4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2012 #5

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 #5 we spotlight the Nova Brisbane Sales Team, 2CC's Breakfast Producer, one of the Best On-Air Team finalists and 2Day FM's Chantalle Taylor.


2Day FM, Sydney NSW, Southern Cross Austereo

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

I started in radio in 2001 with Austereo as the SAFM Programming Coordinator/ Executive Assistant to the PD – for the most part this was Craig Bruce, so I was lucky enough to have a pretty inspired introduction to broadcast media.

I spent the next 4 years experiencing both SAFM & 5MMM stations, moving through Programming and Promotions. I then moved to Sydney which also meant a move to dmgRadio as Promotions Manager to work on a brand new Sydney licence – which I learned a few weeks in was called ‘vega 95.3fm’.

3 years later, I made the move to Melbourne working on Nova 100 and taking on some network operational responsibilities, leaving there as Integration Director 2 years later.

Mid 2010 I made my way back to Sydney to work on Nova 969, 6 months later I was back to Austereo, this time in Sydney, as Head of Tactics – 2DayFM. So, I feel like I’ve done the market, format and network rounds – and back again.

What are the 3 promotions you’re most proud of from the last 12 months ?

This is hard, I’m proud of so many for different reasons – I’m judging these on pure adrenaline, new territory and team work.

Kyle & Jackie O’s Cruze Car Chase (Holden Cruze) – this was completely new ground, and was always going to be a risk as we were ignoring all the usual programming rules. The tactic played out ‘live’ for 13 hours every day with the journey 100% in the control of the listeners, so there was a very dedicated team behind the success of this tactic both on and off the air around the clock. Ensuring we could build a digital game which would be fun to play on the streets and in mobile, interesting to watch online, interactive socially and still provide enough entertaining content to be passively engaging on radio day after day definitely meant a lot of robust logistical and creative discussions as well as problem solving, I really learnt a lot about ‘new media’ capabilities working on this one.

See more here

Kyle & Jackie O’s Amazing Race (Amazing Race Australia/ Channel Seven) – this year was our second year of holding an ‘Amazing Race’ for the Kyle & Jackie O team, so we needed to kick it up a notch, the challenges got tougher, we threw in a couple of celebrity teams and included a listener team. An incredible amount of work and negotiation behind the scenes, I’m still blown away by the way the full on and off air team made the most of every opportunity to create compelling content and push beyond the limits of comfort – from Kyle hanging off the side of a building, to Jackie making the full abseil down it, to the tactics team who practically earned a degree in law and risk management whilst building challenges in 5 Sydney locations, all under a veil of high secrecy from the entire Content team.

See more here

Kyle & Jackie O’s Push the Button (X Factor/ Channel Seven) – a button placed in Sydney’s West with only the instruction to ‘push the button – to see what happened next’, this gave us 62 214 photos of listeners interacting with our site (one photo per push of the button!), weeks of discussion on our social networks, and an introduction to potential new audience walking past the button every day, plus an intriguing mystery for existing our radio listeners to unravel. We had a couple of lucky cash winners along the way, but the crescendo was a huge flash/ pop up performance and $25 000 cash prize for one random button-pusher. I kind of hope you can watch this and not understand why I’m so proud of it, it would mean we’ve effectively delivered the entertainment without giving any clue just how much work goes into coordinating a collective of around 100+ contractors, performers, suppliers – all requiring rehearsals, costumes, cues, briefings etc… Oh, and no one (including 2DayFM staff) guessing any part of what we’re working on, and when it will happen!

See more here

Honorable mention to Kyle & Jackie O’s Million Dollar Dawn Dig (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt 1/ Hoyts) – I couldn’t neglect to note the career highlight of giving away $1,000,000 on Bondi Beach.

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…

It’s a good thing there are no speeches on the night, on the off chance I did win (the competition is stiff), I would be at risk of some verbose monologue thanking my very talented team, Gaby, Nat, Mich and Bron (who deserve a share in this award – it’s a team effort), and a slew of mentors and influences I’ve had the benefit of exploiting over the years. Truth is, I’ve learnt a little from almost everyone I’ve worked for, worked with, or managed, and a lot from a few special mentions – DB, Craig, Jodie, Jane, Keiran, Wade and another DB (yep – there are 2)…. So to you – thank you!

As for any personal thanks… this goes to my wonderful husband Brendan*, for ensuring our competitive spirits do not overcome our ability to enjoy dinner together each night, except those 8 special days each year.

** Brendan Taylor is the Program Director of Nova 969, Sydney



Stephen Walter & Kelynn Wolfe
92.9FM, Tamworth NSW, Super Radio Network

Tell us about your background…

Kel: After completing a degree in Sociology (which always comes in handy in Radio) 'made the switch' to the Swinburne radio course, landed in Tamworth as a Float Announcer/Promotions Director for 929. Between co-ordinating that and handling a steep learning curve in the world of country music, jumped onto FM Drive where I was joined by an excessively nerdy co-host.

Wally: Well…. Office boy at Austereo Sydney, then dumb lucky fell into voice over work on Ugly Phil's Hot 30. To have those legends hanging around the 2DAY & 2MMM building in 99/2000 it was kinda hard to not have a go. Took a short break to write for a U.K Creative Agency, Rock 95 Ontario and Network Ten, then CD at 929 Tamworth where Kel and I started a new Drive Show.

Here is a bit from their ACRA's entry…

https://radiotoday.com.au/music/Stephen Walter Kelynn Wolfe.mp3
or hear it here

What's the best part of your job ?

Kel: Paid work in an industry that indulges my own interests and allows creative exploration is quite amazing. Even if the only person appreciating it is the bloke on the other mic.

Wally: I would say, the creative process start to finish. For example, I love that minuscule moment when I realise we have the same idea at the same time and start laughing because we know what's coming.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

We've managed to score some movie premiere tickets and a few boxes of Just Juice from the promo guys, not to mention the chance to see both Farnsey AND Barnsey live, so…. swings and roundabouts. Seriously, the ACRA nod is brilliant. We're both psyched at the chance to celebrate with all the other Tamworth nominees.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Kel: Jim Barbour, Jon Vertigan, Hamish and Andy (who provided countless laughs on my commutes home from uni) the late great Clark Sinclair and Neil Mitchell, are all either direct mentors or role models that I look up to.

Wally: To have people like Phil, Cranney, Vegies, Holmes, Denton, Keller, Jones, Rhymer, Williams, Swintek, Dobson and Fitzy as role models to a beginner was ridiculously lucky. Even luckier was to have a co-host who could stomach Star Wars trivia between breaks.


2CC Breakfast Show with Mark Parton
, Canberra ACT, Capital Radio Network

Give us a quick snapshot of  your radio background ?

Been with 2CC for two years now as a producer, on air announcer and news director. Previous to that I was in television and print media. 

What’s the best part of your job ?

That I have a button near my desk that allows me to switch off my hosts microphone (Mark Parton)…ok I never do that – he's pretty good. (I actually just pull the plug out of the wall when I don't agree with him).

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Getting the breakfast show ratings stable and increasing overall audience

Who would you thank in your speech ?

Program Director Peter Davidson, hosts Mike Welsh & Mark Parton as well as all the newsroom staff.


Brisbane QLD, dmg radio australia


We caught up with Luke Minto, Nova 106.9 Sales Director about his team being finalists. What's your background Luke ?

Listened to 2GO in Wamberal growing up, especially on my Birthday for the shout outs that the old man had ‘arranged’ and for school sports carnivals when the weather looked a bit dodge.

Joined DMG Radio Aust in 2004 Sydney and then gradually moved up to Sales Director role in Brisbane in 2009.

What’s the best part of your job ?

Working in a market where people are open honest and genuinely enjoy and are great at the roles. This extends to my team, our clients, our agencies and even our competitors.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

  • maintaining the best people in the best roles
  • teaching my 4 year old to swim a length of the pool unassisted
  • despite a drop in ratings in 2011 we have had our best sales year on record in a very flat revenue market
  • recorded the Triple – a #1 in Delloites share, where Agency, Direct and Total Station were all ranked number 1

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…

First of all, is there a dump button on the mic? Kidding Joan ! This is great recognition for the whole station at NOVA1069 who made it a massively successful year. 
None of this would be possible without our clients who invest and trust in us as well. Sincerely thank you ! 

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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