Radio Today launches the audio industry’s first 30 Under 30 Awards

Staff Writer

The next generation of radio talent and behind-the-scenes superstars are set to be celebrated at Radio Today’s inaugural 30 Under 30 Awards.

The 30 Under 30 Awards will recognise radio’s rising stars across sales, on-air, programming, marketing, music, content, news, podcasting, digital and campaigns.

Entries will open on September 28, and close on October 12. To keep updated with the awards, join the Radio Today newsletter and Facebook Event.

The shortlist will be revealed in November, ahead of the virtual event on Thursday November 26, when winners will be announced.

Three winners from each category will be chosen by Radio Today’s all-star judging panel, while the wider industry will also have its say via the Reader’s Choice poll.

The initiative is supported by ARN, Nine, SCA, NOVA, ACE Radio and Sony Music.

Radio Today editor Vivienne Kelly said despite everything that’s happened this year – event and awards cancellations, job losses, economic uncertainty, and a tough ad market – it’s the perfect time to recognise the industry’s younger talent and all they’ve achieved so far.

“It’s been a tough 12 months for radio, particularly those trying to start out and build a career amidst a pandemic, a recession and a brutal advertising market, but there’s still plenty of up-and-coming talent who have pushed through and are worthy of celebrating,” she said.

“The 30 Under 30 Awards gives everyone in the industry – young and old – something to look forward to, as we come together to recognise the best emerging talent and all they have created.”

Those who have lost their job in recent months due to cutbacks are still eligible to enter.

Check back next Monday, when entries open, for further eligibility and category criteria.

Radio Today 30 Under 30 Awards | 2020 Categories:

1. Sales
2. On-Air
3. Programming & Content
4. Marketing
5. Music
6. Production
7. News
8. Podcasting
9. Digital
10. Campaigns

Radio Today 30 Under 30 Awards | 2020 Sponsors:

Southern Cross Austereo
“The radio industry is the talent hub for young rising stars and always will be. Attracting and retaining young talent is what gives SCA – and the radio industry – its unique advantage, creating a high-performance, not to mention, fun and engaging, environment.

“At SCA, we have long nurtured young talent and some of our most senior executives across many different disciplines have been with the organisation since their careers began. This is testament to the enduring passion people have for radio. We create a working environment that recognises and respects individuals’ unique contributions and encourages their full potential.

“Young talent brings a wealth of skills – a fresh perspective, different and innovative thinking, adaptability and great enthusiasm that drives us to want to do more and do it better.

“It is important to recognise and celebrate the industry’s rising stars and that’s why SCA is delighted to sponsor the inaugural 30 Under 30 Awards. The sheer amount of talent in this industry is outstanding, and we wish everyone the best of luck,” Grant Blackley, CEO, Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) 

NOVA Entertainment
“It’s a pleasure to be partnering with Radio Today to recognise the next generation of up-and-coming talent. I’ve said it before, despite all the challenges of 2020, it is an exciting time in radio – events like this are proof of that.

“New leadership, and the injection of fresh ideas and energy that comes with it, is what has ensured the enviable lifespan of radio. It’s testament both to the strength of the medium and our continued relevance that we are attracting this calibre of young talent to the industry,” Peter Charlton, COO (and incoming CEO), NOVA Entertainment 

Australian Radio Network
“It’s never been more important to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the rising stars of the radio and audio industry. These are the next generation of industry leaders, innovators and creators who are dedicated to ensuring the Australian audio industry has a bright future ahead,” Ciaran Davis, CEO, Australian Radio Network (ARN) 

“Nine Radio are proud to be supporting Radio Today’s 30u30.

“Radio is a fabulous training ground for a career in media. I loved my time as a cadet at 2UE and learnt so much, very quickly. As a business we are eager to both support and celebrate the next generation or radio talent – on air and off air – through this important initiative,” Tom Malone, MD, Nine Radio  

ACE Radio 
“ACE Radio is excited to sponsor the 30 Under 30 initiative because we believe it is imperative to support and encourage the next generation of industry talent.

“At ACE, 35% of our staff are aged 30 and under. Now, more than ever, it’s important we keep this group engaged and motivated, particularly within the climate of COVID-19 which has forced the radio industry to adapt to some new and difficult circumstances.

“Ultimately, it is the younger generation of staff who will see us through this time and into the future, so we need to keep their passion and love for the industry alive. This means providing opportunities wherever possible to showcase and celebrate their talent. This is why we are proud to be involved in the 30 Under 30 initiative as it allows us to spotlight the future of our industry and why radio continues to be an integral part of the media landscape,” Mark Taylor, CEO, ACE Radio

What’s your take? Share your opinion in the comments section below. Got tip-off? Email [email protected] or message us on Facebook or Twitter

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Recent comments (10)
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Prod man
23 Sep 2020 - 12:10 pm

Love it! What about a category for audio producers that make commercials and/or imaging

    23 Sep 2020 - 5:35 pm

    Hi Prod,

    Thanks for the feedback. We’ve spoken about this today and canvassed some additional opinions on how we can recognise production.

    As a result, we’ve merged the ‘Content’ and ‘Programming’ categories, and added ‘Production’ as a separate category.

    Next week when entries open, we’ll provide more details around eligibility and category requirements.

    Vivienne – Radio Today

production guru
23 Sep 2020 - 2:43 pm

Once again the powers to be at Radio Today have missed an important category.

Production…..Did someone say that audio is the new black gold but somehow its not an important category in these radio awards.

Please dont tell us were bundled into the on-air,content or podacst categories.
Most of the time our work takes up more airtime than announcers.

Creative Production drives advertising revenue as well as crafting well thought out programming strategies.

Then again for a metro station to make one of the best image producers in Australian radio redundant nothings surprises me anymore.

Add Production as a category.

    23 Sep 2020 - 5:38 pm

    Hi PG,

    Thanks for your feedback (and passion).

    We’ve taken this on board and added ‘Production’ as a category.

    ‘Content’ and ‘Programming’ had a lot of crossover in our criteria, so we’ve brought them together in order to recognise ‘Production’ as a standalone category.

    The story has been updated to reflect this, and we’ll provide more details for would-be entrants across all categories next week.

    Vivienne – Radio Today

Grant's BFF
23 Sep 2020 - 4:15 pm

“The radio industry is the talent hub for young rising stars and always will be. Attracting and retaining young talent is what gives SCA – and the radio industry – its unique advantage”
– Grant Blackley


23 Sep 2020 - 6:26 pm

Good to see technology represented…..oh wait.

    24 Sep 2020 - 6:06 pm

    Hi Dan,

    Everyone (aged 30 and under working in radio/ audio) can apply – I’m sure those with ‘technology’ in their remit/ title span work across many of the existing categories.

    Interested applicants are encouraged to apply based on the criteria we will put out next week, and if we find they may work better in another category, we can shift their entry to give them the best chance of success.

    If someone working in tech enters the ‘wrong’ category, they won’t be disqualified. We’ll just put them in a more appropriate one.

    Viv – Radio Today

23 Sep 2020 - 6:45 pm

There are some great young engineers and techs out there, such a shame we can’t show them off here too

I don't qualify, but...
24 Sep 2020 - 9:56 am

And what about Creative/Writing?

    24 Sep 2020 - 6:02 pm

    Hi there,

    Those working in creative/ writing will qualify for the Campaigns category.

    Also, if anyone enters and they would be better placed in another category, we can shuffle them around on behalf of applicants to give everyone the best shot at winning/ showcase their skills in the most appropriate category.

    Viv – Radio Today


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