Rolling Out the Red Carpet – The ACRA’s Finalists Fever – Starts Now

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.

Just like we did last year, over the next few weeks, Radio Today will shine a spotlight on the best of the best.

We are rolling out the RED CARPET!

The ACRA's Finalists Fever – counting down the days to the big event on October 18 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us here.

We kick it off today with Susie Michaels at ARN and Trent Hill from ACE Radio.



WSFM, Australian Radio Network 

Give us a run-down of your radio sales career

13 short years ago, I was given the opportunity to become an Account Manager with WS FM101.7 and join the Australian Radio Network (ARN). To say the least – I’m loyal to the business and what a ride it has been…

I was encouraged by my GSM – Dave La Pouple (whom ironically, is still my GSM) with a powerful statement: ‘Susie, if a business is prepared to invest in us, we will do all we can to ensure a quantifiable, tailored solution is delivered… In fact, you should always over-deliver’.

Such great advice and that has always stuck with me. I’m accountable, I’m a trusted adviser and I am responsible for growing my clients business. Every day, I’ve learned something new and impart this knowledge, as I work alongside Australia’s best brands.

Not to forget the support of the most talented, dedicated, innovative, devoted and inspirational people at ARN.

I represent ARN’s brands of which, I am most passionate about, within an industry that continues to innovate and grow. Is it obvious that I love what I do?

It took me 12 (long months) to completely understand the power of radio and gain my first annual partnership. I still have that client on-air today.

Six years later, in 2006, I was honoured with ARN’s most prestigious award – ARN’s CEO Club for “Best Direct Rep” across the Network. I was again, awarded this amazing crown in 2008, 2009, 2010 and again in 2011.

In 2012, I was inducted into ARN’s Inaugural “Hall of Fame”. 2013, I made it to The ACRA’s as an industry Finalist for Best Direct Salesperson and in 2014, honoured to be a finalist once again.

Please outline your ACRA’s entry

My category is based on two criteria: Year on Year Budget and Yield Growth. I am responsible for the largest budgets within the company and I have exceeded this figure, by a massive 44%. My yield growth was also significant. It is a sign, of our prosperous business partners and their loyalty to ARN’s brands, myself and their continued business growth.2014 is my second consecutive year nominated for Best Direct Salesperson. To make it as a Finalist, as Australia’s best within the radio industry is a mega career milestone and I am hugely grateful.

What’s the best part of your job ?

Having the opportunity to do what I love to do every day is wonderful.

The best part of my job is the ability to continuously learn, develop and grow. I love sharing my knowledge coaching new AM’s and watch them succeed too. I enjoy the positive impact that my recommendations have on business’ growth.        

When professional relationships grow into friendships, when loyalty is  unquestionable, when new clients ask for you by name, there’s no comparison. 

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months ?

Other than consecutively making it as an ACRA finalist (woo hoo!), I would have to say being invited by my dear client (as her “plus one”) to experience Nissan Australia’s luxurious 10 day trip of a lifetime to Russia!

We all sacrifice so much but when a client chooses YOU, that “thank you” says it all.

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

Let your Dreams, be bigger than your fears and your actions be louder than your words!

To my mentor Brian Blacklock: We did it!

You tirelessly lead, teach, listen, encourage and impart your wisdom.

You bring out OUR BEST and continue to inspire me every day!

BLACKERS – Thank you! This one’s for you!




3YB, Warrnambool VIC, ACE Radio Broadcasters C

Give us a quick snapshot of your radio background

I Commenced my radio career as an 18 year old at the community radio station in Warrnambool hosting my own sports show and also commentating local football for 3 years.

I joined 3YB Warrnambool in 2005, helping out behind the scenes and occasional on air on the Friday Night Sports Show and joined the Saturday Morning Footy Show as a panellist.

I eventually gained a full time position as the Sports Journalist in 2007 and spent 5 years in that role before moving to Melbourne.

In 2012, I spent the year as boundary rider for CrocMedia's AFL Live coverage on Saturday nights working with Peter Donegan and Terry Wallace.

In 2013, I re-joined 3YB Warrnambool as a commentator for the new Hampden League Live Football Coverage and am still apart of the team in 2014.

What was in your ACRA’s entry ?

My entry is a compilation of some season highlights calling on Hampden League Live.

There were so many great passages of play to call throughout the season, as well some great interviews with local and AFL football identities.

My entry aimed to showcase my versatility as play by play caller, interviewer and host.

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

It would be pretty short and sharpe, as it's fair to say I haven't had much success in any type of individual awards before. My successes have resulted from team success, so I would thank my Hampden League Live team-mates, as we have a lot of fun on air for 6 hours a weekend.


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 Blair here.

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