Interview – Zoe Hunt
Today Show Producer – Zoe Hunt
What do you consider the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
There are plenty of rewards or perks that come with being a segment producer, but I guess the biggest reward for me is that I get to see my hard work on the tele every morning. Working on a segment is just one part of the process, but I think the most rewarding aspect, is seeing it all come together and having it resonate with the viewers. Of course, there are challenges as well, as with any job. There are tight deadlines and high turnover of work, we have to work fast and efficiently, which can sometimes be a challenge. The other challenge I guess would be working within the news cycle, which at times can be quite unpleasant. There’s plenty of death & destruction within the common news cycle and it can often be challenging to work with such sad news.
If people were considering working as a segment producer what advice would you give them?
Don’t give up straight away. It’s a really hard industry to get in to, and there will probably be times when you feel like you’ve hit a road block. Show people how hard working you are, how much you want to be there & that it’s not just a means to an end, and you will be recognised, eventually.
What qualifications or experience is required to become a segment producer?
I guess the qualifications & experience varies depending on the person and their background. I studied a double bachelor degree in Journalism and Communications and Media Studies with a marketing & advertising major. You don’t have to be a journalist to be a segment producer, there’s plenty of people that study production or film and television as well.
What path did you take to become a segment producer?
I completed a double degree at Uni and whilst I was at Uni participated in a variety of Internships and Work experiences, but nothing ever in television. Knowing that I wanted to pursue television or broadcast journalism as a career, I started looking for jobs or internships with television, and I came across a job with Channel 9 as a social media producer. I ended up applying and got the job, then progressed through to being a Social Media Producer for The Today Show. After about a year doing that, I decided to gain some more experience with Today, and over Christmas, I did work experience as a segment producer before they put me on as a freelancer and now, a full-time Segment Producer. The rest is history!
Were there any other careers you considered pursuing when you left school?
There were plenty! I could never really decide on exactly what I wanted to do. I always knew I wanted to do something with journalism, but never really believed in myself or believed that it was achievable. So during year 12, I applied for Teaching degrees, Law degrees, Drama degrees and Journalism degrees. It wasn’t really until I went to all the information sessions and researched the degrees that I realized I really wanted to do journalism.
Is this your first career? Can you see yourself remaining in this line of work forever?
This is my first career, and I could definitely see myself working in this industry forever. The great thing about television and broadcast media is that there is always so many opportunities to move around and work in different areas.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
From the age of about 6 or 7, I would watch The Today Show and always wanted to be on the show. My mum still recalls me saying how much I loved it and wanted to be on TV! So, I guess that’s what I wanted to be – A Today Show lady!
What are your standard hours?
There are no standard hours when working in television! Segment producers will work either 9am-5pm (and when we do, it’s heaven!), 2pm-10pm, or 1am – 9am.
Is there anything you can tell us about your job that people wouldn’t expect?
It’s not as glamorous as many people think it is! It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and passion to put our show to air every morning.