Women in media on the challenges of breaking into the industry today | Mumbrella360 video

In this session from June's Mumbrella360 conference, four of Australia's biggest female media personalities discuss being a media personality in the influencer age, breaking into the industry in today's landscape, and why there aren't more female talk back radio hosts. 

It’s no longer easy to break into the radio industry through the traditional route of local stations, according to Fifi Box, co-host of the Fifi, Dave, Fev and Byron show on Fox FM.

During the following video, which was recorded during the Women in Media panel at Mumbrella360, she says: “More and more, seemingly you can be an influencer and suddenly you get an opportunity in the spotlight whether that’s on radio or television. It’s definitely not easy to do it the traditional way and that’s a shame.”

Amanda Keller, co-host of the Jonesy & Amanda Breakfast Show on WS FM101.7, adds that even local graveyard shifts are no longer an opinion for new talent: “You can’t do a midnight to dawn shift anymore because so much of it is nationalised, those jobs don’t exist even.”

Box continues to rail against influencers, saying: “I am struggling at the moment with the new world of influencers and you create brands and everyone’s got brands – because I really only want to be authentic and genuine. I get people saying ‘you should do this because then you can associate yourself with that brand or you can get that endorsement.”

Despite her status as a well known media personality, Amanda Keller co-host of the Jonesy & Amanda Breakfast Show, admits no role is for life: “It’s so up for grabs constantly, isn’t it? We see shows come and we see shows go. You can never assume and you can never take your longevity too seriously because you never know when it will go.”

Dee Dee Dunleavy co-host, The Weekend Break, 3AW explains why she thinks it’s even harder for women to break into talk back: “When I started it was 1986… there weren’t a lot of women in radio. So I started as a journalist in the newsroom… but there weren’t that many on air roles for women at that time. I pushed my way in there.

“I feel like I’m still trying to break ground in the talk back area. I mean, tell me who’s your favourite female talk back announcer. I’m in there campaigning for it. Sometimes I think at my age do I still need to be trying to push for something that should just be happening automatically at this day and age, but I’m going to keep going.”

When asked why isn’t there a female Alan Jones, Dunleavy says: “I actually discussed this with management the other day, knowing that I would be here and I said ‘well what do you actually want me to say?’, because we’re lagging behind in talk back as far as promoting women. They agreed that there aren’t women for women like me. There’s no one to look to – we can’t look at the next Neil Mitchell or Ray Hadley and think ‘I want to be him’.

“They’re acknowledging it… one of the common things that I hear is that listeners don’t like to listen to a female voice on radio, or they don’t want to hear women with opinions.”


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