Life in radio! Tom Reeves and Brody Swain

7 Dec

Successful producer and presenter Tom Reeves and Brody Swain returned to Coventry conversations to discuss their lives in radio, the highs, the lows as well as what it takes to make it in the radio industry.

Brody has wanted to be in the radio business since he was 14 years old, starting as an in store DJ for HMV in Birmingham “there was a lot of personality on shows back then which is what attracted me to radio, but you don’t really hear any of that good stuff anymore, now breakfast is the nearest thing to how radio use to be.”

Tom was also attracted to radio after being heavily involved in student radio at Swansea University, and later after graduating with a degree in politics and economics went on to start his glittering career at local commercial station Red Dragon FM. “Everything in radio is a test, its harder than ever to get into radio than it was before, but the rewards are great, its fun and since you only live once, why would you do a job you hate for the rest of your life?”

Tom as the breakfast producer for Mercia says it’s all down to “forward planning” and the key to a successful show and working environment in radio is that “everyone comes in and contributes, you have to recognise the differences in your teams personalities and deal with them, once you realise the dynamic its easy.”

Brody feels the reason for his shows success is down to the unique selling point and the more personal relationship with his audience on the local level, “my radio station is just for Coventry and is unique in that way, I talk to the lord mayor and to the local Coventry people, and we talk about Coventry.” Describing his worries for the future of radio and for his show Brody admits the uncertainty that is constant within the industry “Its quite scary but what a lot of radio stations say is that your breakfast show should be cut and we’ll have one radio station broadcasting one radio show to five stations, this can happen at any moment.”

Tom and Brody both believe in the importance of listening to their audiences in guiding what they do “you know your doing the wrong thing when ratings go down, radio is still more an art than an exact science” Tom comments. “What’s really important is to make sure that you get your backside into the audience and find out what the like” Brody adds.

Tom and Brody advise budding radio enthusiasts “ you have to be prepared to work hard and make sure you stand out, offer something, come up with ideas and have the right attitude, make yourself indispensable to the station and you’ll succeed.”

 

(NOTE: This was an interview done a fair while ago, whilst I was at university and was published in the paper, it is not  recent work and I’m just including it as portfolio)

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