GMG Radio?s Group Programme Director John Simons was last night nominated for the Programmer of the Year Award in the prestigious annual Sony Radio Awards.
John, who began his career in radio as a presenter 25 years ago, has been recognised for his incredible success in building GMG Radio?s portfolio of Real Radio, JAZZFM and Smooth FM stations across the country.
A record 1,400 entries were submitted for this year?s awards, the results of which will be announced at a gala dinner in London on May 12th, and John has been selected in the final three for the Programmer Award, which is a newly created category this year.
GMG Radio?s Real Radio Yorkshire station is also celebrating a nomination in the News Story Of The Year category. Their remarkable coverage of the tragic Huddersfield house fire story which killed eight people ? including five young sisters – earned them a place in the final five. As the only non-national station their nomination was even more impressive, with the other four contenders coming from BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live.
John said: ?This was a big shock and it?s a great honour to be nominated. I?ve got the best job in the world and work with a great team at GMG. I?m extremely proud of our Yorkshire station as their news coverage is second to none and they deserve this nomination.?
John is widely recognised as one of the leading experts in regional programming having previously launched the hugely successful Century brand of stations onto the airwaves. In 1997 he became Programme Director of national station Talk Radio, delivering a record 2.8 million listeners, which still has not been topped. He then moved to London?s LBC and BBC Radio 2 before joining GMG Radio in 2000.
GMG Radio Chief Executive John Myers said: ?I?m so proud of Simo. If there?s any justice he?ll win it! Real Radio Yorkshire is celebrating its second Sony nomination after just two years on air ? an incredible result.?