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Imaging Melbourne – Mike Santos in Australia!

7th February 2020 - Interviews -

Image: pikwizard.com

Mike is in Oz now for almost 2 years, time flies! He started working as the morning show production guy for Kyle and Jackie O in Sydney and is now overseeing big parts of the Matt and Meshel breakfast brand in Melbourne. Mike and I had not catched up for a while, so we connected and I am happy he shared some of the stuff learned with us. Enter the assassin of radio Imaging.

1. How have the last years in Oz transferred your imaging style?

it’s definitely kicked it up a notch! it’s a bit bigger, a little more intricate, i think.  it’s really a testament to working with Boz and Chris over the past few years.  none of my promos go to air without going through them, so being able to get their criticisms and see hear their thought process has been incredibly beneficial to me.  also, they work is so clever and stylish, that being around it day in and day out, you want to work to reach that level, whether it’s a show tactic, or a content promo.

also, i feel like i think a lot quicker when it comes to producing the daily promos.  dealing with a 10:55 first play when the show finishes at 9, you have to be able to know where you’re going and produce quickly while maintaining a high quality.  initially, i was having a lot of trouble managing the deadlines and the expectations, but these days, i like to think i have a good handle on things.


2. What is the biggest difference between working in Oz compared to the US?

in the states, because of ppm, everything is forward momentum.  what’s next?  when can i win again?  who’s in tomorrow?  to a certain point, it’s like that here as well, but since we’re on a more “diary-like” ratings system, it’s all about recall and marketing, which is why we focus on our daily promos.  because of that, as far as the breakfast promos go, everything is put in context.  we don’t want to leave any open questions.  if i’m doing a promo about matt and his wife susie, i need to make sure that i establish that susie is matt’s wife.  and if the guys didn’t mention it in the break, i need to go find something that’ll work.  that way, you’re P2s and P3s aren’t saying, “who’s susie???”

3. Is there any special techniques you guys developed for the KIIS brand?

i’ll leave the overall KIIS stuff to boz and chris, but as far as breakfast goes, for me, i try to polish it as much as possible, without distracting from the content.  there won’t be any massive tricks or production in my day-to-day promos, but it’ll still be more than just music bed and show audio.  one thing i do like to do though, sometimes, is have the promo react to matt and meshel.  rather than use a hook to accent a part, i’ll use the hook as a reaction.  it’s fun to play with especially if you don’t really get the reaction you want from what actually went to air.

4. Any new favorite plugINs?

nah, no new plugs.  when chris was in town last week, he was showing me one of the plugs in his session that makes everything all stuttery…i forgot what it’s called though.  it’s kind of like the pulsing gate setting in the waves mondomod plug, but more involved.  as far as what i use in my daily promos, h-delay, sansAmp, sci-fi, and pitch-n-time will be the usual suspects.


5. What was your most challenging project and why?

the first round of the 10K jury was easily the most challenging thing i’ve done all year.  essentially we put 6 people in a room and they had 5 days to unanimously decide who would win $10,000.  it was a little bit of a nightmare from a promo perspective just because of the amount of audio that needed to be sifted through.  because it all happened live on air, i would be cutting through the on-air audio, streaming the jury audio in the background, while the show producers would flag big moments that didn’t go to air (we had the room they were in mic’d).  then taking the daily audio from the room, matt and meshel, and building some kind of promo before first promo plays at 10:55.  there was a lot of back and forth between chris and i that week, discussing story arcs, angles etc, but i’m really proud of what was put to air.

6. How is Melbourne? The team?

melbourne is a fantastic city.  the overall vibe reminds me a lot of san francisco, so that’s probably why i love it so much.  it’s not a flashy city by any means, where sydney is aesthetically beautiful with the harbour bridge and the water, melbourne is very cool with it’s laneways, food and drink culture etc.  i think melbourne is the kind of city that’s built for a bit of overcast weather.  it just brings out the city’s character.  also, melbourne is mad about sports!  whether it’s AFL, tennis, cricket, a-league etc, they just love it.  i live 10 minutes from the melbourne cricket ground and my neighbourhood on match day is crazy!

i think we have a great team here at KIIS.  i’ve never been part of a production “team” before, so it’s nice to be part of a group that’s as solid outside the studio as they are behind the desk.  we’ve all hung out, we all get along, and i think that’s really important when you’re trying to achieve something.