#BehindtheMask: Lois O'Brien, managing director of Smile 90.4 FM

Smile 90.4 FM is a bilingual radio station in the Cape that offers entertainment and information, along with the hope to inspire its listeners.
Lois O'Brien, managing director of Smile 90.4 FM
Lois O'Brien, managing director of Smile 90.4 FM

We spoke to Lois O’Brien, managing director of Smile 90.4 FM, to find out more about her role, her background, and how destiny led her to radio...

Bizcommunity Could you tell us a bit more about your role at Smile 90.4 FM?


As the managing director of Smile 90.4 FM, the ‘buck stops with me’. I oversee the various divisions of the business - marketing, sales, programming and finance. I ensure we have a sound business with a clear strategy and that our clients and team are nurtured – ultimately to ensure the continual growth of the business. I am fortunate to get involved in every aspect of the business and love every minute of it.

Bizcommunity What’s behind your mask - literally and figuratively speaking?


Literally a smiling, happy face.

Figuratively a happy, content, fulfilled person who loves people and life in general.

Bizcommunity Growing up, what did you want to be?


A criminal lawyer.

Bizcommunity How did you end up on your career path?


Fate/destiny. I started my career in the advertising industry, then joined the book publishing industry and now radio; effectively my third career. All by default. My career path chose me rather than the other way around. Each career path has provided me with valuable insights and experiences that have led me to where I am today.

Bizcommunity What excites you most about your career?


Coming to work every day never knowing how your day will pan out. The most exciting thing is working with the most innovative and creative team who have a ‘do what it takes’ attitude. We are more than just a family station, we are a family.

Bizcommunity What advice would you give to youth trying to enter the industry?


Soak up everything you can and learn as much as possible. It’s hard work but worth every minute. Do not enter the radio industry lightly!

Bizcommunity When you’re not busy working, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?


I am a runner, so I love starting my day with a run. In addition, I love the outdoors, gardening, reading and socialising. I still socialise quite a lot with a smaller circle of friends.

Bizcommunity What’s one thing not many people know about you, but should?


I was a single mother for a good deal of my working career.

Bizcommunity What’s your favourite meme/gif of all time?


#BehindtheMask: Lois O'Brien, managing director of Smile 90.4 FM

Bizcommunity What are you watching/reading/listening to at the moment?


Of course, every day I wake up to Smile 90.4 FM and listen to it for most of my day. I watch Netflix series in the evening, I have just finished Maid which I can highly recommend. I read daily before going to bed to relax my mind and unwind.

Bizcommunity What’s next for you?


I am really looking forward to 2022 where life can return to ‘normal’ - whatever that may mean - and seeing Smile 90.4 FM growing in leaps and bounds to the next phase of our life.

About Emily Stander

Marketing and Media Editorial Assistant at Bizcommunity | My first loves are writing, music and video games | Get in contact: emily@bizcommunity.com
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