Kate Meade on the importance of reaching one new person a day

Ali clarke breakfast show

Plus: Making the move to Adelaide for the Ali Clarke Breakfast Show

In December last year, ARN announced that Kate Meade had been appointed to the role of executive producer for Mix 102.3’s the Ali Clarke Breakfast Show, replacing Shaun Sandilands.

Taking on the EP role for the Ali Clarke Breakfast Show meant leaving her job as senior producer with Jonesy & Amanda at WSFM Sydney, and making the move to Adelaide. Fast forward a few months, and Meade has found her feet in the City of Churches.

Mediaweek took a trip to the Adelaide ARN studios to chat with Meade about taking the reins of the show, and the importance of getting one new person to listen every day.

See Also: “We want to be the best”: What 2023 holds for the Ali Clarke Breakfast Show

Mediaweek joins the post-show meeting, led by EP Kate Meade

Uprooting your life to move for a job is never a decision to be taken lightly, but for Meade, there were a number of reasons behind saying ‘yes’ to the move.

“It was an opportunity to take on an executive producer role, which was exciting – I’d been the senior producer with Jonesy & Amanda, and those 12 months have just set me up for the future. It was just an amazing opportunity. 

“The show is sitting where it’s sitting in the ratings, there are challenges around it – I thought that this is the type of show that you could hopefully make a difference to. I had never been to Adelaide, so to go from Sydney to Adelaide was certainly a shock. I got here in December and met Ali and the team, it just felt like a nice fit. I thought, well, why not? Let’s do this.”

Mix 102.3 finished 2022 as the Adelaide station with the highest 10+ share, topping the market with an 11.8% share. In the breakfast timeslot, the Ali Clarke Breakfast Show came in fourth FM with a 9% share after lifting 0.7%. 

See Also: Adelaide Radio Ratings 2022, Survey 8: Mix102.3 finishes the year at #1

Looking ahead to the next 12 months, Meade says that the game plan involves highlighting what makes the show so special, and then building from there.

“Short term, it’s making sure when the guys come in that there’s this total sense of fun and sense of Adelaide community. We’re pumping out content that is uniquely Adelaide, and unique to Ali. 

The Ali Clarke Breakfast Show is one of the only female-led solo Breakfast shows in Australia, which is a unique point of difference. If we can amplify that, then it just trickles out everywhere.”

Seth Godin talks about building a community one by one. What are we doing every day to get one person to listen to us? When they do that, what are we doing to then get them to tell the next person ‘hey, you should listen, you should hear what they’re doing’. That’s how I look at it – get it right in these first few months, make sure everything is singing from the on-air to the back end, and then everything slowly starts to come one by one. Then we just want to win!”

ARN Adelaide reception

Mead’s words are backed up fully by the team’s actions, and nowhere has this philosophy of winning over one person at a time shone through more than the team’s meeting with a woman named Rose.

“We actually had comments on the Facebook page that said, ‘I’ve turned off, I don’t want to listen, I don’t like it’. Instead of blocking the comments, we leant into it and thought, why don’t we get one of these calls on and see if we can win them back? 

“We met up with a woman named Rose – she’s a disability carer, she doesn’t have children but she has a dog, she’s a Port Adelaide supporter. We had the Port Adelaide Football Club come on and give her a membership, Max went out and walked the dog. Have we won her back? I don’t know if she’s still listening or not, but she had a great week!

Radio is an incredibly local medium, and it can be daunting to jump into a new show in a new place. Meads says that she hasn’t just learned a lot about Adelaide itself – a place she calls “the most beautiful city ever” – but also what makes the place tick, and it’s all down to the people she works with.

“It’s not about being an expert here, I’ve been leaning on the guys. Ali is Mrs. Adelaide, she’s everywhere. I do more listening to see what’s going on – there’s no point in me saying ‘did you guys know that this thing was happening?’ because they already do. It’s more about how that fits into the show.”

The view from the production booth

Finally, when asked what she thinks makes great radio, Meade immediately points to the people behind the mics.

“The talent and their ability to be vulnerable when needed – not just to cry because we need them to. At the heart of it, it’s always about the person that has the ability to either tell a great story or hear a great story and then reshare it. Great radio will keep you in the car – you can’t get out because what they’re saying is so powerful, whether it’s making you laugh, making you angry, or making you cry. That’s what makes great radio.”

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