Marty Sheargold’s solo shot: Drive specialist wanted his own show

Marty Sheargold

Southern Cross Austereo said ‘Yes’ to Marty before their competitors did

Marty Sheargold last year pitched the idea of him hosting a solo show to the FM networks. SCA liked what they heard and moved first to secure his return to the company. Sheargold speaks to Mediaweek about the new show and busts a few Sheargold myths along the way.

Marty can’t get up early for breakfast radio

Sheargold: “It is a myth [that I couldn’t get up early]. Sometimes when you are in a drive shift for as long as I was, and having done both ends of the day, there is a perception that you don’t want to ever do anything else. But that is certainly not the case.”

Sheargold lacks breakfast radio experience

“I started in Adelaide doing breakfast radio at SAFM with Amanda Blair, James Brayshaw and Richard Marsland. I also spent time in Brisbane at Nova [with Meshel Laurie] and also in Sydney at Triple M [with Fifi Box and for a while Paul Murray].

“Of my 17-year journey in radio I have done about five of those years on breakfast.”

Sheargold told listeners he was stuck in the lift on his first day at Triple M Sydney in 2007 co-hosting breakfast with Fifi Box. Was that a true story or just a gag for the launch?

“A true story. On the next day I was so frightened to catch the lift, at a serviced apartment in the city, I used the stairs to descend the 25 floors. Subsequently, I couldn’t walk for three days.”

Marty Sheargold arrives a couple of minutes before showtime with no prep

“It’s not true, but I have always been happy for that myth to be perpetuated. It adds to the knockabout persona that I have tried to carry through life. In truth you wouldn’t last as long as I have if you were doing fuck all.

The Marty Sheargold Show

“This is the first time I have ever hosted my own solo radio show. Obviously I have done stand-up over the journey, but this is definitely my first own FM radio gig.”

Sheargold ended his time at Nova working mostly from a home studio. That won’t happen at Triple M.

“I was working out of home for Nova during what were some hardcore pandemic months.”

Sheargold said he had yet to calculate the exact time he needs to leave home every morning for the commute to SCA in central Melbourne. “I just hope it doesn’t have a 3 at the front of it,” he confided. “One thing I don’t have to do is hair and makeup which saves me some time in the morning.”

Who’s Who at The Marty Sheargold Show

Troy Ellis [anchor] and I have talked much over the years, but without working on air together. However we have both worked in the same building before when I was on Triple M drive [with Fifi and Byron Cooke] and Troy was working with Matt and Jo on Fox breakfast.”

The show will feature all the producers working in the studio alongside Sheargold. The team includes executive producer Matt Thomson ex-Nova, a former Nova drive producer Loren Barry, and former Hot Breakfast team members – producer Will Ralston and audio producer David “DC” Collins.

Sheargold’s radio revenue

When asked if breakfast radio dollars were better than national drive dollars, Sheargold wouldn’t be drawn. “People are always intrigued by that question. I wouldn’t want to allude to the earning power of people in the business at either end of the day.

“It is fair enough to say, as you get longer in the tooth in this business, your value should increase, but it may well decrease.”

At this stage of his career, Sheargold said the financial attraction doesn’t outweigh the pull of a creative challenge. “This decision [to move from Nova to Triple M] is all about the opportunity from SCA to do a one man show. As you get older you realise you are running out of opportunities to do something for yourself.

“For me it was a really important time in my life personally to take on a challenge like this shift. I’ll get one shot at it and hopefully I can make it work.”

Sheargold grinned when he told Mediaweek he had signed a 10-year deal with SCA. “I’m the Buddy Franklin of Melbourne radio,” said Sheargold, referring to Franklin’s historic 10-year he signed when moving from Hawthorn to the Sydney Swans.

“If I am removed from here within 10 years you will know someone has white-anted me.” Sheargold said he will have to be paid out for the remainder of the 10 years. “The Rove McManus clause,” he added with a cheeky smile.

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