Welcome to Radio!
Angus O’Loughlin has laid bare his experience of working in radio and the blunt realities he has seen. This is in his words.
My name is Angus O’Loughlin and I work everyday with the knowledge that it could be my last. I host a nightly radio show currently called The Hit 30 (though I’ve worked under three different show names in as many years) which is broadcast across the country on the Hit Network, or as I just tell people, “I’m after Hamish and Andy”.
My employment backstory is one of starting at the bottom. Flipping sausages for the radio station in Cairns, driving the “prize patrol” car in Townsville, hosting the breakfast show for a small market in Tasmania, co-hosting on SeaFm on the Sunshine Coast before a quick stop in Adelaide and now Sydney.
This industry and this line of work is all I’ve known since leaving high school at 18; that’s nine years in entertainment. You’d think with an extensive resume, celebrity friends to call upon and 100,000-plus Twitter followers I’d stroll into work without a worry in the world. You’re wrong.
I’ve seen breakfast shows get axed after only a few months on-air, mates not have their contracts renewed who are still unemployed, headlines in newspapers heralding million-dollar-deals being done behind the backs of others. This sh*t is scary!
We do so much “radio codes of conduct” training every year that we are basically forced to sign away our careers if (God forbid) something is said on the air that warrants discipline. The company immediately distances itself from you because we are “trained to know better”.
However, this is the industry I happily and continually sign up to be a part of and there is something exhilarating about walking the tightrope of listener complaints every night. I guess I’m writing this to help you understand the cutthroat industry and to shed some light on what really happens when the microphones are turned off.
This isn’t a dig at my current employers. Honestly, I love working at the 2Day FM offices with the people who surround me and the lunches I have with the head of the network. It’s more a reflection of a misunderstood industry.
We don’t get in at 6.45pm for a 7pm start; we are more likely in the office at 2pm only after having seen a compulsory movie screening to get an interview with Rebel Wilson (which never even eventuated).
On top of all this, we can lose our job eight times a year when ratings come out. If I tweet something accidentally controversial or against company opinion I can be let go (as per those “codes of conduct”).
Every night I’m on the air pressing the “on” microphone button I feel like I’m tiptoeing over landmines.
So maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear me on the air tonight from 7pm.
The Hit 30 with Angus and Emma is on the Hit Network. You can follow Angus on Twitter here and Instagram