Every week we sit down with a member of the media industry for a chat with some of the country’s many talented journalists. In our 5 Minutes with the Media series you can see why they do what they do, what challenges them the most as well as their pitching tips.
In this post we speak to Anne Marie Geraghty, Producer of Limerick Today on Limerick’s 95FM.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
My current role is Producer of the Limerick Today Show. I could say my role is to execute the stations daily three-hour talk show, 9am to 12 midday, which has over 100,000 listeners per week, but that means nothing to most people. I’m effectively the creative genius behind the show, but that sounds very arrogant doesn’t it? But it is true. I make many people happy in Limerick and provide entertainment, news and company for them on their local radio station by creating an overall balanced show that makes people in Limerick feel connected. When something happens in Limerick they want to hear what Joe Nash the presenter of the show has to say about it. I plan those shows with Joe and the team, then I have to make the show happen. I love my on-air role too, popping in and out of the studio with feedback on what we’re covering. I enjoy the interviews and packages I get to do from time to time where I can express my creative flair and I love interacting with listeners on the phone. Not just the ones who love us, I enjoy dealing with the small amount of haters too. Every radio station has them and anyone who says otherwise is telling lies.
How long have you been working in the industry?
Too long. I laugh. Nearly two decades.
Did you always want to work in the media?
Funnily when I was in primary school I was always attracted to radio and created my own radio shows on tape back then. I now shift uneasily in my chair at the thought of those tapes ever reaching the light of day today, but yes I was interested. I do remember looking up courses and college places on the wall in school at age 16 and feeling so disappointed when I saw there were little or no options in radio, and what was there, I didn’t have what was necessary to apply. From memory, I think there was only one radio course in the country. I went off and did something else, but in a weird twist of fate my work lead me to get a job in my local radio station in my hometown of Athlone and since then I grabbed every opportunity that came my way in order to learn and grow in radio. Eventually, my first radio show to produce and present was “Good Morning Athlone” on Midlands Radio, so I suppose I was destined to provide local company and chat for people from the start.
What do you like most about working for Limerick’s Live 95fm?
The people. I feel grateful for the amount of fantastic people I’ve met over the years through the station. I currently work with a great bunch of people, and the Limerick listeners and communities are special.
What piece of work are you most proud of?
Two tragic stories jump out at me. I am proud of the shows I put together in the immediate aftermath of the death of two Limerick legends, Anthony Foley and Dolores O’Riordan. I felt the pressure to do these legends justice in the eyes of Limerick listeners. I am proud that the coverage touched so many people including relatives and friends of Anthony and Dolores, and am proud that others have recognised the work, as both shows received nominations in their relevant categories at the National Radio Awards. (IMROs), and this year we took home Gold in the speech programme category for “Remembering Dolores”
What’s the biggest challenge of your career to date?
The biggest challenge has been dealing with someone who is suicidal. Mental health wasn’t talked about back in the day. I remember any stories I covered on anti-depressants got a huge reaction from people wishing to remain anonymous years ago. We’ve gone from that to people now openly discussing issues relating to mental health on air, but that also means as a producer of a talk show you can get that awful call or email. Thankfully there is more awareness now and guidance around issues like this, but I did shed the odd brief silent tear for a few people.
As producer of Limerick Today, what do you look out for when someone pitches a story, do you have pet hates when someone is pitching a story?
Well the best stories are usually ones that are not pitched! But aside from that, if someone is trying to get on the show, they need to tell me something that is interesting and will make someone turn up the radio to hear more. If someone can tell a story well, it is half the battle. And my pet hate is when a person I’ve never spoken to before rings from a PR company and acts like they know me, that we are best buddies, and then get my name wrong. *Cringe*