Currently the Content Director at 2DAYFM in Sydney, Donna Puechmarin has previously worked as a Content Director at SAFM in Adelaide and as one of the most accomplished Executive Producers at B105 in Brisbane. Donna shares her story of how she started as an assistant to the Sales Director to being the Content Director of one of the largest radio stations in Australia.
Tell us your story: where did you start to end up where you are now?
I’ve done loads of jobs at SCA or Austereo (as it was when I started out as the Assistant to the Sales Director around 13 years ago). From there I quickly moved into Content as a co-ordinator working at first with David Rymer and Dave Wilson and then Rex Morris. Then I worked with Guy Dobson and Craig Bruce until I started producing the B105 Breakfast Show with Labby, Camilla and Stav and then later Labby, Stav and Abby and also the SEAFM Gold Coast breakfast show. I then became ACD at B105 and then eventually CD at SAFM and now CD at 2DAY FM in Sydney. I’ve certainly been extremely lucky with the people I have been able to work with and the amazing on and off air talent I’ve been exposed to. For me it’s never been about the job title you have or the role you’ve been assigned to, it’s always about the impact you can have within the sphere of your influence.
How do you find that balance between maintaining a good relationship with the on air team but at the same time having the ability to make tough decisions and having tough conversations without putting anyone off-side?
You should never have a problem having tough conversations if you’ve set your team up to understand their roles, understand the show and station strategy. It’s easy to hold everyone accountable if they know what their job is and why they’re doing it that way. My advice is to work through roles and strategy collaboratively with the team so that everyone gets what’s needed and who’s doing what.
For those of us who are interested in being the boss and running a radio station, what is your advice in doing so in quite a male dominated industry?
The gender thing hasn’t been an issue for me – I think the responsibility for what you achieve in any industry rests with you yourself and I don’t think any of us want to be defined by our gender. Let your abilities define you, maximize your strengths (they will get noticed) be courageous and honest, treat people with respect (the way you’d like to be treated) and be a decent human being.