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EP32 – Adrian Barry on his Radio Journey (so far), Awards ≠ Success, and Missing out on Polymer!

August 28, 2017

In this Episode, I talk with Adrian Barry. Adrian is an Award winning sports presenter (PPI radio Sports Broadcaster of the year 2011), previously Sports Editor for Newstalk and, most recently, the Group Head of Sports Programming for Communicorp (which includes radio stations such as Newstalk, TodayFM, 98FM, and others). He’s regularly heard on Off The Ball, Ireland Number 1 sport show, and, of Most significance, he’s from Athlone, Co. Westmeath!

In our chat, Adrian very honestly and openly talks about his career journey so far. He explains he was not one that had a clear view of where he wanted to go during his school days, and almost picked Journalism by default. We talk about Career Guidance during the leaving cert and not getting a great perspective on what to do Next. Unfortunately, Polymer Engineer wasn’t of interest at the time despite it being the hot course. Adrian talks about his move to Hull University which was, as he says himself, an uninformed decision. He quickly moved to Glamorgan and got his degree from there.

After University, Adrian worked on a mid-morning magazine show for Midlands Radio 103 to gain experience doing a bit of everything. Over the next few years, Adrian travelled, gained life experiences in Australia and New Zealand to expand his horizons, and worked with Midlands Radio 103 getting his first taste in sports radio. Adrian was clear that he wanted to get travel and working abroad out of his system as he knew once he got into a serious role, he knew that he’d be fully engaged in that.

His first serious role was with FM104 and we talk about the funny interview experience in getting  this role. Still, Adrian wasn’t fully sure the role was for him and left after 4 years to set up his own business. Which was a big move. One that Adrian learned a lot from. His concept was almost ahead of its time. The idea which is really only now taking off in radio. Timing was tough as it was late 2000’s and the recession hit. But we talk about learning so much through this experience. Which are skills that Adrian is now using in his current role.

Moving to 98FM, brought national success for Adrian, winning the PPI Sports presenter award in 2011. It wasn’t a definition of success in Adrian’s view.  “It’s a lovely thing to have” Adrian explained,  but that’s about it, aside from making his parents very proud.

From there, we go into details on his move into Newstalk at a time of great opportunity. Joining to initially produce and co-host the weekend show. As his role evolved over the last few years, he really started to feel part of something that he had an investment in and it’s during this time, things started to fall into place. Adrian gives a great insight into how the show has continued to grow.

Towards the we touch on a range of topics that include:

  • Work-Life Challenge and how Adrian manages this
  • How his view of sport changes when you’re working in the business
  • Views on how Sport is presented on & how it’s hard to believe
  • Plans to produce honest reporting that are core to his values
  • Core values around honesty of conversation, ethical and genuine reporting
  • Belief that hard work doesn’t guarantee success – there is chance, luck and coincidence – but hard work helps!
  • What success looks like and what advice tips that stick – be yourself!
  • Taking responsibility for your own actions

Book Recommendations: The Club – Christy O’Connor

Podcasts Recommendations: An Irish Man Abroad – Jarlath O’Regan, 30 for 30 (sports)

You can connect with Adrian via Twitter at the handle  @whosadrianbarry

If you enjoy the show, please subscribe so you can get all future episodes. Also, shoot me over a tweet, an email, a review on iTunes…I live for the feedback on how to make the show better!



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