Contacts & Connections

Staff Writer

Put together 4 of the Industry’s leading Executive Producers of some of radio’s biggest shows and you’ve got yourself a pretty in-depth insight into their lives, how they do their jobs and a bunch of tips in dealing with talent.

Who are we talking about?



Laura Viglino, EP for Jonesy & Amanda of WSFM. Elle Conwell, EP for Kate, Tim & Marty on Nova. Heidi Murphy, Senior Producer of Neil Mitchell. Jay Mueller, EP for TripleM’s Hot Breakfast.

The session was hosted by Sam Mac.

Sam Mac:  How do you handle talent who come out with a horrendous idea?

Laura : Have a pretty strong argument why it’s not right.. Come armed with reasons and get them to see it from your point of view.

Jay:  It has to be within the guiding principles of the show,  what it is about and what it stands for.

When it’s outside, it's a fairly easy kind of session.

If they are hell-bent on doing it… if it goes pear shaped, it’s all on you.

Sam Mac:  To have great contacts; with short notice?

Jay:  Contact address book is Eddie McGuire.. Makes it incredibly easy.

Always come across email.. keep it.

Who is one degree from this story and work backwards.

If you can ring someone and they take your call at 6:30 in the morning, they are a great contact.

You need to know where to find numbers.


Laura: I agree with Jay… finding the contact is not hard, it’s the chase. Maintaining and building a relationship is important.


Sam Mac: With talkback you can’t cut to a Keisha song…

Heidi:  We need more contacts.. Neil has a huge list of contacts who will take your call.. tell you something on the quiet or shot that text.

Stay in contact with your publicists.


Sam Mac:  When things go wrong.. When a guest isn’t delivering isn’t going down the path you want.. How do you handle it?

Jay: Guests have got to be on the show for a valid reason. They have got to bring something to the show and be valid. I take responsibility for that.

It’s not the guest's fault, it’s not the host's fault.. It’s mine.


Sam Mac:  Social media and getting talent using it?

Laura: Jonesy and Amanda embrace social media.  I gently remind them. Amanda didn’t understand why people would want to see what she had for lunch on the weekend.. a poor example.

Making them aware that lives on-air can exist now on social media.. when off-air –  the show continues.

Ellie:   For our show the main focus is on-air. Tim drives all the tweets. We have a girl who drives the national content.  We don’t really feel that pressure.

No-one is coming into our office every day saying what’s your next guest or next stunt?

I was so used to calendars and big spikes.


Sam Mac:  What is the worst part of being Executive producer? What is the real challenge?

Jay: real challenge… not having a safety net. I love coming in. It has a small percentage that is planned… most is on the fly. How are we are going to do this?

The best shows.. are when we get to 8am and say we didn’t do any of the things we had planned.

Laura: trying to be across everything. News / entertainment.. the passion of knowing everything as well I enjoy.. but it is a challenge.. to make sure you have the freshest  content.. to be across everything.

Heidi: the 4 past 4 alarm clock.  Beat that!

Laura: 3AM

Heidi: we are in at 5. Being across everything.. we get off-air at 12… finding 3 and a half hours of content. Sometimes you walk in in the morning, there is nothing.

Be across everything… the phone never stops.


Sam Mac:  What about TALENT not liking the GUEST


Ellie: if they don’t like them, then not much point getting them on…  if there is pressure there is a way to get around.

Laura: I come armed with an argument. Interesting things.. you don’t have to like them to have them as a guest on your show. If they are dead against, it’s not going to be a good interview.

Jay:  you have to know what their interests are. No point putting them on if they a not interested. If 2 out of the 3 are ok… then we go ahead.

If it is completely foreign to them, why throw them on?


Audience Question:  How did you deal with the King Kong Gaff?

Jay: we dealt with it straight away.. Eddie then had to deal with it for the rest of the day.

You have to deal with it straight away, you have to talk about and deal with it.

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