ACRA’s Finalists Fever – #10

Staff Writer

We are counting down the days to the big event on October 18 by profiling the finalists across all categories with RadioToday's ACRA's Finalists Fever 

If you are one of this year's finalists, we are ready to roll out the red carpet You can get involved by emailing us here.

Today we shine a spotlight on the best of the best:

Dan King from Nova Entertainment for Best PD   on the Central CoastJustin Smith, Tom Andronas, Stephen Beers, Nicole Denton & Robbie Smith from Fairfax Radio for Best Documentary. Ben Gialouris  for the ARN Sydney Sales team for Best Station Sales Achievement. 

Dan King

Best Program Director

Star 104.5, Gosford NSW, Nova Entertainment

Dan.. give us the lowdown on your career so far.

I started at 2GO on-air and later production, moved to B105 to work with Labby and Stav, worked at MCM Entertainment and then finally Nova Entertainment. Network Nights imaging for shows from Action Battle Team, Lowie, Christo & Katie and finally launched Smallzy’s Surgery. 

Tell us about your ACRAs Entry for Best PD… 

It’s all about the transition of the brand. We played ‘Rock Stars’ and now we are ‘The Music We All Love’. New researched playlist (and scheduling software), wew imaging, clocks, new Breakfast ad break structure, new automation system. The list goes on. With no metro station to model off, it’s been a huge task in rebuilding a brand tone and some local content filters which we believe in. 2014 best program director – dan king.mp3

This is your moment in the spotlight, if you won what would you say?

Thanks to the Nova Entertainment executive team for letting me have a crack and thanks to all of those who have inspired me. That’s many of you hear tonight, from all networks. Thanks to my wife for teaching me change is good for you. Richie Culph you’re a bloody mongrel.


Exit Afghanistan: Justin Smith, Tom Andronas, Stephen Beers, Nicole Denton & Robbie Smith

Best Documentary

3AW, Melbourne VIC, Fairfax Radio Network

Justin Smith give us a quick snapshot of your radio background…

I've spent my career in Australian radio. After 10-years as Neil Mitchell's executive  producer, and a presenter at 3AW, Melbourne I'm now the drive presenter at 2UE Sydney. 

Tell us about your Best Documentary ACRAs entry.

 In 2013, we were honoured to broadcast from the Tarin Kowt base for the last Anzac Day Dawn Service. Myself, producer Tom Andronas and engineer Stephen Beers were in an incredible position to see the base in its final days, and talk to the people who called it work and home. The broadcast went right around Australia on the Fairfax Radio Network, not only giving the audience the chance to hear the stories, but to talk back to the Diggers and remind them how much they meant to Australia.

The team on the ground, together with Nicole Denton and Robbie Smith, have never been more proud of putting something to air. acras – best documentary – exit afghanistan – 2 min.mp3

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Before any talk of awards, the only people to thank belong to the Australia Defence Forces for letting us into their home for a while. 


Ben Gialouris, on behalf of the team

Best Station Sales Achievement

KIIS 1065 Direct Sales; Sydney NSW, Australian Radio Network

Ben Gialouris tell us about your Sales career?

I started my radio career when I had just turned 21. It was my first ‘corporate job’ and I applied after hearing an ad on Mix106.5 looking for Radio Account Managers. The first time I heard the ad my ears perked up but I didn’t get the details. The second time I heard the ad, I thought ‘I’ve got to get my CV ready’. And the third time I heard the ad convinced me to get my CV in before applications closed. (Hence, why to this day I am such a big believer in a frequency of 3.5, timing and hook when driving a successful CTA campaign). After a couple of rounds of a “direct radio interview grilling” I got the gig to start as an Account Manager and I worked my way up to Account Director.

After five years, I decided to leave radio and go to publishing. That only lasted six months because I was desperately missing the infectious ‘buzz’ of radio culture. I then went to 2GB as the Digital Sales Manager to help give me digital and management experience, and later moved to Ninemsn to really embrace digital even further.

After five years away from ARN, I had an opportunity to come back to WSFM as a Sales Manager running one of the teams, and four months later was promoted to General Sales Manager of Mix106.5. In November 2013, three years after my return, I was promoted to Sales Director of Mix 106.5, WSFM and The Edge in Sydney, this was just a couple of weeks before the big announcement that Kyle and Jackie O were joining the network and we launched KIIS1065.

What's the best part of your job?

I wake up every day excited to come to work with focused, highly talented and dedicated colleagues and get such a kick out of helping our people, our clients and our company grow! 

 Tell us about your ACRAs entry on behlaf of the Sales team.

The Best Station Sales Achievement is based on revenue growth year on year in the judging period and percentage revenue growth over three years. After our 2013 ACRA win, the KIIS/Mix106.5 sales team have again shown impressive growth compared to the previous, winning  year. This growth was seen before super stars Kyle and Jackie O joined the team, and despite market decline and ratings remaining steady. This is growth for the third consecutive year, in a declining market. 

Here you go… your speech, if you were able to make one…

A high performing team comes from a culture of being clear on a common objective and working hard to achieve it, minimising and/or eliminating any animosities and being open and honest with each other. This doesn’t come easy, especially in this dynamic, high pressure, ever changing world of media. So I am extremely proud to see the hard work that this sales team and our other two sales teams (WSFM and The Edge) put in every day to perform at their peak. What makes me even more proud is that they are driving these impressive achievements and results, not only for themselves and the station, but most importantly for all their clients.

However, all this would not be possible without all the help, patience and support that our highly skilled, talented and dedicated support departments give relentlessly each day, plus the vision, leadership and courage of our executive team.  


Are You an ACRAs Finalist?
If you're a finalist in Metropolitan, Non-Metropolitan, Provincial or Country drop us a line and we'll shine the spotlight on you. Email Blair here.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (0)
Post new comment


See all