At 30, Tim McCabe is a father, an associate director, BBJ’s head of
radio and, arguably, the best beer trickster in town.
’It’s easy and always goes down well,’ beams McCabe, referring to his
beer trick. The act involves him lying on his back and necking a pint
without spilling a drop.
But there’s much more to McCabe than drinking. The son of a vicar, he
was imbued with a social conscience from an early age. So when he left
school, he enrolled on a social care course and worked with handicapped
He is another of those folk who ’fell’ into media when he was approached
and later recruited by Broadcast Media Services, the now defunct radio
He was headhunted by BBJ to work on its radio accounts in 1991.
Two years later, McCabe became concerned he was being pigeonholed as a
radio person, so in 1993 he joined CIA as a TV buyer under Ian ’Mad Dog’
However, the inexperienced McCabe found the big media agency world
somewhat daunting. ’When you are young, it’s difficult to get anyone to
help you. I felt completely thrown in at the deep end,’ he confides.
Three years later, McCabe swam his way back to dry land at BBJ, where he
became head of radio. The company had recently expanded and McCabe was
made an associate director. ’I love this company, its clients and the
fact we are not treated like suppliers,’ he says.
McCabe’s sweep of accounts includes Bass, AOL, RAC, Cable & Wireless and
Lycos. His annual billings are around pounds 10 million.
Here’s something to bear in mind when pitching to him: ’I’m happy to see
most people as long as they have something to say and can say it
quickly.’ He dislikes irrelevant sales pitches that demonstrate no
understanding of radio.
This is not surprising considering McCabe has been tipped as a radio
expert: ’If you want to know something about radio, then ask McCabe,’
says one industry fan.
While he is no bible basher, McCabe leads a fairly clean lifestyle. He
recently gave up smoking and says his wife Abigail, a sister at Barts
hospital, acts as his social conscience. They often take their
14-month-old son Max to watch dad play rugby but it remains to be seen
whether McCabe Junior will grow up to become as adept a drinker as his
Irrelevant sales pitches
Smoking in pubs