More from Marty: Triple M’s Sheargold on ratings and listening habits

Marty Sheargold

• What he can’t do on air (‘HR gone mad’) and his new TV series

We published the first instalment of our two-part Marty Sheargold feature before his first Triple M breakfast program had been broadcast. The second part we publish today after hearing much of his first two programs.

And the news is good for SCA with the program on Tuesday already sounding like a worthy successor to Melbourne’s The Hot Breakfast. Sheargold speaks his mind which has always been a strong attraction for listeners. And who knew having the team together in the studio would work so well? Hearing the host and his colleagues working out how the new show works on air is a treat for listeners.

Listening to Sheargold interacting with callers was always a highlight on Nova, and it will be at Triple M too. Listening to Marty with a caller telling all about orgies in Melbourne was memorable this morning.

Soon on TV too

Sheargold has recently finished work on the new Kitty Flanagan sitcom Fisk for the ABC.

“That’s all been filmed and it is being edited as we speak,” Sheargold told Mediaweek. “The series is six half hours and what a great group of people it was to work with. I have done bits and pieces of acting work before, but in terms of turning up and working in a big block of time it was a new experience for me. I really loved it, but anything like this in the future would need to see me look very carefully at my time management. Fisk popped up at a perfect time for me as I was literally sitting at home.”

He was cautious about taking on more TV work if offered:

I can see the amount of work it will take to get this breakfast radio show going and it is my absolute priority.

Keeping in touch with Nova’s Tim Blackwell

“Blackers and I have been madly chatting over the break about the business we are in. We have both been incredibly supportive of each other’s projects and how we are all managing to keep moving through.

“Blackers has sent me links to his Nova podcast and I know it has gone through the roof. I listened to the Yungblud episode and really enjoyed it and some of his others have also done very well.

See also: Kate Ritchie and Tim Blackwell on the end of the Nova drive team

Sports on Marty’s breakfast

“Coming into the AFL season we will have somebody to talk to about the football. But in the off season I don’t think we will be having many pre-season updates. I am a sports lover so it will remain a part of the show. But when you had Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy in the studio, they were always going to talk more sport than I would.

SCA v Nova Entertainment management

“SCA is a much bigger company, a bigger operation. And you feel that when you walk in. SCA is a company where some of the brands have nearly 50 stations, versus a company that is running seven.

“I was very involved in the discussions to move back to SCA and my main contact was with Dave Cameron.”

As to what he’s not allowed do on air, Sheargold laughed: “I’m not allowed masturbate on air. I was surprised by that…it’s HR gone mad as far as I’m concerned, but that’s the world we live in.

Mediaweek speaks with SCA’s head of content Dave Cameron tomorrow.

After a career at SCA and Nova over the past 17 years, Sheargold noted he’d never been approached by ARN for work.

“I have a lovely relationship with [ARN content boss] Duncan Campbell where we have a chat at major functions when our paths cross. For whatever reason, neither of us seem to have been on each other’s radar.”

Ratings outlook

Sheargold: “I think it is best to talk about these things taking longer. Triple M is demo driven – you might win a 10+ survey in this market, but be missing some of the right audience. If we can start to get to 29-54-year-old men against our competitors and keep increasing that will be a good result.

“I am not worried about 10+, I’m more concerned about winning the demo the network is chasing. Winning 10+ is great to go to the pub and talk about how great you are, but that result is not always servicing sales.”

Changing listening habits

“All you can do is make strong content choices, execute them well and be passionate about what you are talking about.”

Sheargold sounding convincing that he is very much up for the challenge of making breakfast work. He won’t be heading home at 9.10am every day.

“I don’t understand how somebody would get themselves into a position like this and the not work hard to make the most of it. If hard work is the criteria, then you shouldn’t really fail.

“I can only be me.” And being Marty Sheargold has got the broadcaster this far.

Marty on radio greats

Broadcasters at SCA work in the shadow of some radio greats who had long periods of success. Something that is often referred to in the corridors and offices at World Square and South Melbourne.

Sheargold reflected: “There is a lot of choice now for audiences, something that wasn’t there when I started in radio.”

He added with a grin: “Prior to me starting people used to hi-5 each other because Doug Mulray or Wendy Harmer had gone #1. So they should have. There was only two radio stations. If I hear one more thing about Andrew Denton going #1 I’ll go fucking mental…I’m joking,” he added with his trademark drawl and giggle.

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