I want to write and tell stories.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Not a bad job if you can get it........

Nice lifestyle this guy has. I know the Howard Stern move to Sirius has been a fairly big discussion over in the US, so thought you might find this interesting.


Radio Waves
By Sue JavesMarch 2, 2006

WHEN American Howard Stern announced he was switching to satellite radio service Sirius for a gobsmacking $US500 million ($675 million) over five years it was big news.
For an Australian comparison, think Neil Mitchell moving to the ABC and multiply by 100. And that doesn't come close.

So it's extraordinary to consider that much of the audio theatrics that American listeners heard in the build-up to Stern's dramatic debut on satellite radio last month were produced in a small recording studio in the Sydney suburb of Newport.

Dressed in baggy shorts, T-shirt and thongs, audio production whiz Jeff Thomas begins his day with a surf at the local beach before heading to his modest studio above a surf shop to produce and mix the sounds that punctuate Stern's performances 12,000 kilometres away in New York.
It's difficult for Australians to understand just how big Stern is in the US.
About 13 million people tuned in to his nationally syndicated show when it was on free-to-air radio.

He is both the highest-paid radio celebrity in the world and the most controversial. The so-called shock jock has often been in strife with the US Government broadcasting watchdog for his outlandish sexual and racist comments.

His huge American fan base has been eagerly anticipating his new satellite show, which is free of broadcasting restrictions.

Thomas was production manager at Triple M in the early 1990s before moving to London to help Richard Branston launch Virgin's London FM station.

From there he moved to Los Angeles as creative services director for KIIS FM, before returning to Australia in 2000. KIIS allowed him to bring his job back with him, which he did for the next five years, combining a Sydney beach lifestyle with a job in the world's biggest radio market.
His company also delivers an online sound design service to FM radio stations in the US, Europe, Africa and Australia.

"We provide the packaging or imaging for stations, which is basically all the audio that gets played around the commercials and songs," he explains. "It's that indefinable sound which can create the same sort of emotion you get watching a movie trailer."

Thomas has signed for one year to produce material for Stern's two channels on Sirius.
Leading up to the January launch, his audio creations featured breathless news anchors crossing to hysterical crowds chanting, "Howard, Howard". Each segment ended with an ominous voice announcing, "The revolution is coming".

Thomas drew inspiration from the opening scene in Blade Runner to create the final countdown. Normal programming was replaced by the sound of a throbbing heartbeat.

As the heartbeat grew stronger, it was interspersed with eerie sounds, a baby's cry, static, subliminal messages, archival clips from Stern's early life, building to a climax.
Extraordinary production for a mere radio program. But very Howard Stern.


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