Eddie McGuire joined Triple M Melbourne when the station was at it’s lowest point. Ratings were terrible – the station was a 3 share, the brand had completely lost it’s mojo and, more importantly, had lost trust with it’s core audience.
In late 2009 we were in the finals stages of preparing “the Hot Breakfast” for launch. Eddie’s show was replacing Pete and Myf – a team with so much potential on paper but unfortunately they just couldn’t carve out an audience for themselves.
Eddie’s last off-air trial show happened on the Friday before the show went to air for the first time that following Monday.
We decided to have the audio for the trial play-out in the offices of MMM so that the staff could get a taste of what they would hear the following week.
After the trial had finished everyone gathered in the programming area of the station and formed a semi-circle around Eddie as he prepared to give an impromptu speech. It felt like half-time in the Grand Final with the team down by 5 goals and Eddie was the coach, with his last chance to rev the players up before the second half began.
What he said in that 5 minute speech I still remember to this day.
He talked in vivid detail about what he wanted to achieve and how he was going to do it. He described very clearly what the show would sound like, the role it would play in the lives of MMM listeners and how it would be different to every other show on Melbourne radio.
At the end of his speech you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief from the entire team. We all knew that Ed had a plan and now it was simply a matter of everyone getting behind him to make it happen.
He then spent the next 12 months talking to everyone about his vision. From the production team who would be making the show every morning, to the sales team who were selling the commercials on the show, to senior management who were communicating with the broader market and shareholders.
When he was asked about his vision for the Hot Breakfast he would say the same thing, every time. He was like a broken record, but the message well and truly cut through.
6 years later the MMM Hot Breakfast has become one of Australia’s iconic breakfast shows. The original line-up has changed, with the great Mick Molloy joining the team in 2011. The combination of Ed, Mick and Luke Darcy is now recognised in the industry as being one of the best combinations on FM radio.
The Hot Breakfast started with a clear vision-conceived by the host, not the programmers, and that’s not to say that people like Mike Fitzpatrick and Jay Mueller haven’t played a significant role in the success of the show, because they have.
The lesson for anyone working on a breakfast show is to get really clear up front with what you’re making and who you’re making it for. The more specific the detail, the easier it will be for everyone else to follow. Then when you have it in your head it’s simply a matter of telling everyone about it. And then getting on the air and delivering on your promise.
Go the Pies.