ACRAs 2018: Lee Simon inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame

Staff Writer

Radio royalty. An icon of the industry. The ‘Godfather of Rock’.

These are just some of the ways to describe Triple M’s Lee Simon, and now we can add Radio Hall of Famer to the list.

This evening at the 2018 ACRAs the living legend was recognised for his contribution to radio over the best part of half a century as he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame, following Radio Today recent prediction.

Simon, who brought football to FM radio, took the stage in front of more than 1,000 industry peers, to receive the accolade.

Having started out at 3AW in 1971, Lee would go on to make a name for himself as a high-rating jock on 3XY.

One of his most significant achievements came as the founding program director of Australia’s first FM station EON FM (later Triple M).

He was also a key player in forging the careers of the likes of the D-Generation, Richard StubbsJennifer KeyteBrigitte DuclosBrian Taylor and a young Eddie McGuire.

Lee made waves as a presenter as well, bringing interviews with the likes of Bruce SpringsteenThe Rolling StonesLou Reed and Led Zeppelin, as well as countless Australian rock acts to Triple M listeners.

“Lee Simon is considered radio royalty. We’re delighted to recognise the tremendous contribution he’s made to music and sports broadcasting in this country and his impact on the development of FM radio,” said CRA chief executive Joan Warner.

Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes was one of many to pay tribute to Simon, calling him  “one of those guys who could see the big picture, who knew what was great and what we should all be listening to”.

Southern Cross Austereo chief executive Grant Blackley was another to thank Lee for his contribution over the years.

“Lee has enjoyed a magnificent radio career and those who have worked with him would know of his incredible passion for our business.  Lee has led with big picture vision and entertained and mentored so many individuals throughout his career.  The industry is indebted to Lee not only for what he has achieved but importantly the manner with which he has engaged with our stakeholders with absolute professionalism.  Mate, congratulations on a stellar career and thank you for all you’ve done for our industry.”

After receiving the accolade, Lee reflected on his storied career.

It’s been a fabulous journey,” he said. “I am truly fortunate and honoured to have been given the opportunity to work alongside radio’s greats and future greats and to play a role in an industry I still love as passionately as I did on day one, five decades ago.”

After his speech, Lee also spoke with Radio Today about his induction, and touched on the strength of radio in Australia right now.

Lee’s induction comes a year after the double-induction of WSFM’s Amanda Keller and 2GB’s Ray Hadley in 2017.

NOVA Entertainment chief executive officer Cathy O’Connor was inducted in 2016, and other previous inductees have included Jeremy Cordeaux, Peter Harvie, Kevin Blyton, Graham Mott, Tony Pilkington, Derryn Hinch, Neil Mitchell, John Laws, Bob Rogers, Janet Cameron, Gary O’Callaghan, Paul Thompson, Bob Francis, Rod Muir, and the late Frank Hyde.

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