?
The transition’s been great. Nova 100 and Nova 919 set me up with some pretty fundamental lessons about how to do local content well, so when it comes to implementing those elements into a smaller market, I think the effect is wider-felt.
Switching from Nova to Star wasn’t a huge shift of gears because the principles are the same: we’re still working every day on creating killer content that connects with our audience. I don’t think the principles change if you’re in Sydney or Broken Hill!
Star seems to have a strong commitment to localism on the air, talk us through that?
Yep, Star absolutely has a commitment to local content. With Sydney stations’ signals spilling into this market, Central Coast listeners have got a lot of choice. We need to be the best at ‘local’. Our audience, like most regional areas, are proud of their community. They love living here, they want small business to succeed, want to grow the area. Star needs to reflect that, on air AND off.
We’ve got this fantastic (and rare) opportunity to be live and local from 5am to 7pm every day, our opposition switch to their networked shows at 4pm, so we have a greater way at delivering that local content. This is the focus in Breakfast and Drive planning.
There is a massive commuter population on the Coast – 33% of employed Coasties work in Sydney, does this affect how you program?
Yes it does. The commute for a listener from the heart of the Coast to Sydney can be up to 2 hours each way. On the flip side of that there’s a local commute that can average 10 to 15 minutes per trip, so there’s complexities on how long you hang onto content and topics, how far ahead to hook in a show, how to execute TSL building competitions, etc.
You're in survey now, and there will only be one survey this year, it must be intense knowing you get one shot, and then there is a year to go until the next one.
Yes and No really. We’re proud and confident of the product we’ve got. There’s been months of work gone into building the shows and content, years building the music format and product by programmers before me. While we’ve got expectations for certain results, we’re continually focused on just delivering great radio for our listeners and clients. The numbers won’t change that.
On a lighter not, you're a Victorian living in Rugby League heartland now, have you chosen an NRL team?
My GM’s son Tim Moltzen plays for Wests Tigers… so I’m contractually obliged to go for Wests Tigers.
How do Melbourne beaches compare to Central Coast beaches?
Can’t even compare the two! Central Coast wins out there.
Last station you listened to that wasn't a dmg one.
Triple M Adelaide
Right now, this second, what song is Star 104.5 playing.
Miss Freelove – Hoodoo Gurus