“I’ve loved the medium of radio since I was a teenager and still do”: Duncan Campbell marks 40 years

ARN Chief Content Officer Duncan Campbell, who oversaw the most significant deal in Australian radio history when Kyle and Jackie O signed a ten year estimated $200 million dollar contract with the network, quietly marked forty years in the industry this week. It must feel a long way from 2PK Parkes, where he commenced.

Campbell gave Radioinfo some of his time to reflect on four decades. His feelings about radio, the industry and the people are the same as when he began.

Radioinfo: Tell me about the path from Parkes to ARN?

Duncan Campbell: The list of stations I’ve worked for in order are 2PK, 2BE (Bega), 2NM (Muswellbrook), 2QN (Deniliquin), Lite & Easy 1269 (Sydney), Coast Rock FM (Gosford), PMFM (Perth), B105 (Brisbane), Triple M (National Content Director), 92.9 (Perth), 96fm (Perth). Then became a consultant for BP&R and in 2002 moved to the UK to work for the GWR Group (UK) and then Bauer (Scotland) before returning in 2010 to Australia as National Content Director for ARN (now Chief Content Officer)

RI: Was the UK radio market much different to Australia? In what key ways?

DC: The UK was very different to Australia:

  • Commercial Radio was only launched in the UK in 1973.
  • The BBC is a huge organisation that attracts a significant audience. Radio 1 for example has a budget of 40 million pounds for one station.
  • DAB was a big focus back in the early 2000’s so DAB has progressed faster than in Australia.

RI: It feels like radio is all of a sudden being talked about (as well as listened to) a lot more than five years ago? Why?

DC: Firstly, Australian Radio globally has been talked about a lot more than US radio for over two decades now and Kyle & Jackie O is the most talked about breakfast show globally and the most copied.

In Australia, certainly within media circles, radio is being talked about a lot more than 5 years ago due to two key factor; The ARN Deal to acquire Triple M and Kyle & Jackie O being networked into Melbourne. For radio to be talked about more is a good thing.

RI: Do you still love it? What drives you every day?

DC: There has not been a day in the past 40 years when I have not wanted to go to work. I’ve loved the medium of radio since I was a teenager and still do. It’s a performance business which is exciting and challenging at the same time. The ratings are all important as are the people who work for us and over the past 40 years I’ve got to work with some wonderful people.

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