Tom King: “K Rock has given me opportunities I never envisaged”
While other kids his age were reading books, Tom King spent his primary school days glued to the sports section of the newspaper.
Now Head of K Rock Football in the Victorian city of Geelong, Tom tells Radio Today “As a child, I hung on the back 15-20 pages of The Sun. Football, cricket, basketball, racing. Basically anything where there was a winner and a loser, I was interested.”
Tom grew up in the Geelong area and while he wasn’t a Cats fan himself, he loved listening to the great Ted Whitten broadcast Geelong footy games on 3GL/K rock.
Ted was just one of several commentators he admired.
“3CS in Colac used to broadcast Bellarine league games where my local club played and they had a commentator named Warren Riches who I hoped to emulate.”
Tom also loved the Channel 7 combination of Peter Landy and Lou Richards, especially when they called Sunday footy games from Sydney.
With a love of sport coursing through his veins, young Tom started mapping out his future.
“I knew early I had little ability on the footy field, so had to find another way if I wanted to be involved at the highest level.”
Tom got his first crack through an internship at K rock in 1997. A cadetship in the in the newsroom at 2TM in Tamworth would follow.
Tom’s passion for broadcasting football grew further when at The River in Albury.
“Management there was good enough to let me be part of a local community station’s football coverage on weekends.”
Tom hadn’t expected to return to Geelong. But fate had other ideas and – after leaving his hometown at the age of 21 – he found himself back there again.
“15 years later, I’m still at K rock. It’s afforded me opportunities I never envisaged.”
Now, he’s come full circle. As Head of K rock Football, Tom’s life is a sporting hamburger with the lot. His duties include producing the station’s AFL and GFL broadcasts, developing the run sheet, arranging guests, club liaison and overseeing the krockfootball.com.au website, which complements the station’s on-air product.
Tom says he also keeps co-caller Ben Casanelia in check.
“He doesn’t mind working what I like to call ‘light blue.’”
And there’s plenty to love about being part of the K rock team.
“We’ve been blessed for the last 15 years to turn up to broadcast Geelong games knowing the Cats are always a chance of winning. It’s a small team, which means consistency for listeners in the voices they hear. Getting to talk footy isn’t the worst job in the world!”
And as a six-time winner of the ACRA for Best Sports Presenter – Provincial, he’s got plenty to show for it.
As to what the future might hold – Tom fancies one day mixing footy with the fairways.
“When I’m done at K rock (or K rock’s done with me), I’d love to move to one of Echuca, Barooga or Yarrawonga and join Edge FM Deniliquin/Echuca who have started broadcasting Murray league games.”
“Golf in the morning and calling footy on a Saturday arvo seems like a good combination. I just need to get the much better half of my marriage to agree.”
Tom’s ultimate dream is to broadcast basketball on radio in the USA.
“High school, college or NBA, I’m not fazed.”