4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2013 #9

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.

4 weeks of ACRA's Finalists Fever – where we count down the days to the big event on October 12 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us here.

In #9 we feature a multimedia execution from Star 104.5, Kyle & Jackie O's EP, and Best PD finalist Charlie Fox.


WSFM, Sydney NSW, Australian Radio Network

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background.

I have a rather strange radio career, except for a brief 18 month stint at 2NX in Newcastle to get jock experience, it is all Sydney based.

I joined 2SM out of school and got a job in the Traffic department. There were 17 people in Traffic! (there were no computers back then). I worked my way up the ladder and over the space of 12 years went from Traffic to on air to Music Director and eventually Program Director. It was a great time to be there as 2SM was No. 1 on something like a 27% share and I was working with radio legends such as Rod Muir, Trevor Smith, Mike Drayson, Barry Chapman, David White, Ron E Sparks, Ian McRae and Ian Grace, just to name a few! But it was also a time of change, as looming on the horizon was FM. We put up a good battle against Triple M with our ROQ of the 80s format coming within a point or so of No. 1, but, ultimately of course, FM was where the future of music radio lay. Our consultant for the 2SM ROQ of the 80s was none other than Rick Carroll, who of course pioneered the format with KROQ L.A. This is still one of my favourite stations even though Rick is long gone.

I then jumped ship and went over to Triple M Sydney as Music Director, then Program Director and finally Group Program Director of the Triple M Network. I worked with another amazing team of people including Doug Mulray, Andrew Denton, Stuart Cranney, Rob Duckworth and Image Producer extraordinaire Jeff Thomas. And I was back working with Rod Muir, Ian Grace & Ron E. I was there for about 11 years and the station had multiple No.1 surveys.

Village Roadshow owned the Triple M Network and then decided to buy Austereo and merge the two networks. I decided it was time for a sabbatical from radio (ok, I was tired and jaded) and besides, the last thing I wanted to do was work with Brad March! (just kidding Brad, I know you’re reading this). My replacement was Duncan Campbell who re-appeared decades later as my Group Content Director here at ARN.

Another of the reasons I left radio was because I was excited about this thing called the Internet.

So I started one of the first web design studios in Australia with my buddy Mark Noakes (Triple M Sales Director), it was called NetHead. I did that for about five years, sold it and went to New York to start an Internet Radio station (once again working with Ian Grace). After about a year there, I returned to Australia and gave Doug Mulray a call to see what was happening and he said “Hey we’re doing Internet Music TV, come and help!” So I did that for a few years (it was TheBasement.com.au) and that was very cutting edge stuff – we were the only global internet music station, not even MTV could achieve that. We had 800,000 viewers and this was back in 2000 when Telstra had just launched broadband and had only 125,000 users.

Doug left TheBasement.com.au and so did I (it’s still going but no longer has a live music broadcast).

Next up was the role of PD at Mix 106.5 and after speaking with John Williams and Group PD Jeremy Millar, I ended up getting The Edge, then WSFM as well.

I have been at ARN for eight years now and I work across the two stations. As well as having an amazing Metro FM like WSFM, it’s neat to have a youth station like The Edge to try out new ideas and keep in touch with music and current trends.

I really enjoy being a PD and only being hands-on with one (ok, currently two) stations and having a close team of professionals to work with.
My PD style is very much ‘hire the RIGHT talent, give them a framework, direction and a comfortable to space to work in – then let them do what they were hired for!’ – Jonesy & Amanda are a great example of this.

Here's the audio from Charlie's ACRA’s entry
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

The people.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Getting WSFM to No. 1 FM in Sydney and seeing Jonesy & Amanda consistently #2FM for Breakfast and reaching career highs in the 9s.

You can’t make a speech on the night but you can here. So let’s pretend you won…. what would you say ?

It’s a great industry with amazing people. I never meant it to be, but radio has been my life. If you work in radio, take a moment every day to realise just how lucky you are. Work hard. Be passionate and the rewards will follow. And thanks to those that took the time to help me out in the early days, especially Barry Chapman for believing in me and Mike Drayson for saving my arse from being fired (I blew up the 8 track studio desk by spilling a cup of coffee on it at 2SM).

And thanks to Rod Muir & Ron E Sparks for being inspirational. Stay young!



The Kyle & Jackie O Show
2Day FM, Sydney NSW, Southern Cross Austereo

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

Makes me feel old answering this! I started in radio at 14 yrs old, originally on the community switch at 2DayFM until I was 14 yrs 9 months and legally allowed to work! I then moved on to reception and answering studio phones. From there I worked on The Morning Crew as Assistant Producer and Producer for 4 years. London then called and I was off to produce Jono Coleman’s breakfast show. A 7 year radio hiatus followed where I worked in film and then I returned to Sydney and radio 3 years ago when I started as Kyle and Jackie’s Content Manager/Executive Producer.

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

This year I focused on the challenges that exist when you work with a long standing successful show and how to read the signs of what the audience is after. For good comedy measure I also highlighted the segments Kyle and Jack have resisted which have gone on to be our best testers.

What’s the best part of your job ?

Laughing every single day. Kyle and Jack are so much fun to work with and every morning we laugh so much, both on and off the air. I never take that for granted. Plus the extended production team, we are like a dysfunctional family and I feel honoured to work with them each day. Oh and because I’m pregnant the free food we seem to get in daily (not from listeners !).

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

You have to take the good with the bad. One of the biggest achievements this year was KJ receiving their highest ever survey result – also a record high for the radio station. It may be short lived but those days are always great and it’s important to celebrate them when they happen. We also have had some content highlights and exclusive celeb interviews which you feel a sense of pride about when they are executed well on air.

You can’t make a speech on the night but you can here. So let’s pretend you won…. What would you say ?

Thank God we can’t make speeches…I’m behind the scenes for a reason! Firstly thanks to all the other producers on our team who make me look good…to Kyle and Jack thanks for keeping me on my toes and for being so much fun…to DB for letting me do my job….to the other producers nominated who are all so talented and many are good friends and to my husband who has put up with yet another year of not being able to have the TV up loud past 8pm, you’re the best.



Craig Annis, Dan Taylor, Lukas Goodenough, Mandy Coolen & Simon Valentine
Star 104.5, Central Coast NSW, dmg radio australia


For this entry we speak with one of the people behind it, Lukas Goodenough.

Lukas, give us a quick snapshot of your radio background….

Graduated from AFTRS in 2009, from there I was drive announcer/producer at FM104.7 in Grafton, had a two year stint as a Brekky personality at 93.5 StarFM in Dubbo and currently I’m on-air/floater at Star104.5

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

We were celebrating Australia Day from a (not so) unique coastie perspective…..

What’s the best part of your job ?

Working with the insanely talented people at Star, there’s never a boring day in our office! Being able to do what I love daily.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Becoming a Father for the 1st time, moving to this station (my hometown), starting the Dan & Lukas show (Just a shameless plug!!)

You can’t make a speech on the night but you can here. So let’s pretend you won…. what would you say ?

Yes… Goodenough is my REAL surname. Oh and Hi mum!


See all the ACRA's fever so far (and 2012's) here.

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 Halesy here.

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