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Leslie Kelling

Leslie Kelling Project Coordinator

Be Inspired Series

Brian Commins

Managing Director
Citybeat Radio

He believes in staying ahead of the game in terms of creativity and "super serving" listeners and clients

What does your job entail?

I head up a team of 25 very talented, creative people that produce, present and sell great commercial radio! Day to day I am responsible for the efficient operation, profitability and on-going development of the Citybeat business. 

Is it 9-5?

I wish! As we are dealing with live radio, every day is different. It's very much a case of being around as long as is needed to get everything done - myself and my senior managers are often still in the office well after everyone has gone home.

How did you get into this line of work?

I was working for a promotions company in Edinburgh and was approached and offered a job by the commercial director of one of Scotland's regional radio stations. He told me after a week that I would get hooked on radio and he was right - 15 years later I am still in the business.

Outline your career to date?

I started my career as promotions manager at a radio station called Scot FM in Edinburgh (now Real Radio), I then headed south of the border for five years as sponsorship and promotions director at legendary Virgin Radio in London. These were exciting times in radio with Chris Evans on the Breakfast Show and a, then unknown, evening presenter called Jeremy Kyle.

After Virgin I acted as a consultant to BT for the launch of BT Vision and worked on a unique project with the broadcasting legend that is Chris Tarrant.

I was responsible for negotiating, securing and managing a one year £1m deal with Nissan to sponsor Chris's Guardian Media Group network Saturday morning show.

Prior to coming to Belfast I worked in Dubai running one of the main English speaking radio stations and consulting for Channel 4 Network, one of the region's biggest media groups.

Tell us about your qualifications/training.

I guess there are no specific qualifications required to do my job, most of what I know has come from 15 years of "on the job" experience. Clearly I have attended numerous training courses for sales, management etc, but over the years I have been very lucky to have learned my trade from some of the best people in the industry.

What qualities are required for your job - personal and professional? 

My job is all about building relationships, with agencies, clients, my team here at Citybeat and through them our audience. As well as my own role, I spent most of my early years in radio learning what everyone else in the station did and that has always given me a great understanding of the business, how it all works and what everyone needs to make them the best they can be at what they do.

I think the qualities required are, professional knowledge, being a decision maker and an influencer, working with integrity and compassion, being very results focused, having vision and being a good team player.

What are the biggest challenges and rewards of your work?

At the moment I think everyone, no matter what they do for a living, is having to cope with bigger challenges. Like a lot of businesses, advertising is going through tough times in a very competitive market; we have to keep ourselves ahead of the game in terms of creativity and super serving our listeners and clients.

The best reward for me (apart from making lots of money for my board) has always been hearing something that I have been part of broadcast live, creating what I call 'late for work' radio, when you get a call from someone that said they just could not turn off the radio until they heard the end of what they were listening to!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love live music, nothing better than going to a great gig (luckily in the right job for that). Also I enjoy eating out with good friends and seeing a great movie at the cinema.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.

Before I embarked into the crazy world of media I used to be a professional golfer.

Who has inspired you most in your life?

My father, sadly he passed away recently but he always supported me, gave me great advice and taught me everything I know about sales and great customer service.

Brian Commins

Part of the Independent News and Media group