ACRAs Finalists Fever – #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 ACRAs. Today we feature, Sophie Ainsworth and Cei Saunders.  Let’s Roll Out the Red Carpet.

The ACRAs Finalists Fever – counting down the days to the big event on October 8 by profiling the finalists across all categories. You can get involved by emailing us [email protected] 


Ed Sheeran Takes Over Nova;Tim Blackwell & Sophie Ainsworth, Nova Network, NOVA Entertainment M 

Where did it all start.

I began radio with Nova in 2012 as a Client Implementation Executive within the Sydney Agency Sales Team, which then lead to a leadership position 18 months later. During this time I assisted the Programming Team on weekends producing Nova’s Fresh 40 and working on the concept and delivery of Confidential on Nova. In 2015 I moved across as a permanent fixture to the Programming Team as Show Producer for Confidential on Nova, Nova’s Fresh 40, Special Projects and assisting the Fitzy & Wippa Breakfast Show. In 2016 I added Network Operations to my Producing role.


Tell us about your entry…

Best Music Special for ‘Ed Sheeran Takes over Nova’. In November 2015, Tim Blackwell sat down with Ed Sheeran backstage at Suncorp Stadium before he kicked off his first Australian Concert. The intimate chat between the pair was split into five, one hour specials that ran nationally each night at 6pm during the Multiply Tour. The series of interviews were intimate, real and insightful as Sheeran exposed a number of personal stories never heard before, including the news regarding his ruptured eardrum which happened on a yacht during a boys trip in 2014. This was the first time Sheeran had revealed this to the media which meant after airing, the news was picked up worldwide. The five part series received numerous accolades inside and out of the Nova family and when Nigerian Entertainment Today ran the story it showed just how far the special had spread.d.

Your speech, if you were able to make one…

Thanks to Ed Sheeran for delivering open, honest content. To Tim Blackwell for asking the right questions which helped prompt Sheeran to deliver, and to Daniel Pearson who added the production cherry on top.



Cei Saunders;Snow FM, Jindabyne NSW, Capital Radio Network C 

Your Career so far…

Started doing radio from my bedroom at 14 until I finished high school. I then went and studied Screen and Media at Petersham TAFE and then completed the AFTRS flag ship course last year. I’ve been working at Snow FM/2XL since December last year and I’m loving every second of it!

Best part of your job…

Working with an awesome team, playing da best tunes around, meeting awesome people and talking to the interesting characters that call up the station.

Tell Us About Your Entry…

In my entry for ‘Best Newcomer’ on air I had 4 breaks which covered the main points every workday jock should show case; personality, music passion, localism and caller interaction. I feel like these are the bread and butter for any workday jock. With all that in mind I tried to make sure my whacky personality was reflected in every second of the entry as I believe it makes me stand out.

Your speech… let rip.

I’d like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me over the years from Family, Friends, School, TAFE and Uni. I’d also like to thank Andrew Dunkerley for hiring me into my first job in radio… I don’t think he knew he was hiring a crazy pommy kid haha.



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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