Scott Muller, Assistant Program Director/Production Director, FOX FM, Melbourne, Australia

by Jerry Vigil

For years we've all heard the incredible production on The Cassette from several producers in Australia. And many in the U.S. and elsewhere have had the tough challenge of competing against these gurus in the Radio And Production Awards. This month, we visit with the winner of the Best Promo/Large Markets category in the recent RAP Awards. Scott Muller talks about the changing Australian radio industry and the rapidly growing Austereo network, now recognized as the largest radio group in the world outside the United States. Scott recently spoke to Austereo programmers about production, and he shares highlights of that informative gathering. We get some tips from the pro and wrap up the interview with an amazing story Scott will surely be telling for the rest of his life.

RAP: Give us a rundown of your radio background.
Scott: I grew up in the desert of western Australia, and when I was eighteen, I moved down to Perth and got a job doing carting there for about a year. Then I was lucky enough to secure the carting job at the number one station in Perth at the time which was 96 FM. They're now Triple M Perth, and in those days they were sitting up on a thirty-one percent [share]. I stayed there for only about six months because I found I wasn't moving into production as much as I wanted to. So later that year, in 1988, I moved to the Eagle which was Austereo's first station in Perth. I was Commercial Producer there, and for the last three or four months there I was the Production Manager.

Then I moved to Canberra, the capital of Australia, which is on the other side of Australia, the eastern side. I worked at FM 104.7 and 2CA as Production Manager for four years, and that was probably the biggest learning and growth period for me, mainly because it was over on the eastern side of the country. It was only three hours from Sydney and only an hour's flight from Melbourne, and over on the eastern side is kind of where everything happens.

In 1994 I moved to Austereo Entertainment as Production Manager. Austereo Entertainment at that time was the production division of Austereo which produced all nationally networked programs like our countdowns, news series, a few comedy pieces, etc.. I was there for about a year when, at almost the same time, the Production Manager at FOX FM moved to GOLD FM in Melbourne, and the Assistant Program Director of FOX moved up to Triple M in Brisbane. So there were two positions which they kind of smashed together into one, and they gave it to me. I was pretty lucky to get it. Especially in Australia, it's rare for producers to move into the programming field.

RAP: Have you done an air shift anywhere?
Scott: No. That's a difference between U.S. and Australian radio. From reading RAP magazine, I gather that, especially in smaller markets in America, being on-air and having good pipes is desirable in production because you read your own spots. Over here, some of the producers have been on air, but it's a rare kind of thing. Normally, you've been in carting and maybe you know how to write. But a producer doesn't have to talk on the radio. He doesn't have to read the spots, and in most cases he doesn't even have to write them.

RAP: Radio in the U.S. has changed a lot in the past five years now that companies can own several stations in the same market. Has radio in Australia undergone any changes like this?
Scott: Yes. A few years ago, they introduced the law where the same company could own two stations in one metropolitan market, metropolitan markets meaning Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, places where you've got over one million people. Before that, the only places where you really had duopolies were Canberra and a few other places around Australia. We had FM 104.7 and 2CA in Canberra, and another group had two stations as well. But it's a fairly new thing in the metropolitan markets.

RAP: How has this affected Austereo?
Scott: Until recently, there were virtually two major FM music networks that pretty much dominated the country. There was Austereo which had 2DAY FM in Sydney, FOX FM in Melbourne, B105 in Brisbane, SA FM in Adelaide, and the two Canberra stations. Then there was the Triple M network which had Triple M in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. They're owned by Village Roadshow.

Around eighteen months ago, a strange merger took place. Austereo became the major shareholder in the Triple M network, and at the same time, Village Roadshow became the controlling shareholder with Austereo. So the two big networks merged into one mega-network. Now we have two stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide, one station in Perth, and two stations in Canberra. And there is another city in Australia which has about half a million people where we've got two stations as well. All the stations we have are pretty much targeted under forty. The male skewed stations are the Triple M network stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Adelaide; and the female skewed stations are known as, just for the sake of simplicity, the Today's Austereo Network stations, and they're all female skewed.

RAP: This easily makes Austereo the largest radio group in Australia.
Scott: Yes. Actually, Austereo is now ranked as the biggest radio broadcaster in the world outside the United States. And I did hear at one time that the company would be ranked amongst the biggest five radio companies in the U.S. now.

RAP: Are both Melbourne stations, FOX FM and Triple M, in the same facility?
Scott: Yeah. Triple M is right downstairs from us. They moved in about nine months ago. We're on the second floor. They're on the first floor.

RAP: In the U.S., duopolies tend to operate more stations with fewer people by sharing staff between stations. Is this sharing of personnel occurring there?
Scott: There are a few executive roles that share, like our News Director, for instance, who is News Director for both stations. The ones where strategically it isn't as competitive, like accounts and engineering, those tend to have dual roles, whereas promotions, production, programming, sales even, are kept quite separate.

Another way we try and maximize the talents we have is by having two parallel networks. Virtually anything we produce here at FOX FM in Melbourne, for instance, can be used at SA FM in Adelaide and vice versa. And the Triple M stations can do the same thing. And the same goes for promotions and programming. Your resources can be shared within your network, but not necessarily between the two stations in the one market because, obviously, you're targeting completely different audiences.

RAP: Are you saying specific promos can be used on other stations within the network?
Scott: Well, you have to retag them obviously, or do a separate mix. For the Triple M stations it becomes easier because they're all just known as Triple M, so you don't even have to remix them.

RAP: How many production studios are there?
Scott: FOX has two production studios, and Triple M has two production studios. And then each station has two on-air studios. We have the same carting facility, carting not really being carting any more. It's more of a dubbing or transfer kind of role compared to what it once was.

RAP: I was going to ask if the carts have gone away yet. I take it they have.
Scott: Yeah. They're on the way out all across the nation. At this stage, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney all have DCS and no more carts. I think B105 has it. I'm not sure if Triple M in Brisbane has it, but it's coming soon to any stations in the network that don't currently have it. Carts are going the way of the dodo.

RAP: How are the two production studios for FOX FM equipped?
Scott: Both studios have TimeLine Studioframes, the 8-track digital unit. Both stations have CardD, which is a 2-track digital editing facility. Both studios have the DCS system, which is the digital substitute for carting. For mikes, we have a whole bunch of Sennheiser 416s. The differences between the studios are that Studio One, which is nicknamed Studio 777, has a 24-channel Auditronics console and outboard effects like the Yamaha SPX and a really old Eventide unit. Studio Two, or Studio 666 as we call it, has a Tascam M600 24-channel console. I think I've got an Alesis QuadraVerb, and an Eventide H3000B Ultra-Harmonizer in there, and that's pretty much the main differences between the studios.

Studio One is geared up to cover all the production for Danger Low Brow, our FOX FM Breakfast Show. Plus, all the commercials are done in there and production for the syndicated night show, Ugly Phil's Hot Thirty, which is syndicated to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Hobart. That's the number one night show in the country.

Studio Two is where all the production for programming and promotions is done, predominately by myself and Vicki Marr. Vicki also does all the production for the syndicated afternoon drive comedy show, Martin Molloy. And just for your info, Martin Molloy is currently the most successful radio program in Australia. It's an easy number one in Melbourne with a seven point lead here. In Sydney it's got a ten point lead over the number two show. In Brisbane it's got a seventeen point lead. In Perth it's got a nine point lead, and it's also number one in Canberra. It's easily the biggest radio program coming out of anywhere in the country at the moment.

RAP: How is the production department structured? You mentioned Vicki. Are there other producers?
Scott: At FOX, as in most Austereo stations, you usually have between three and four production people. I work with Vicki in Studio Two. I work until midday doing programming and promotion stuff, and Vicki then takes over at midday and starts producing for Martin Molloy which goes to air at four. Then she also does some programming and promotions production as well. In Studio One I've got Craig Janson. He's the producer for Danger Low Brow, for Ugly Phil's Hot Thirty, and he's also the senior commercial producer. We also have another guy in there named Mike Del Villar. He starts at two-thirty or three and produces commercials. He also does any nightly stuff for Ugly Phil's Hot Thirty, and he does some other production for the Net at Night, which is our weekly syndicated program on computers. He also does his fair share of carting and audio transfer at night. So, between the two studios, there's probably only about four or five hours a day that the studios aren't in operation.

RAP: How long is the average shift for the producers?
Scott: Well, at the moment it's not too bad. It varies depending on the day and the week. Not including myself into this equation because half my role is in programming, Vicki's shift is probably on average eleven to twelve hours. Craig has maybe around the same and Mike would be around about the same, too.

RAP: Those are long days.
Scott: Yeah, they can be. It depends on your perspective and where you've been. When I worked at FM 104.7/2CA in Canberra, it was like, "Twelve hour days? You're on holiday!" We don't usually have to work weekends, so it's like between fifty and sixty hours a week. It's put your feet up and relax time compared to a lot of stations. I know the guys up at 2DAY FM in Sydney are working their asses off at the moment. I can't say exactly how many hours they're doing, but they're doing a lot.

RAP: More than twelve hours a day?
Scott: Oh, God, yeah.

RAP: What are your hours like?
Scott: I'm working less hours in production, which is good on the ears, but at the same time I'm making up for it by doing programming. I've got programming duties because, at the moment, our Program Director, Jeff Ellis, is also the Program Director at SA FM in Adelaide. He's spending half his time in Melbourne and half his time in Adelaide. I've got the responsibility of making sure we don't go completely off the track and take a big plummet in the ratings. So it would be unrealistic for me to do anything more than about four or five hours in production a day at the most. If I did, I'd be neglecting the big picture of making sure the station was okay in the other areas.

RAP: Not to wear out the subject of long days, but one might expect some burnout after a few months of 12-hour days in the studio. Is burnout a problem?
Scott: For me, it's okay because I'm one of the few producers in Australia who gets his hands dirty with the writing. So I'm not always in the studio. And I'm trying to spend time with Vicki, Craig, and Mike making sure that they get all the direction they need and all the challenges they need to keep them happy and keep them growing. I try to help them develop abilities which most producers don't have, like writing. In Australia, producers usually don't write spots. They might come up with a few ideas for sweepers or a few ideas for promos, but they don't actually get down and do the craft part of it. So they've got a lot of areas that can be developed, and I think that reduces burnout, having the opportunities to learn.

On top of that, the way it works at FOX, production isn't like the end of the line where you put in a production requisition with a script attached and it comes back out at the end of the day then has to be sent back to be redone, as is often the case at some stations. Here everyone is given fairly clear directions so that you don't get that feeling of frustration from having to do something over and over again. Everyone is given the chance to get a clear explanation of what's expected of them, and all the producers here are really talented.

At some stations there is a high potential for burnout, but I think that comes not just from hours, but from the environment you work in. Burnout tends to happen in Australia when you're working fourteen hours a day and you don't know exactly what it is that your Program Director expects of you and you're having to do a lot of stuff over again and you're being criticized for things. Burnout comes from not feeling positive about your role. That's what I feel, and that's what my personal experience has been at other stations. If everything is looking positive and you can honestly come out and say, "Well, what was wrong with that spot and why didn't you like it?" or "Why do I have to do this again? Why isn't it good enough?" and you can get a clear answer, you'll be a lot more happy in your role, I think. You're not going to burn out as quickly.

RAP: If a person gets a job as a producer at FOX FM, have they pretty much arrived at one of the best positions for a producer in Australian radio?
Scott: Well, I think it's widely regarded, at least it was certainly throughout the '80s, that the premiere jobs were probably at Triple M in Sydney and FOX in Melbourne. Nowadays, the biggest FM music stations, and I suppose therefore the prime gigs--and not saying this necessarily in order although I'd like it to be this way--would be FOX FM in Melbourne, 2DAY FM in Sydney, Triple M in Sydney, and Triple M in Melbourne. You know if you're working there, you're not there just because you're a buddy of someone. You're there because you have a certain degree of being able to do it. Otherwise, you just plain wouldn't be in one of the four biggest stations in the country, or the four biggest music stations in the country with the longest history of production gurus.

RAP: You mentioned a program that your station is producing that's about computers, Net at Night. Is this about the Internet?
Scott: Yeah. It is broadcast live around the world on the Internet every week. Off the top of my head, I couldn't tell you where you could look it up, but it's broadcast live on the Internet and syndicated through all the Today's Austereo network stations. It's also at provincial stations which our syndicating company, Austereo MCM Entertainment, sold the program to in smaller markets around the country.

The program is all about computers--the latest technology, game reviews, all the regular kind of Internet stuff. The host, Andy Grace, tries to deliver it in a user friendly kind of way so that it's not all computer geek talk. He tries to deliver it in a way so that people are going to understand what he's talking about rather than dot com, dot com, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah as it tends to go.

It works really well, writes really well, and it's actually really, really popular, too. It's interesting for me because I can go in to see Andy, and he will go, "Hey, I've found this Web site somewhere in Los Angeles where you can download all these sound effects or something" and I'm going, "Great, plug a DAT unit into that thing!" It's fantastic for production. There's some fantastic things on the Internet. It's unbelievable.

RAP: Does FOX FM have a Web site?
Scott: Oh yeah, the station does have a Web site, but we're not using it probably to the extent that one day we will. Actually, I think we were the first Australian station with a Web site.

RAP: The promo that won your RAP Award for Best Promo, Large Markets [which is on Scott's demo on The Cassette] contained some very quick and precise playback of a sample of Homer Simpson saying "doh," which happened to be the title of the promo. Did you use a sequencer for this?
Scott: No. That was all done on the Studioframe. I just put the edits at the beginning of the "doh" and found the beats. Then I just clicked it, and they just locked to the beat. Actually, that was an interesting promo because I didn't have any idea of doing the thing with Homer Simpson going "doh, doh, doh" until I built the rest of it and I thought, this is really flat. This sucks. It was one of those really late night promos where nothing you do is going to be good enough, and you just hate everything you do. So I was desperate for something and it just came together. I found an old tape with his "doh, doh, doh, doh" and I thought, I'll just stick that in. At the time it was like I'd just taken the easy way out, but it got an enormous reaction around the station. I was quite overwhelmed.

RAP: How long would you say you spent on that promo?
Scott: From memory, that one was maybe an hour, a bit over an hour. It wasn't like a mega-production. It was just one of those weird ones, those magical ones that comes together, and you don't expect it to. And it doesn't take as long as you think it's going to, and you don't like it until you look back on it in retrospect.

RAP: Are you producing any commercials yourself?
Scott: No. From what I gather from reading RAP magazine, for a lot of the producers over there, commercial production, certainly in smaller markets, is a major part of the role of the senior producer, whereas in Australia, as a general rule, the Production Manager deals primarily with programming and production of promos for promotions. You usually go into commercials when you're one step above or two steps above carting, and you start developing then. Generally, the road you go on as you move up through production in Australia is you either go into commercial production after you get out of carting, or you go into comedy production. And then from there you can progress up to being a Production Manager. That is a generalization.

RAP: You were recently asked to talk about production at a programmers' convention in Australia. Tell us about that.
Scott: The programming conference was about a month ago in Sydney for the Austereo programmers. Various people talked on different topics. I talked to the programmers about production. I based my material on a great article which was in RAP magazine a few years ago by John Dodge. That article was entitled, "The Ideal Production Director" [April 1993 Radio And Production]. It's an article I've just carried around in my briefcase for years, and I always found it really handy. You can always go through there and go, "Yep, I measure up on that one. No, I don't measure up on that point. I've got to work on that." It's just a good agenda to look at from time to time.

What I did for the programmers was to narrow out three of those points from John Dodge's article. I changed the article around a little bit so it suited Australian markets because there were some things in there that just weren't relevant in Australia. I altered it slightly and retitled it "The Production Buddha." The three points that I isolated were: 1) the Production Buddha has superior marketing and advertising sensibilities; 2) the Production Buddha has the creative writing skills to match; and 3) the Production Buddha has an appetite for work, for learning, and for success. I isolated those three because I thought they were most relevant to production in Australia at the moment and the areas that the programmers could probably help producers in this country to develop in.

I kind of went off on a different tangent from John Dodge's article and tried to explain why I thought this way, the reason being--and this is a quote from Greg Smith who is a big programmer over here in Australia--"Packaging will be everything to give your station the edge in the future." From the way it's rumored that the Australian radio market will expand in the next few years, this is true. There are going to be more radio stations, and it's going to be more difficult for the listener to differentiate between those stations. So if the stuff that's in between the records isn't standing out and identifying your station, no one's going to remember your station. It's real simple stuff.

RAP: Did you offer any tips to programmers on how to get better work from their production people?
Scott: I explained that for good production, the first thing you need is a Program Director who gives you clear direction. As their leader, your producer expects you to know exactly what you want from production, not just what you don't want. I have heard in the past of programmers who come down to production and say, "Oh, I don't like that promo." "Why?" "I don't know exactly what it is that I do want, but that isn't it." And it's the most frustrating thing you can get, whether you're a producer or an on-air jock or whatever.

RAP: What other topics did you touch on?
Scott: I broke production down into the areas which I thought needed the most work. This certainly applies in Australia, and I don't know if it applies so much in the United States; but the area that needs the most work is the writing of the script and getting the script right because as John Dodge said, "Every great promo was born in the typewriter or the word processor and then refined and realized in the production process." The script is the foundation. A good script drives the message into the listeners' hearts. And remember that tricks and digital gizmos are just sweetening. "It's your imagination that does the heavy lifting in radio," which is my favorite quote from John. I think it's one of the smartest things anyone has said about production because too often you hear tapes with bells and whistles and beeps and bullets and Brown Bags and God knows what else, and there's just no substance behind it. It's just all decoration, and there's no actual tree.

I also talked to the programmers about the fact that the process of doing a promo isn't time related. Some programmers had come up to me and said, "Scott, how long do you think it's supposed to take to make a promo? With some of my guys it sometimes takes three hours." Well, sometimes it does take three hours. Sometimes it takes a hell of a lot more, and sometimes it takes twenty minutes. You can't put a time limit on creativity. I mean, you've got to be realistic about getting the quantity out, but at the same time, no one in their right mind can come in and say to you, "A promo doesn't take three hours to produce," because some do. I think this is a bit of a misunderstanding with some programmers. I'd hate to see a situation, however, where a producer just sat and did two and a half promos in a day because he'd be slack, but some promos do take longer.

RAP: In the midst of bells and whistles, "theatre of the mind," and creative copy, how can a programmer or producer determine if his or her production is really effective?
Scott: View your production as a nuclear missile in radio warfare, then judge it by the following two criteria. The first is effective production has aim. For your missile to be effective, your message must be clear. You must spell out your aim. And that's just the basic fundamental message of the promo. If it isn't clear to the listener, then your spot has missed the spot and you might as well put thirty seconds of dead air on the air. Secondly, effective production has impact. If the missile isn't strong enough to make an impact on your target, it won't cut through, which means that it has to be interesting enough for listeners to actually pay attention to it. You can put those together and get the equation, aim plus impact equals focused creativity.

And creativity is overrated and underrated at the same time. If you focused only on getting your aim right and clearly defined the message you wanted to sell, but you haven't put any creative work into make a spot that has any emotional impact with your audience, it's just not going to cut through, and you're underrating creativity. However, if you focused only on getting a really creative spot to air, someone said, "Hey, let's do a spot and let's make it creative," and for some reason or other you forgot what your strategic message was or the aim of your promo, then the creative angle of the promo probably doesn't reinforce the aim of the promo. What that adds up to is that your strategic message won't be remembered, and in that case you're overrating creativity. The key to effective production as a weapon in radio warfare, as far as I see it, is to make sure you balance a single, specific aim with creative impact.

RAP: What advice would you offer producers trying to climb to the top?
Scott: When you're trying to climb the ladder in the production world, it's important to develop the skill necessary to be able to see, from reading the script, which promos have the potential to be absolute killers. Tuck that promo away until late at night and spend three hours on the bastard, and make it really, really special.

When I first started in production, it was about getting the quantity down, like getting twenty commercials done in fifteen minutes. All that takes is you being able to do it. You just do it and do it and do it, and you get faster and faster. But doing the quality side of it, getting a promo that's a real killer that's going to stand out to the listener and make them sit up and take notice, developing that skill is a different kind of thing. You can't just go in there and bang out a promo and go, "Well, that's a fantastic one." I mean, sometimes they will be fantastic, but more than likely, they won't be if you're just banging them out.

My advice to producers is sometimes do yourself a favor and spend some extra time on something. Tuck it away and at the end of the day go back and remix something. "Well, I didn't have time while I was doing it to make it special, but now I do have the time, even if it's the middle of the night." And at the end of the week, you've got something that's extra special. You've got something that lets you stand up and go, "Hey, this is as good as anything anyone in New York is doing," or Sydney, or whatever the case may be. That's a real good self esteem booster. And it shows you what is necessary to get it done. Then you can work on getting the speed of doing quality stuff down a bit later.

RAP: You have a pretty incredible story about a first hand experience with a station fire when you were in Canberra. Tell us about it.
Scott: I think it was November 29, 1993 and it was around about 7:45 a.m.. I was finishing off a coffee and was about to walk across the road and go upstairs to the radio station when out of the blue, a maniac in a ute--over there I believe you call them pickup trucks--drove through the shop-front window which was situated immediately below the General Manager's office, and then the ute burst into flame. The station was on the second floor, you understand.

The guy who was driving the ute wanted revenge on his ex-wife, and she happened to work at the travel agency which was on the ground floor below the radio station. So he wired up his ute with six gas cylinders ready to blow and filled the rest of the tray top with petrol bombs and Molotov cocktails. According to the police, there was enough explosives there to blow the whole six story city block to the ground and take out most of the surrounding buildings in the area.

Anyway, this guy was a dickhead because his ex-wife was on holidays in Adelaide at the time. So he's driven his ute in, and realizing he'd muffed it due to inadequate research, he took one of the cleaners who was in the building, he took her hostage and then took siege of the building. He had a double barreled shotgun. Now I was across the road watching this happen. I was having coffee with the Promotions Director.

Unfortunately, at the time, we had two on-air teams in the station, one for FM 104.7 and the other for 2CA, as well as the news reader. They are all exactly one floor almost directly above this guy and his ute, and they didn't have a clue what was going on. So the Promotions Director called the studio hotline and told them they needed to get out. But the station was too full of smoke, so when they tried running out, they had to return to the studio where they just bedded down in the on-air studios which are soundproof and don't let a lot of air in. They just waited. They couldn't do anything else.

The fire brigade was running around at this stage, and all the police were on the street. It was unbelievable. It was like Die Hard. The fire brigade couldn't get close enough to do any good because of this guy running around with a shotgun. So they couldn't put the fire out and the building was just burning. Then there were cops running around in the street with guns, and in Australia, you just don't own your own gun. So seeing guns alone was pretty exciting stuff, or pretty frightening stuff, really.

Immediately below the station and to the back of the building there was a kiosk where a guy happened to be working. He ran in and rescued the cleaner and got her out of there. Then the fire brigade managed to get close enough to pump a swimming pool full of water through the General Manager's office window. By this stage, the breakfast teams were lying on the floor of the studios down to the last bit of air because the whole studio had filled up with smoke. One of them thought "screw this" and busted the window with a fire extinguisher trying to get out, but two and a half stories up....

Anyway, the fire brigade put up a ladder, got the on-air guys out, who were obviously fairly traumatized, and an hour and a half later the gunman committed suicide in the kitchen of the kiosk where we usually had our lunch. That's the sad part of the story.

All this amounted to twelve seconds off air before the emergency tape kicked in, and within an hour and a half we were broadcasting from a spare studio at the ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which is like the government broadcaster in Australia. They loaned us a spare studio. It was a fairly interesting time we went through. The administration stuff, accounts, and promotions were located at temporary offices in one suburb. FM 104.7 was broadcasting from the spare ABC studio. 2CA was broadcasting from a Dodge Caravan out in the bush. For the production facilities, we hired a studio on the other side of town. So to get a spot to air at that time, the copywriter, who was in one suburb, wrote the script and faxed it through to production on the other side of Canberra. Then when the jock finished his on-air shift, he'd drive across town over to the production studios and voice it. Then Jeff, the other producer, and myself, would produce it and then master it. Then we'd drive the master at the end of the night to the ABC studios where FM 104.7 was and cart it. We'd put the first cart in the FM 104.7 studio. Then we'd have to drive out in the middle of the bush and give the duplicate cart to the 2CA jock. The 2CA Caravan was so rickety that if anyone so much as farted, the CD would skip back and start all over again. It was a really shocking time.

Actually, it was an interesting time because pretty much from that day, November 29, through until April, I was working out of the National Recording Studios on the other side of town, and looking back, what amazed me is that it was kind of a combination of completely ludicrous errors and a high quality of work under duress. And that was for everyone at the station. We had a really strong sense of community at the station because we were all going through this kind of Viet Nam for us together. It was like FM 104.7 Cambodia instead of Canberra.

Anyway, I can remember at the end of one week I was thinking "Jeez, I feel a bit tired this week." Because we were hiring this studio, I had to keep a record of all the hours we were using. I remember looking back one week and it was one hundred and two logged hours, and that didn't include writing everything and then delivering the carts. And the most amazing thing that came out of that from our point of view was that the next survey, which was in May, was the biggest result we'd ever had. We got a twenty-eight.

RAP: You said you can't carry a gun in Australia. So how is the crime? Can you walk the streets at night?
Scott: Well, you can walk the streets at night without being shot. There are so many other ways to go.


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