Introducing the ACRA News Nominees …
This year’s ACRA nominations reflect the best in Australia’s commercial radio industry. To be nominated is flattering, but to take one home is outstanding.
In the lead up to this year’s awards night in Melbourne, Radio Today is profiling those nominated for a news ACRA.
We start with those working at country stations across Australia. This year’s nominations are a mix of experienced ‘old hands’ and those at the start of their radio careers.
Peter Denton has been a familiar voice to listeners in the Taree region for the past 25 years. He began with Max FM as a sports presenter, before branching into ‘news’ 14 years ago.
“We’ve got a fairly big radio footprint that stretches from Port Macquarie to Bulahdelah and from the coast into the Barrington Tops. Because of our wide listenership, there’s a responsibility to ‘get it right’ and that’s especially true at times like flooding and other natural disasters”.
“People are relying on information that you’re presenting them and it’s not just within the townships, but the little dotted communities in the outback areas.
“It does push you to get things right and it keeps you on the hop, but it keeps you ‘alive’ and it keeps you ‘vibrant’.
Where Peter is an ‘old hand’ at the radio game, Sophie Hancock is at the start of her radio journey at the SCA owned Star FM in Orange, where she presents news for both Orange and Dubbo.
“I come from a small country town in the NSW central west about 40 minutes away from Orange. Half way through my last year at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, I was fortunate to get my first job here. That was 12 months ago and I can’t believe that here I am getting a nomination”.
“Being a ‘local’ actually adds a bit more pressure, because there are so many people that I know who’re listening; family and friends”.
“I guess coming in with a bit of knowledge of the area, I thought I’d be right. But I’ve learned so much this last year and really, it’s about giving them (regional Aussies) a voice, whether it be a national issue or the local CWA. It’s all important”.
Kate O’Bree is another alumni of Charles Sturt University. Her break came in 2014 when she landed a job with Bathurst Broadcasters at 2BS Gold and B-Rock. She’s now moved on to ARN’s KIIS 106.5 in Sydney.
“I worked in Bathurst for two years and it was a great experience, a fantastic opportunity to develop some skills I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to anywhere else”.
“I started hosting the drive program and did the news throughout the day. Last year I won an ACRA for Best Country Presenter, which was really exciting, but now my focus really is on news”.
“I’d moved back to the Mountains, when (ARN news director) Deb Clay called and offered me a job. The timing was beautiful and my boss at Bathurst was really happy for me and supportive”.
“It’s a fantastic culture across the board. It’s great to be part of the newsroom, where you can learn from these great senior journos. It’s also great to be respected as a journalist myself”.
In Muswellbrook, Power FM/2NM’s Stephen Cenatiempo is up for three awards this year. He’s also a four-time nominee for news. He credits a career before radio for giving him insight and ‘something to talk about’ during his 4-hour current affairs talk show. That’s on top of the six news bulletins he reads each day.
“I was an auctioneer by trade and then moved into the building industry. When Kevin Rudd’s insulation scheme went belly-up, I thought this was the time to do it (get into radio).
“Radio current affairs and talk radio are really something I’ve always wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I applied to go to AFTRS, graduated from there and the rest is history”.
“I’m Sydney born and bred. Making my way back there step by step. 2GB is the ultimate aim and wherever it takes me in between, I’m happy to go along for the ride”.
Our final ACRA country news nominee is 3YB Warrnambool’s Lois Chislett. Lois is no stranger to the ACRAs and is a three-time winner of the Best News Presenter award.
Good luck to all those who have been nominated for a news ACRA this year. Next, we will profile those in the running for Best News Presenter – provincial, where the competition is hot.