You Haven’t Got What It Takes

Greg Smith is an inductee into the Australian Radio Hall of Fame, and a Director of Radio Today.

My secondary school days were spent at Clarence High on Hobart’s Eastern Shore.

My Social Studies teacher, Mr Jim Menadue, told me that I would be digging ditches when I left school. I thought I’ll show him so I borrowed my father’s Trent Memory Course & put it into practice & in the following year I won the School Prize for Social Studies.

When I left school I wanted to get into radio as an announcer. I did the usual things like went to radio school & then sent out tapes of myself to stations all over Australia. Most of them sent back nice replies but no job offers.

My mother told me to forget about radio as it wasn’t going to happen. In the meantime I had to get a job, so I ended working as a furniture salesman at Coogans in Hobart.

After that I worked at the South Coast Dairy in Southport as a clerk doing the banking for the milk deliveries, ice-cream sales & the farmers’ co-operative businesses.

My next job was at the ATO in Hobart. I was only there for a couple of weeks when out of the blue I got a job offer from 7BU Burnie. Apparently they lost 3 announcers in a week so they were desperate. Over the next decade I worked on-air at 7BU, 3SH, 7HO, 3XY, 7HT & 3DB. I first worked with Paul Thompson at 3DB when he was the PD.

I joined 3XY for the second time in the early 80s as afternoon announcer & Music Director. Graham Smith was the Program Director & on one fateful day in June 1981, Graham had a serious argument with Stan Guilfoyle, the station’s CEO. Graham subsequently left the station & Stan offered me the PD's role.

Shortly after, singer songwriter Mike Brady of ‘Up There Cazaly’ fame said to me that 3XY would have to be stuffed now that Graham has left. I thought I’ll show him. Years later I was at a Melbourne restaurant with a friend of mine, Bill Shannon, head of the advertising agency Shannon’s Way & Mike Brady came over to say hello. I reminded him of our previous conversation & thanked him for spurring me on.

When I was Group PD of Austereo, I was living in Adelaide but spending a lot of time in Sydney working on 2DAY.FM with Eriks Celmins & Brad March. 2MMM was king & it was a hard slog to get 2DAY.FM to number one. Charlie Fox, Program Director of 2MMM at the time sent me a Sydney to Adelaide one-way airline ticket. It made me more determined than ever to get 2DAY.FM to the top which we did for the first time in March 1992.

Thank you Jim, Mum, Mike & Charlie for your encouraging words.

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