Like it or loathe it, Brexit is one topic that absolutely everyone has an opinion on – and it’s providing hours of content for LBC, the number one talk radio station in Britain.
And the person who has the job of reflecting that content online is De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate Ollie McGrath, who has just been appointed LBC’s first social media editor.
Ollie, who started this week, said: “LBC have got a big team of presenters and journalists who are pushing the boat out, challenging and asking the questions. It’s really exciting to go into an organisation that’s doing so well and is so on it.”
LBC – whose tagline Leading Britain’s Conversation – is Britain’s number 1 talk radio station. Barely a day goes by without a clip from one of its programmes turns into a news story or is shared widely on social media.
This week, LBC’s ‘Ring Rees-Mogg’ slot on the Nick Ferrari breakfast show was in the news after politician Jacob Rees-Mogg clashed with a doctor who advised the Government a no-deal Brexit would lead to deaths through a lack of medicines. It was this interview that Phillip Lee cited as “the straw which broke the camel’s back” and led him to quit the Conservatives for the Lib Dems.
It’s fair to say that Brexit will continue to drive the news agenda, says Ollie. “It’s such a polarising issue,” he said.
“You just have to look around to realise how it’s putting people against each other.”
Ollie was a producer at Heart West Midlands when he was first approached by new bosses at LBC and is excited about the opportunity. “I’m still pinching myself to be honest. It’s a real dream job I know that sounds such a cliché but it’s absolutely true. Getting to work with their journalists and their online team to shape what they’re doing online, there’s just such a lot of possibilities.”
While at DMU, he was Head of Programming for the award-winning Demon FM, which has been the starting point for many top figures working in the radio and media industry.
LBC is owned by Global, the same company which runs Heart. Ollie will be based in its London headquarters, where there will be some familiar faces in the building. He said: “It’s almost a mini DMU in a way, because there’s about six or seven people who went to DMU working in radio there, it will be like Demon FM,” he said.
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Ollie, who studied Media Production at DMU, said skills he learned at university were still coming in handy, not only the technical side but on skills such as audience development and multimedia in radio which he has honed while at Heart.
“All the experiences I’ve had, whether at DMU, in Demon FM and at Heart where I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great people are going to be put into use at LBC,” said Ollie. “It is so exciting. It was nerve wracking at first, because it’s such a big job, but now excitement has definitely taken over!”
Ollie’s partner is Lydia George, another star from Demon FM, a vlogger and podcaster who works full-time as a social media executive. She has been working in DMU’s communications team but will also be moving to London to take up a new role helping to promote healthcare campaigns online.
Posted on Friday 6th September 2019