Content Kings: Get to know SCA’s Dave Cameron
Dave Cameron has spent 25 years at Southern Cross Austereo and enters the decade with a new remit.
The four-time ACRA winner is now SCA’s chief content officer, part of the executive team, and is responsible for the strategic leadership content across its 78 FM radio stations, 10 DAB+ stations, digital and on-demand content.
With 23 years of programming experience, and 17 of those coming in the two biggest markets (Sydney and Melbourne), Cameron is well placed to take SCA forward into a challenging new year.
Radio Today is chatting to the content directors from Australia’s radio networks over the coming weeks, and in this edition of Content Kings, we tap into the mind of one of SCA’s content stalwarts:
What’s the biggest challenge to commercial radio as we enter the new decade?
The industry must continue to reinvent and revitalise content offerings to be far more creative, innovative and engaging for both new and current audiences, and serve it up on as many different platforms as possible. Homogenous content is a race to the bottom.
Top three career achievements to date?
Tell us about your content philosophy – what makes strong content?
When it comes to talent, what’s more important: profile or on-air performance?
To me, performance builds profile, it’s not one or the other. No one in entertainment starts out with a profile. It’s developed through performance. The talent that have crossed over industries, even those from reality TV have generally been selected on their initial ability to perform, not always on air, but perform in some form regardless.
Who are your programming role models?
I’ve learnt lots from lots of people but I don’t have one programming person I have modelled myself on.
From a career perspective I’ve remained close to Peter Harvie over a very long period of time, creativity has always been at the top of his priorities and even now he gets excited by new ideas whenever we catch up. I also enjoy being challenged by Grant’s entrepreneurial spirit to be different.
Favourite overseas station(s) and why?
In my opinion, no overseas radio stations, shows or talent stack up to local offerings. I’ve heard nothing outstandingly creative from OS, apart from some NZ shows and stations doing some very clever stuff. However, I have many favourite OS podcasts.
Favourite all-time radio show?
Hamish and Andy. It broke radio apart through being obsessed with creativity. Even globally it set a benchmark. It continues to remind me that nothing else matters if creativity isn’t at the very heart of Content.
Importance of Digital Radio Growth: Will DAB end up as extensions of the FM brands or do you see the potential for stand-alone brands/stations?
Both. It’s still a very immature platform and once full national, including regional rollout, happens and is adopted by the audience I’m certain there will continue to be some new and exciting offerings.
What are the best books you’d highly recommend to anyone aspiring for a career in Radio?
What are you/your network doing to develop new talent?
We have over 130 shows, all at different levels, time-slots and markets.
We have our HUBBLE talent development program which is intimately involved in regular development masterclasses and uncovery of new talent, and we are now becoming even more hands-on with developing our smaller market talent and shows this year.
Being the biggest, SCA has to lead talent development in this country if only to constantly fill our own stations’ lineups nationally.