3 minute read

He or she sounds like Zane Lowe.

He’s the former BBC1 nights announcer and one of the most influential music taste makers in the UK who is now the face of Apple’s Beats 1. Zane has built a career and an incredibly successful personal brand based through his love of music.

Sadly, he’s one of the very few announcers in the world who wears his passion for music on his sleeve and tragically now he’s no longer on broadcast radio. If you’re hosting a music shift, the audience is listening almost exclusively for the music. You should be there for the same thing.

The gap is now wide open for someone to step into Zane’s shoes – he wears a size 12, but if you’re up for the challenge the reward of a daytime shift on a leading Top40 format is yours for the taking.

The radio jock of 2016 talks like a person, not an announcer.

They speak naturally without the cliches. They use their natural speech patterns magnified by just a little, not a lot.

What’s the first and most important thing taught in acting classes? It’s to stop “acting”.

It’s the same for radio-the challenge to keep it real and maintain authenticity through everything you do is hard for some-but the the great ones have mastered it.

Forget about every jock you’ve ever listened to growing up, the ones that will make it today are cliche free and on the same level as the audience.

Confident.

The best radio jocks of 2016 have a level of self-assurance that comes from not only preparation for the shift but specifically the next talk-break. Their self-assurance also comes from being technically brilliant in the studio, they see the desk as an extension of themselves and an enabler for the endless possibilities of the next break.

The radio jock of 2016 is versatile.

They are not only brilliant on-air, but they also contribute off air through a range of different skills they have either mastered or are studying.

These guys know that an on-air role in this era of radio is like an AFL or NRL football career, it’s to be enjoyed in your 20’s but the reality is it will end for most before you reach 40.

They are interested and interesting.

Music is their number 1 passion but they are genuinely interested in how the world works and are smart enough to engage in conversations across many subjects apart from radio.

The best radio jocks of 2016 are truly unique.

Call it an X factor-it’s obvious from virtually the first moment you hear them on the air. It’s normally a combination of intelligence, confidence and a style that is personal to them and not typical of the industry.

So what does the world’s best talent spotter, Lorne Michaels (EP of Saturday Night Live) look for when he’s hiring for that show?

“Never the same thing twice. You’re looking for an original take on things, a level of intelligence, and potential, because when people arrive, they’re raw.”

Craig, how do I find my own x factor?

That’s tough to answer-all I know is the successful announcers I’ve met over the years have demonstrated all of the above traits and most importantly they have worked out what makes them different and how to exploit those unique qualities.