Mumbrella is closed – why I’m not going to sit in my Hobart hotel room writing stories

I’ll let you into a secret about The Mumbo Report, the video thing we do.  

We film it in batches, jamming in five or six guests, with me changing T-shirts between segments. We then post them over the next five or six weeks.

We did one on Tuesday. Afterwards, as well as the usual sense of relief that everybody turned up, the biggest impression I came away with was just how burnt out those in the industry seem to be at the moment.

In the media and marketing industry work-life balance is broken like never before.

You’ll see the interviews in the coming weeks.

Among those I talked to was Tim Ross, once half of Merrick & Rosso. He spent a decade on Nova. Yet what came across was how little pleasure he gets from looking back on it. He spoke of giving his 30s to DMG. It was depressing stuff.

I also chatted to Adam Boland, outgoing EP of Sunrise and The Morning Show. He’s getting out so he can live a normal life for a while.

Yet it is possible to succeed without doing crazy hours. Our most sensible interviewee was Jon Casimir – producer of The Gruen Transfer and author of the forthcoming Gruen book. He derided the stupidity of ambition compared to spending time with your family.

I’ve also been reading former News Ltd and Fairfax editor Bruce Guthrie’s new book. The family sacrifices he made as an editor – and the even more messed up relationships of his colleagues – made me feel rather sad.

And I find myself every week chatting to people with dilemmas – either they’re happy in their current job but are faced with a big offer which could change that, or people desperately unhappy in their job but trapped by the money.

To an extent, I realise it’s always been this way. But my sense is that it’s getting worse. Too many people in our industry are doing their jobs because they have to; too few because they love it.

Perhaps it’s a hangover from last year’s downturn when a lot of companies trimmed, putting more pressure on the survivors.

I’m not sure there’s an actual answer.

I’m lucky in that I love doing Mumbrella. However, I realise that I do some silly hours at times.

Not today though. I’m in Hobart, having moderated an Australian Marketing Institute event last night.

I could sit in my hotel room writing stories all day. That was the plan.

But actual, I’m not going to. I’m taking the day off to see the sights.

Mumbrella is closed til Monday.

Remember to have a good weekend. I will.

Tim Burrowes


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