Meet one of the youngest radio talents in Australia

radioinfo’s Kirsty Meyer caught up with ACRA nominated Dan HillFOX FM‘s Music Director and Operations Manager on being one of the youngest Aussie talents in the industry to have had such an extensive career so far, moving around for the job and what it means to have integrity. 
Did you choose radio for a career or did it choose you, how did it all start?
Growing up, I always listened to a lot of radio and was fascinated by the medium, but I wanted to be a sound engineer, and was studying it in high school. It wasn’t until I went to the local radio station after school to present a youth segment on a community show which really gave me the desire to want to work in radio one day.
What does your radio timeline look like?
I’ve done work at Snow FM / 2XL Jindabyne, Hot FM / 4TOFM Townsville, Star FM Shepparton, Sea FM Gold Coast (twice), 92.9 Perth, NXFM, 2DayFM, Hit105 and The Fox (twice). I’ve been really lucky to work with so many great people in all of those radio stations.
Dan, you’re not even 30 years old and your CV could reflect that of a 50-year career! Do you hear that a lot? If so, why do you think that is?
The CV is hard to keep up with, people tell me I move around a lot, but I’m extremely ambitious and always looking for the next big thing. Now that I’m 10 years in the industry this year, I feel like I need to slow down and stay put for a while and build the next stage of my career. (It’s not good when you’re on a first-name basis with the removal company).
Looking back over your timeline, is there a station that holds a special place in your radio heart and why?
At the moment, I’m extremely lucky to be working at The Fox in my hometown, it’s always been a dream come true. But the other station I hold dearly is SeaFM Gold Coast. It was the place I think I grew up the most, and took radio really seriously. I learnt so much and really grew as a person. I made many great friends there, and it joys me to see it doing so well this year.
You’ve moved around a lot for the job Dan, (I’ve even had the pleasure of working with you 10 years ago in the Snowy Mountains!), what’s the least amount of notice you’ve had before moving for a job?
I’ve been lucky and notice has always been about 4 weeks, but I think the least amount of time given to move was when I moved back to Melbourne. I was filling in on the Hit30 over summer in December last year, got the call up to my new role at Fox, and had to finish the stint early, fly back to the Gold Coast and pack up my life within a week. The following Monday, I was in Melbourne. Very surreal experience.

What do you love and not love most about working in radio?

I love the people, and the culture. There’s no other job in the world that is as loose as radio. I really enjoy the dynamic we have at the moment at Fox, everyone knows their job, they know when to work and more importantly – know when to play.

What’s been your hardest lesson on the job?

I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is to take responsibility and be completely honest. It’s hard to do, and sometimes the consequences can be intimidating, but the minute you grow up uphold your integrity, the minute your work life gets easier.
What’s been your most cringe-worthy moment working in radio?
Probably starring in my own television commercials promoting a month’s worth of Outside Broadcasts in a pink VW Kombi. There was a second one where I was sitting on a jetski on the back of a trailer. Not my finest moment.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?

Check my emails, facebook, charts, news sites. I go over my music log again and see if I missed anything.
What’s the last thing you do before you leave?
Clear my emails, send and print the daily music logs.
You’ve rubbed shoulders with some celebrities in your time, which famous person has made the biggest impression on you and why?
I’m really not too phased about celebrities, at the end of the day – they’re human two. But some really cool experiences I got to be a part of include, shaking The Hoff’s hand, listening to OneRepublic’s new album with Ryan Tedder, filming interviews and hanging out with Katy Perry, and working Macklemore’s green room at our World Famous Rooftop. Incredible experiences.

Again, you’re extremely young to have such a mature CV, any tips for young aspiring radio announcers?

I would say, get as much experience as possible. I’m a fan of the moving around the country model, because it really builds character, resilience and demonstrates ambition. You make your own success and can do anything you want in your career – you just have to want it bad enough.

What’s your favourite spot in Melbourne? 

To be honest, at home. It’s a place where I can truly chill out and do whatever I want. But outside of home, I love the city – exploring all the little nooks and laneways. On a sunny day, I’ll take the bike out for a ride along the Yarra or St Kilda Beach.

Where were you born & raised?

I grew up 30 minutes west of Melbourne, a place called Werribee.
Favourite sports team?
Sydney Swans for AFL, Gold Coast Titans for NRL, Toronto Maple Leafs for NHL.
Any pets?
No pets! 
Favourite country you’ve traveled to?
I really love New Caledonia. Been to Noumea and Lifou twice! Amazing French country in the middle of the ocean.
If you had to live and work oversea’s which country would you choose?
I’d love to try radio in North America – either Canada or the US.
Tell us something on your bucket list?
I’ve done all the cliché things like jumping out of planes and such, but I haven’t really travelled much. It’s something I want to do more of before I’m 30.

What’s your favourite meal? 

I’m waaaaaay into Pizza.
Drink of choice?
Scotch & Pepsi Max. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

What’s your favourite song at the moment? 

I love so many songs, although I love the new Sia track – The Greatest.

Most played song on your device?

Probably Bohemian Rhapsody, or MacArthur Park (the Will Lee version from The Late Show)

Favourite thing to do away from work?

I’m a radio tragic… usually it’s stuff to do with work. I’m really into audio technology, so I usually do something to do with that.

What trait impresses you most about a person?

Honesty and integrity. You can easily tell when someone is faking it.

Most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

I jumped out of a plane once… that was interesting… Thankfully it all turned out ok.

If I didn’t work in radio I would….

Either be a touring Sound Engineer, working in Television, or a professional prize pig.
You can follow DAN HILL @ThatDanHill on facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Our profiler, Kirsty Meyer, has worked in news and programs in Australia and internationally.

This is one in a series of profiles Kirsty is compiling for radioinfo.




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