The dream is over.
When I applied for my 76th job for the year in May 2011 – a “talent bank” advert for Melbourne Talk Radio – I had little hope it would turn into anything more than an unread email, and no idea it would actually turn into a full time position as the panel-operator & audio producer for The Steve Vizard Show, plus the guy who manages the station’s social media accounts and podcasts.
And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last 6 months. It’s essentially been my life.
Since moving from casual weekends to The Steve Vizard Show at the start of October, I never missed a shift. I panelled a total of #99 3-hour live talk radio shows and racked up 505 hours on the buttons.
I can panel that show in my sleep.
Working at MTR has been the most incredible experience of my life. And I don’t say that lightly.
Hey, I would have been content if all I got out of this job was my first ever dedicated office phone line…
I could finally put something in the (W) section of a standard application form!
But MTR was obviously so much more to me than that.
The people I had the great pleasure to work with every single day are some of the most talented and hard-working individuals I’ve ever met. In any industry.
But it broke our hearts on Friday when the talk station went into administration and shut down, switching back over to easy listening.
It’s a loss for Melbourne. It’s a loss for the Australian media landscape.
Speaking now as an employee of no radio station, I can say without bias that the Melbourne radio market is easily big enough to support a second commercial talkback station. Just look at Sydney. And in terms of advertising dollars, Sydney has the smaller market.
Talk is the future of radio. The future of music is the mp3 player.
It can be done. It should be done. And I predict that eventually, someone with vision will come along and give 3AW a proper run for their vast piles of money.
Other commentators will postulate why MTR failed. And there are many theories. But let me just say, we all had a hell of a good time. Towards the end, it was essentially 15 people running an entire Melbourne radio station!
As Steve Price told us at a farewell dinner on Monday, it was a two-year long party. And I’m glad I was along for the ride for 9 months.
For an accurate summary of the events that lead to MTR’s demise, see Michael Bodey’s article in The Australian.
In true comic style however, I chose to sign a 12-month lease on February 29 for an apartment in Hawthorn just 5 minutes from the former MTR studios in Richmond.
48 hours later, I lost my job.
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?!
Is it too much to ask for JUST A WEEK of convenience?!!?
I’m moving house on Saturday. So this really is the start of a new chapter in the life of DMG.
I’ve lived in this wonderful share house in Coburg for two years. Team Bell Street rescued me from the horrid squalor of three weeks in Altona. However, I feel it’s time to take the next step and get my own space.
As I’ve already made this decision, this puts me in a tricky position. I will need to find another job reasonably quickly, or risk the embarrassment of being bailed out by my Mother.
But that’s show biz, kid. Highest of highs. Lowest of lows.
One day you’re the most important guy who ever lived. The next, you’re some schmoe working in a box factory.
Of course, if you’re reading this and thinking your box factory could use a little more David M. Green, by all means send me an email. We have the technology.
On the plus side, this does give me more time to dedicate to my upcoming TV game show 31 Questions. It would have been a slightly wasted opportunity, had I not been able to put 100% into what will be the largest creative project I’ve yet undertaken.
I will be on television later this year, with or without a job. Like some sort of radio phoenix, rising from the ashes of MTR.
I’ll leave you with a brief look at just a fraction of what I had the great privilege of doing at Melbourne Talk Radio these past 9 months. Enjoy.
David M. Green
Off the buttons. For now.