Posted by: inshin | June 14, 2010

Dave Moore

The Morning Crew sprang into life in September 2002. Dermot Whelan and Dave Moore were thrust together and have been joined at the hip ever since. Siobhan O’Connor tried to break up this partnership about four years ago and is still trying!

Some of the things the Crew is best known for include the 98 Toll Trolls, two cheeky characters that live under the M50 Toll Bridge. They have become a staple ingredient to Dublin’s breakfast time and have enjoyed massive success with their annual Christmas albums selling platinum and double platinum in Ireland!

Dave’s World is a chance for Dave’s nerdy obsession with facts to be inflicted on the city. Dermot allowed him to do it once and it’s been on-air every day since!  Be sure to check out the hilarious YouTube site !

——–  Your Interview  ——–

The Person

When or at what age did you first pick up a mike or tape recorder and make that first recording?

In terms of radio, not really ever. I was never interested in radio before I started on the Breakfast Show on 98FM. I wrote and produced music for a living, having studied Business and Russian in Trinity! Not exactly the traditional, pirate, hospital, overnight, daytime, breakfast route. This has been my only job in radio.

Have there been any other broadcasters or has there been an interest in radio in your family?

No. My parents enjoy radio but no direct involvement. My friends mum did work in Sunshine 101 in the early 80s though. I think I went inside once and drank a Capri-Sun.

When you’re in a another country would you spend any time fiddling with (radio) knobs to hear what’s being broadcast?

Now? God, yes! Especially on holidays in Southern Spain. The English-speaking stations are a scream. Once, I listened to a guy interview an author on the phone from New York about his book. The author barely got to say a word and the interviewer just kept telling us about how his mother was finding it very hot in Spain in August. When he eventually got back around to talking to the author, he had lost interest and started to ask him if he wanted to invest in his business. It was a corkscrew invention he’d made. Classic real-life Alan Partridge moment.

How would you feel if someone told you that you need never broadcast again for the rest of your life and all your material needs would be covered?

Having material needs covered is very tempting but, honestly, I think I’d say no. There is such an addiction to radio that once you do it, I don’t think you can walk away. The connection with the audience, the fun you have on-air, just make it the best job ever.

You have a big following now with the success of your show, do feel that sometimes impacts on life outside the studio?

I don’t but I’m not sure my wife feels the same way! Seriously, that is the joy of radio. Next to nobody knows who you are. That’s not true of every radio DJ as a lot of them want to be famous and do TV (…ahem, Dermot Whelan, ahem…). This is where the profile gets raised and then you get, “Are you your man off the Panel?!? You’re gas/sh*t/hilarious/a w***er! [Delete as appropriate] I’ve been recognised a handful of times outside radio and it’s weird but complimentary, I guess. Certainly, now that I’m all over Twitter, there has definitely been an increased level or recognition but my attitude is that if you court it, you have to live with it.

The Craft

When or how do you get the urge to create items for your show?

It sounds cheesy and clichéd but you are “on” 24 hours a day. You could overhear something in a shop, pass something in your car on the way home or have an argument with the missus about something. This stuff is what makes up the content on our show. You can’t really afford to not make mental (or digital) notes of things to talk about because 6am rolls around five times a week and the mics go up so you’d better have something to talk about! I equate it to being in the pub with my best mate. Do you ever run out of something to talk about?

You have worked with a broadcasting partner, Dermot Whelan, for some years now and the partnership seems to be an ideal match, how do you agree on the material you’re going to work on?

There are occasionally battles but 99% of the time I tell him what to do.  Ha Ha! It’s an entirely collaborative process where we agree on the most relevant things to talk about and then try to see an angle that means we can make them our own. We both have distinctly different but complementary skill-sets and personalities that just clicked the day we met. September 2002, if you’re taking note. He is, actually, my best friend and working with your best friend for eight or nine hours a day is rarely a chore!

When you’re broadcasting you have to be able to ad-lib, have you ever come across a situation when the item was so strange that you couldn’t respond or you had the dreaded fit of giggles? (Different from the constant giggles that the show has anyway!)

We do laugh a lot, don’t we? It’s genuine too. That’s something that those most vile of marketing tools, “the focus groups”, have come back with again and again. People like the fact that we have a laugh in the morning. We have “lost it” where speaking is no longer an option. I remember once being on the Thunderbus (our outside broadcast unit) at Joey’s National School in Fairview. Dermot was going back to school so some kids came on to the bus to do traffic for us. The incidents were written out for them and they just had to read them out. The three kids read them perfectly and I then turned to see some of their classmates at the window. One of them had a hand-written sign that said “Say hi to Ciaran Byrne”. I read it out and one of the traffic kids shouted into his microphone, “Ciaran Byrne is a sh*thead!” I laughed so much I couldn’t breathe and just hit the song. Funniest. Moment. Ever.

Do you listen back to the broadcasts and see how they went?

Absolutely. We podcast everything on the show so we hear it as it’s lifted in real-time by our producer, Maria. In meetings about the show, called Airchecks, the boss will choose links to play back to either highlight something we did well or, more often than not, something we messed up! They’re painful so you have to leave your ego at the door and accept the criticism. They are very valuable though as everyone develops good and bad habits that you don’t notice and having these pointed out to you can help you immensely.

The Audience

Who do you feel you are broadcasting for?

Dublin adults, basically. We know that children also listen so this would inform our output quite a bit. We’re not exclusive though. We don’t expect too many male professionals over 55 in their Mercedes S-Classes to tune in but we wouldn’t knowingly say let’s do this or that because it will make them turn off, you know? Inclusive, fun and (mildly) informative broadcasting is kind of what we do.

Broadcasting is a very powerful way of connecting with the audience, outside that do you try to connect with your audience and if so how?

Twitter (and not Facebook!), my Dave’s World mailing list and our website are all major parts of our show’s life outside of the traditional radio medium. I do (over)use Twitter but I find it’s an amazing communication tool for the show.

Is it important to you how people react to your show?

Yes, hugely. We do our show for other people’s enjoyment not our own. We do what we enjoy and want others to feel the same way but it has to be for the listener and not for anyone else. Getting a simple text like we did this morning makes us love our show even more: “Thank you dermot and dave was feelin sad and depressed this mornin but only 5mins in d car and i’m smilin 🙂 thanks guys love ya’s Nadia :)” That’s so awesome.

Have you received negative criticism and if so how have you managed that?

Ha Ha! Yes. A lot. People love the anonymity of the text line on the show and you will often get ludicrous abuse on that. The outrageous stuff, we laugh off, even print them on t-shirts for each other! The genuine criticism, we do take on board though and if we overstep a boundary, we are quick to apologise to those offended. When you talk for 20hrs a week, live, you’re going to offend someone, somewhere after nearly eight years!

The Business

Radio, despite what might have been said in the past, seems to be stronger than ever, do you think we have the right balance in broadcasting in Ireland now?

Arguably, the national market is pretty well balanced but the local market in Dublin is massively segmented. New radio stations are coming online all the time and it’s not an easy place to ply a trade but we are the number one station and the number one breakfast show in Dublin so we know what we’re doing to win the listeners’ loyalties.

Do you feel that there are support mechanisms for people trying to enter the radio broadcast business?

I think there are a huge range of courses available to people interested in radio and the media in general. I do think that nothing compares to actual experience though. Two years reading news in a community station is going to be worth more to you than a qualification in media with a slant on radio, in my opinion. What you’ve also got to remember is that stations are constantly on the lookout for talent. So, my advice would be get some experience, hone your skills, make your demos and shop the bejaysus out of yourself.

How do you think the internet has impacted on Radio?

It’s a huge burgeoning market. It provides the listener with unprecedented access to the station, its presenters and everything that goes on “behind-the-scenes”. The advent of YouTube makes the internet like a TV channel for the radio station. Facebook and Twitter are massively important tools also that allow your listener further communication with you during and after your “on-air” time. The future isn’t going to be in a little FM dial. It’s going to be online and we all need to make our presence felt there as much as on the kitchen or car radio. There’s also a commercial side to it that is going to be the focus for all radio stations for the near future. How do you monetize the station’s online presence? How do you do it better than your competitors? How do you make sure you’re ahead of the game? These are questions that we all have to answer and the station/group who gets it right will secure its future.

Strange one but do you think listeners see this as a business?

Probably not. And they’re right not to. I don’t see TV or movies or games or music as businesses but they very much are. They can’t function without profit and you can’t profit without being a business. I think it’s our job, as presenters, to do what needs to be done to secure the revenue for our business to continue and prosper but to allow the listener to just hear some great songs and have a laugh. That’s the balance we need to strike. Business and banter, I suppose.

——–  End  ——–

Thanks to Dave for agreeing to take the interview, remember to tune into The Morning Crew from 6am to 10am, Monday to Friday and check out the brilliant YouTube site. You can also follow Dave on Twitter.

The next interview will be with Claude Bouchard, author.

Excluding introduction, ©Denis Vaughan.

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