4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2012 #10

Staff Writer

There are thousands of hard-working, dedicated and amazingly creative people throughout the radio industry – and every year a small fraction of those people make the short list as a finalist in the ACRA's.

The Radio Today team think it's about time to shine a brighter spotlight on the best of the best.

See all the ACRA's fever so far here

Today in #10 we spotlight 2 creative's from dmg Sydney, ACE Radio's Jon Vertigan, a best news presenter finalist and WSFM's Jonesy & Amanda.


WSFM, Sydney NSW, Australian Radio Network

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background…

Amanda – 2MMM Breakfast with Andy Denton
Jonesy – 6KA, 2NM, I98FM, B105, 4MMM, 2MMM

We worked together at 2MMM, in different time slots. One day Andrew had an illness and couldn’t come into work, so we were thrust together. Cut to 5 years later we’re working together on breakfast at WSFM. We’re now in our 8th year!

What’s the best part of your job ?

Laughing till you spit coffee out of your nose and no traffic in the morning.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Broke the Guiness world record for longest underwater broadcast, had a full colour comic book released around us, hit a 9.7 for the first time in WSFM history and discovered the office chip machine was easy to break into.

You can’t make a speech on the night so get up on the Radio Today stage and have your say…

We’d have to thank all the girls in the typing pool; Our EP LV, Mindy, Postie, Alex and the good lord. Not to mention ARN.



Triple M, Brisbane QLD, Southern Cross Austereo

Tell us about your background...

After graduating uni I started helping out in the then-RG Capital newsroom on the Gold Coast, and progressed to an on-air casual, filling in local weekend shifts and weekday regional QLD.

I got a full-time gig at SeaFM and MixFM on the Sunshine Coast and had two great years there.

I moved back to Brissie after getting married and landed my dream job with Austereo, and worked with Jamie Dunn and Ian Skippen on B105. I moved over to Triple M (a whole one desk away!) about 6 years ago. I now job share the breakfast newsreading duties for the Grill Team.

What’s the best part of your job ?

It’s never boring – one minute you’re talking about a topless sunbaking Duchess, the next interviewing the Premier about job cuts. I love turning around audio and stories on tight deadlines. You also can’t take work home with you, and doing breakfast hours getting to leave at lunchtime’s pretty sweet. I love getting to know stuff before everyone else. Natural sticky beak.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Mentoring our latest indigenous trainee, who finishes up in October after 12 months in the newsroom. The program’s designed to get indigenous journalists working in mainstream media.

Helping launch news surveys to our extensive listener data bases on Triple M and B105, which were picked up by other media.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Two thankyous – to my QUT lecturers who made broadcast journalism so appealing! When I started my degree I thought I wanted to end up in newspapers – so glad the program at QUT offers such a good grounding in radio, and opportunities to get internships in real radio newsrooms.

And my family and friends who put up with the early starts – “Sorry, can’t go out – school night. Bed by 8pm.”


3YB, Warrnambool VIC, ACE Radio Broadcasters

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

20 years ago started as an 18 year old at 3SH, and since then have been at 3WM, 3SR, 3YB, 3TR, MIX 101.1, MIX 106.5, and now at 3YB where I’ve been for the past 8 years.

Tell us about your ACRA’s entry…

My ACRA entry for ‘Best Networked Program’ showcases some chat breaks, interviews and also some localizer spots that air in each the 6 markets I broadcast into.

https://radiotoday.com.au/music/Best Networked Program Jon Vertigan for Breakfast.mp3
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

I think that fact that every day is different. My show has daily benchmarks, but it’s what goes around them that changes each day, and the listeners are very much responsible for driving that.

One day I may be interviewing Jimmy Barnes, and the next day I could be arguing with a caller about people that wear pyjamas to the supermarket. I hate getting up at 4.30, but as soon as I’m at work, I’m having fun trying to make each morning vibrant and different to the day before.

I also get great satisfaction from making each of my stations sound as local as possible, by providing them with local breaks that playout through the morning.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

The addition of another of our radio stations to my program has been a big one. 3SH Swan Hill was where it all began for me, and to be back on there every morning is great.

The other achievement of recent times, is the addition of a co-host! Tenielle Hawker had been doing afternoons on 3YB, and we saw great potential in her for breakfast. I’m very proud of her development in the short time she’s been on air with me. She identifies really well with the audience, she’s a great story teller, and she’s a fellow Essendon supporter.

You can’t make a speech on the night but let’s pretend you’ve won, here’s a chance to have your moment in the spotlight, go for it…

Would probably need to thank my wife and 2 kids for providing me with a fair chunk of on air fodder. A very common phrase in my house is ‘Please don’t use that on air’.



Smooth FM, Sydney NSW, dmg radio australia


Tell us about your background

Shelley: I got my start in radio 9 years ago as a cruiser driver for 2GO and SEAFM. I spent a few years in Promotions and Creative before moving into Production. After watching many friends come and go… and come back again. Two years ago I decided I’d try my luck in the big smoke and join the cool kids at DMG Sydney.

Rusty: I’ve been around since gotcha calls were made on crank telephones. And they weren’t funny then, either. For last 20 years I’ve been annoying people at Triple M (11), 2GB (4), Nova & Smooth (6). And in the pre mobile-phone years when I could buy hair gel & people wouldn’t laugh much, I got my start(s) at AFTRS, 2GN, 2WG & 2GO.

Tell us about your ACRA’s entry…

The ad we’ve been nominated for is a nice example of a simple, well executed idea. Nice writing, great production & incredible vocal performance (of course) by Lee Perry.

or hear it here

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Shelley: I would like to thank the whole Creative and Production team at Nova 969 and Smooth 953.  You guys are awesome!

Rusty: If I was able to give a speech on the night, I’d say that it’s a shame so many of the best ads written & produced in radio stations all around Australia –  never get to air.

So often our bravest ads get clonked on the head before they get a chance to stand up and get heard. I’d also ask the people on my table not to put anything in my drink while we’re around the back getting our photo taken. And I’d like to apologise for my behavior later in the night.


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 Mark Hales here

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