Going from being a kids entertainer in a hot and sweaty character suit to the program director of one of NOVA Entertainment’s most successful brands, Peter Clay has certainly been round the block.
What’s your proudest career achievement?
Wow, well that is hard to narrow down to one as I have worked with every radio network and some TV networks for good measure…
So I have had moments that make up career highlights like being part of the morning crew at 2DayFM when we finally beat Triple M in the 90’s, to being production manager of the music channels at Foxtel and being part of the team that put the Channel V musicBUS together while we also created and launched musicMAX. (now Max), oh and I had to operate AGRO at the Logies while Jamie Dunn collected the award and had an argument with the puppet….
However my most recent achievement is working on the creation of smoothfm in 2012, building the on air team in my old role with Rohan Brown and Paul Jackson and now as PD of Melbourne & Sydney, I have seen the station go Number #1 FM.
And the most cringeworthy?
Again, there are so many that come flooding back when you ask this and maybe other people in the business could nominate a few for me…. However while I was business manager for Agro Enterprises back in the day, I helped with Cartoon Connection production and sometimes I would have be a suited character like Candy Bear or Toyworld Bear…. Those suits never fit well and having a head role off in front of kids can be a shock. Also fogging up the eyes because of the heat and tripping over things would be a regular occurrence and those suits would have bits hanging that just looked wrong….
What’s one thing you’d change about the industry if you could?
With good reason, the business has a focused on that bottom line, so those good old days of programming risk, excess and splurging on promotions have gone… Plus those long lunches we used to enjoy now have to be coded to someone’s budget and no one wants to explain one of those splurges to the financial controller…So bring back days of unlimited budgets with “begging forgiveness being easier than asking permission” as our programming statement…..
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
Well when I win lotto, you will find out…. No, I will still be here… I tried to escape the business once and go into the government sector, however that lasted six months and was drawn back… So I would say that I would always be connected to the entertainment business in some way.
What’s your ultimate career goal?
A few announcers and I always used to say, imagine if you could create a station and employ all of the people you like… Well Byron Webb and Simon Diaz often remind me that we have now done that with smoothfm. That was the ultimate goal and I guess moving forward it is now to sustain that environment and keep working with people that I get along with in and outside of work.
Favourite campaign of all time?
Every campaign had its time and place, however with smooth I actually love the simplicity of smooth stars…. It suits the format, it doesn’t get in the way of our promise of more music and less talk and the listeners get to play along and ultimately take home a big wad of cash…. Seriously who wouldn’t want to be like Kate our listener who just won $106,700 tax free dollars…
Favourite character in Mad Men? (if you watch it)
Nah, I am one of those people that doesn’t watch it….. (I was doing well up until then right…)
Reality TV – yay or nay?
Yay. Not all of them…
Tea or coffee?
Coffee, and too many.
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
Able to hear glitches on air that most people will gloss over… Mat & JP our engineers say that I have a weird sense of hearing picking up things like the delay building, the fifth microphone left open creating atmosphere or Bogart Torelli humming along to the song on the More Music Breakfast Show when she puts the microphone up too early.