Radio executives have shown great interest in hiring reality TV stars in recent years, including the likes of Sam Frost, Heather Maltman and Ash Pollard.
And regional radio executives are now encouraging current presenters to apply for shows like Married At First Sight and The Block in a bid to boost their careers.
Daily Mail Australia understands that on-air personalities in smaller markets are being ‘nudged’ towards reality TV if they want to ‘make the jump’ to Sydney, Melbourne or the Gold Coast.
EXCLUSIVE: Regional radio executives are encouraging current presenters to apply for shows like Married At First Sight in a bid to boost their careers. Pictured: Jess Eva, whose radio career skyrocketed after she appeared on The Block last year
An industry source said: ‘When it comes to hiring talent for city markets like Sydney and Melbourne, radio executives aren’t going to take a risk on a nobody.
‘Profile is king, and you’re not going to build a national profile in regional radio. So it makes sense to do a show like The Block, which has millions of viewers nationwide.’
The insider added that country radio announcers are told they need to build a name for themselves to reach the next step in their career because ‘it’s not enough to just be good at your job.’
A wise career move? Daily Mail Australia understands that on-air personalities in smaller markets are being ‘nudged’ towards reality TV if they want to ‘make the jump’ to Sydney, Melbourne or the Gold Coast. Pictured: Jess Eva on The Block 2018
Metro programmers are interested in reality TV stars because they have a ‘pre-existing relationship with audiences’, explained the source, who is a senior figure in the Australian radio industry.
‘Being on Married At First Sight or the Block fast-tracks a person’s popularity so listeners don’t have to spend months “getting to know” them.
‘This is especially important in the bigger cities, where listeners have more options and less patience.’
Hmm! Interestingly, Heidi Latcham – who took a break from radio to star on this year’s season of Married At First Sight – replaced Jess after she left her Sunshine Coast job to film The Block
The insider further explained that sales executives at radio stations are obsessed with hiring announcers with ‘strong’ and ‘safe’ brands as it positively impacts the company’s bottom line.
‘If you can gain leverage off the talent’s pre-existing fame, it just makes everything easier and a network can really flourish,’ they said.
‘What’s more, when an announcer already has a strong brand it helps accelerate the marketing campaign because you’re not pushing out an unknown.’
The Block’s breakout star Jess Eva is a textbook example of promoting a regional radio star to the big leagues after a stint on reality TV.
Jess kicked off her breakfast radio career at Hit Far North Queensland and later took a job at 91.9’s Sea FM on the Sunshine Coast.
Last year, Jess quit this job to compete on The Block alongside her partner Norm Hogan, which turned out to be a very wise decision indeed.
In January, she was hired to join Triple M Sydney’s new breakfast show Moonman in the Morning, alongside Lawrence Mooney, Gus Worland and Chris Page.
Budding radio star: There are several recent examples of unknown personalities cracking into the radio business after starring on reality TV, including MKR’s Ash Pollard (pictured)
Interestingly, Heidi Latcham – who took a break from radio to appear on this year’s season of Married At First Sight – replaced Jess after she left her Sunshine Coast job.
Meanwhile, there are several recent examples of unknown personalities cracking into the radio business after starring on reality TV.
Heather Maltman, from Sam Wood’s season of The Bachelor in 2015, now works for Sea FM 90.9 on the Gold Coast and former MKR ‘villain’ Ash Pollard works for the same network on the Central Coast.