Entertainment

Former Lions captain Jonathan Brown faces radio battle head on

It has been only 18 months since Jonathan Brown's career on the AFL field came to an end, and even he couldn't have predicted where his new life would take him.

After appearing as a regular guest on Nova Brisbane's Ash, Kip and Luttsy show, Brown landed himself a plum gig on Nova's Melbourne breakfast show opposite popular TV presenter Chrissie Swan and comedian Sam Pang.

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Jonathan Brown's new career in Melbourne

The former Brisbane Lions captain starts work on Melbourne breakfast radio but admits he was never "completely prepared for retirement".

With a few days to settle in behind the microphone, the 34-year-old former Brisbane Lions captain has had a chance to reflect on his new career.

"We have had a pretty good start," he told Fairfax Media.

Off the field and on air: Jonathan Brown with Nova breakfast co-hosts Chrissie Swan and Sam Pang.
Off the field and on air: Jonathan Brown with Nova breakfast co-hosts Chrissie Swan and Sam Pang. Photo: Nova

"(It's been) a positive couple of days. We knocked over a couple of demos in the lead-up, so it's good to be live."

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He admits he felt uncertainty when he put his football career behind him and wasn't sure which path he would take when persistent injuries forced him to unlace his footy boots forever.

"To be honest, I don't think we are ever completely prepared for retirement. Mentally it takes such a long time to get your head around, it takes so much commitment and energy and focus from such a young age," he said.

"Even though you might have upskilled in other areas you are never quite ready for what's next and there is always some uncertainty."

But thanks to some gentle guidance and support from Nova Brisbane boss Jay Walkerden, and the breakfast show, the transition to a media career was almost seamless.

"Jay ...  has been the one who has encouraged me the most and pushed me down the path of radio," Brown said.

"Those guys gave me my start ... and towards the end I watched them more closely to see how they do their craft.

"Without those boys I wouldn't be sitting here doing radio, that's for sure."

Brown upped stumps from his Brisbane home with wife Kylie and children Olivia, Jack and Macy to their new base in Melbourne but he is confident they won't be away from Queensland for too long.

"We haven't completely let go of Queensland," he said.

"We will keep our base up there and spend a lot of time up there. My wife's a local, and I was as good as a local after 16 years.

"It's nice weather down here at the moment, but it will be nice to come up from time to time to thaw out, especially in the middle of winter."

But for now the focus remains on creating good radio to bring the Nova breakfast ratings up.

The previous Melbourne show was in fifth position in the commercial FM radio race with a 5.3 point audience share.

"The thing I was looking for when I was first asked is you want to have good chemistry," he said.

"When the microphone is on you want to be having fun and sound like you have good chemistry, but when the microphone is off you want to enjoy each other's company, that is where the good content comes from and we already have that naturally."

And after years of competition on the footy field, Brown isn't afraid of the fight ahead to get their show to No.1.

"It's exciting being in a competitive market like breakfast radio in Melbourne," he said.

"It's good, it makes you feel alive and get out of bed in the morning."

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