Read this: Radiodays Extra: Greg James Bob Shennan Do Breakfast
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Hello and welcome to a bonus edition of the media podcast I'm Olly Mann the BBC's soon to be managing director Bob shennan, was just one of the industry leaders to speak at this year's radiodays Europe conference in March in Switzerland Shannon announce the appointment of a new podcast commissioner to nurture the development of audio outside of the BBC's existing brands whilst Brenda's Elemis of Google News broadcasters to stay distinctive and Paul Robinson director of creative media Partners and course regular contributor to this very show was there for the sessions and sat down with Bob and also Greg James to get some insight into the BBC's new Direction launching the Big Breakfast shows across BBC Radio and BBC sounds in a moment you're here bobs assessment of how audiences are responding to the new Sounds app, the first is Greg James on how it feels to achieve his ambitions hosting.
Interest on Radio 1 Greg James breakfast is going rather well, thank you.
I feel weird agreeing with you, but I'm very proud of it and I think that I can say that I'm happy that mean they are the launch and we had all these plans in place and I've had sort of 20 years ago and I have lots of experience and I felt like I knew the station.
I knew the listeners.
I knew I had a plan in my head.
I was like we need to just do a show for listeners with the listeners.
Cos the anecdotal evidence sides of gathered and in my experience as a listener.
I thought I loved so they feel like you're in the Gang but it doesn't feel exclusive so I had those plans I had an amazing to have an amazing team of people that are on the same page and then a bit of luck on the day and he went for it.
You really are you really thinking as a schoolboy 20 years ago?
You want the Radio 1 breakfast that was that was in your head at that point really remember.
I want to Johnny vaughan's job only Chris tarrant's job.
I'm going to do Scott Mills job.
I want to do Christmas Christmas joy as well, and I suppose yes, that is breakfast.
That is represented.
Whenever you when he's on Virgin first time round the real version absolute.
I listen to those shows and hear us and John Oates or anything about the people.
I love you.
My mum is a Big Brother Jonathan as well.
I'm nipping up Friday from them.
So they must find me to do that one day.
So yes those sorts of shows with the ones that I wanted to do and then I'll get it evolved into I fell in love with Radio 1 when I was.
Probably a student 1569 Scott Mills on drivetime and fit an extent of my good mate.
Still alive mate.
Dave was her third year at the time.
He bounded up to me in the Freshers Fair and went radio station.
Yes course I do and I was up the do my first show that day so will happen to the show on on the day so I went straight to the radio station and I suppose I was doing Radio 1 shows but on but on live wire with XFM music long long.
Would you answer yes, I wanted to do a breakfast show because it felt it just felt big but also if you can do it well.
It feels intimate as well.
That's what Terry Wogan did better than any more.
What Shaun Keaveny does I think we did before I move the listener script for work and it was all day think that's something I've definitely been inspired by definitely have been inspired by that and I guess that you are a product of all the things that you have read and listen to over the years and watch the new you take a bit of that, so that's that's what I did.
I sort of wrote down all the things that I love about shows daughter.
How do we make it into one big inclusive funny you listen to funny was the thing I wanted to be a presenter in a minute.
You got a really enthusiastic passionate thing comes across but also what came across to me as well today.
Was you got a really good teams I hear you got the Best of Both Worlds I have yet.
And I was very lucky that I got to select my team.
I took Chris Sawyer from the drive time show with me my old writer and producer just happened at the lucky became the editor of all the daytime shows so I had him as well.
I had will
The who used to produce Grimmy and I've always going to work with well, so we managed to get together and I said to management.
I would love to have two producers because I feel like you need to have as many brains as possible you need experience and you need people, and know what to do know how to deal when idea and know how to bring on a younger team got two excellent IPS acid induces Daisy Jarrett and Nicola and Tim who who's here today and we're all learning on the job really but we putting into place it into practice all the things we've learnt over the years and we go back we know how to do that deliver that funny and the show is very busy in the morning if you're running in and running out and go I've got this call a great xx LEGO I've got a bit 340.
There was a bit on blue planet last night where a seagull a turtle which do a bit on that.
Space in it to have something spontaneous lip comes and goes and there are those big sort of coat hooks over features as well, so it's it evolves throughout the morning which gives me interested.
I wouldn't want to do it if I didn't keep me interested and I think if I'm not interested why the hell would you expect listens to me and that's a great luxury of being on a station at Radio One where they let you express yourself as most you've also than quite a few stunt squad of you.
Sort of big flag should items have got amazing coverage MUFC you've really twentysomething to those yes, I guess that draws on all the big TV shows that used to watch so I used to love those Noel's house party stunts or can't even things like beadles About or Anika Rock Challenge Anneka in the big breakfast and those sorts of things we definitely have been inspired by over the years and we just think thought why what is the radio version of this? How do we make people talk about the show when it's not on and we can tell the story on social media?
Also, you can tell it the next day and I think there are ways that radio is very valuable and you can really push it because it's it's very simple.
Isn't it? So it's a microphone.
Who is Michael De Chile not no it's not but it isn't it stupid if you've lost or you can work out where telling it as I podcast successful because it's great storytelling.
It's a great way to tell the story and it's so intimate and media in your head, so we try and work on those quick.
There's ever-evolving quick quickly evolving stories that can twist and turn and you just you can react quickly cuz it's radio you just did a microphone.
Where is TV you? Just be that send off 8 health and safety forms and get the camera crew that film that again again again and never quite get that Magic FM on the TV that you do on the radio show and you feel like you're in your car, you like you can't get out and those those moments that we want to create is the can't get out the car moments.
I think are you glad you got the Breakfast Show now you've been at.
Everyone 10 years you know you've had a lot experience the audience know you that must be make me feel more confident and and on top of you.
Yes, I feel like it.
I feel like this is the right time for me to get it.
I wouldn't it would not have been a success if I got it at 2627.
I feel like I'm much more settled in my actual life.
I've gone through my 20s.
I know what it's like to be 20 and other pitfalls of all about stuff and having situation ships and coming out of those are renting a house in finding new no friends and work out what you what you know.
It's who you are a little bit and I know that im in a much better place and I was even 3 or 4 years ago.
So it came it came to me at the right time and I'm really pleased that Radio 1 have dropped this whole sort of what you have to be the age of your listeners to communicate with your listeners sometimes that's true and but I'm better I'm better at hosting Radio 1 show that 33 then I was a 23.
How do you know three times the 80s listening some was incredibly successful znso4 that doesn't at all and if you look at all the other people who are successful in America no coding is a great example who's over you.
Just over 40 and he people don't care as long as the thing you're doing is good and attaining and relevant and thought through and smart I suppose so I never what I've never worry too much about that if I saw hated being 20 annoying I wish I was better and now I feel like I am a bit more grip on the world to fix them and you got more to say more to say more experience but also I've I am I said it on statement ago, but I feel like I am is not me Being Earnest into humble.
I feel in a good way that im less important on that show I'm only put your eGo to one so keep it in check you can then lift up the listeners to be the funny person.
Anime fire and a question that makes them give me the punchline whatever and I don't care about that anymore.
I don't I don't need to be the funniest person in the room and pray never have been ok.
I quite like like getting a conversation going all that I think that's that's it.
That's been really important to me and what about coping with the eyes.
Are we having a glass of wine now.
You're socialise must have changed to bees don't help me as an alcoholic on here, So your mum ice my question was your social life must have changed how you coping with the hours while holding a glass of wine in her for a of the Conference Center ia it a big change its anyone who tells you it's fun waking up at 4:50 is a liar or something wrong with them.
It's horrible and there is probably 10 minutes in the morning where I question why I bother doing it and it's very 10 minutes after the show where I go I got I'm knackered.
I doing this but the rest of that 99.5% of time 99% of the time.
I just go this is the best job ever that you don't get to do forever so I run at it and other bits of my life can just wait a little bit and that's fine, but it doesn't was a moment doesn't feel like it includes too much.
I really enjoy coming up with ideas.
I love hanging out of my team in the morning.
We are belly laughing and that special so I cherish those moments and I will I know that I miss it one day when I don't get to do it Sunday sort of enjoying it all at the moment, but yeah, I get to have to go to bed by 9 or 9:30 with such as McGregor keep doing it with lovely.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much for time.
Greg James will be back with more insight from radiodays Europe after this definition is the possibility of h.
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Bob shennan, this is probably the last time we'll meet ASDA retrograde in music as you have a new promotion, so tell me what is the purpose of the role is new managing director of the BBC but hopefully not the last time radio days in this role radio will still be a part of the brief because the brief is now thinking as part of the executive of the BBC about you know the future of the whole of the BBC and all of its different manifestations its strategy its culture its policy approach everything to do with its commercial rights and business affairs teams with a particular accent on making sure that we continue to attract to develop and to support the best talent on-air talent as well as offer Talent we possibly calendar BBC you've had a great track record with.
Sambucus to buy some of the stress you mean the BBC is got a number of challenges hasn't it mean your chairman David amenities talked about some of them the funding is off C1 the move towards completely different listening and viewing habits as another one.
How are you going to think about these challenges? They're pretty big questions the big they're not new there.
They've been questions which have been around as you know for a few years now.
I mean listening habits have changed and and those changes present all traditional media companies with massive challenges and need to adapt the way they offer content two people at the same time with the BBC you know we are experiencing the challenge of licence fee funding that over a period of time is due to be curtailed which means that we having to save money at the same time that we red lights.
Best more money in new services, but I think we're doing ok.
I'm in with prioritised developing the iPlayer Azhar video destination and BBC sounds as our audio destination and we've been really really busy refreshing and enhancing our linear services as well and they're holding up with the audiences.
I think like all traditional media companies we have to work differently we have to work more quickly we have to work harder.
We have challenges on multiple fronts, but people still love the content that we offer and our mission is to make sure that the BBC continues to be relevant and useful to all audiences in the UK the audio listening to Linear is holding up very well probably radius holding up better than TV the rate of change of Lincoln TV is faster and silly Netflix has been a major driver of this for the BBC thinking about iPlayer and I know you're
Newtown extending extending the rights on iPlayer how does the BBC work in the world where maybe you could think maybe the body can be linear TV channels in the future? Will I think it's it's the same in in in audio and video in TV and radio.
I think the challenge is to find her a happy medium between the way we present our content as people want an expected and that can be quite different things for quite different audiences, so I mean linear TV channels like linear radio stations still have millions and millions of people who liked consume them in the way that they consume and of always consume them but increasingly yeah, we're seeing a change in habit where the audience member is taking more control over the way they consume content and through iPlayer we're trying to respond to that so that we can offer both the Olly Murs
Large-scale experience of BBC One on the other hand Andy and the bespoke On Demand experience of iPlayer on the other hand with BBC sounds with trying to do the same thing with trying to create a destination which is both the linear and on-demand audio made available to people in as useful away as possible used in the old days.
Just to be as a linear radio station and now there's so much more that we can do to augment the offer of linear with On Demand and also I think to make linear even more effective at serving audiences who loves the constant daily connectivity of great linear radio and their lives when you lost you talked about your ambition to find new voices new ways presenting audio particularly new podcast Talent and the maybe wouldn't otherwise come to the BBC and look it BBC sounds 1.8 million downloads in the human.
It's not bad at all.
Do you feel with meds you made some progress in there? Yeah? I think we hadn't been made a good start with a good distance to go with with a distance to go in terms of the functionality of the app to make sure that it is the fully personalized experience that we promised because I think that's the real game changer for people when we can offer that im in terms of content.
This is a you know this is a relatively Brave New World for us because we only recently really been given permission to create podcasts for on-demand first and I think that we've had some great successes and we've learnt things that haven't worked so well, and we've moved onto the next thing is an entirely different kind of approach to commissioning podcast from commissioning linear radio and and so it's a massive learning curve for all of us, but we're really pleased overall with the
Success and when we get that editorial richness and that functionality that gives that flexibility that audiences crave.
I think we'll have something really valuable to licence fee payers return to the analogue linear networks now.
You've had to change not one but two breakfast shows on your two biggest music networks that must have given you a few sleepless nights.
It's Sam and and don't forget Paul we also changed the whole of the daytime schedule including breakfast on 6 Music which goodnight.
Is is is is significant if not one of the two biggest so we've had a huge amount of change in a relatively short space of time Radio 1 went first at the end of last summer.
I think we're all thrilled with the way that the new breakfast and drive shows have taken off.
I think her Greg James and his team in particular.
Have done a wonderful job of creating really engaging must listen live linear radio they believe in it.
They believe in its potential to attract young audiences and I think they're right to believe in that.
They're passionate about it and they are working harder probably than ever before to try and make it a real destination a real place that young audiences want to come to in the BBC and then of course Radio 2 has gone through a huge amount of change as well with new programs that breakfast at Drive mid evening and late night.
I'm really pleased to with the way those programs have settled down.
It was perhaps more change than you ever like to have in one fell swoop but in fact the presenters were really familiar to the radio 2 audience so it wasn't quite as scary as it might have at first seemed and with Chris Evan
Choosing to leave, I think Zoe Ball taken on the mantle of Breakfast Show host magnificently Sarah Cox fitted in from the word go perfectly a drive time.
I think she's been so familiar to daytime Radio 2 listeners that it was a pretty easy Move for the network to make Jo Whiley is back in a kind of refreshed rejuvenated Mill evening slot and Trevor Nelson's new programme Monday to Thursday late at night is a really exciting development for the network.
He's a brilliant broadcaster as you know.
I think he's found a really good natural home for him to do his thing and to provide for Radio 2 listeners a perfect.
Can it going to bed show the BBC and its planned for the rest of the chance of Period of talked about radio to tempt a specialist music so I have to ask you this Radio 2 very portable specialist music get their specialist music programmes has now moved in Leyton the schedules and 9 p.m.
And the beauty of the 7:00 slot of course was he
Live very large audience from drivetime into the 7 slot so it 21 they're going to get smaller audiences isn't that the wrong direction? Well? I think it's still a pretty healthy slot and will wait to see how the Rachel figures really panel and before we should get too concerned about that.
It's still a very prominent slot and Radio 2 commitment to the big Radio 2 specialist genre probably growing actually you know I can think of the time when I joined Radio 2 which was about a decade ago when commitment for example to country music or folk was at a relatively low app in the intervening years.
I think Radio 2 has become even more vital to both of those two forms of music actually and we've also added Jamie Cullum into our Jazz Mix I think everybody believes having he's an award-winner everybody bully.
She's raise the bar that is fabulous such as and carers has taken over blues.
I I feel like czyli.
We've put extra effort and reinvigorated our commitment to specialist music.
I'm really aware of the fact that you know fuck music in the UK really leans heavily on the commitment for example of radio to wear really conscious of that and in fact.
We're quite proud of it, so we don't intend to let that slip very good to hear with last question then V now you're managing director.
Will you have a view over BBC local radio for haps the Forgotten child in the past? Will I get in this job my role? Is is is a pan BBC role in the sense of having responsibility for the team that developed our strategy and working on alongside the rest of the executive including Kenny Macquarie who is director of nations and regions.
And I think that's BBC local radio particularly.
Just now has an incredibly important part to play in a healthy BBC future and I'll do everything I can within the remit of my new role to ensure that that continues I mean I think that when you look at what's going on because of deregulation and commercial radio and we all understand why that's taking place.
I think it leaves a vacuum if you'd opportunity if you wasn't and and and an opportunity and a need for the BBC however we do it and I'm sure that the strategy for local radio will involve there's a great opportunity for the BBC to reaffirm.
Its role in local broadcasting which I think has always been Central to to our mission and really important to a lot of a licence fee payers.
We need to make sure it like the rest of our radio offer is refreshed rejuvenated.
And even though we're living through extraordinary times of change and turbulence within a social technological economic challenge that we remember that radio and audio have a vital part play.
They're incredibly resilient and they're incredibly important to audiences which is now need to work harder in all bits of the BBC in fact the whole sector to make sure that continues to be the case for great to see you again at radiators.
Thank you for coming again Bob and good luck him and you drive.
It's great to the radio man at the centre of the BBC we should know better.
Thank you very much for well.
That's all for this bonus edition of the media podcast our thanks to Paul Robinson and two bob shennan.
Greg James remember you can catch up with previous episodes and get new ones as soon as they're released by subscribing for free on our website the media podcast.com and I'll be bringing you a brand new episode of the show this time next week.
I can only man to produce a Rebecca Grisedale Sherry the media podcast is 8 PPM production of until next time bye bye.
Potential by definition is the possibility of achieving more in the fast-paced world of digital advertising Oracle data cloud has built its Legacy on finding the signal through the noise on unlocking potential we bring together data and technology to help you better understand your audience where to best engage them and how to measure it all to realise true potential Oracle data cloud where better outcomes begin visit Oracle data cloud dot.com to learn more.
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