Hall of Fame

The Commercial Radio Hall of Fame recognises a lifelong commitment to the Australian radio industry.

2016 - Cathy O'Connor

One of radio’s most universally liked and respected executives, Cathy O’Connor has worked in commercial radio for 31 years.
 
Cathy entered the radio industry in 1985 and worked in sales roles at both 2SM and 2GB in Sydney. Her management career began at Austereo in 1991 where she held the roles of Agency Sales Manager, General Sales Manager and General Manager.
 
Cathy joined dmg Radio Australia (now NOVA Entertainment) as Managing Director in January 2003 and was appointed to the position of CEO on 1 October 2008.
 
Since joining NOVA Entertainment, Cathy has been involved in the completion and evolution of the national Nova network, including the launches of Nova Adelaide and Brisbane, as well as the smoothfm stations.
 
Cathy was awarded the Telstra NSW Business Women's Award for the Private Sector - over 100 Employees Category in 1996 and a Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society in Business Leadership in 2003, recognising her significant career achievements.
 
Cathy has served on the Board of Commercial Radio Australia since 2006, and held the role of Chair from 2009 to 2012. She is also a Governor of the Board of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.
 
Cathy was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 2016 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).

2015 - Jeremy Cordeaux

One of radio’s most respected and well liked on-air personalities, Jeremy Cordeaux started his career at Radio 2GB at the age of 16.

In 1973 Cordeaux took over the John Pearce Morning Show on Radio 2GB. In 1974 he was promoted to the all-important Breakfast Programme. The following thirty years saw Jeremy Cordeaux’s morning show, “The Court of Public Opinion” on Radio 5DN, always at or near the top of the ratings.

While running the very successful morning show, Cordeaux acquired a ten percent interest in 5DN and six months later was promoted to Managing Director. In 1990, Jeremy Cordeaux sold his interest in 5DN and bought radio stations 5AD and 5SE from Hoyts Media.  Four years later he set up the first ‘radio combo’, owning and running the highly successful number one FM station 5AD and the number one AM talk station 5DN, all while continuing to present his morning talk show from 9am till 1pm.

In 1996, Cordeaux sold his company to the Australian Radio Network. He remained on-air for the next ten years.

Jeremy was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 2015 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).

2014 - Peter Harvey

One of the most respected people in media and advertising, Peter Harvie has been in the industry for nearly 50 years.

Peter joined Clemenger Melbourne in 1966 as a writer quickly rising to the position of Creative Director before being appointed first Director of Clemenger Melbourne in 1969 and then Managing Director of Clemenger Harvie in 1974. Peter then went on to become Director of Clemenger Australia in 1976.
 Peter became the Managing Director of Triple M in 1993 and later chairman of the Austereo network. As Chairman of Austereo Peter successfully oversaw the merger between Austereo and Southern Cross and remains a director of Australia’s largest radio company SCA. He also remains as a director of Village Roadshow and in 2011 became the Chairman of CHE Proximity (a Clemenger company).
 
Peter has also served as a director of the Mazda Foundation and Art Exhibitions Australia, a Councillor of the Australian National Maritime Museum, and a trustee for the Commando Welfare Trust. He was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 2014 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).

 

2013 - Kevin Blyton

One of the most unassuming yet experienced and influential owners and operators in the industry, Kevin Blyton has been in the radio industry for over 35 years. Kevin began his career at the age of 17 as an announcer at 2XL in Cooma and two years later bought the station. He went on to buy and sell stations across NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT, Western Australia and Queenstown, New Zealand and was one of the pioneers of the FM band in regional Australia in the early 90’s with Newcastle’s X107FM

Kevin launched Eagle FM & Snow FM in the late 90's then expanded his interests, with the purchase of Snowy Mountains’ Theatres, Snowy Mountains Airport and Charlotte Pass Ski Resort and the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel.

Kevin served on the Commercial Radio Australia Board since 1999 and during that time chaired both the Regional Committee and the Digital Technical Advisory Committee. Kevin has been a strong and respected voice for regional radio and an advocate of the rights of regional broadcasters to a digital broadcast future. He was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 2013 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).

The Hall of Fame recipients are nominated by industry peers and are selected by a high level judging committee. Previous inductees include Graham Mott, Tony Pilkington, Derryn Hinch, John Laws, Bob Rogers, Gary O’Callaghan, Paul Thompson, Bob Francis, Rod Muir and the late Frank Hyde.

2012 - Graham Mott

One of radio’s most respected and well-liked executives, Graham Mott, worked in the radio industry for more than forty years and held the position of General Manager of Fairfax Radio Network before retiring in 2011.

Graham began his radio career as a talk radio panel operator at 2GB in 1969. He went on to hold many positions at talk and music stations during his career including Program Producer, Production Manager, Operations Manager, Music Director, Program Director and General Manager. He worked at a variety of radio stations including 2GB, 2UE, 2SM, 2UW, 2WS, 3MP and 3AW.

Graham is acknowledged as one of the most professional and inspiring commercial radio executives to work in the industry over the past few decades. He was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame at the 2012 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs).

2011 - Tony Pilkington

One of radio’s enduring and much loved Aussie characters, Tony Pilkington better known as ‘Pilko’, has worked in commercial radio for nearly a half a century.

Best known for his part in the iconic on-air team, Bazz & Pilko, Tony commenced his radio career in 1962 at 3YB Warrnambool. In 1969 he moved to 5AD in Adelaide where he met Barry Ion (Baz), who would go on to become his top rating on-air partner for 23 years.

The “ Bazz & Pilko” show became one of the most successful in Australia, relocating to Sydney radio 2UW (now MIX) in 1985 until 1993. After more than two decades together across several radio stations in two states, they aired their final show in 1997 on FIVEaa.

Pilko remained with 5AA and formed a decade long partnership with Keith Conlon. Together they had an unrivalled run of 45 consecutive number one ratings over their last five years together. Pilko presented the breakfast show at FIVEaa until his retirement in 2010 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

2010 - Derryn Hinch

Derryn Hinch, one of Australia’s most renowned broadcasters, now known as the Human Headline, began his career as a journalist in 1959 and has spent much of his time on radio with Melbourne’s 3AW.

He has had a successful career in television, including host of his own show, Hinch and also in newspapers, both as an editor and foreign correspondent. Derryn has worked in radio in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. In 1996, he was on-air at 2GB and also broadcast daily editorials for Melbourne’s Gold FM and 4KQ Queensland in 1997.

In 1998 he presented the 5DN breakfast program before launching HinchWebRadio on the internet. In 2000, he presented Nightline on 3AW, and then joined 3AK in 2001 before returning to 3AW in 2003.

Derryn has written three autobiographies: That’s life; The Rise and Fall of Derryn Hinch – how I hit the wall and didn’t bleed and a third called, Human Headlines. After 50 years in journalism, Derryn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
 

2009 - Des DeCean

Des DeCean is one of Australia’s most qualified and respected engineers in Australia. He has been instrumental in the introduction and launch of Digital Radio in Australia. In 1980, Des was the very first employee of Austereo when commercial FM radio was first launched in Australia.

As chief engineer Des built SA FM in Adelaide into one of Australia’s first FM stations. He was a member of the Acquisition Team when Austereo acquired Fox, B105, 2DAY FM and the Triple M network. With the merger of the Triple M and Austereo networks, Des project managed the simultaneous relocation of Triple M Adelaide, Triple M  Melbourne and 2DAY FM Sydney.

In 1984, he introduced the first use of CD’s on air in Australia and became heavily involved with audio broadcasting after he discovered its development in Europe.

In 1988, Des was appointed to the first Ministerial Committee on Digital Radio as the representative for Commercial Radio Australia. Des was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
 

2007 - Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell, one of Australia’s most experienced and well respected journalists, is a commercial radio icon. After working at Melbourne’s The Age newspaper as a report, columnist, news executive and for four years as sports editor, Neil joined 3AW Melbourne in 1987 to host the  drive program.

In 1990 Neil moved to host the morning program, a timeslot which he has dominated in the ratings for the past 17 years. Regularly talking with the Prime Minister, State Premiers, other Politicians and prominent news-makers, Neils penchant and skill of remaining in-tune with local issues is second to none. Neil was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007
 

2007 - Greg Smith

Greg Smith is a radio legend who helped shape FM radio as we know it today. After starting as an announcer with 7BU in Burnie, Tasmania in 1968, Greg made rapid moves into regional stations 3SH Swan Hill and 7HO Hobart.

In the later 70’s he joined 3BD as a night announcer working with 3BD’s then program director, Paul Thompson. In 1987, as Austereo’s Group Program Director, Greg took Fox FM in Melbourne to number 1.

One of Greg’s proudest moments came in March 1992 when every single FM station owned by Austereo was number 1 at the same time in a single survey period.

Greg left Austereo in 1995 to set up his own business, Entertainment Strategy Programming (ESP)  where he consulted for radio stations and personalities across Australia. Greg was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
 

2006 - Frank Hyde

Frank  Hyde is the unchallenged doyen of Rugby League radio broadcasting, having dominated the ratings for more than 30 years on 2SM. He joined 2SM in 1953 as a rugby league and boxing caller.

He took on fulltime rugby league calling in the early 1960’s and called every grand final on 2SM until 1983. The games were called from a card table set up on the sidelines of Suburban Grounds and the Sydney Cricket Ground. He viewed the games through binoculars with no assistance from TV monitors.

“Its long enough, it’s high enough......It’s straight between the posts!” was Franks famous call for literally thousands of conversations. Frank wrapped up his career at 2UE, co-hosting a sport/talk program until his retirement in 1985 at the sprightly age of 70.

The credibility and colour of his calls ensured unprecedented and unsurpassed ratings success. Mid to high 20’s were common, ratings certainly not seen today. Frank was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. 
 

2005 - Bob Francis

Bob Francis is an Adelaide Radio institution. He dominates night time radio in Adelaide on 5AA with
a massive 24.5 per cent of the Adelaide audience.

Bob has entertained the troops in Vietnam, worked as a war correspondent, and received numerous Awards and honours including a Golden Stylus for radio advertising and the Order of Australia.

In a career of highs, one of Bob’s major triumphs was collecting 80,000 signatures in 1964 to petition the Beatles till they agreed to add Adelaide to their Australian tour.

Bob has also helped raise over 50 million dollars for Adelaide’s Children’s hospital, demonstrating the heart of gold that has made him a perennial favourite of Adelaide radio audiences. Bob was inducted into the Commercial Radio Australia Hall of Fame in 2005.
 

2004 - Gary O'Callaghan

Gary O’Callaghan is one of the Country’s most successful broadcasters and longest running in Sydney’s history, starting his career at 2SM in 1951 before moving to 2UE in 1956, where he topped the ratings for three decades.

At one stage, Gary and his feathered side-kick Sammy Sparrow, commanded the largest audience ever achieved in Sydney radio with an astonishing 46 per cent of listeners tuning in to the cheerful mix of information and entertainment.

Gary is now semi-retired but can still be heard each Sunday morning on NSW mid north coast station 2MC FM, where he presents a two-hour show with his son Nicholas. Gary was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2004.
 

2003 - John Laws

In November 2003, John celebrated his 50th Anniversary as a radio personality. Laws is recognised as Australia’s most successful and influential broadcaster reaching over 66% of all radio markets across all states and territories and as ex-Prime Minister, Paul Keating noted: “Forget the Press Gallery in Canberra, if you educate John Laws, you educate Australia.”

Since his career began as an 18 year old announcer on 3BO Bendigo in 1953, John Laws has won more radio awards of excellence than any other Australian broadcaster. This great entertainer and communicator with the golden tonsils and the golden microphone worked at several country radio stations prior to joining 2UE in 1957.

In the Sydney market he has also worked at 2SM, 2GB and 2UW. In 1974 the Queen awarded him an O.B.E. for his services to broadcasting and charity and in 1978 he was again honoured, with the C.B.E.

To mark his achievements, at the start of a new century he was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Governor-General. John was inducted in to the Commercial Radio Australia Hall of Fame in 2003.
 

2002 - Bob Scott

Bob Scott began his radio career at Radio 2GO at Gosford as Sports Director and was involved in all facets of broadcasting. Later he was promoted to Assistant Station Manager.

From 1976-77, Bob was General Manager at 4GR Toowoomba, and from 1978-82 was Managing Director of 2GO Gosford. Following the merger of 2GO and 2WS, he became the founding Managing Director of the 2WS station network.

Bob was awarded the Order of Australia in 1988 for services to commercial radio and the community. In the same year he was appointed General Manager of 2DayFM Sydney and General Manager of Triple M Sydney.

Between 1996-98 Bob was Deputy Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. Bob was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Brian White

Brian White emerged in the mid 60's and 70's, pioneering news/talk radio in the early afternoons on 2GB. Forerunner to hard Current Affairs/talk/opinion on Commercial Radio in Australia.

Brian later moved to 2SM, again breaking new ground in the early 80's, with Steve Liebmann and John Tingle bringing high quality news presentation to music radio. He managed 3AW to success in Melbourne before being called on by Kerry Packer to develop a national news network/programming hub from 2UE.

Later Brian returned to help resurrect 2UE on his TODAY show, which he ran until his death in 1990. Brian was posthumously inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Bruce Rogerson

Bruce Rogerson’s radio career began at 2PK Parkes in 1949. He also worked at 2GN, 2BS then 2NZ, daily on the breakfast, lunch, and early evening children’s program and Sunday morning.

After studying overseas Bruce returned to Australia in 1955 to Radio 2UE in sales and production and later as Sales Manager, winning several awards. In 1972 Bruce introduced 2CH Good Music.

He was also responsible for the establishment of the Radio Marketing Bureau in 1978. Bruce was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Des Foster

Formerly a newspaper journalist, Des made the transition to commercial radio in 1955 as head of news, sport and special events at Radio 2UE Sydney.

He was appointed General Manager of 2GB Sydney in 1960 where he remained for a decade. In 1986 Des was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to media. Des was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Garvin Rutherford

Garvin Rutherford began his radio career in Australia as an announcer at 2PK Parkes and worked in a similar capacity at 2DU Dubbo, 2NX and 2HD Newcastle.

By the mid 60’s he had became the News Director of 2SM and also hosted his own evening program in the early days of talkback radio.

In 1971 Garvin became General Manager of 2NX and 2NM and later returned to Sydney as General Manager of 2SM. Garvin was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Janet Cameron

Janet Cameron is the owner of Grant Broadcasters, a family company in the 1970s, which now has 15 stations.

Janet was part of a consortium that won the first regional commercial FM licence granted on the basis of merit on the Gold Coast. Janet was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Johannes Oost

Johannes Oost began his radio career in Holland and commenced in Australian radio as a technician for both 4AY and 4TO. He was also Assistant Manager at 4TO in 1969, and was promoted to manager in 1971.

In 1974, Johannes became Regional Manager North QLD for both 4CA and 4TO. In 1982, he became Operations Manager of AWA Broadcasting Division and from 1988-94, Johannes was Assistant Manager at 2CH.

He is an active member of the Historical Radio Society, and was also the industry voice in Canberra on the National Disasters Committee and a member of the FARB Council for 10 years. Johannes was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - John Brennan

John Brennan began his career at 2WG Wagga Wagga in 1949 as an announcer and sports commentator. He worked at 2GZ Orange before joining 2SM Sydney in 1956 as a disc jockey and assistant football caller to the legendary Frank Hyde.

In 1962, he was appointed Programme Director/Music Director/Executive Producer where he formulated the highly successful “Good Guy Format”. After 26 years with 2SM he joined 2UE in the mid-80’s.

As Programme Director, John introduced a talk format that made 2UE the premier Talk Station in Australia during the late 80’s and through the 90’s. In 1989, John was awarded an OAM and an Advance Australia Award in 1990 for services to radio and a FARB Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. John was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002
 

2002 - Leslie Heil

Leslie Heil commenced his radio career at 3SR Shepparton in 1952 as an announcer and copywriter. From 1956, he worked at 3BA Ballarat as an announcer, newsreader and copywriter and from 1958 worked at 3UZ Melbourne as an announcer and newsreader.

In 1965 Leslie was appointed General Manager of 3KZ Broadcasting Co Pty Ltd. In 1979 he rejoined 3KZ Radio Pty Ltd as General Manager and was appointed Managing Director in 1982. In 1990 Leslie oversaw the conversion of 3KZ to KZFM, the first Australian radio station to successfully convert from AM to FM.

From 1993-96, he
was Executive Director of Riverina Broadcast (Holdings) Pty Ltd. Leslie was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson is the CEO of the DMG Radio Network. He is also Chairman of Nova 969, Nova 100, Nova 937, DMG Regional Radio and Festival City Broadcasters.

In a 37 year career in radio, Paul launched, acquired, developed and managed broadcasting stations and networks throughout Australia. He has been responsible for building two distinct national radio broadcasting networks from inception.

Paul was the founding CEO of the Austereo Group, which he guided for 15 years. In 1996, he launched DMG Radio Australia as CEO. The company now has a portfolio of 64 radio station licenses in five Australian States. Paul was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Ron Camplin

Ron Camplin is the Chairman of Bathurst Broadcasters. Ron began his radio career at 2CH in 1948 and now with almost 60 years in commercial radio he is an unstoppable force in the community through radio, Legacy and Rotary.

 Ron is dedicated to nurturing and developing young people in the industry and Bathurst has become a launching pad for many radio careers. Ron was a driving force behind the first degree course in commercial radio at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst.

Ron was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree by Charles Sturt University, has an Order of Australia Medal and holds a FARB Lifetime Achievement award. Ron is also well known as a skilful lobbyist for radio in Canberra. Ron was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Ronald Haig-Muir

Ron started his radio career as an announcer and copywriter at 6GE Geraldton in 1936 and later joined 2WG in Wagga Wagga where he was appointed Sales Manager in 1945. In 1947 he set up his own company which was built into Melbourne's largest independent special radio sales operation.

In 1955, Ronald bought 2QN Deniliquin in partnership with E. V. Roberts, taking control and operating as adjunct to the Melbourne sales activities.

In 1969, he became Executive Director of Riverina Broadcasters (2WG) and subsequently added 2LF Young to the company. He was awarded a Wombat Award in 1986. Ron was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002
 

2002 - Stanley Wilmott

Stanley Willmott’s career has included time as a Senior Executive at Channel Seven, Sydney; General Manager, 2UE; Deputy Managing Director, Broadcast Investments Pty Ltd and Executive Chairman, Sea FM Limited.

He established Sea FM Gold Coast as the first non-metropolitan commercial FM station in Australia and as Executive Chairman, he established Sea FM Limited as a successful public company.

Stanley was elected a FARB Director or Federal Councillor, and held the positions of FARB Vice President or FARB Chairman or President repeatedly between 1976 and 1995. Stanley was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
 

2002 - Bob Cornish

Bob Cornish’s radio career commenced at 3SR Shepparton and 3UL Warragul.

In 1954 he joined 3UZ Melbourne where he held positions of Chief Announcer, Sports Editor, Studio Manager, Assistant Manager (Administration), Station Manager, and General Manager for six years.

He was elected to the Melbourne Radio Hall of Fame 1997 and awarded a FARB Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Bob was inducted into the Commercial Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.