Emily Jade O’Keeffe is the Gold Coast Breakfast host of the breakfast show on radio station 102.9 Hot Tomato. Celebrating 25 years in the radio industry this year, Emily Jade has hosted breakfast radio shows from Tasmania to Brisbane; presented television weather reports and kids shows, appeared regularly on The Footy Show and spent five years as the Queensland correspondent for Mornings with Kerri-Anne. She also wrote for many years for the Courier Mail and hosted the blog Emily Everywhere. She loves social media and is prolific on Instagram and Facebook and is now attempting to Tik Tok, to the embarrassment of her 8-year-old daughter. She posts at emilyjadeokeeffe.
What have been some of the highlights of your radio career?
I have so many that vary from great survey results, I’m very proud that I have nearly always achieved a no. 1 position at every station I had worked for, winning an ACRA in 2017 with my team Flan and Christo was certainly a massive nod to a great functioning team and hard work. But I have to say the best highlights are when you are able to help people in the community. Raising funds for kids in need, or getting a whole house renovated for a widow and her children, and breaking Guinness World Records for charity. It’s why I love my job so much, I always feel really humbled and lucky to be able to help.
What makes Hot Tomato’s Breakfast show the no.1 breakfast radio show on the Gold Coast?
That is the million-dollar question, I think we ask ourselves that all the time and so do our competitors. But to be honest, when we first went number one perhaps it was a mixture of the fact that even though we were three people who didn’t know each other, thrown together, we actually all fell in deep, like almost love with each other and that stayed for 6 years straight. That fun and adoration comes out the airwaves and people know we are good mates having a laugh every morning. We also tried very hard to throw as much of the radio rules out the window and not conform to the tried, true and stale way of radio.
What are the pros and cons of being on air?
Pros for me are connecting each day with my team and the community. The cons are simply the 3:45 am alarm.
How has the country’s COVID-19 crisis shifted your typical workday?
I’m working from a home studio. I’ve done it before on my maternity leave so it’s fine for me, the only thing is on maternity leave you have a little controllable baby, they cry, you stick them on the boob and carry on. Now I have a 2-year-old banging on the door mid-break yelling for his breakfast. So that makes concentration and quality harder to maintain. But being at home means working in my pjs and no commute so I get a little sleep in. That’s a good thing.
How do press releases factor into your work as a radio host?
I personally love them. I’m always looking for content and thought-starters so I’m happy to receive anything well written and genuinely interesting. Around 80% are not what we would use on-air, but I’m of the belief that I want to get them all so I don’t miss the good ones.