4 weeks of ACRA’s Finalists Fever 2012 #7

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 #7 we spotlight a Gold FM newsreader, a commercial campaign from Adelaide, TRFM's Nayta & Kristie and multi-ACRA winner, siDesHoW Mike Andersen.


Triple M, Sydney NSW, Southern Cross Austereo

by Daryl Missen
Michael Andersen, aka ‘Sidey’ has been at the ‘M’s in Sydney for 17 years this week. He also recently clocked up 20 years in radio! In that time he has carved himself a reputation as one of the greatest rock image radio designers in the world. He’s a maestro, a creative imaging master, a guru of sound …

From New York Festivals, to ACRA’s, to every award in between, Michael has not only won the most prestigious awards for his radio image production, but he’s become one of Australia’s most influential voice artists. Setting the trend many years ago for the ‘young vibe voice over read’ in image production.

His creative image writing skills are … well … listen to the montage of work below and you’ll hear.
or hear it here

Michael writes all his own work, and a lot of the time, sings or voices his own gear too!

With all this creative talent he has dominated the ACRA ‘Best Production’ category, and with only a couple of weeks until the 2012 awards are announced I caught up with Sidey…

Daryl:  How many ACRA’s have you won for BEST PRODUCTION – Metro?

Sidey:  Seven

Daryl:  Congratulations – that’s an amazing record. Do other staff members seek you out to edit and produce ‘their’ entries because of your success rate?

Sidey:  Yeah sometimes. But I'm not sure if there's a formula to it. I think it's all about variety. Showing a bit of everything you can do.

Daryl:  Will you ever ‘not enter’ to allow someone else to win?

Sidey:  I don't see the point of having awards unless everyone enters. I like it. It's a bit of friendly competition once a year. Besides, the production category is so fiercely contested anyone could win. I reckon I must have scraped through at least a few times. The voting must be very close, coz there are so many great imaging guys around the country.

Daryl:  Why do you feel the ACRA’s are important to Australian Radio Production?

Sidey:  It's a great way for young up and coming producers to get noticed.

Daryl: Favourite place to get creatively inspired?

Sidey:  Driving in the car, movies, TV, music, surfing the net. Inspiration comes from all over the place. Usually when I get a moment away from my to-do-list the ideas start coming.

Daryl:  Did you get any flack for the Carlton Draught TV commercial that has your arse crack in HD slowmo?

Sidey:  Yeah everyone had a bit of a laugh. Not sure if I'll get a Logie. But no one can accuse me of doing a half-assed job.

Sidey’s arse is 1:05 in …



Nathan Robb & Kristie Mercer

TRFM, Traralgon VIC, ACE Radio Broadcasters

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background.

Nayta: I started my 'Journey' (sorry everyone's doing it) at The Melbourne Radio School in 2004, from there I landed the job at TRFM Gippsland as copywriter in Feb of 2005.

From there I moved into announcing up the usual ladder of Middawn-Nights then probably skipped a step to get brekky in October '05.

I stayed on brekky for 3 years and loved it but decided to leave and move to Melbourne for a change of pace and worked for ATN and did voiceovers for a number of agencies. This move did 2 things, it made it clear that i was a 'country person' and made me realise how much I enjoyed my previous job, station and the people i worked with. I've been happy at TRFM ever since.

Kristie: After doing a short course at Melbourne Radio School I was hooked and furthered my studies with a Post Grad of Commercial Radio at Swinburne in 2009. Straight out of uni I scored a gig with Prime in Townsville and did Drive on 106.3FM where I spent 8 months before joining the ACE Radio family and moving back to Victoria where I have been doing a networked breaky show for the past year.

Here's their ACRA entry…
or hear it here

What’s the best part of your job ?

Nayta: The people. My co-host/s, my colleagues and the people we chat to everyday make the job a dream. Those great relationships are what I love.

Kristie: Pulling off a stunt you've been planning for months. There's always a bit of pressure when you and others have invested so much time, thought and energy into a promotion because you already have a picture painted in your own mind of how it should look/sound. A few months ago when we undertook a state-wide driving challenge sponsored by Toyota called 'The Fast and the Fuel Efficient' the end result was even better than what we had first envisaged.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Nayta: Aside from not punching the telly every time someone said 'Journey' or staying employed, I'd say taking a successful show in one market and adapting it to another 4 without losing too much localism at home.

Kristie: Although I've only been working in the industry for less than two years, each year has brought with it a new, fresh challenge my way. Doing Drive in Townsville with literally no radio experience whatsoever then moving to ACE doing breakfast with again literally no breakfast radio experience has blown my mind! 

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…

I think the people who deserve an award are the friends and family members of all of us who work in this amazingly crazy industry. They encourage us to pack up our lives (and theirs) to the other side of the country in an effort to get one step closer to wherever your end radio goal may be. You couldn't do it without their complete support and understanding.



Fiveaa, Adelaide SA, dmg radio australia

Here is some audio from the campaign…

https://radiotoday.com.au/music/hampstead audio.mp3
or hear it here

Tell us about your background...

John (pictured left): After travelling the world for many years and living the life of a vagabond I kind of needed to get a real job. Unfortunately most jobs looked pretty boring at the time so I clawed my way into the creative world of Radio. In the last decade, I haven’t looked back.

Eddie (pictured right): I have been in Radio for 14 years, from Perth to Sydney! Producing for Southern Cross broadcasting, ARN, Austereo and DMG. I’m enjoying my current roll. It’s chicken lettuce and mayo.

What's the best part of your job ?

John: I get to write stuff, work with actors and meet amazing people every day. I also make money for doing it.

Eddie: Working with people that have radio running through their veins! And it’s just bloody good fun!

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?


  • I travelled all over Turkey
  • I won best radio campaign and best radio single in the AADC Awards for Be Active – the musical.
  • I have had the great pleasure of working with a tight knit team of creative souls – the multi award winning dmg Adelaide Creative Team. Together we’ve been putting a ding in the Radio Universe.


  • Sirens Round 2 – Winner Sound Design
  • Sirens Round 1 – Highly commended Sound Design
  • ACRA finalist – Best Station Produced Commercial Metro for Be Active the Musical
  • Radio and Production Awards – Runner Up

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

John: Don’t be afraid of investing in your Creative Team!!!

Eddie: I would like to thank the bus, that drives me to work each day and then returns me home after I’ve broken everything.


Gold FM, Gold Coast QLD, Southern Cross Austereo


Here is audio from Rod's entry…

https://radiotoday.com.au/music/Rod McLeod.mp3
or hear it here

Tell us about your background…

I became involved in radio through community radio station 2NCR FM in Lismore – I had a one hour show after school from 4 till 5pm on Mondays. I got to play all my favourite music on air, while secretly recording all these great albums in the other studio! For a teen rock music buff, pure nirvana!

Someone suggested that I had a good voice for radio…hmmmm. So after the HSC, off to Sydney’s Australian Film TV and Radio School in 1988. Proudly admit to vandalisng AFTRS road sign to include “radio” on Epping Road. Graduated in September and started at 2AY Albury Wodonga as Promotions Assistant and on air presenter.

Filled in news room during journalists’ annual leave. Got the news bug, then went to 4GGG-KROQ Gold Coast as breakfast news presenter in 1990… 18 months later, was asked to take a drive up the road to become Triple M Brisbane’s Breakfast News presenter with Dave Gibson and Rob Duckworth. Fun times… until a redundancy in 1994.

After a brief casual stint at 4BC, moved back down the Gold Coast in 1995 to be breakfast news presenter for Sea FM…before switching studios to Gold Fm Gold Coast. Been there ever since!

What’s the best part of your job?

There is always news! There’s a real buzz writing and presenting news that affects listeners lives – from the historic moments like September 11 down to an interest rate announcement from the Reserve Bank or the last minute scratching on the morning of the Melbourne Cup. The fact that I work with exceptionally talented and fun people is a great bonus.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Overcoming the challenges of moving to new studios – new equipment, minimal soundproofing (gotta love the 7am garbage run by Council right outside my booth window), and pronouncing eastern European tennis players names correctly. Most of the time.

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…

The support of my family for their understanding that the 4am starts mean an 8pm bedtime for me! Voice coaching legend Arch McKirdy, whose immense talent and ability to teach is matched only by his humanity. And the late Greg Henricks, for restoring my faith in radio and life.


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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