Originally from Bundaberg Craig Huth has enjoyed an award winning career in radio with his innovative approach to the medium. He’s been entertaining Manning Valley and Great Lakes audiences over the last 5 years at 2RE and MAXFM
Craig leads a double life on the air waves, hosting the afternoon program on 2RE and stepping into his alter ego suit on MAXFM, where he hosts the breakfast program as the ‘Dice Man’ – a name he landed when Gordy Walters saw Craig with a set of dice in hands. Craig has a heavy workload and does both roles because “he loves his job” and has a passion for his chosen vocation.
> When did you leave school, and what was your first job?
I left after Year 12 and joined my dad in the sugar industry. It was a family tradition; I worked on the cane trains.
> What are your earliest memories of radio?
Mum bought me a transistor radio and I would lay in bed fascinated by its sound, the programs and the general appeal. I just loved the communication.
> What was your first taste of radio?
The local Bundaberg Show was on and the local radio station 4BU was broadcasting. That planted the seed that it may be worth trying to enter the industry. I went to 4BU and asked, “How do I get into radio?” They gave me the chance to read a few advertisements and were impressed, and after a few weeks put me straight on the air – live, doing 6pm to midnight.
> Was it all you thought?
The excitement and knowing I was entertaining with music and comment was a real buzz.
> How long were you there for?
For about six months, when sister HITZ FM hired me for a two month stint doing Drive and then I was moved to breakfast … I did that for 3 years.
> Why did you leave your home town?
I was looking to further my career and gain experience and landed a job at Hot100, Darwin as Production Manager and an announcer. Then I moved to Wangaratta to work at 3NE and EDGE FM located nearby at Deniliquin. I stayed for four years and then spent six months in Moree as Program Director for six months before heading to our region five years ago.
> You have worked double day shifts for a long time. Why?
It has just worked out that way. I love the atmosphere and the challenge of working both stations. Both shifts are different – the music and presentation. You have on be on your game; every day has a new element. It is most fulfilling and satisfying. It has allowed me to grow as a broadcaster and have the freedom to be myself. Guess it brings my real personality through.
Regional radio has suffered from networking and become a little regimented, but here we have a format but are allowed to be ourselves.
> Have you interviewed many dignitaries?
I have interviewed three Prime Ministers and most dignitaries who are in the news.
> Why do this when the major city stations have all this covered?
Why not? Why should regional radio be stagnant? We broadcast live and our listeners want us to bring a local flavour to issues. When we interview these people, it puts a better slant on the interview and gets away from the mainstream.
> You recently created history with a space broadcast …
I believe it was a radio first – certainly for a commercial regional station in Australia. We had 10 students from Chatham Public School speaking to Commander Mike Finke on board the International Space Station via a telebridge from Goddard Space.
> That is hard to top … have you any more ambitious plans?
Well, I am trying. I am seeking approval for another 10 students from Taree and Upper Landsdowne to interview America’s first family, the Obamas. So far progress is good.
> You have tasted the metropolitan radio market through the Super Radio Network’s Sydney station 2SM. How did you find this experience?
Love it. The talkback had some good feedback; it gave me the opportunity to address the harder issues across the state. I hope one day to be able to work full time in a metro market.
> Last year you ran for local government and lost. Any regrets?
None. I stood on a platform of youth and to promote the region. Although not elected, I believe I have been successful to carry on after 12 months through my job. I believe I have been achieving these goals outside the Council Chamber.
> Would you run again?
Probably – there is always something to address.
> How do you relax?
I love amateur radio (Ham) and talking to people all over the world. I am one of the few who have talked via the moon station.
I also love to travel and explore Australia and love getting to the wineries.
> Have you been nominated for many awards?
Yes, twice as the best talk presenter (2RE) at the ACRA (Australian Commercial Radio Awards), and I have won one of the nominations. Also, at MAXFM I was nominated for the best on air team.
> This year you have been nominated again, but in a different category?
For the best documentary in the country; I am against some stiff opposition, The Victorian Bushfires and the Obama Inauguration, but I am proud to be in the final three. Also, I am in the nominations for this year’s prestigious Walkley Awards.
> Have you any other projects?
I am in the middle of writing a book called ‘Great Australian Interviews’. It is a collection of all the interviews I have done.
> Thank you Craig.
Interview by Peter Lyne.