Me & My Radio

From Teesside to Texas - Mark Gregory takes a ramble through his career so far.

What’s your earliest radio memory?

The first show I remember listening to regularly, would be Junior Choice with Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart on Radio One. I’d make sure I was first out of bed every Saturday morning and rush excitedly down to the kitchen to grab the radio and take it upstairs to listen, snuggled up in bed. As I grew older, I fondly remember hearing Status Quo’s ‘Paper Plane’ for the first time on Radio Luxembourg. That became a seminal moment for my eventual musical taste – as a headbanging, heavy rock fan!

 


When did you first realise that you might like to work in radio?

My local station – Radio Tees, took on a local 16-year-old lad called Mark Page to host their weekend breakfast shows. He was quite amusing, very different for the time and he amassed a loyal audience very quickly. He eventually turned up at Radio One for a short while actually. It was around then that I started experimenting with a double cassette deck, a cheap microphone and a record player – constructing a makeshift ‘radio studio’ in my bedroom at home. Where I tried (very badly) to emulate my Radio Tees favourites.


How did you get a break into the broadcast industry?

I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I’d finally managed to get some voluntary work in the programmes department at Radio Tees, whilst at the same time trying to carve out a career as a freelance rock music journalist - submitting regular reviews to Kerrang magazine. I was in the radio station one day, when their commercial copywriter resigned unexpectedly. Although it was a very different style and discipline, they knew I was doing a bit of writing and asked if I’d like to give it a go. I took a few radio advertising briefs home that evening to work on. The rest is history really.


What are some notable moments in your radio career?

Hosting my own rock music show on Radio Tees for the very first time would certainly be one. Flying out to Manhattan with my station creative team, to be presented with our awards at the New York Radio Festivals is another. Being part of a keynote presentation on radio advertising creativity, in front of 3,000 people in Dallas, would definitely be one more too.


You’ve been with Get Carter Productions for a number of years now. What do you see as the benefits to the client of using an independent radio creative agency such as yourselves?

The key word in that question is independent, in my opinion. Of course, I had many enjoyable years and much success working with the UK’s biggest radio-media groups. But I believe nothing can match the experience and completely impartial creative expertise we offer here. It’s this which will help us achieve our vision of becoming ‘the biggest and most successful commercial audio production company in the UK’, during the next few years. The four cornerstones of our company culture are: ambition, honesty, straightforwardness and success. Our clients genuinely seem to appreciate all of that when dealing with us.  

 

What do you feel the future holds for radio?

The transition from traditional AM/FM broadcasting through DAB to multi-channel, multi-platform audio access has obviously seen a number of changes in the ways in which radio is consumed. And although streamed playlists and podcasts have their place, I think you’ll find that the human warmth and instant interaction that RADIO offers the listener, means it will continue to entertain and inform a loyal audience for many years to come. 

Mark Gregory