Look Who’s Making it in Radio: Rachel Zonta

This week, Radio Today’s Look Who’s Making it in Radio peeks into the life of Rachel Zonta from the Mackay and Whitsundays region, who balances top-rating breakfast radio with raising a toddler.

One half of Star 101.9’s Scotty and Rach breakfast duo, Rachel moved to Mackay in 2014 and got her first job in radio as a sales rep, with the dream of being on air. 

“After a few years of doing both the cruiser car crosses and sales, I got my opportunity in 2017 when the current breaky announcer went on maternity leave and I was her replacement,” said Rach.

“Lucky for me she decided not to return, and I got to keep the breaky position.” 

“Then, in 2020, like many other announcers, I was made redundant from SCA. However, luckily after only a few weeks, my co-host and I were picked up by the other local station Star 101.9, and I never looked back.” 

Later, when Rachel welcomed her first child, she was very grateful for the support from Star that allowed her the space for both home and work.

“I work with a great team who have been nothing but supportive of me balancing becoming a mum and working as a full-time breaky announcer.”

Starting with her new co-host and content director Scotty Linden upon return, Rach says her new working day is not the same as the average announcer since becoming a mum.

“Two days a week I log in from my home studio (just set up equipment in my daughter’s playroom) and do the show from home,” said Rach.

“Three days a week I’m able to be in the studio and have a ‘normal’ day, but for the other two days I juggle getting work done with a toddler running around.”

“It is going really well, and [Scotty] will often have a laugh watching the mayhem unfold behind me on the video chat while we work.”

That being said, Rach has not been immune from challenges along the way. She has faced problems that radio announcers are commonly faced with.

“One of the biggest challenges I struggled with for a long time was not feeling good enough to be on air and trusting in my content decisions,” said Rach.

“Although the shows I’ve been on have never lost a survey, you can always feel not good enough and easily replaceable in this industry.”

“However, now after a few years behind me and a change of work environment, I’ve found my confidence.” 

“At the time Star was rating 3rd, so it was a lot of pressure to take the third station to number one, but we did it, and you can guarantee a lot of tears were shed that day!” 

Rachel says the trick to successful content is to keep it natural and authentic.


“Natural is best, sometimes over-planned breaks and content are just crap, some of the best breaks and ideas we’ve done are the off-the-cuff ones,” says Rach.

“I’ve learnt to go with the flow a lot more than I previously would, not be so strict on the time length of a break and just let content breathe.” 

Anyone considering a job in radio in Rachel’s domain should, “just apply for any job to get your foot in the door.”

Not only are Rach’s work conditions sound, but the lifestyle in the region is on par. 

“It’s warm most of the year, and so much easier living in a small town with easy commutes to work, it’s a very easy laid-back lifestyle, wearing thongs to work is totally acceptable,” said Rach.

Take it from Rach, go for the job, because, “You never know where it might lead you!” 

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