This year’s commercial radio awards are officially cancelled

Former Publisher

Even with restrictions easing, Commercial Radio Australia has revealed that the ACRAs won’t proceed in October, but promising to return “bigger and better” in 2021.

A new format for the awards was a possibility in April when CRA confirmed the annual Radio Alive conference would also skip the year 2020.

Radio Today understands the next awards will recognise work done in 2020 and 2021, but there won’t be double the number of awards handed out.

More info will be provided to members shortly on entries that have already been submitted and the entry process for 2021, said a spokesperson from CRA.

Today’s decision to cancel the ACRAs comes after a “detailed examination” of the awards taking on a virtual format in 2020, according to a statement from CRA.

The event was originally scheduled to take place on the Gold Coast in October, but Queensland’s borders remain closed despite mounting pressure from the Prime Minister to open them.

Last month music collection society APRA pushed ahead with a virtual format to rave reviews.

A spokesperson for the ARIA Awards also told Radio Today on Friday that it’s “business as usual” for the November awards celebrating the music industry.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said that shifting the 32nd ACRAs to 2021 is a move that will be of benefit to the industry in current circumstances.

“After carefully considering the options available for such a big and complex event, it was determined that a virtual event would not be able to do the awards justice,” Warner said.

“While this news is disappointing, we know radio teams are working as hard as ever in these times to keep Australians informed and entertained…

“We look forward to celebrating the hard work and resilience of our members in 2021.”

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12 Jun 2020 - 2:55 pm

Surely the judging should still happen, right? The ceremony is just the formality, it’s the industry acknowledgment that counts more than the night itself. 2019 achievements shouldn’t be overlooked and deserve to be acknowledged by the industry, more now than ever!

pissed off
12 Jun 2020 - 3:09 pm

Plus all the F*&?kng work we did getting our entries in!

Shit decision
12 Jun 2020 - 3:16 pm

‘we don’t think your work is worthy of recognition unless we can roll out a big red carpet and have the big names turn up for the TV coverage’

Thanks CRA.

Literally could have just judged the entries and sent a statue to the winners. Didn’t even have to hold an event. At least the work would have been recognised.

12 Jun 2020 - 5:21 pm

Wait, what? The submissions have already been done.
The people who have worked hard all year would appreciate the recognition now more than ever!
Understanding CRA can’t sell tickets to the ceremony but the workers deserve the recognition!!

Elephant In The Room
12 Jun 2020 - 5:30 pm

It’s as if the ACRAs are revenue opportunity for CRA and not about celebrating those in the dustry who work tirelessly all year …

12 Jun 2020 - 6:12 pm

Why on earth can’t they still do the judging and post the trophies?

It’s a kick in the guts to everyone who has put in hours of work to prepare entries.

Also, in a challenging year, it would be great to see acknowledgment go to people who have excelled in their craft.

I hope enough disgruntled radio people speak up so that CRA reviews this decision.

12 Jun 2020 - 6:21 pm

No worries Joan. We won’t bother to enter next year, it’s clearly not that important to CRA or the industry. Thanks

Calm down
12 Jun 2020 - 7:26 pm

What a bunch of narcissists. I’m rewarded by the satisfaction of doing a job I love. No one can take that away from me. If you need an award for everything, get a job in a trophy shop.

@calm down
13 Jun 2020 - 12:55 am

The entire point of the ACRAs is to recognise the great work that is done across this industry. Or at least, it’s supposed to be.

Poor decision, and poor form to come out with it two weeks before the extended deadline for entries.

All these people who have already taken pay cuts yet spent hours working on entries

And next year all the entries of those who took pay cuts and struggled to still provide the best content they could will be competing against 2019 content.

I wonder which will win: the Best sales promotion from mid-2019 with a $250k budget and a month of events, OBS and stunts, plus commensurate measurable client response and upticks in survey, or the best sales promotion from 2020 with a $25k budget and a couple of live-streams….?

Not surprised
13 Jun 2020 - 7:21 am

It’s no secret that ticket sales for industry awards nights bring in a lot of money for event organisers. It’s a shame CRA is putting profits before people, particularly when submissions have already been made. A virtual event could easily be arranged and sure, it’s not the same as in person.. but it would still allow for the recognition people deserve – especially during such a difficult year.

You're out of touch
13 Jun 2020 - 3:20 pm

Just because it’s harder doesn’t mean our work deserves no recognition for 24 months.

Again CRA demonstrate they are out of touch with everyone immediately below the C-suite.

Judge, announce and send out the award. We don’t need a bender to go along with it.

Kath Byrne McIntyre Davidson
14 Jun 2020 - 2:13 pm

How does it get cancelled.. Can the awards not just be posted on their web page? Does it have to be done in person?

Don't be lazy CRA!
15 Jun 2020 - 8:59 am

Come on guys, we as an industry can do better than this. Judging should still occur, why wouldn’t it? CRA, you are really under- estimating this industry if you think this is acceptable. It looks lazy, and like it’s been tossed in the too hard basket. How can you just throw a year away? You can’t just hit ‘skip’ like it’s a track you don’t want to hear… otherwise can we please skip 2020 instead?

Please re-consider CRA, please continue to have the judging proceed!
Or at least get the people’s opinion, take a poll!

Proceed with the Judging CRA
15 Jun 2020 - 10:43 am

Sorry, what’s the justification for not continuing with the judging? I understand not proceeding with the award ceremony, but not to completely wipe out the awards. I can’t understand that! It’s not good enough and from an industry perspective, it’s frankly just embarrassing. I agree with @dontbelazycra! – CRA please reconsider and continue with the judging, announce the winners online and post out the awards. Find a way in these tough times, adjust and make it work – just like we have all had to do.

Just do the judging!
15 Jun 2020 - 11:39 am

Proceed with the judging indeed. Why wouldn’t you CRA? The industry deserves a better explanation than the one given. Just do the judging! Binning a year because it’s too hard, makes this 30+ year industry accolade a joke. If the entire industry adopted this attitude “it’s all too hard”, we’d be in strife. CRA we look to you to set the industry tone, you are letting us down. You need to step up.. do the judging!

15 Jun 2020 - 11:58 am

Really disappointing decision CRA. Arguably now more than ever, shouldn’t we be recognising & celebrating the ‘hard work and resilience’ within our industry?

“A move to celebrating the 32nd ACRAs in 2021 will allow (radio teams) focus to remain where it’s needed” – we’ve already done the work Joan; and the entry submissions have been compiled – it’s not taking away from our focus.
“A virtual event, she added, would not have done the awards justice” – how about some justice in recognition for the efforts of the industry!

CRA, please reconsider your decision and restore our faith in the industry body & this industry event as something more than just a cash grab opportunity.

We need a better explanation
15 Jun 2020 - 12:28 pm

Short-sighted decision which undermines the merit or the entire event. We all know it’s a money making venture but the entire industry subscribes to this being the pinnacle of best practice in radio.

People forge careers from Acra wins, teams set Acras as a goal to drive their performance through the year, Regional announcers get on the metro market radar from Acra wins.

To suggest that a win in 2020 will be mired by COVID is stupid and ill-advised as all the submission and criteria pre-dates COVID. The submissions have all been completed as per the original cut-off date.

Every radio network CEO will be scratching their head next year when their staff decide to not bother with submitting an entry (often using their own discretionary time and resources to do so).

Nice work CRA – Radio looks like the weak kid who gives up when it all gets too hard …. the people who’ve supported this event through good and bad times don’t thank you for it.

G Kellson
15 Jun 2020 - 12:38 pm

Save your champagne and pingas for another year.

Revenue raiser
15 Jun 2020 - 6:38 pm

We have literally spent the last four months convincing brands that radio can help you connect with people while they sit in their homes.

Now it’s too hard for us to do? Great look.


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