ACRAs Finalists Fever – #2

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 ACRAs.

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

The ACRAs Finalists Fever – counting down the days to the big event on October 10 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us here.

Today we feature, Jon Vertigan, , Daniel Brewer and Chris Beckhouse.    Let’s Roll Out the Red Carpet….


The Morning Rush – Jon Vertigan & Maria Foundas, Mondo Rock – Chemistry 33 1/3, Raising the Rugrats Cup – ACE Radio Broadcasters C 


What’s your story Jon…

I’ve been in the game since 1992, working at 3SH Swan Hill, 3WM Horsham, 3SR Shepparton, 3TR Traralgon, Mix 101.1 Melbourne, Mix 106.5 Sydney, and 3YB Warrnambool where I’ve been for the past 11 years. 


Tell us about your Entry…

I am lucky enough to be finalist in four categories this year.

Best On Air Team and Best Networked Program for ‘The Morning Rush’ breakfast show which I do with my co-host Maria Foundas. It airs on 5 of our ACE Radio Western Victorian stations. I have a lot of fun with Maria and we also put a stack of work into tailoring local breaks for each of our markets the play out in between the ‘networked’ show, ensuring that localism is still strong during the most important daypart of all. 


Best Station Produced Comedy Segment for a mock race call I did called ‘Raising the Rugrats Cup’. I aired it on Melbourne Cup day last year, and the horse names resemble a typical night at my house and how we deal with the kids. Except I don’t literally tell them to ‘go the f*&k to sleep’, although I do think it. 



Best Music Special for an hour I did with Ross Wilson and Eric Mc Cusker from Mondo Rock, when they re-formed the band last year for a series of concerts and special album to celebrate 33 years since Mondo Rock’s ‘Chemistry’ album. These guys were brilliant to talk to, and it really was fascinating hearing the stories behind the music that was such an integral part of my childhood. 



One in Four chance here… Your speech, if you were able to make one…

If I could make a speech, I guess I would thank my family for providing a lot of on air fodder for me! I would also thank my dad, who spent over 53 years in radio himself, so I never really stood a chance, and the ACE Radio team. Mark Taylor, Peter Headen, Stephen Everett and Rowly Paterson who have all been incredibly supportive of me and my career. Richard ‘Kewy’ Kew our producer and 3rd member of our brekky show would also get a big thanks for all of the work he puts in



Daniel Brewer; Easy Mix 1467 AM, Mildura, Grant Broadcasters C 


How did you wind up in radio…

My background started in community radio back about 2002 in Geelong with The Pulse, I was unemployed real angry with life and found it hard to get a job, I had two options with work for the doll, plant trees or do certificate 2 in Community radio broadcasting, so I tried my luck at radio and did the course for 6 months – 2 days a week, I was asked to stay on as a volunteer in which I panelled shows, live shifts and everything that needed to be done within a community radio.

I did a short period of time with Radio 97 in Tweed Heads before moving to Sydney to take advantage of a different career path – working in recruitment but still had the passion for radio, after a lenthy period out of “the game” I approached Arthur Stevens from Air News to dabble in sports reports, he offered me a chance to do weekend sports reports before doing weekday breakfast sports reports.

I applied for several jobs through the industry to constant rejections before being given a chance with Easymix 1467AM in Mildura and Grant Broadcasters, so packed up my young family and moved to Mildura and been here ever since.


Tell us about your Entry…

My entry is for Best direct sales person – Country, I put in the application with no expectations as everyone does a great job in a very tough environment, asking businesses to place faith in you and your product is one of the most hardest parts of the job but very rewarding.

I was totally shocked when I was named as a finalist as I do sales as well as an on air component of my job so juggling the two can be a struggle but rewarding at the end of the day.

Best part of Sales…

Being able to help clients achieve revenue through a very tough and competitive environment from convincing through belief in the product, seeing the clients happy with everything that we do.

What are your key achievements over the past 12 months?…

Increasing station revenue, ability to place faith in clients to advertise on our radio station, believing in the product and delivering that to potential and prospective clients.

Your Speech to the crowd…

To thank my family for the sacrifice that they made moving away from their families, along with Grant Broadcasters in giving a guy a chance in a very tough yet rewarding environment.



Chris Beckhouse; Triple M, Sydney, Southern Cross Austereo M 


What’s your story in radio Chris…

It’s been a long road to winning my first ACRA and so many Content Directors! I’ve lost count! Started in Lismore at ZZZ FM in ‘98, then B105 which I was always very grateful – Perth, Fox in Melbourne, back to B105 and Triple M, Sydney. That covers about 17 years!

Your entry to get a spot…

It’s so quick, I can’t even tell you! You only have enough time to showcase a few on air breaks… the struggle is getting the attention of the judges. Glad I did, this time.

The moment and the speech you don’t get to do…

I’d thank Mum and Dad first up – they have done a lot of travelling for me and never have discouraged the radio career. I’ll always owe them. Also, Jamie my CD – we’ve worked together for a long time and I’m always grateful for his support. Also, sports betting…. You’ve kept me in a job. And, Foo Fighters. 



Are You an ACRAs Finalist?

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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