ACRAs Finalists Fever – #6

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 Murray Jones, Carl Step and Dave Drinkell  Let’s Roll Out the Red Carpet….


Murray Jones; John MacKenzie’s Morning Show, 4CA, Cairns QLD, Grant Broadcasters NM

Murray.. where did you get you start..

I started in radio in Brisbane in the mid eighties at radio 4ZZZ (community radio at UQ) and took on my first job in commercial radio at 4MK in Mackay in 1986. From there I worked at 4SS on the Sunshine Coast, 3TR in Traralgon Vic, 4KQ (sales) and then to Cairns in 1991 to work at 4CA. I also worked at 4AM in Mareeba in sales and on-air. In this my third stint at 4CA (after spending 5 years working as a lawyer) I have been the Senior Producer for John MacKenzie since August 2014. 

You’re up for Best Show Producer.. and you’re working with the The Voice of the North John MacKenzie… how’s that work.

Despite being like ‘Chalk and Cheese’, John and I have managed to establish a really good working relationship. Maybe it is because I have a highly inappropriate joke for him most days when he finishes on-air! Having spent many years on-air myself also assists me in being able to deliver for John when things get hectic on-air. Being able to second guess John’s next move (most times) also helps us to work together to keep the show pumping along on a daily basis. 

You get the ACRA, what’s your speech..

Would thank my family for their support and putting up with me ‘going to bed with the chooks’ and then waking up the household before going to work at 4:45 am each morning.



Westspecs – Matt Dickson & Carl Step, Mix 94.5, Perth WA, Southern Cross Austereo M

Carl… how long have you been producing for..

I’ve been in radio for 14 years and have had various imaging and commercial production roles. This is my 10th year at Southern Cross Austereo Perth as Senior Commercial Producer. 

Tell us about your ACRAs Entries…

Westspecs – fabulous concept and straight up nowhere to hide cold delivery. It’s all about the timing.

Melville Mazda – unscripted vox pops with deer in the headlights non-radio types. Awkward honest responses a plenty.

The Big Moment… go..

I’m very fortunate to be working with such a creative crew. They = awesome.



Dave Drinkell; 3YB, Warrnambool VIC, ACE Radio Broadcasters C

Dave.. where did it all begin for you..

I’ve had radio in my blood ever since I was a kid. I started at 5GTR-FM (a community radio station in Mount Gambier, SA) when I was 13. I landed my first commercial radio gig at 3HA Hamilton in 1998. I ended up staying there for 9 years before I made the move to 3YB/Coast FM Warrnambool in 2007. So I guess you’d say I was a company man, having now worked for Ace Radio for 17 years!

Congrats om being up for Best CD Country… how does it feel..

I’m genuinely rapt to receive a nomination for Best PD (Country). I work with a great bunch of people who all contribute to to making 3YB and Coast FM what it is. Xtra Research conducted a market survey in March of this year, returning excellent results for us, which shows just how relevant localism is to our listeners in an ever changing environment.


Here’s your moment… the speech.. let rip

I’d be in shock! It’s been 15 years since I last won an ACRA…they were still called the rAWARDS back when I last saluted! Whilst this award is for the Best Program Director, in reality I couldn’t have won it without the people I work with that all contribute to the end product. Our March 2015 survey results were excellent and collectively as an on air team, we received no less than 8 nominations for this years ACRA’s, so I couldn’t be more proud of our station and our achievements. I also want to thank Ace Radio…they’re a brilliant company to work for. I love this industry, and in the words of the 3YB/Coast FM general manager, Peter Headen: “Let’s go f***** mad!!”


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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