Commercial Radio conference and rAWARDS | radioinfo

Commercial Radio conference and rAWARDS

Wednesday 30 October, 2002

The rAWARDS evening rounded off a big weekend for the commercial radio industry with a presentation and dinner attended by key industry people.

The Awards presentation evening, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, was attended by more than 800 people and featured presentations by Olivia Newton John (pictured below) and performances from Australian acts George, Motor Ace, Disco Montego (pictured below), David Franj, Selwyn, and Shakaya as well as Brooke McClymont.

At the dinner following the rAWARDS presentation, Paul Thompson and Bob Rogers (pictured) were inducted into radio’s Hall of Fame and past winners of similar awards were also inducted.

Bob Rogers’ experience has encompassed music radio and talkback in some of Australia’s most competitive markets in a career spanning over 60 years. "He is the doyen of Australian commercial broadcasters having begun his career in Brisbane and worked at 2UE, 2CH and 2SM. He almost became a legend himself after touring Australia and Asia with the Beatles in the 1960’s and was referred to as the “fifth Beatle.” Today Bob hosts 9am -12 noon on Sydney’s 2CH and also “Reminiscing” on Saturday night."

Paul Thompson has launched, acquired, developed and managed broadcasting stations and networks throughout Australia in a career spanning 37 years. "He is responsible for building two distinct national radio broadcasting networks from inception. He was the founding CEO of the Austereo Group, which he guided for 15 years. In 1996, DMG Radio Australia was launched with Paul as CEO. The company now has a portfolio of 64 stations or licenses in five Australian states."



Dan Bradley, Jason Matthews and Ryan Rathbone were awarded Best Program Director in their categories. Other highlights include:

Best Music Director Metro - Dan 'Westo' Bessant - Nova 96.9

Best Station Promotion Metro - Nova 96.9FM – Nova 96.9 FM – “Cunning Stunts”

Best Promotions Director Metro - Samantha Thompson – Fox FM – “Samantha Thompson”

Best Promotions Director Provincial -
Rachael Poeppmann – 92.5 Gold FM (Gold Coast)

Best Music Personality Metro - Jonesy – Triple M

Best Music Personality Provincial - Greg Robson – 1053 2CA – “Breakfast with Robbo”

Best Music Personality Country - Jason McLean – Eagle FM

Best Talk Personality Metro - Alan Jones – 2GB

Best Syndicated Program - Triffique Productions – Triffique Productions – “How Green Was My Cactus”

Best On Air Team Metro - Hughsey, Kate & Dave – Nova 100

Best On Air Team Provincial - Wave FM’s Big Breakfast – Phebe Irwin & Dave Gore – Wave FM – “Oh Mr Harvey”

Best Achievement in Production Metro - Side Show Michael Andersen – Triple M Network

Best Documentary - Stephen Molchanoff – Radio 2UE – “September 11 – The Day That Shocked The World”

Best Current Affairs Commentator - Neil Mitchell – 3AW

Best News Presenter Metro - Glenn Daniel – WS FM

Best News Presenter Provincial - Tamra Mercieca – FM 104.7 Canberra

Best Newcomer On Air Metro - Lizzy Lovette – 104.1 2DAY FM

Brian White Memorial Award - Paul Murray - Nova96.9

A full list of winners is available by clicking the ‘Radio Awards’ margin tab on this site.



Commercial Radio Australia’s annual conference was also hailed as a success by those who attended, although the speakers were controversial and outspoken about some radio content. The conference mixed serious content with personality speakers and entertaining events.

In the morning Bob Geldof (pictured) and G Gordon Liddy were part of the program, along with speakers about music, marketing and audience research. The combination of personalities and industry experts seemed to go down well with the audience, who also attended a charity luncheon in the afternoon and a function in the evening which introduced new music artists.

First speaker for the day was Bob Geldof who talked about his passion for radio and the way it can connect with local communities. He criticised bland music stations that "play drivel," saying "you've got world class material here and yet your radio does not play it."

Radio “binds the community together” according to Geldof, who loves radio and has business interests in the UK radio industry. He also said radio in the UK had “lost its passion." Later, at the charity lunch, Geldof commented on the Bali bombing, saying the bombers “represent no-one except pure evil.”

“This has nothing to do with religion or people, it has to do with evil... It is an assault on your values... I’m Irish, I understand that,” said Geldof .

At the luncheon,hosted by 3AW's Neill Mitchell (pictured) G Gordon Liddy also commented on terrorism, saying the US would hunt down and kill those responsible for the World Trade Centre terrorism. Analysing the approach the US would take he concluded that there would be no followup attack on Saddam Hussein before the northern hemisphere winter months of January or February. One industry commentator remarked "Liddy makes Alan Jones seem as low key as Angela Catterns!"

Disagreeing with Liddy’s approach Geldof said: “Australians are dealing with this [Bali] differently from the US. In America the media has whipped this up into a frenzy – you Australians handle things differently."

He urged the media not to “confuse your role, you must articulate the community sentiment and allow people to think about what has happened, then formulate a measured response,” he said.

Consultant Walter Sabo from New York gave the morning conference audience food for thought in his analysis of how stations should reinforce their radio brand to aid memory of the radio station. He also praised Australian radio, saying he had heard more innovative radio in Australia during three days than he had heard in America over the last three years.

“Radio has boxes all over the house, even in the bathroom,” Sabo said, comparing radio with other media which sell their penetration rates by the number of subscribers. “Compare that with the U.S.A 50% penetration rate of pay TV. Radio has a 98% penetration rate... TV people sell their ads based on penetration rates. Radio has such a high penetration rate that if we sell it too cheaply we are undervaluing it,” said Sabo.

In various exercises Sabo illustrated the way the human mind recalls information and linked it with the way radio stations should reinforce their brand. “Things get attached to what you already know,” according to Sabo, “so radio stations should include the word ‘RADIO’ in all their branding. Without the word radio it is hard for people to attach the name of the station to something they know.”

MIX is a brand of cake mix, Magic has another connotation, in the U.S.A. ‘Z 100’ is more well known as a brand of car not a radio station. Sabo urged stations to mention the word ‘radio’ in their advertising to help listeners link the radio station’s brand with something they know, not to confuse it with some other product that also may use the same name.

He also suggested linking the brand name with essential elements which people remember such as survival (weather info for example) and sex (passionate words). All messages need to be consistent and to be repeated regularly by people who are like those in the target audience said Sabo. He presented research which showed recall of the Triple M brand name was the highest in eastern states radio markets (over 90%) and that Nova’s product recall (ie. identifying it as a radio stations) was 54%.

There are three steps to implanting something in someone’s memory according to Sabo – Identifying ‘What is it’ then asking ‘what of it’ then storing the information IF there is “something positive in it for me.”

In the brand recall research, conducted by ACNeilsen, other results showed recall of the various State Premier’s names at 90%, recall of Cathy Freeman’s sport at 45% and recall of stations as follows: Gold FM at 84%, NEW 97.3 at 75%, Mix 106.5 at 86%, Magic 693 at 64% and Triple M at 93%.

The important lesson about the information from the survey according to Sabo is that many people do not even know that your brand is for a radio station, so that you cannot do any more in-depth research until you solve that problem.

Following Sabo, there was a session on the latest developments in Audience Research. Both ACNielsen and Arbitron made presentations.

Nielsen’s presentation, by Peter Cornelius, Mark Neely and Manuel Daelher (from Switzerland) demonstrated the Nielsen watch meter which is currently being used in Switzerland. The meters were placed with various people and during the demonstration information was downloaded into the system then added to the data base on the screen. The demonstration showed the system working live.

Arbitron’s presentation also reinformed the effectiveness of people meters for audience measurement, comparing People Meter data with Diary data and concluding that the PPM data could show trends more quickly and effectively than diaries.

Arbitron’s John Snyder showed that the PPMs can answer questions such as ‘Do ticket giveaways work?’ and ‘Do seasonal fluctuations affect listening?’ The clear answer to both of those questions after presentation of the data is ‘yes.’ Snyder concluded that diary data suffers from a lag effect, which is not useful in giving information about many important elements of programming.

Following the Audience Measurement session Sony Music CEO Denis Handlin spoke about the synergies between the music industry and the radio industry. He urged radio people to get more in touch with record companies and look for new ways of building audiences and profit together. During the evening event this was put into action when the cocktail function showcased six new bands as part of the AMDI (Australian Music Development Initiative) event.

The day's activities were supplemented by the AFTRS Copywriting Course and various network meetings and functions, which were all well received by radio people in attendance.

Photos thanks to Commercial Radio Australia.

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