The finalists in the 27th annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) have been announced with the hotly contested Best On Air Team FM (Metro) finalists including last year’s winners, Jonesy and Amanda (Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller, WSFM, Syd, ARN) (2012, 2014) going up against four-time winners (2007, 2006, 2011, 2013) Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson, (The Kyle and Jackie O Show, KIIS 1065, Syd, ARN).
Also competing for the title are Fifi and Dave (Fifi Box and Dave Thornton Hit 101.9 FOX FM Melb); Fitzy and Wippa (Ryan Fitzgerald and Michael Wipfli Nova 96.9 Syd,); Kate, Tim & Marty (Kate Ritchie, Tim Blackwell & Marty Sheargold, Nova Network, Nova Entertainment); and Triple M’s Hot Breakfast (Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy & Mick Molloy, Triple M, Melb, SCA).
The Metropolitan Best On-Air Team AM title will be a contest between last year’s three-time winners 3AW Breakfast (Ross Stevenson & John Burns, 3AW, Melb, Macquarie Radio Network) against 3AW Nightline/Remember When (Bruce Mansfield & Phillip Brady, 3AW, Melb, MRN ); John Stanley and Garry Linnell (2UE, Syd, MRN); Steve Price and Andrew Bolt (2GB Syd, MRN) and Fiveaa Breakfast (David Penberthy, Mark Aiston & Jane Reilly, 5AA, Adel, Nova Entertainment).
Finalists in both the Best Current Affairs Presenter and Best Talk Presenter categories include: multiple ACRA winner and winner of last year’s Best Current Affairs presenter Neil Mitchell (3AW, Melb, MRN), last year’s winner of Best Talk presenter Ben Fordham (2GB, Syd, MRN); and Tom Elliot (3AW Melb, MRN).
Other major award categories include: Best News Presenter FM & AM, Best Sports Presenter and Best Music/Entertainment Presenter.
This year’s metro finalists for Best Newcomer On-Air include Garry Linnell (2UE, Syd, MRN), Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom (Mix 102.3 Adel, ARN), Tim Wong-See (Nova Network Syd), Paul Gallen (Triple M, Syd, SCA) and Jennifer Hansen (smoothfm, Melb, Nova Entertainment).
A highlight of the ACRAs is the announcement of the Hall of Fame inductee, acknowledging a lifelong commitment to and achievement in the Australian radio industry. Past Hall of Fame inductees include John Laws, Bob Rogers, Neil Mitchell, Frank Hyde, John Brennan, Paul Thompson, Janet Cameron, Graham Mott and last year’s inductee, Peter Harvie.
Entries were received from 260 metropolitan and regional radio stations across Australia. Stations outside the metropolitan areas are well represented at the ACRAs with more than 200 finalists from country and provincial stations. The gala black-tie event has grown in stature and rotates between a different city each year. This year the ACRAs will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday,10 October and will start at the earlier time of 6.00 pm (red carpet 5.00 pm).
Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said; “The ACRAs are a much anticipated event within a highly competitive radio industry. The depth of talent each year across all areas of radio in Australia makes the job of the peer and industry judging panel very difficult.”
Organised by Commercial Radio Australia on behalf of the radio industry, the national Awards cover 33 categories. Winners are announced in each category across three areas: metropolitan, provincial and country commercial radio stations, and encompass all areas of commercial radio broadcasting including news, talk, sport, music and entertainment. The ACRAs differ from television’s Logie Awards in that they are peer judged by industry members.