Marty Sheargold’s 25-year plan for Triple M Melbourne Breakfast
If Marty Sheargold isn’t still hosting Triple M Melbourne Breakfast in 2046, I’ve been instructed to give Dave Cameron a call.
The SCA content boss has no doubt already reached his annual quota of questions about talent lineups, contracts, shake-ups and changes, with high-profile changes in multiple capital cities (not to mention the regions), but Sheargold is adamant – 25 years or bust.
“I want 25, and, Vivienne, if I don’t last 25, you know that somebody’s undermined me from within the building,” he quips. “And if I was you, I’d be ringing Dave Cameron to find out exactly what’s happened.”
Anyone who can see 25 years into radio’s future has a skillset far beyond my own – especially since in the first draft of this article, I calculated 25 years from now to be 2026, such is my ability to live in the past, inability to do mental maths, and propensity to not know what day it is. (It’s still the early 2000s, isn’t it?)
Sheargold too, it seems, has struggled to keep up with the passage of time since leaving his syndicated Drive show at Nova, Kate, Tim & Marty late last year.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back into the workload. I’ve really missed, since not having worked in mid-September 2019, 20… what year is this? 2020-what? Yea it’s 2021, isn’t it?” he stumbles.
“I’ve really missed the work. I love the structure, and I love the routine, and I really crave it when I don’t have it, and I’ve really missed that. So I love having a reason, and that’s what this show gives me. I’m really looking forward to getting back into it, and doing all those things that come with a big full-time job.”
The big, full-time job, however, comes with just his name on the billing. There’s no ‘Kate’ or ‘Tim’ to share responsibility, blame if a segment doesn’t work – no one to stand next to, no one to hide behind.
Marty: No one to hide behind
“It certainly comes with some responsibility, no doubt,” he says. “And it’s not one of those shows that you want to get wrong, you know what I’m saying?
“If it was called the Phil Le Cavity show, which you would never call the show, obviously, because that’s my dentist’s name, then I wouldn’t care. But… when it’s your own name, you’re a little more invested as you can imagine.”
This means too, of course, that should the show be successful, Sheargold is likely to get more of the glory.
The show he is replacing, Hot Breakfast helmed for over a decade by Melbourne media identity Eddie McGuire and sidekick Luke Darcy, finished on a 6.8% share last year. This was, clearly, nowhere near 3AW’s eye-watering 25.0%, but is within reach of GOLD 104.3’s FM-leading Christian O’Connell, who was on 7.5%. It also remained ahead of SCA-stablemate Fox FM, on 6.6%.
Fox, too, is in for a shake-up, with Nick Cody replacing Byron Cook in the line-up alongside Fifi Box and Brendan Fevola.
Having worked with Box before, Sheargold now finds himself in direct competition with her in a busy Melbourne Breakfast market.
“I don’t think I’ll be looking at the kind of radio they’re making… It’s a different audience and it’s a different playlist and different hosts. I don’t think you can compare me to Fife in terms of the way we both host radio shows. I don’t know there’s any winners there when you start looking at those kinds of comparisons,” he says.
“Fife and I had a lovely phone call a few weeks ago and just reminisced about our time working together, and we’re very supportive of each other being in the same market. We’re too long in the tooth for that kind of stuff now, other than to wish each other well.”
So he’s running his own race, not concerned by the competition, and making content choices for the types of people he believes will be drawn to his show. And he’s got 25 years to do it. How then, do you measure success if not by the competition, and when you’re viewing things so long-term?
“Well, look, I think success is subjective, and I think you can’t fail in life if you’re working hard and trying your best, and so I think that’s sort of the beginning and the end of it for me. If you’re having a crack, then you haven’t failed. And success and failure are two trigger words for most people, and they’re always other people’s ideas.”
Listen to a preview of Marty Sheargold’s show below, and stay tuned to Radio Today for the first few moments of The Marty Sheargold Show.