4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2012 #16

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 #16 we spotlight a best newcomer off-air, a finalist for best MD, we chat to SCA's National Head of Production, Brendan Tacey and more…



Triple M, Melbourne VIC, Southern Cross Austereo

80's Promo

90's Promo

Give us a snapshot of your radio background

I started my career at 15 and spent my first 2 and a half years on community radio in Shepparton Victoria. Sun FM was playing in the school ground at lunch time and I heard a cue to call to win a CD, so I ran to the payphone, was the 7th caller thru to Dave Carter on Sun FM and by the end of the call I had won a CD and scored a job at 3SR the sister station to Sun FM, panelling Footy on weekends.

That turned to driving the road runner when I turned 18, pulling some fill in shifts on Sun FM then getting the Night gig on air doing the Hot 10 and requests.

Around 1998, I started playing in production and when RG Capital opened Sea FM / Mix 106.3 Townsville I moved up there as Image producer, commercial producer and announcer.

From there I went to SAFM as commercial producer and soon became the Image producer.

Next was 92.9 Perth and then overseas to the UK as a network Image producer in Bristol with GWR.

On returning to Melbourne, I started doing the SAFM image job again but this time from home. That role morphed to SAFM/92.9, then CB (Craig Bruce) moved me to the M's around 2009 where I couldn’t feel more at home. That role also grew, picking up Mix 94.5 Tactical imaging and 4MMM. Which then all evolved into the National Head of Production in the 2011 merge….and here we are today!

What’s the best part of your job ?

The thing I enjoy most in my job is the opportunity build a brilliant team of talented and super competent producers. Identifying opportunities and paths for new and existing talent, filling the pipeline and seeing that talent evolve. Providing the feedback and seeing the growth as a result of it. Being in touch with so many people across the network each day and providing solutions either directly, or indirectly.

I also love cutting a good Rock promo from the music I love….a promo with plenty of guitar riffs, drum hits and impact. 

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

  • pulling together our up coming production day with Matt Kuchell. Being given the opportunity to invest in our production team and build what should be a great day for all involved
  • spending a week with Lee Simon in London successfully recording the only Radio interview in the world with the 3 original members of Led Zeppelin
  • working out how to tag a bucketload of radio stations production in one hit (saving hours of work)

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….

There is many more than just the below to thank… but with limited time…I'd like to thank Linc Kelly for taking me under his wing and giving me the chance to start and evolve in production, finding a new love in the industry I grew up idolising.

Thanks to Rod Brice for giving me my first real production gig and sending me so far from home… as that move played the biggest part in the foundations of my career.

A great production piece starts with a great script, so to get nominated for my work, thanks must go to Fitzy who is one of the best script writers I’ve had the pleasure of building for.

To Craig Bruce… he believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself… backed me in and really cracked the doors wide open…. To help give me the amazing life I have today.

And most importantly to my wife Sharon. It has been her support through this entire journey that has allowed me to do what I have loved. All the broken promises of ‘I’ll be home in an hour… I just want to finish this promo’ and turning up 3 hours later. She truly is the backbone that to this day allows me to hold down a great career, have a beautiful family and an amazing life each and every day.



Snow FM, Jindabyne NSW, Capital Radio Network

Tell us about your background...

Like a lot of people, it all started with a community radio station. This one being FM 98.5 in Shepparton, Victoria. Within the first few hours of being there, I learnt all the basics & was left to my own devices to have some fun in the studio.

From there, I met all the right people who were working at Star FM & 3SR FM in Shepparton and managed to score myself a panelling gig which I ended up doing for about 5 yrs. Within that time, after countless times asking the PD to let me do something on-air, my wish was granted & I finally got a weekend shift on Star FM.

Eventually I was lucky enough to score the day shift in my hometown of Bendigo on Star FM and what seemed like only a short time later, I ended up in the Snowy Mountains where I have now been for 2 yrs!!

Tell us about your ACRA's entry…

Like every entrant in this year's ACRA's, I just said what was the truth for me. I've been able to really connect with the Snowy Mountains listeners through music on Snow FM and all of it with positive feedback. Every day I've been able to find out exactly what our listeners want to hear and then done what I could to make sure they would get what they wanted…from Metallica's "Whiskey In The Jar" to LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

I didn't think my entry would be anything spectacular but lo and behold, I've now got myself my very first ACRA nomination just for doing what seems like such a basic thing, giving people what they want to hear each day!!

What’s the best part of your job ?

One of the best things about this job, like most MD's would say, is being in control of what everyone listens to each day. That sense of achievement when you get a local comment on songs they haven't heard in a really long time or one that is always on repeat every chance they have to hear it. There's also that advantage of being able to talk to some of your childhood heroes…hello Zac Hanson!!

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Something we did here at Snow FM within the past 12 months was re-format the station to really open up the variety of music we play so we could truly accommodate for those within our demographic. A big task but a very satisfying one at the same time.

The biggest achievement personally however, was finding out I had become an ACRA nominee for the first time. It was the final straw to really show that all the hard work we had been doing was really paying off.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

I'd definitely have to thank my former PD's, Adam McFarlane, Damien Willoughby, Bryan Coghlan & Jerry Sheers. Also my current PD & brekky partner in crime, Scotty McLaren.

The great GM's I've had the privilege of working under, Leanne Hulm, Sam Fotu, Jason Priestley and also Richard Wybrew, my current GM.

The awesome friends who have always helped & encouraged me to achieve the things I have, most notably, Dan Hill.

Finally, my partner in crime at home, Luke. This guy has put up with it all!!


Melbourne and Adelaide, Australian Radio Network

Give us a snapshot of your radio background..

I started in radio when I joined ARN in April 2011. Since starting, the company has been through exciting phases and I continue to be inspired by the company and its approach.

Tell us about your ACRA's entry…

Nominated in the best newcomer off-air, my entry detailed two projects I managed:

  • developing and implementing the new ARN Brand Guidelines
  • consumer facing campaign to support Mix101.1’s Ultimate Ear Test

What’s the best part of your job ?

There are a few things I love about this role. As we are quite a new marketing team (the team was formed between late 2010 and early 2011) we started with a blank canvas which was a refreshing challenge. It gave us all the chance to actively contribute and shape the future of the marketing strategies. I also love that there is so much diversity in my role, it’s rare that two days are ever the same. And finally, the people I work with is another benefit of the job. I’m surrounded by people who genuinely care about the work they do and do it fantastically well while still managing to have fun doing it.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

A key achievement is the development and rollout of an ARN Brands all staff education and engagement initiative. The plan was designed to maximise staff understanding and involvement across each of our brands and set a protocol for best practice logo and brand usage.

The initiative included development of a suite of brand guideline documents, a road-show presentation which each employee across the network attended and the implementation of a team of Brand Angels who assist with day to day brand queries across the business.

The response to the program was strong and the guidelines now sit on the desk of every employee in the business, and are regularly referred to by all and sundry.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

I could be here all day thanking people so I’ll keep it short. I’ll firstly start with one of my best pals and mentor, Elizabeth McDonald. She hired me in my first role at News Ltd more than 10 years ago and if I don’t thank her, she’d kill me. 

Thank you to Jodie Koning and Chris Phillips, who are my marketing dream team. And to all of the other people I work with – there are too many to name individually – but thank you.



Switzerland Tourism Get Swissed
Today Network, Sydney NSW, Southern Cross Austereo

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background ?

I’ve been in radio to varying degrees just over five years, beginning in Bathurst an Assistant Marketing Consultant for 2BS and B-Rock before moving across to, what was then, Austereo in September 2008.

For the last three years working on a wide variety of clients across the Today Network and Triple M Local Works Network through radio, digital and experiential executions.

Tell us about this execution – what was involved and how did it play out on air / off air ?

Switzerland Tourism needed to highlight the range of experiences that Switzerland offers – the goal was to drive Australians to Switzerland, either as a side-trip to a European holiday or as a primary leisure destination. Switzerland Tourism with SCA focused on user-generated content to select our Aussie adventurers – Pete and Janis who we sent off to Switzerland to Get Swissed through a series of challenges. We focused on authentic and lively creative to engage audiences across on-air, digital, social and experienential executions. The campaign saw a marked increase in overnight stays in Switzerland but also, a huge increase in potential traveller engagement.

See more here

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

This was a truly company-wide execution with over 40 people across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane pitching in to ensure the success of Get Swissed. Special mentions need to go to the dedicated work of;    
National Integration Project Manager, Georgina Kennedy who worked tirelessly across all platforms.

Head of Video, Angus Stevens who took the incredible landscape of Switzerland, teamed it with fantastic winners to create watchable, unique films.

Senior Digital Developer, Stefan Stivala and Designer, Andrew Hall who ensured the success through the creation of an engaging digital portal.

None of it couldn’t have happened without the amazing commitment, collaboration and expertise of our client, Switzerland Tourism headed by Evelyn Lafone and Lisa James.



New York New York
3WM, Horsham VIC, ACE Radio Broadcasters

Give us a snapshot of your radio background..

The radio journey for me started at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. About 2 weeks before I was due to graduate from the course I was offered an announcer/ creative writer position with the Ace Radio Network in Swan Hill which I was eager to accept. Since then I have continued to work for the Ace Radio Network in a number of roles.
Ace Radio have been a fantastic organisation to work for, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunities they have offered me.

Tell us about your ACRA's entry…

New York, New York was a major promotion which was received with major excitement in Horsham! I was lucky enough to head to New York for a week long broadcast to pre-launch the promotion and once I returned we kicked off a series of 50 outside broadcasts where listeners could enter the draw to win a trip for 2 to NY with 5 nights accommodation, return airfares and a double pass to do a TV/Movie tour. The promotion was very involved but all the hard work was rewarded with extremely positive feedback from listeners and clients as well as a nomination for an ACRA!

What’s the best part of your job ?

I love that every day is a different day!

I have always enjoyed a challenge and I love being able to use the creative part of my brain to come up with exciting new promotions!

Being in promotions doesn’t feel like “work”. I get to meet new people all the time, whether it be listeners or clients, and I am able to sit back and watch major promotions unfold and see the excitement and hype it creates in our market.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Firstly I’d thank AFTRS for the training and the time they took to help me to get in to the industry and learn the fundamental aspects of radio.

I would also have to sincerely thank Ace Radio for not only giving me a shot in the industry but for also believing in me and helping me to grow my radio career.


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