Radio

Network Developmen​t Manager for ABC Local Radio in Australia.
After a few years spent as volunteer teenage radio presenter, James O`Brien has worked as a talk radio presenter and manager for almost twenty-fiv​e years, mostly with the ABC (Australia​’s national broadcaste​r). As new technologi​es and platforms have emerged, such as DAB+ and streaming, James has been a leader within the ABC, both creatively and managerial​ly. When he’s not listening to the radio he can be found on-line, socialisin​g and travelling​. James is also learning Swedish, but jokes he “speaks Swedish like a five year old”.

ABC Float in Sydney's Lunar New Year Parade

Lunar New Year Parade in Sydney

I’m still buzzing after involvement last night in the first-ever ABC float in Sydney’s Chinese / Lunar New Year Parade.

My throat is still hoarse from shouting, my arm is still sore from waving, and my mouth is still sore from smiling so much :)

Lunar NY

Lunar NY

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Now Hear This – Christmas Special

Photograph from the Now Hear This Facebook page by Elize Strydom.

Photograph from the Now Hear This Facebook page by Elize Strydom.

“Remember your credit card has a limit, not a target” was one of my favourite lines delivered at the Now Hear This story-telling night at the State Library of NSW.

Now Hear This is a radio project I’ve had some involvement in over the last couple of years.

Most of the time it’s a story-telling slam, where people stand up before a live audience and tell a story of about five minutes duration. I’ve actually done it myself once. The stories are recorded for radio, and many of them end up on air.

Tonight’s show was a little more “celebrity” than others with broadcasters like Sally Sara and Sarah Macdonald, appearing alongside author, Linda Jaivin, politician, Malcolm Turnbull and others.

Malcolm Turnbull delivered my other favourite line from the night, as he reminisced about how we’ve quickly become a culture where virtually everything was “forgotten” (unless it was written down or passed on from generation to generation) to a culture where virtually nothing is “forgotten”.

The recorded program goes to air later in December on RN.

The program has a great Soundcloud account that’s worth checking out.

Later in the morning I was interviewed on the "Maggs On Media" program shown on commercial television in South Africa. I spoke with Jeremy Maggs about some of these trends, digital radio in Australia, and was asked what I thought of South African radio. I told him it was fascinating to hear programs in different languages and I thought there was probably more musical variety than on Australian radio.

South African TV

When I was recently in South Africa, speaking at the Radio Days Jo’burg Conference, I was also asked to speak about pop up radio on The Maggs On Media television program about the issue of pop up radio stations (which I spoke about, amongst other things, at the conference). I woke up this morning and discovered the interview in my Youtube feed. Even though I speak probably far too quickly, I think the producers have done a good job bringing it all together with some lovely footage from Australian radio.