My name is Conor. I am 22 and obsessed with media! I love creating videos, audio and graphics. When the time is available I like to film comedy based youtube videos, voice act or design graphic images for my own projects or others. I have dabbled also in video game design and I really enjoyed what I had a chance to build but as with all creative media it's finding the time!

I'm a part of Cool Choices to learn more of the media industry and how to become better at all aspects of it.

My dream job is to be a youtuber so I have complete control over my work. If not, I'll have a crack at any creative media sector!

TL;DR: My names Conor, 22, I love media and I want to get better at it! :)

10/03/2016 – The Final Day At Cool FM

11 March 2016

An incredibly quick video on today:

Well… today was the day. Our last day at Cool FM, we still have a few weeks left of the course back at Start 360 but this was our last day in Cool FM. It was sad, really sad. A few people cried, we all smiled. We finished our OCNs which is important to! Towards the end of the day we all sat round the big table we had been working at what felt like forever ago for the last time. We all wrote anonymously what we like about each other to finish on a happy note, that’s when the tears happened. I managed to stay strong but I was close a good few times!

This bit isn’t so much a blog about today but I feel I need to say it.

I have loved every single second of this course, to anyone that is reading this and you aren’t sure about doing the course. Do it. Seriously. It’s changed my life. I’m always going to remember this. I’ve learnt so much, I’ve met so many great people, I honestly never wanted this to end. Even if it mean’t no qualifications! It’s a once in a life time experience I will always treasure. I can’t honestly even put it into words how grateful I am that this course exists.

I’d just like to thank Lynsey, Clare, Rebecca, Steve and David who supported us all the whole way through this crazy course. We had so many amazing people come in and give us tips but I could be here all day writing everyones names! I won’t forget any of you!

What I learnt from this course is to be more confident, not be so critical on myself (I’m pretty harsh with that) and that I have potential. I’m going to use every ounce of that potential to. Cool FM has taught me to not let things go. Mark Mahaffy said he prefers the hardworker over the talented. Well I’m going to work hard at what I love and craft it into a talent.

So thank you, all of you.

You’ve changed my life for the better.

Don’t forget me!

This is the part where I would usually say “Until tomorrow!” sadly there is no tomorrow at Cool FM. It just means my tomorrow is the start of what they taught me.

– Conor Fisher Bannon

09/03/2016 – Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!

Now the title of this post may make it seem boring but honestly when you’re sitting with the rest of this cohort I think watching paint dry would be a good time. We’ve started filling out our finals booklet which is the one that will be getting examined, I’m feeling quite a bit of pressure to get it done and get it done right so I’ve brought mine home today to really make sure it’s all done.

Sadly I don’t have to much more to write today since all we did was the paperwork so sorry if you expected more today.

Until tomorrow!

08/03/2016 – Recording & Sorting

Today we finally recorded all our scripts! It feels great to finally get it all done and that’s the final piece of the jigsaw! We now leave it in the capable hands of Steve Turnbull to work his magic and put it all together for us! I think by Thursday we will get a chance to listen to some of it as well, I’m excited but also nervous to here myself but I think hearing all the interviews after the editing and music added to them will be amazing to finally listen to.

After we finished recording the scripts we’ve now began focusing on our folders with all our notes etc for our actually qualifications! Yes that’s right not only do you get this experience but you get 2 Level 3 OCNs, it really is one of a kind to be honest. It really saddens me that it is so close to being over but I hope I get to stay in touch with everyone. Anyway tomorrow we will be working on our OCNs even more, paperwork time!

Until tomorrow!

P.S. Here’s a picture of me & Clare in the studio recording the script!

07/03/2016 – Stormont & Updated on todays happenings!

8 March 2016

Today started off different that usual. Me, Clare H & Caprice got a chance to head to Stormount with Tara & Zoe! It was really interesting and great to get a chance to talk to some of the politicians. We also had a chance to sit in the House of Commons and get to listen in on some amendments!

When we got to Cool FM sadly the day was nearly over but we got filled in on what had been done and whats needed to be done. Me and Clare still need to type up our script and record it so to give us a head start for tomorrow I’m going to have them typed up before we get in to give us a head start on recording them!

Thats all for today since I sadly wasnt in for the whole day.

Until tomorrow!

04/03/2016 – Scripts & Interviews

Today started by me, Clare H & Rebecca sitting down and trying to all of the script done and we nearly did! The only part we have left to do is the actual conclusion aka the outro to the show! Speaking of the conclusion I got a chance to sit down and listen to it with the music and what it will sound like going out on air. It sounds amazing! I think its such a nice note to end the broadcast on.

While me, Clare H & Rebecca were writing the scripts a lot was happening around us, 4 interviews were done today! We had Garth & Claire A go out with David to interview St James and we had Ellen Murry who is a transgender standing to be an MLA, Gavin Boyd who is from Rainbow Project and Tanya Lavery who does Strength in Numbers on facebook! So today was incredibly busy and everyone had their part to play.

That’s all for this week!

Until Monday!

03/03/2016 – Scripts, Aodhan & St James

7 March 2016

To start off today I finally got to finish up the statistics sheet we will be referencing while finishing our scripts. Certainly makes it a lot more useful all on one page! So me, Clare & Rebecca were scripting and trying to get as much as possible done, it’s all starting to come together and sounding good but we need to finish it and record it! We also listened to some more vox pops and it’s still amazing to hear some inspiring things people around me have overcome.

Caprice got the chance to interview Aodhan Woods who is going to be our big interview, we got a chance to listen back to it and it is certainly sad to listen to (pulls on the heart strings).

Later on in the day me, Claire A & Caprice were mean’t to wait behind to interview St James but sadly they cancelled on us which I guess is just part of the industry but luckily they’ve rearranged it to Monday so not all is lost!

Until Tomorrow!

02/03/2016 – Writing Scripts & Vox Pops

Today started out by me, the rest of programming and Karl from editing sitting down listening to Jacks interview, I honestly thought every minute of it was amazing but sadly we can’t use all 10 minutes of it and we need to cut it down to at max 4 minutes, so we were picking out the bits we think work best and the editing team is now working on that. While this was going on the rest of the editing team and news team was listening to yesterdays Vox Pops and touching them up while taking notes.

Me and clare then sat down and began scripting on how to introduce and present Jacks interview, it took a while to get the right words but I’m happy with what we’ve settled on, of course we are going to read it back to Steve & Rebecca and get the professional opinion on it!

Afterwards me and the rest of programming all listened to the vox pops and wrote what parts we think should be used from each vox pop we collected. A lot of stories from the people around me I thought were actually quite touching and it was a bit weird hearing them speak so personally about something out of no-where.

Me and Clare then began scripting for that as well and it certainly took longer than Jacks for the same reason again, just finding the right words. Rebecca said she is going to sit down with us tomorrow and we are going to script the entire show in one day! I’m a bit scared to get it done but excited because I do love working and getting it all done in one go rather than dragging it out!

Until tomorrow!

01/03/2016 – Busy, busy, busy!

2 March 2016

To start off today we’ve officially recorded the first skit and the intro for the broadcast! It was really fun being down in the studio with Steve & Clare, Steve was incredibly fast at editing it together! On top of this we have recorded a lot of vox pops to do with peoples role models and inspirations. After we finished recording me, Clare & Caprice all sat down and began picking out the statistics, facts and other bits of info we think would work best in the broadcast. While we worked on that Misky interview Jack Graham so that’s our first interview done as well! The editing team began editing on the vox pops as well! I feel if we keep this work up and x2 it we will have an amazing broadcast, I think its already going well but I feel we all have a lot more potential to show!

Until tomorrow!

29/02/2016 – Skits, H4s & Sorting Info

1 March 2016

To start off this morning me and Clare wrote out the skits that we had been playing on Friday.

Steve then showed us the H4s and how to record on them. We then took it in turns to record our vox pops on who our role models and inspirations were.

The research team began sorting out statistics and we have now got everything in one folder of information!

Steve then showed us how to edit the vox pops to make them still sound natural even though they may actually be two different sentences!

Finally we did a catch up with David and told him what we had done today!

26/02/2016 – Questions, Molly, Sunday Life, Mark & Skit Ideas

To start today off we had to think of interview questions to ask the people of Northern Ireland. Afterwards we met Molly from cohort 3 and got to ask her a couple questions about her broadcast! She also gave us a couple tips and tricks and to really focus as the time will fly and I’m already feeling it!

While this was going on the Sunday Life was in taking photos for their next paper! Before they left they took a group photo of all of us!

After the paper that we met Mark Mahaffy he told us how he got into the industry, he also said which stood out to me was main thing that stands out for him is someone that works hard not their talent.

To finish off today me, Liam, Johnny, Caprice and Matthew All had to think of potential skits to go into the broadcast! Hopefully some of our ideas will end up in the broadcast!

And that’s all for today until tomorrow!

25/02/2016 – Listening to Cohort 3&4 and St James

To start off today we got a chance to listen to previous cohorts broadcasts we listened to 3 and 4s which were on body image and social media. The body image one was incredible and sounded so professional. The social media one was packed with information as well! I feel if we get a perfect balance between both of these broadcasts we will have a brilliant broadcast!

After lunch we began researching St. James and how they have been helping the homeless as well as this we also researched some statistics on homelessness in general in Northern Ireland and I am honestly really surprised at the numbers of a lot of things, I’d write them here but you’ll have to wait until the broadcast to hear them!

I feel like we’re driving the broadcast forward but I feel we need to be better to make it the best.

24/02/16 – Nigel Gould & The Broadcast

26 February 2016

Today we met Nigel Gould who is the head of the news team at Cool FM. He was incredibly helpful on telling us interview techniques which are going to be helpful for our reporters but at the same time I definitely learned from it!

After lunch we began really planning out our broadcast we’ve split it into 8 sections including our intro, outro and conclusion.

I’m really glad we’ve all really started focusing on the broadcast and it’s already looking great!

23/02/16 – Adam McPeake, Planning, planning & planning!

24 February 2016

To begin today we met a guy called Adam McPeake who is the owner and creator of The Hype Factory & ILoveBass it was awesome to see someone who had such a similar passions to me including starting off by recording Halo!

He provided us with his email so I think I’m going to get in contact and hope I get something with them, seems like an awesome opportunity!

After Adam left we began discussing our storyboard for the broadcast and topics we could discuss we planned out a spider map and began listing potential people to interview.

Today was incredibly busy and I loved it! Really can’t wait for tomorrow!

22/02/16 – New Topic & What I’m Doing!

To start off today we had to decide on a new topic we discussed a lot of new topics that never even came up before such as politics due to the elections coming up but we have decided on… Role Models!

After Lunch we began deciding on who we thought would fit into each role best and our preferences. While discussing this each one of us in turn went down to the studio to do a voice recording, once all the recordings were done we listened back to them and cast another vote on who we think was best in what area. I have been selected as one of the presenters along with Clare Hogarth!

I can’t wait to finally start working on this broadcast! Let’s do this!

04/02/16 – Paulo & David

To start today off we finally got to meet the final member of The Cool Breakfast show, Paulo Ross, the social media king for Cool FM, when he started out at Cool FM they had around 100k likes on Facebook, now they have surpassed 500k and are still flying thanks to him and his magical ways! He told us some of his methods that he uses and showed us a quick social experiment how quick people can respond to posts and the visual representation of them can make all the difference. He assigned us with the task to create some posts that we think may draw in attention and email them to him. We presented ours all to the group some were hit and miss, but overall it was really fun!

After lunch we met with David Corscadden who has been with us since the start but today told us a little about his previous jobs and what exactly he does at Cool FM. Was good to get a little information from him, it seems that everyone that’s ended up at Cool FM never planned on being here but love it!

05/02/16 – Paperwork, Steve & Decks, Engineering

Conor FB 3

Conor FB 2

Today started off quite slow as we have started filling out the paperwork side to this course, not the best bit but still it didn’t drag on as much as I thought it would haha! After we finished up the paperwork we went into two separate groups, each taking turns in one of the following:

Steve Turnbull: Quick crash course on DJ decks.

William Gallagher: Engineering at Cool FM

I started off in the group to be shown around the engineering of Cool FM, it is crazy how many computers and servers they have sitting around down there! I didn’t understand a lot of what William was saying but it was still really interesting to find out how each computer was doing its part. William taught us to focus on things like a simple box, if a task seems to impossible simply break it down into boxes, work out how one box works and the ones beside it will seem easier, definitely helps with breaking it down! After that we met with Steve who taught us some quick skills on the decks such as matching the BPM and timing when to jump into a track, it was really fun and I hope to do it again!

For the next 2 weeks we are back at Start360 so I’ll talk to you all in 2 weeks!


03/02/2016 – Darren Fowler, NI Food & Drink & Steve Turnbull

5 February 2016

Conor FB

Today we met Darren Fowler who is the head of Cash For Kids he told us of many fundraising campaigns they have been a part of. He told us some history and facts about Cash For Kids. After Meeting Darren we continued to work on our brief from Richard Ross about NI Food & Drink. We finally decided to focus on Legacy & Learn to… I have to say we had a lot of great ideas firing, I think we are going to refine them a bit more tomorrow into a way to pitch them towards Richard.

After lunch to finish off the day Steve was teaching us about Station Imaging and things such as straplines & sonic branding. I found it all incredibly interesting and I’ve never even thought that would be a whole section within media. He also began to show us some basics to Adobe Audition such as editing and multitracking.

Until tomorrow.

02/02/2016 – Richard Ross, New Brief & Watching Our Recordings!

3 February 2016

Today we started off by meeting Richard Ross who is the Commercial Manager for Cool FM, Downtown & Downtown Country. He was telling us about Sales & Promotions mainly and showed us some of the big sponsors of the stations. As well as this he told us about the placement of adverts in the certain times of the day. For example he said you wouldn’t hear a bed advert in the middle of the day but you would hear an advert about food because people will start to feel hungry so it will influence their thoughts.

I asked him the question “Would you ever say no to a sponsor because it doesn’t fit Cool FMs brand?” to which he responded “Yes, we have said no before because their product wouldn’t fit with our target audience, we would then recommend them to Downtowns advertising space as this would suit them better.”

To finish off with Richard Ross he handed us a real life brief: Northern Ireland: The Year of Food & Drink. We were split into groups, I was paired with Caprice, Karl and Garth each group then selected a different month, our group chose Legacy & Learn to… it took us a bit of time at first but once we got ideas going we really started to work well together.

To finish off today we watched what we recorded yesterday, I hated it to be honest really don’t like looking/listening to myself at all haha I’m always apparently too critical of myself because I always see ways to improve it for me I like that though, I’d never want to see myself as perfect because then I won’t make it better next time.

Until tomorrow!

01/02/2016 New Month, New Week

2 February 2016

So the 2nd week of Cool Academy has begun, gotta say, it’s been a strong start! To start off we got to go into the breakfast show mid broadcast! Sadly it was only for around 15 minutes but it was good to see Pete, Paulo & Rebecca working together.

After the show had finished we got to meet Pete more personally in which we got to ask him some questions. For me I asked “If there is anything you could change in your career what would it be?” Pete told me a lot about his past and how he got to were he was, he finished by saying “If I had to change one thing, it would be that I did my mistakes on another show and not the breakfast show, apart from that I wouldn’t change a thing.” My second question was “If you could do a show with any other presenter in the world who would it be?” Pete mentioned a lot of other presenters, really shows he knows the industry he’s involved in! The two that stood out to me where Pete Tong who Pete said was his hero and Howard Stern because to me this is also a Radio Presenter I would love to work with.

After lunch we had to write down:

Who Inspires us
One quote we like

We then had to say this all into a camera, this will be to show how much our confidence will build over the next few weeks, For me it was Arin Hanson (You can see me talk about him in an earlier post!) And the quote that I like was by Michael Jordan:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

For me I really like this quote because to me it means, even if I fail it doesn’t mean it’s over.

I got told mine was good but needed a little more information and that I was very confident (For me I was incredibly nervous and could have been a lot better).

To finish off today we met up with Simon Mann again to present our ideas for the brief he handed us. I’d say the presentation went pretty well. We had put ours all into a powerpoint, it was great working with Thomas, Caprice & Clare H, I would work with them again easily I think our teamwork was excellent.

Wow I wrote a lot today… until tomorrow!

29/01/2016 – Simon & Our Topic!

Today we met Simon Mann who is the Commercial Director he is in charge of Sales, Sponsors and Promotions. He taught us a lot about the statistics and stats of the stations (Cool FM, Downtown & Downtown Country). He told us what his job basically entails including selling to clients and how to sell them. To finish off he handed us a real life brief and told us by Monday to give him a pitch of any ideas we have, bit of pressure but it’s been fun planning it so far, we got split into smaller groups to all have separate pitches. To finish off today we finally decided on a topic for the broadcast! Drumroll please…. It’s…. Safety on a night out! (We may reword the title) Surprisingly it’s none of the topics we began with but we all agreed on this topic out of no-where!

See you all on Monday!

28/01/2016 – David McCammond & Choosing Our Topic Continues

This morning we met David McCammond who is the Deputy Programme Controller for Cool FM, Downtown and Downtown Country! He taught us quite a lot about radio such as who Rajar and Offcom are. As well as this he showed us the program Selector which is basically the brain which keeps the music ordered on the stations to prevent you hearing the same song on the way to work and from work! It was great to meet him and I feel he has a lot more knowledge to share.

We’ve narrowed our topics down to 2 now: Mental Health & Addiction, the argument still stands though that both topics can be linked to the other! Who knows maybe by tomorrow we will actually pick one!

27/01/2016 – Florence & Our Broadcast Topic!

Today we met Florence Ambrose who has so many jobs! She is a Programming Coordinator and one of the First Aiders & Fire Marshalls on site. She showed us the health & safety for the building and fire escapes in case of an emergency. She has been with Cool FM since 1980 and since then has been helping with charity and continues to, in 1984 she helped raise £35,000 but now a days she is helping raise up to £135,000 for Cash For Kids!

Two things Florence said that stood out to me were:
“There is more to radio than what goes out on air.”
“If you want to make a good career, you make it your hobby.”

After lunch we began discussing what the topic is going to be for our show. We narrowed it down to 3 topics: Mental Health, Addiction and Unsung Heroes. We each split into what topic we feel would be best. Then the debate began. It was pretty obvious everyone was adamant on their choice one thing I noticed was everyone was able to link each topic to the other, who knows maybe we will combine all three. We’ll find out tomorrow as for now we haven’t made our decision.

26/01/2016 – Luke Gill, Tour & Photos Return!

Today we met Luke Gill from HNH Digital who is the designer of the Cool Choices website, he showed us how to post our blogs for each day! As well as this we got a tour of the building! I’d say my favourite part was seeing all the different studios, there a different glass window into each studio and you can stand in the centre, it was amazing! We also got told about all the different departments of Cool FM and how each part makes the station run. We also got shown a powerpoint presentation by Rebecca on how important your visual image and how you represent yourself on social media in today’s time, really opened my eyes to be honest. We also got back our photos today, I think out of all the ones of me I liked only one! I really don’t like my photo being taken haha but it’s done and over now!

25/01/2016 – Back from the cold and future goals!

Sweden was awesome! Bit cold but I loved every bit of it, now Ireland feels roasting! Bonus Points! Today in the academy we wrote about who inspires us, our dream job and 3 goals we want to achieve in the next 5 weeks. For me my answers were:

Arin Hanson: Youtuber who does voice acting, animation, gaming, comedy and is his own boss!
Howard Stern: Amazing radio presenter, I love his style and sense of humour which can sometimes be a bit risky!
My dream job is to be a Youtuber just like Arin Hanson I wouldn’t necessarily create the same content, would certainly want it to be comedy but I love the idea of making the content I want when I want.

My 3 goals for the next 5 weeks:
Improve my voice acting.
Build upon all aspects of media.
Learn as much as I can.

We also had to pitch a question to Rebecca & Steve. For Steve I asked “Who would you collaborate with?” To which he replied “Calvin Harris” He then told me a lot about him and how he knows a guy he scouted for SONY and Calvin Harris was the first person he scouted for them. For Rebecca I asked her “What’s your most fun and interesting story out of any part of the media industry?” Her response was along the lines of “Working at Cool FM is actually my favourite, Pete & Paulo are like brothers to me.” I think this awesome to have that type of bond in the work place.
Think I might of wrote a bit much today!

22/01/2016 – My Birthday!

Sadly I wasn’t in Cool FM today, today is my birthday! So I’m traveling to Sweden for the weekend because, why not? It’s a new country and it’ll be a new experience I can’t wait! Talk to you all on Monday!

20/01/2016 – Photos for the website!

Today we met Simon Hutchinson who was taking our photographs for the Cool Choices website. To be honest I hate having my photo taken but he certainly did make me feel comfortable about it. As well as this we wrote our introductions to our blogs, basically the first thing people our going to read about us. I ended up using the word creative wayyy too much but after a few adjustments I found a couple synonyms to use! Now I’ve got to wait for the photos to come back… dreading it!