Brad March
Contributor

The Top New Talent 2016

Talent can be described as natural aptitude, skill, brilliance, cleverness, artistry, flair and expertise.

Its that time of year again, when Radio Today looks around at the best new talent on radio and this year’s names all have those qualities.

In collaboration and consultation with metro and regional Group CD’s and Content Directors, Brad March has put together the Top New Talent of 2016.

Talent is the key driver behind a radio stations success. As radio competes with other media, talent and the content they create are even more important than before as they create the differentiation between radio brands.

Dave Cameron SCA’s Head of National Content and Development: The only thing radio truly owns is Talent. Everything else is borrowed from other businesses making us just a delivery vehicle.

“The hardest, non-conforming, square pegs are the reason radio lives on”.

Gemma Fordham Head of Content SCA’s Hit Network: “Radio continues to thrive because it is an emotional connection. Talent connect. It’s as simple as that. It’s important as an industry to find and develop talent who have the potential to be something great.”

Paul Jackson Group Program Director at Nova Entertainment: “A strong radio brand coupled with great talent is a powerful and often winning factor in any market”.

Mark Klemens Managing Director of Profile Talent:“In a competitive space such as radio broadcasting  a point of difference and a strong work ethic is key to success and above all you need to be entertaining.”

Mike Fitzpatrick Head of Content Triple M Network: Talent is essential to radio. Without them we’re no more than a streaming service or jukebox. The key advantage is to find and nurture the great ones”.

Duncan Campbell ARN’s National Content Director:  Investment in talent is a key priority for ARN and has been critical in rebuilding the network. We have some of Australia’s most loved talent and that has helped deliver some of the highest rating, long-term on-air partnerships of any network.”

This is the 4th year of the new talent list. Names from the past couple of years have moved on to bigger and better things. You can check them out here  – 2015, 2014 and 2013.

All of this year’s names have been on air for less than a few years.

Truly great talent is unique, memorable and they stand out. They need to be compelling and authentic. Most of all they are the ones who make listeners feel something. They connect with listeners.

Liz Adams Head of Talent at Creative Representation said: “One of radio’s greatest strengths continues to be that people connect to it in an incredibly personal way…so interesting and entertaining personalities and communicators are crucial. Always have been, always will be.”

Talent need to be able to be monetised working with sales to benefit the station and clients and they need to know their way around social and digital.

Jeremy Millar Head of ABC Capital City Radio Group:“The best talent has expertise in investing in their personal brand – their engagement in social media and digital smarts counts more than ever”.

Sam Thompson
 KIIS 101.1 and GOLD104.3 Content Director:  “Talent drives the tone of the radio station. Great talent stirs emotion in the audience”.

Nova 969 CD Shaun Heron: “The way we foster and grow fresh talent is absolutely essential to innovating our medium”.

Guy Dobson SCA’s Group Creative Officer: “We all have the same tech, we all have the same transmitter, we all have the same wattage, we all have the same scheduling systems… Great talent is what separates us. Great talent is key in all areas of our business “

Mickey Maher SCA’s Head of Content Regional: “Great talent doesn’t follow the pack, they carve their own path to find their individuality that makes them stand out amongst the rest”

Rohan Brown Nova100 CD said: What has been strongly confirmed over the last 3 years is that you can’t have a successful radio station without brilliant, cut through talent ’’

Many new talent work in regional radio on their way towards a future in metro markets, and because the regional to metro pipeline is dominated by SCA’s ownership naturally there are a lot of SCA talent mentioned.

David Rogerson Group CD at Grants Broadcasting says “Developing our existing talent and working on the skill set development of new talent coming through is vital for the our industry to maintain a competitive edge”.

Jay Walkerden Nova Brisbane GM/CD said “Finding and growing great talent isn’t part of the job …it is the job “

The importance of great talent cannot be under estimated. Those who make a difference to ratings and revenue are worth every cent they earn.

Here they are the Top New Talent for 2016 (in no particular order)

Obviously there are plenty more new people making their way in radio around the country, some in small markets, some in big, so let us know of those we missed.

To everyone named and all the up and comers in radio, regional and metro…enjoy the role and the market you’re in, challenge yourself, take risks, try new things, make a difference, chase your dream and most of all have fun.

Brad March is Managing Director of Connected Management – www.weareconnected.com.au. He is Director of Marchmedia, a Director of Radio Today, and is a former CEO and Group Programmer of Austereo and ARN.

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