Podcast Week: Matt & Alex return, 7am celebrates, Alan Jones, Daniel Garb

• Plus Russel Howcroft explores COVID-19’s ‘insane marketing disruption’

Matt & Alex: All Day Breakfast

Finding a breakfast show that works nationally has always been the Holy Grail for radio broadcasters. The rewards are obvious, but the failure can be cataclysmic in that you face the task of finding a replacement for each market the show goes into.

Podcasting however allows broadcasters to experiment and take the plunge into something like a national breakfast show. That is exactly what PodcastOne has done, giving one of SCA’s most trusted producers, Sam Cavanagh, the OK to build a national commercial breakfast show. The pilots of the new program are former triple j breakfast hosts Matt Okine and Alex Dyson.

Earlier this week Mediaweek’s Trent Thomas spoke to Okine about his move from the public broadcaster into the commercial world. Thomas also asked about what the podcast allows them to do.

Okine replied that one of the best parts of doing the show is that they are able to be themselves: “One of the biggest traps that people fall into when making content is not being sincere.

“The only way that I can make content is to make something that I like and hope that other people like it too. We probably branch out a little wider than we did at triple j like we got Sylvia Jefferies on to talk about me predicting her pregnancy at the Logies and that’s an interview that we may not have been able to do at triple j due to the commercial relationship that Sylvia has opposed to the independent vibe of the j’s.

“We will talk to a few more reality TV stars, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to talk to activists and amazing musicians still as well.”

For the complete interview with the PodcastOne breakfast host see:
Matt Okine on return to breakfast with his triple j co-host Alex Dyson

Listen to Matt & Alex All Day Breakfast

Gruen’s Russel Howcroft on media and marketing

Another recent PodcastOne launch is Brand New World, an exploration of the current marketing landscape, insights into changing consumer behaviour and how to build long term success for brands and businesses.

The podcast will be hosted by PwC Australia partner and chief creative officer Russel Howcroft, one of the two advertising and marketing gurus who sit beside Wil Anderson on ABC TV’s Gruen.

Episodes currently available feature agency CEO Kimberlee Wells, marketing specialist Peter Field and creative agency boss Adam Ferrier.

Howcroft said: “Both myself and SCA have a passion for building brands and businesses, so throughout this series we will talk to experts in the industry about how they are adapting to this brand new world.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has created insane disruption across the world. And the marketing and advertising industry is no exception. We’re being forced to find new ways to build brands and communicate to our customers as their behaviour and priorities change. My job will be to tease out the insights, creativity and lessons, that will help us all get through this together.  To help find the opportunity in the chaos.”

SCA chief marketing and communications officer Nikki Clarkson said: “SCA is in the business of growing our clients’ brands and businesses and this podcast is our way of providing some insights from the experts, to help marketers navigate through this changing landscape. The podcast will explore why great marketing and advertising will deliver successful outcomes for organisations both now and in the future.”

Listen to Brand New World here.

7am celebrates first birthday as competitors multiply

The daily news podcast from Schwartz Media 7am this week celebrated its first birthday. It had considered hosting a special live recording to note the milestone, but COVID-19 put an end to that. The pandemic has also changed the way the podcast team works and has helped grow the audience too.

This month 7am is ranked as the third most-listened to Australian podcast. It sits in what is now a crowded field with new daily podcasts launching regularly.

When the program returned from its summer break the podcast featured a new host Ruby Jones. She is the face of what is a well-resourced team by podcast standards. Jones told Mediaweek that she reports to 7am editor Osman Faruqi while her colleagues include three producers and a field reporter.

As to the changes since she and Osman took over at the podcast, Jones told Mediaweek: “People are more comfortable with what we are producing every day. We are happy with the podcast and it feels sharper and better.” Jones then added: “That has made us more ambitious.”

The ambition includes taking on special multi-episode themes where field reporter Elle Marsh contributes. “Being able to do this has elevated our storytelling,” said Jones.

The podcast packages its content the day before it is published. Jones records news headlines late in the afternoon and the podcast goes live at 4am the next morning. The arrival of COVID-19 has made the 15-minute episode more topical. “We are running a lot closer to the news cycle than we have in the past,” Jones said.

The peak listening time used to be 8am during the morning commute. However WFH changed that and listening has been spread across the day since lockdown started.

Jones and her team keep an eye on new arrivals in the daily podcast space, noting there wasn’t much competition when they first launched 12 months ago. “We don’t mind the competition. As they say – a rising tide floats all boats!”

Jones doesn’t think the podcast leans either to the right or the left politically. “We leave it to the reporter just to tell the story.” Does Jones think they have many conservative listeners? “I hope so.”

Listen to 7am here.

Sports fans get new series from Dan Garb

Over 15 years, Daniel Garb established a reputation as one of the premier sports reporters in Australia – especially for people with a passion for European football. During eight years with Fox Sports, Garb was a football and sports news presenter in addition to time spent in the UK filing Premier League news and interviews for the Australian broadcaster.

Now Garb is taking his experience, interviewing skills and contact list to launch his own sporting podcast – Greats with Garby – specialising in insightful chats with sporting greats that cuts straight to the tales of their time at the top and what made them special.

Garb is promising a pure sports podcast for the pure sports lover that will provide then with insider access.

Garb said: “Along with interviews with a range of elite athletes across different sports, we’ll attack some of the major sporting sagas as they come to hand so that you’ll have an instant analysis of the issues that are of interest to you and there’ll be some fun sports culture features to go along with it.”

Two recent episodes worth your time are Garb’s interview with Australian basketball legend Shane Heal and his breakdown of The Last Dance with broadcasters Dan Ginnane and Seb Costello.

Listen to Greats with Garby here.

Full story: Guardian looks at Alan Jones

A new episode of Guardian Australia’s daily Full Story podcast is titled The rise and fall of Alan Jones. Exploring the legacy of what she calls Australia’s leading shock jock is long-time media reporter Amanda Meade who now works for the Guardian. The start of the 43-minute episode comes with a language warning as Jones’ commentary at times, off and on air, can be very divisive and explicit.

Guardian Australia says: “This week one of the country’s most successful radio presenters will broadcast his final show. For some, Alan Jones was a frank and fearless voice, for others, a divisive and polarising force in the media landscape.”

Listen to Full Story: Alan Jones here.

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