Radio One

For some of you that have met me at the Almanac launch last year and various lunches throughout 2010, you would know by now that I’m a shy kid, I keep to myself mostly, and am pretty terrible at keeping my end of the deal in conversation.

So it may take many of you by surprise, heck, it even surprises me still, that I talk to potentially thousands of people from the Goulburn and Murray Valleys every Saturday, via radio. You see, announcing on the radio is something I’m really keen on, so my family and I contacted the local radio station in Shepparton, 3OneFM (98.5FM) earlier in the year, and they agreed to put me on a training program, to build up my knowledge with the switchboard and the computer. I started training on April 26 (Carlton v Geelong was played that day to answer your question to why I know the date) and it was two hours every Tuesday afternoon after school from then on. I was quite flustered when I needed to record a program for the first time, hearing my own voice on the replay was cringe-worthy. Surely I didn’t sound like THAT?

But over the next 20-odd weeks, I kept learning. Some of you might’ve seen average radio switchboards and think that they look complicated, but after a couple of training sessions, I was very familiar with them. I won’t go through the basics of them, because it would be quite boring to read. But basically, if I want to play music, I just go to ‘search song’ on the computer, type in the name of the song or the artist, find the song and drag it onto the playlist. I can put whatever I want in front of the playlist, whether it’s another song, a station ID or a break, which allows me to talk in silence after a song finishes. That probably made no sense. You’d have no idea how hard it is to think of a song to play off the top of your head, when my instructor, Neil, told me to play any song; I froze and couldn’t think of anything. Luckily, Bon Jovi was my get out of jail card. By the way, thanks to Susie Giese for offering her Bodyjar wisdom, I learnt that, when in doubt, choose a Bodyjar song.

Around August (August 21 actually), I started a different type of training. With the commentators on location at the different grounds in the Goulburn Valley, I was anchored at the studio, going to breaks at the end of quarters, communicating with the commentators via tieline and announcing all things AFL at half time of the GVFL game, which was the first time I’ve ever been on-air. The sweat I produced a mini-second before I clicked the on-switch for my microphone was immense.

After a few weeks of doing this, I went back to normal training, which was completing theory work, reading through a booklet, going through the rules and regulations of the station etc., and I got a call a few weeks ago that my training was complete, and I was ready to begin my program.

This was a about a month ago. I got given a program between 4pm and 6pm for a Saturday, and all I had to do was play and announce music, play advertisements, read out a few community notices, bring the news in and announce the weather. Simple. It really is. And I love it, I love the feeling of going to work, knowing that I’m going to provide people with an array of music, but of course it’s hard to please everyone, not everyone likes Johnny Cash, annoyingly.

So, if any of you Almanackers want to tune in between 4 and 6pm on Saturday by clicking on the link below, it’d be really appreciative. You can even ring up and request a song. But if you’re surprised by my on-air persona, don’t expect me to be as outgoing at the launch, I’ll still be shy as normal. Maybe I should bring my microphone next week, might make the nerves settle a little.

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. Great stuff Josh I’ll call up and request the Carlton theme song

  2. Thanks Tony.

    Sorry, we’re under strict rules at OneFm to not play trash.

  3. Great read Josh :)

    Yay! I got a mention! What an honour and a surprise! :O (no one need know I practically demanded it of you, tee hee).

    I’m sooooo glad the radio gig is working out for you – it’s been great getting the weekly stories – the “funked” saga, for example :P You’re doing a great job. My Saturdays are freeing up for a few weeks, so I’ll finally get to tune in again! Yay :D

    Keep up the stellar work!

  4. -Agreed with Maria! :)

    And Joshers, dont you think its a bit of an understatement to say that your ‘shy’ ? :P naww!! :P

  5. I wouldn’t say you’re shy Barney, just softly spoken.

    Hope you keep enjoying having power over what people listen to!

  6. 3: Thanks Susie, yeah hopefully you can tune in for a bit, if your not busy though of course. Expect some more stories to come. :)

    4: *Shy MSN emotion*

    5: It’s a bit weird when my trainer kept telling me to quiten my voice down while I was undergoing the training, lol. It does feel weird knowing that people will be listening to me and expecting good music, so I need to play what they’re most likely to enjoy, not just a song that I like.

  7. Pamela Sherpa says

    Good on you Josh. Sounds like you are well on the way to a career in the media. Glad you are enjoying it as well.

  8. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    Hi Josh,

    I like to listen to One FMs broadcast of GVL games and local score round-ups – would like to see you takeover from their match-day expert Gunna Ryan – too Tat-centric!

  9. Steve Healy says

    Good work Josh, you should string all that into an autobiography

  10. 7: Thanks Pam. :)

    8: Haha, i’m yet to meet J. Ryan, sounds like quite the character though from his commentary calls.

    9: That’s the plan Steve. :)

  11. Good on you Josh. Great to read about a young bloke with a bit of initiative. Good luck. Apparently 3AW will have a vacancy in its late afternoon shift in about 12 months.

  12. Peter Schumacher says

    Josh, this may not be your thing at all but if you get a chance have a listen to Garrison Keillor (American writer and host of an American folksy program well known to some in Australia, “A Prairie Home Companion”. What I refer to particularly is track 9 on a CD “Lake Wobegon Days” (Virgin CDC 7 595832) recorded in 1989, “”The Radio Announcer” in which he details how he got started in radio, (with a view to impressing a beautiful young lady).

    As a matter of interest, in more general terms I became aware of this program about 30 years ago when it was carried by ABC Classic FM. It has long since disappeared from there but ABC Radio National does carry a condensed version titled, I think, “The Garrison Keillor Radio Show” at 7pm on Sunday’s. In other words this show is still going strong in the States in its original format and title. I prefer this unedited edition and sometimes listen to it still, from there.

    As I say this program isn’t for everyone. Not surprisingly it is American centric but not in my view in a way that would get up your nose. It centre’s around a 20 minute monologue written and narrated by Keillor about life in a fictional Minnesotan town, “Lake Wobegon” but it also features some skits and what I might loosely describe as American folk music.

    At any rare I must must make a point of listening to your style but if you at least catch up with the show that I have described it might give you some ideas.


    Peter Schumacher

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