Rob McLennan: 25 not out

In an industry known for its ‘churn and burn’, reaching any sort of milestone is a fairly remarkable achievement.  Anything over 10 years is impressive. Anything over 15 years is enviable.  Cracking a quarter of a century is a rarity.

Geelong’s Rob McLennan is one of the very rare individuals to spend 25 years at the one place.  It’s even more remarkable, if you include his two years as a casual newsreader/journalist.

He began in Geelong when there was just one radio station in town: 3GL in James Street. Rob has been there for the name change to K-Rock and the acquisition of Bay FM, becoming news director of the combined operation.

He attributes his longevity to a genuine passion for news, Geelong and the loyalty shown by station owners.

“Grant Broadcasting has owned the radio station now for 23 years.  I have a lot of respect for the Camerons. They’re very loyal to their staff and that’s a hard thing to find sometimes in this industry”.

“I’m not sure I would have had this opportunity at many other networks. I am being allowed to find the challenges in this job that allows the newsroom to stay at the cutting edge of what we do.  As long as those challenges are there, then I’ve never seen any reason to walk away”.

After 25 years in the job, you’d be forgiven for becoming a little blasé or jaded.  Yet, Rob still finds those things that keep him turning up at Stupid O’clock every morning.

“That’s the great thing about news.  It’s the front seat in the passing parade of life, isn’t it?  You get to see and experience things first hand; you get intimate knowledge of what’s going on in the world.  For a news ‘tragic’ like me, it’s the job of jobs”.

“I have a philosophy that when I get run down and take a holiday, I ask myself: If I needed a job and this was the only one advertised, warts and all, would I take it?  As long as the answer is yes, then I always come back.  One day if the answer is ‘no’, well then I will probably look for something else”.

While he still keeps answering ‘yes’, we can expect to hear more from Rob McLennan, who’s now moved across the corridor to read breakfast on Bay FM.

But should he wake up and answer ‘no’, then Rob’s legacy will the young journos who’ve passed through his newsroom and invariably share his passion for producing strong local content.

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