Podcast Week: The Briefing’s Nic McClure, Katrina Blowers, Jack Post

• June daytime listening climbs 32%, 180 Grams releasing final episodes

PodcastOne using radio’s best EPs to run daily podcasts

SCA-owned PodcastOne Australia is using experienced radio producers to EP some of its crucial new podcasts. One of them is Nic McClure who looks after The Briefing. The award-winning radio EP this week spoke about her new role. She’s not doing breakfast radio, but still gets up a crazy o’clock every day!

“This is the first time in 24 years I am producing outside of live radio,” McClure told Mediaweek. “With The Briefing there are some similarities to radio, it’s almost a hybrid of a breakfast show and a podcast. What I’m finding is different is the relationship with the listener. You don’t get the instant feedback you get from live radio. What I like is that the listener is in control and will listen when they are ready. It removes the elements of hooking and teasing, to get them to listen when you want them to.”

When it comes to radio shows, McClure has worked on the biggest including Kate Tim & Marty, The Kyle and Jackie O Show, Rosso on KIIS drive, Ugly Phil on Nova drive and Merrick and Rosso on Nova. She had no plan to be a podcast producer, but she did a weekend course at AFTRS on podcasting fundamentals, next things she knows SCA is on the phone. (Later this year McClure will teach AFTRS’s first radio production course.)

When McClure arrived at The Briefing, PodcastOne’s Grant Tothill and Sam Cavanagh has already secured the hosting talent.

After starting with a later release time to get everyone settled, the podcast now publishes daily at 6am. “The first half of the podcast is fresh headlines from that day, and the second half is a topic we dive deeper into. I get up earlier now than for any breakfast show I ever worked on – 2.30am. We need to be ready for 6am when people wake up.” Part of the time between wake-up and broadcast is filled with a commute from the Blue Mountains to SCA’s World Square HQ.

Compared to some of McClure’s breakfast show work, The Briefing is a relatively serious. McClure laughed: “I know, I have gone from working on the biggest rat in China with Kate, Tim and Marty to the incredible line-up of respected journos who work on the show.

McClure said one of her contributions to The Briefing is making sure they keep it accessible for all listeners.

“Tom is amazing,” said McClure of host Tom Tilley. “It is quite incredible to work with journalists after working the FM commercial field. I feel like my IQ must be higher after working with Tom and the team.”

Tilley starts early every day at 5am. As to which of the hosts has the biggest challenge with early start, McClure said, “It might be Tom!” Helping him ease into the day when he arrives at PodcastOne is a fresh cup of peppermint tea followed by a coffee as soon as the barristers arrive downstairs. The co-hosts also start early the days they are on, but they are scattered around the country. Annika Smethurst is online from Canberra, Jamila Rizvi is out of Melbourne, while Jan Fran comes into the Sydney studio.

See also: Tom Tilley’s new PodcastOne all-star daily adventure

Editing The Briefing is perhaps the hardest discipline McClure has had to master moving from live radio. PodcastOne has been very focused on keeping the episodes to around 20 minutes so people can consume them during morning commutes. “We are generating really good content and it is very hard to edit. What I have done with a couple of interviews is release bonus episodes featuring an interview in its entirety.

Because the podcast follows the news cycle it is hard to forecast highlights, but McClure told us to watch out for episode 100 dropping in August which might feature all four hosts on the same episode.

Listen to The Briefing here.
See also: Nic Clure on working with Kate, Tim and Marty in 2018

News Corp & Crocmedia climb Podcast Ranker

There was little movement in the June Podcast Ranker publisher top 10. The top two spots were again held by ARN/iHeartPodcast Network Australia and SCA’s PodcastOne.

ARN this week reported that in June, based on an analysis of 800k+ devices, listening across entertainment & lifestyle podcasts was up 12% while news was up 15%. These categories have shown continuous growth since March and are both now at record highs.

Listening across business & finance has seen a huge increase of 30% in June.

Podcast listening during the day, between 10am and 4pm, was also up in June with an increase of 32%.

ARN’s head of commercial audio & podcasts Corey Layton said, “Once again our podcast data is clearly showing the important role audio plays in our audience’s daily lives. Since March we have seen steady growth across entertainment & lifestyle and news categories as people balance their need to educate themselves with the latest information and entertain with light-hearted content. It’s also not surprising to see the increased popularity of business & finance content as Australians face new economic challenges and opportunities.

“As Australia’s #1 podcast publisher, ARN’s iHeartPodcast Network continues to innovate and expand our reach, providing the best local and global podcasts for both audiences and advertisers alike.”

The two movers on the Podcast Ranker publisher top 10 were Audioboom which went from #4 to #3 this month, while Crocmedia lifted one spot also, from #9 to #8. 

Newsreader Katrina Blowers launches new podcast

Big names share their biggest confidence challenges on Claiming Your Confidence, The Podcast, hosted by Seven and former newsreader and author Katrina Blowers.

The new show launched July 13 on iTunes and Spotify with three episodes dropping on week one. The first guests were Sunrise presenter Edwina Bartholomew, comedian, actor and broadcaster Merrick Watts and record-breaking ultra-runner Jacqui Bell.

Each week listeners are being promised a peek behind the curtain into the confidence journeys of influential celebrities, change-makers, business leaders, athletes and more.

Future guests include radio announcer Bianca Dye on conquering your inner critic, PepTalkHer founder Meggie Palmer on how to nail your next salary negotiation, entrepreneur Samantha Wills and plus-size advocate Curvy Sam.

Watts is extraordinarily open about hitting his biggest confidence low after departing Triple M. “There was a period there where I was completely lost,” he told Blowers. “Outwardly, everyone was going ‘Mez is the same’, but inside I was just burning. And it was about my confidence.”

Bartholomew shares her struggles with body confidence and overcoming imposter syndrome. “That can be the biggest enemy of confidence, self-doubt, second-guessing yourself and always thinking back and wondering what you could have done differently.”

Claiming Your Confidence, The Podcast, is part of Blower’s mission to reframe the confidence conversation – particularly for women – after having a panic attack live on-air while she was reading the news a few years ago.

Listen to Claiming Your Confidence, The Podcast here

Operation Jack Post

Longtime Hamish & Andy radio and now podcast contributor Jack Post came back to his other role at Gold 104 in Melbourne this week after a two week break during which time he had an operation on his nose.

Post is a member of the team on Melbourne’s #1 FM breakfast program The Christian O’Connell Show. He started the radio week back in lockdown from his home studio, recovering from an operation for a deviated septum. “It will give me greater airflow through my nose, improve my voice, and improve my general well-being,” he told his radio colleagues.

Post said it will take a few weeks for his “new” voice to be fully revealed. He tried to restrict his talking segments on the radio, but to little avail as O’Connell peppered him with questions throughout his first day back. Post said the surgery had knocked him for six, as he didn’t foresee the surgery would be so painful.

Both of Post’s shows are in the Podcast Ranker Australia Top 100, with Hamish & Andy at #2 and The Christian O’Connell Show a little lower down the chart, but up 13 places this month.

180 Grams podcast final eps coming next week

Left to right: Liam Gough (drummer), Josh Teskey (singer/guitarist), Brendon Love (bass), Mikey Cahill (180 Grams host), Jeremy Furze (band manager) Photo: Courtney Carthy (180 Grams producer)

If you’ve been following the Mushroom Group’s Teskey Brothers podcast since we mentioned it here last month, it is currently up to episode #4. The final two episodes will be released from the six-episode series on Tuesday July 21 and 28.

Music journalist and 180 Grams podcast host Mikey Cahill narrates the highs and lows The Teskey Brothers endured while recording the Run Home Slow album in their home studio in Warrandyte. Cahill takes listeners inside Team Teskey to hear how they overcome the pressures of recording the “very difficult” second album, resolve tensions of conflicting creative ideas and follow the heavy toll it takes on the group physically and mentally.

Listen to 180 Grams here.

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