4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2012 #15

Staff Writer

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Radio Today have been spotlighting many of the finalists over the past 4 weeks. See them all here

Today in #15 we spotlight a best news presenter finalist, an ad that is up for an award, Ryan Tothill from B105 and best newcomer on-air finalist, Lauren Wilson.


The Edge, Western Sydney NSW, Australian Radio Network

Give us a snapshot of your radio background

Well in 2006 I started in radio as a Thunder Pilot at NXFM/KOFM in Newcastle. In 2007 I moved to Sydney to study an economics and property degree… and ahhh yeah that didn’t really work out. To spice up my life again, in 2010 I worked my way back into radio doing street team at ARN and ever since I have pretty much said ‘yes’ to every job offered to me in the building. You name it, I’ve done it… (except clean the toilets… I haven’t done that!)

What’s the best part of your job ?

This job just makes me happy. It’s the music, the people plus I love chatting about gossip, music news and all that stuff…

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

This ACRA nomination, it’s a win in itself.

You can’t make a speech on the night so here’s a chance to have your moment in the spotlight (don’t forget to thank anyone)….go for it….

So many people…!! Umm do I name drop?! Ok, firstly I wouldn’t be on air if it wasn’t for Charlie Fox agreeing to give me a shot!… I’ll never forget the moment I met the famous Charlie Fox, it was after my first day Assistant Producing on WSFM. It was from there I met Mike E and Ron E Sparks who both have given me so much mentoring and support.

Charlie, Ron E and Mike E your support and guidance is invaluable. The amount of times I asked them for an air check… They really would have a full piggy bank! You three guys really do rock and I thank you a million times over!

Also everyone who has helped me along the way on air and off, you know who you are, but a big special thanks to Vicki Marr for working with my crazy schedule and Nick Condon for offering me heaps of advice over the years.


B105, Brisbane QLD, Southern Cross Austereo

Tell us about your background...

I have been in radio for 11 years. Starting at SAFM in Adelaide and have moved around the country Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Central Coast. Started out being an announcer and producing shows and then moved into a Music Director’s role and work more on the content side of radio, behind the scenes.

Tell us about your ACRA's entry…

I just outlined my passion for music and the things I do each day to make the music on B105 the best it possibly can be. I also added some good figures from surveys in the judging period.

What’s the best part of your job ?

I love our weekly Music Meeting’s when we pick new songs for our listeners. It’s exciting to pick a new song and watch it climb up the charts, and then get good feedback from our listeners on that song.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

I would have to say moving through the music ranks and landing myself in my first Content Directors job at our Southern Cross Austereo stations on the Central Coast in NSW.
Something I’ve been working towards for a few years.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

I think I would just thank my early music mentors for taking the time to teach me.


'Hank VIddles'
Star FM, Central Coast NSW, dmg radio australia

Give us a snapshot of your radio backgrounds..

The old and the new really. Matt is a bitter and twisted veteran of 20 years in radio, whilst Thom is a fresh faced, talented little upstart with a background in music performance.

Matt has been learning Thom the ropes of creative writing since November 2011 and together have found a balance between Matt’s half empty glass and Thom’s sunshine and lollipops attitude, but it has resulted in some very different ads reaching the airwaves and that’s a good thing…. we think.

Tell us about the ad you are a finalist for…

The job was a doozy of a challenge, as the client (Long Jetty Charcoal Chicken) had been shafted by a greedy landlord who wanted an exorbitant rent increase and forced him out. Our client set up his new business on the opposing street corner and his former landlord kept selling cooked chooks and trading on the back of our client’s goodwill, to make good his threat to compete with our client.

So,… we got a little crazy-creative and convinced the client this was the best way to fight back. It worked,… our client, in his new premises went gang busters with many customers quoting lines from the ad to his staff over the counter.

or hear it here

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Matt would like to thank any client who doesn’t feel the need to get feedback on scripts from family or staff members,… and Mark Stevens Esq. A creative champion if ever there was one,…. and Thom would like to thank his lucky stars Matt has not framed him on a criminal charge, as Matt feels incredibly threatened by Thom for being so bloody talented.



3YB, Warrnambool VIC, ACE Radio Broadcasters

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background ?

I’ve worked in radio for the past 30 years. I started as a copy writer at the age of 16, progressed to announcer, and for the past 15 years have been journalist and news presenter for three stations in the Ace Radio network.

What’s the best part of your job ?

I love working in radio. It has a certain vibe and excitement about it that changes every day. I love interviewing people, following news stories as they develop, and delivering the best possible news service I can for my three markets. ACE RADIO is an awesome network to be a part of.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

The past 12 months have been hectic as per normal in any country news room. Keeping my sanity is a big achievement in itself. 

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

I would thank the people who first introduced me to radio as I’ve had an amazing career.

My husband David and my two daughters Sarah and Amy have been a wonderful support to me over the years.

I would also like to thank Rowly and Judy Paterson and Geoff Handbury, the owners of the ACE RADIO network, for the opportunities they have given me over recent years.  They are wonderful people to work for and very generous community minded people.

I’d also like to thank my fantastic, funny, creative, and whacky work mates. What a great bunch. 


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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