Managing Creative Talent

Staff Writer


Mark Hales is a former Program Director of Nova 919 in Adelaide, and Nova 937 in Perth. He is the founder of – a free online community for new radio talent in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Mark writes today with his tips for managing talent.

Talent Management is a talent in itself. It is rarely easy, often difficult, always challenging but ultimately very rewarding.

Managing people is a skill, no one ever gets it right all the time. You learn from every experience every day. 

Creative talent isn’t just the main content generator on a breakfast show, they are everywhere in radio – everyone working on a breakfast show, announcers, news, production, MD’s, producers, commercial production, promotions and so on.

Everyone in a radio product team should be a creative talent in their own right.

When I managed creative talent there was 1 key thing I set out to achieve on a daily basis : 

Giving creative talent space.

As a creative talent manager, I felt I must constantly be on top of everything. There was a lot at stake don’t ya know! However, creative talent didn’t need (and definitely didn’t want) me hovering over their shoulders checking on everything they were doing. 

Sure, airchecks needed to be done, but if I went over every break from a breakfast show with them was that the best possible use of their creative energy?

I learnt to get my couple of points across each day and then let them go. They could then put all their remaining creative energy into the next show. Bog them down with long, draining meetings and the next show was destined to suffer as a consequence.

I was fortunate to have worked with lots of amazing creative talent, one of which was Richie Culph (now Fitzy and Wippa’s image producer at Nova 969). His creative writing was outstanding but he could never be at his creative best if he was stuck in a studio pumping out promo’s all day.

He was given the flexibility to find the best creative space to deliver his best creative work. This could have been at home, at a coffee shop, the beach – it didn’t matter – it was this freedom and flexibility that enabled him to create brilliance.

How do you manage creative talent ?

What do you find works best ?

What tips do you have that you could share ?

Mark Hales is the founder of – a free online community for new radio talent in Australia, New Zealand & the U.K.
He was the former Program Director of Nova 919 and Nova 937.


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