“My radio dream has come true”
As strange as it may seem, Fox FM weekend announcer Azzan Schuster has Big Brother to thank for getting him interested in radio.
While watching the reality show in 2012, Azzan was intrigued. He says radio today:
“I was obsessed with the idea of someone sitting in a booth and talking, AND getting paid for it.”
“It wasn’t until I got my driver’s license in 2014 and turned the radio on all the time that I noticed there were people talking between songs – literally paid not just for talk, but also to listen to music at the same time!”
It was a light bulb moment.
“I finally knew what my dream job was…a radio host.”
Unsure of how to break into the industry, Azzan began studying for a Bachelor of Education as he tried to find a path into radio.
“Then my mother discovered that her favorite station (89.9 LightFM from Melbourne) organized a weekend radio workshop.
Azzan signed up and, at the end of the workshop, raised his hand to volunteer at the station. This led him to work as a producer for the show Drive, hosted by Leroy Brown.
“I was still studying, so some days saw me at college from 8-2pm, producing from 3-6pm, then working at Coles as a cleaner from 7-10pm for income.”
Finally, Azzan worked up the courage to let Leroy know he wanted to get behind the mic.
Leroy (today Director of South Victorian Content at SCA) remembers it well, telling Radio Today “Azzan walked into the studio one day boldly asking how he could do what I did on a daily basis.”
“I set it up with a few pre-recorded flight times through Light FM’s digital station and it grew over the next few months until it was ready to take on a weekend shift with Light. FM.”
After almost a year of announcing, Azzan was encouraged to apply for a casual role as the new weekend announcer.
“After hard work and long days balancing college life, developing as a volunteer announcer, and working at Coles, I made my debut as a paid radio announcer on October 15, 2016 – my 20th anniversary.”
Azzan says this role led to incredible growth opportunities, before he was offered a full-time position.
“As soon as I got that call, I dropped out of my Bachelor of Education after 2 1/2 years, and managed to go full-time in radio, baby!”
Azzan says the experience gained at Light FM has been integral to his radio journey. Over the past six years, he’s dabbled in everything from taking calls, bulk-loading outsourced shows, to OBs, producing, and writing, to name a few- one.
One day – bored during the lockdown – Azzan was browsing his LinkedIn feed when a job posting appeared for a casual weekend announcer at Fox FM.
“My dream job was literally staring at me on my phone screen. There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity, so I quickly airchecked my job at Light and applied for the post.
Azzan says he honestly didn’t think he’d get the job, but decided it couldn’t hurt to throw the line.
Two follow-up calls later – one from ACD James Speed one from the CD Amanda Lee – he was offered the job, a moment etched in his memory.
“It was surreal to hear Speedy’s words ‘You got the gig’ on the phone while I was parked at a 7-Eleven in Eltham on my way home from a PT session. »
“Working at Fox is literally a dream come true. I was a huge Fox fan, listening Keegs in the morning and aaron rich flip the switch in the weekend, and Tim Lee later on the trail.
“Certainly during my own on-air shifts at Light, I would hop on Flashlog to listen to their shifts to help me create my own content. I would even get dizzy listening to their world famous roof e Love you R&B Fridays.”
“Now I can work with the radio veterans I look up to (and Tim Lee is now my boss – LIKE WHAAAAA!?) and even host an occasional WFR or RnB Fridays feature, which blows my mind at every time.”
Azzan feels a deep sense of gratitude to those who have helped him along the way.
“TheLight Content Director MJ Want gave me so many opportunities to develop and grow in so many different areas at Light, so I’m grateful for his leadership and confidence throughout his journey.
“I’m so grateful to still be able to work with Lucy Holmes and Kel McWilliamwho are amazing broadcasters and have been incredibly supportive.
“Tim Lee is an absolute boss in everything he does, both on and off the air. He is an inspiration and it is an absolute treat to learn directly from him.
“The fortnightly air checks I have to do with him and Amanda Lee are always something I look forward to and I thrive on the wisdom and advice they give me.”
Azzan says Mel Tracine, Clayton Bjelan, Erica Davis and Craig Bruce also played a vital role in guiding him to success.
“But I would especially like to salute Leroy Brown. He got me where I am now. He saw the potential in me during my volunteer days, decided to embrace it, and charted paths for me to grow, develop and succeed as a broadcaster – and continues to do so as a mentor.
“I will always find myself sending him Fox air checks for feedback and he will always deliver, like he did 5 or 6 years ago.”
Leroy says Azzan has been working hard on his craft seeking input from various content directors across the country to build a great foundation and set himself up for success.
And success is loving what you do.
“Fox was everything I could have imagined and more,” Azzan says. “I am so blessed and honored to be able to stand in the famous Clarendon St studios in South Melbourne and broadcast, giving “that Fox feeling” to the hundreds of thousands of Fox fans who tune in every weekend.