Features

24 Hours with… Jamie Meldrum of Kiss 92 and One FM 91.3

In this 24 hours with, Jamie Meldrum – senior programme director at Kiss 92 and One FM 91.3 (owned by Singapore Press Holdings) – walks us through a day of radio show planning and execution, as well as his ’vegan’ ironman training

 

6:30am: Up early as usual to listen to one of our breakfast shows so first thing is turn the radio on, then check my messages. I’ll turn on the television news as well and flip between CNN, Fox, and Russia Today to see where things are sitting for the day globally.

I’m responsible for two English brands. Kiss 92, which targets women aged 30 to 39 and One FM 91.3. The latter targets all those aged between 40 and 49. I prefer to listen to one show each day, rather than bouncing around and today it’s Kiss 92’s ‘Maddy, Jason & Arnold’.

I usually listen until around 9:30 from home before I head into the office so that I can make any notes undisturbed, but today is a little different. I’m actually a guest on Maddy, Jason & Arnold’s show.

The team has been following my weight loss transformation journey. I recently lost about 140kg and got seriously into triathlons, so it’s a quick breakfast of oats, blueberries, bananas, cinnamon and chia with light soy milk, then onto my mountain bike at 7:40am for the 15-minute ride to the office.

8.00am: On air with the team, we have a quick chat about the 20kg weight loss from my most recent 38-day juice fast. After reminding them I had challenged them to join the team relay event in a triathlon, I tell the guys I have a surprise for them.

We play a couple of songs and when we come back I bring in Elvin Ting, the managing director of the Singapore International Triathlon. He’s agreed to enter the guys in one of the relay events in the 2018 race. They try to weasel out of it, but it’s a done deal and they’ll be toeing the line come September 23.

9.00am: A quick voiceover session. I’ve been one of the main voices for CNBC Asia and Australia for over a decade and while I usually record from my home studio, as I’m in early today I use some of the monthly studio time I have arranged with SPH Radio and quickly knock out three promos.

9:15am: Fridays are usually pretty busy, as we have our regular ‘family meetings’ and today I’ve also got a conference call with our music research team. So I take the opportunity to grab a salad with tofu while I go through my emails, work on approvals for client scripts that have come in overnight, sign off some leave requests, send a bunch of WhatsApp messages to our broadcast teams, check for any local headlines that weren’t covered by our radio news teams this morning and have a quick meeting with one of the sales team.

10:30am: First family meeting of the day is Kiss 92. I get together with the entire team in the SPH canteen. Our promotions team presents the on-air giveaways, appearances, roving reports, outside broadcasts and so on for the following week.

I lay out the station priorities for the DJ’s. We’re launching the new ‘TGI Friday’ in a week’s time, so I give the team the final rundown on how it works and how I want them to present it. Then, as usual at the end of these meetings, we open up the floor for discussion of any ideas, issues, or problems the jocks may have.

11:15am: I’m back in the production studio recording a voiceover for a contest trailer for Silk Air, a new traffic sponsor tag and an event trailer for the launch of a new LEGO set.

11:30am: Usually, we do the family meeting for One FM 91.3 at this time, but the guys are doing a photoshoot today for our impending brand refresh. When we launched the station back in 2015, it was targeted at males aged 40 to 49 and had a distinct rock edge.

While the station was reasonably successful with the target audience, the Singapore Market, unlike most other radio markets worldwide, is particularly focused on the overall ‘cume’ number, or absolute listenership, which isn’t really the best measure of a radio station’s relative performance.

But it’s what we’ve got and so we had to broaden the programme strategy to increase the station’s overall audience potential, and we’re starting to see some positive results. Unfortunately the station’s image and packaging were still in line with the earlier more male-focused direction, so we’ve been working on creating a new brand image and communication strategy. It’s more in line with the new target, hence the need for the fresh photoshoot.

While the One FM team is off getting glammed up for the shoot, I’m doing an ‘aircheck’ session with one of the new teams we have in development on Kiss, where we sit down together and listen to their last show and work on ways to improve their technical presentation skills and execution.

This helps to get the most out of their content and on new creative and segment ideas. Happily, the show is sounding good.

12.00pm: Working on a number of urgent script requests for various trailers and outside broadcast packages, which seem to come in fairly regularly on a Friday morning. It looks like grabbing a bite earlier was a good call.

1:30pm: No time for a lunch break yet, onto a meeting with our music research consultant who is based in Australia, but talking to us from Malaysia. Together with Kiss 92’s music director Desiree Lai we spend nearly two hours poring over the results of our latest online music test as well as assigning the successful songs to various categories.

Still more work to do on that one so we’ll bat a few emails back and forward over the next week then finalise everything via another meeting at the same time next Friday – when we’ll play another round of ‘where in the world is our consultant?’

3:30pm: Time for my lunch break at last. But there’s no rest for the wicked, as I also have to lay down another commercial voiceover for the airline Scoot.

4:30pm: The first batch of our new on-air idents for the One FM 91.3 refresh package has come through from our producer, so I download them and check them out. Sounding good. This first round is our new male voice talent, we’ll be recording our female voice talent next week when she returns from a trip to London.

We’ve gone with Singapore-based voices for the brand refresh to keep things as local as possible. Based on what I’m hearing, I make a few tweaks to the scripts and note what we’ll need in pickups for our male VO. Then I have a quick discussion with the team about collecting audio grabs from everyday Singaporeans for use in our image packaging.

5:30pm: Time for a conference call with a client. We’re planning some logistics for an upcoming major campaign. All will be revealed soon.

6pm: A quick double-check to make sure I’ve wrapped up everything that needed to be cleared before the weekend then I’m out the door and back onto the mountain bike to battle the peak hour traffic.

6:45pm: Home, but the day is not done. One of my weight loss transformation goals was to complete a full ironman distance triathlon in 2018. That’s a 3,800m swim, a 180 kilometre bike ride and a full 42.2km marathon.

I’ve completed a couple of ‘half ironman events already, but the full ironman is a different beast entirely. I’m entered for the race in Busselton, Western Australia on December 2. As I’m generally pretty busy, I need to get the most out of my available training time, so I use an experienced coach who lays out all my training sessions via the Training Peaks app and then analyses all my workout data to keep me on track.

This usually entails training six or seven days a week, with roughly three swims sessions, three bike sessions, usually with a run of varying distance and intensity directly afterwards.

I’d prefer to train early mornings, but I need to be listening to the breakfast shows on a daily basis, so it’s evening training sessions for me. Tonight it’s a 2,800m swim session with lots of drills in order to improve my technique and endurance.

So I do a quick change into my swim gear, pack my kickboard, pull buoy, fins, paddles and snorkel into my workout bag – and head off to the training pool at Singapore National Stadium.

8pm: In the water. Time to try to get a little better at not drowning.

9:20pm: Out of the pool and head home again.

9:50pm: Almost done! I quickly whip up a recovery smoothie with cinnamon, cocoa powder, plant-based protein powder (yes, I’m a Vegan ironman and yes, I get more than enough protein from plants) a big fistful of kale, three frozen bananas and iced water.

I gulp it down while I hang all my swim gear out to dry and throw in a load of washing. Then it is time hit the shower before heading off to bed around 10:45pm for a quick hit of Netflix and a good night’s sleep before I tackle Saturday’s workout.

It is going to be a 90km bike ride followed immediately by an 11km run. Look out Busselton, here I come.

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