The finalists in the 28th annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) were announced today with the hotly contested Best On Air Team FM (Metro) finalists including five-time winners Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson, (The Kyle and Jackie O Show, KIIS 1065, Sydney) up against three-time winners Hamish Blake and Andy Lee (The Hamish & Andy Show, SCA Hit Network).
Also competing for the title are Jonesy and Amanda (Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller, WSFM, Sydney) (winners in 2012 and 2014); Kate, Tim & Marty (Kate Ritchie, Tim Blackwell & Marty Sheargold, Nova Network, Sydney); Fifi & Dave (Fifi Box & Dave Thornton, Fox FM, Melbourne); and Chrissie, Sam & Browny (Chrissie Swan, Sam Pang & Jonathan Brown, Nova 100, Melbourne).
Kyle and Jackie O won the award in 2006, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015, while Hamish and Andy won from 2008 to 2010.
The Metropolitan Best On-Air Team AM title will be a contest between four-time winners 3AW Breakfast (Ross Stevenson & John Burns, 3AW, Melb); 3AW Nightline/Remember When (Bruce Mansfield & Phillip Brady, 3AW, Melb); The Big Sports Breakfast with Slats & TK (Michael Slater & Terry Kennedy, Sky Sports Radio, Sydney); Breakfast with Steve Mills & Basil Zempilas (6PR, Perth); and Nights with Steve Price (Steve Price & Andrew Bolt, 2GB, Sydney).
3AW’s Neil Mitchell is a finalist for Best Current Affairs Presenter, which he has won four years running, against Tom Elliott from 3AW; Leon Byner from FIVEaa; Chris Smith from 2GB and Ben Fordham from 2GB. Mitchell is also competing for the Best Talk Presenter award against Chris Smith, Steve Price, Ben Fordham and Jeremy Cordeaux from FIVEaa.
Other major award categories include: Best News Presenter FM & AM, Best Sports Presenter and Best Music/Entertainment Presenter, which sees smoothfm weekend breakfast host Melissa Doyle (smoothfm, Nova Entertainment, Sydney) a finalist up against fellow Nova presenters Tim Blackwell and Kent (Smallzy) Small, plus Gordie Waters (KIIS 1065 Sydney), Chris Beckhouse (Triple M, Sydney) and Dave Williams (Triple M, Melbourne).
This year’s metro finalists for Best Newcomer On-Air include Olympic Gold medallist Susie O’Neill (Nova 106.9, Bris); Sam Pang (Nova 100, Melb); Sarah Faour (Triple M 105.1, Melb); former Home and Away actor Jason “Finn” Smith (Nova Network); and Julian King (2GB, Syd).
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. This year the gala black-tie event will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday, 8 October and will start at 6.00 pm (red carpet 5.00 pm).
Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said: “Congratulations to all the finalists on the recognition of their work. Live radio is one of the most demanding mediums to work in and takes high level commitment to creating programs that are compelling, revealing and entertaining, day in, day out. The Radio Awards are a night for everyone to come together to celebrate the best in the industry.”
Organised by Commercial Radio Australia, 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. The ACRAs follow the National Radio Conference, which will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 7 October.
A complete list of the 2016 ACRAs finalists is here