Commercial radio fights back

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There were plenty of reasons for the commercial side of the radio industry to smile at this year’s Sony Awards – with 12 of the 35 prizes being picked up by non-BBC stations.
Bauer Radio took six – including two for Manchester’s Key 103 and GCap Media won three – including Digital Station of the Year for Planet Rock, the future of which still remains unclear.

Dee Ford, group managing director for Bauer Radio, said: “I know that we have the best people in radio working for us and it is always fantastic when this is proven at such a high profile and important event. I am so proud of everyone who not only helped us achieve our highest ever number of nominations but also to achieve our highest ever number of awards.
There was delight for The Local Radio Company, whose Macclesfield station Silk FM took Station of the Year (TSA under 300,000), while Global Radio’s only award of the night went to Andi Durrant from the Galaxy Network who was named Music Broadcaster of the Year. Downtown Radio’s Eamonn Mallie also scored some brownie points for commercial radio with the Local and Regional Lifetime Achievement Award.
95.8 Capital took the Community Award for their Lights Out London campaign. The award was handed to them by newly elected London Mayor, Boris Johnson.
Picking up their first ever Sony Golds were Russell Brand and Dermot O’Leary (although Brand was the only winner not at the event to collect the award in person). Brand took the Entertainment Award and O’Leary got Gold in the Music Programme Award category. Of course the BBC’s other big network personalities Jonathan Ross and Chris Moyles took home top prizes – for Music Radio Personality and Breakfast Show respectively.
Simon Mayo capped a great night for all the BBC network radio stations, taking Gold for Speech Broadcaster of the Year and backstage noted that it capped a great career as an all-rounder that’s also seen him win ‘best DJ’ during his time at Radio 1.
There was a Special Award for BBC radio boss Jenny Abramsky – the judges said it was in recognition of the 40 years across which she “has stamped her very distinctive imprint on our industry.”
Host of Radio 2’s Sounds of the Sixties, Brian Matthew, took the final prize of the night – The Gold Award for what the judges described as as “an impressive record of more than 50 years of national and international radio broadcasting.
Tim Blackmore, Chairman of the Sony Radio Academy Awards, said: “These awards demonstrate that however many new platforms emerge, British broadcasters continue to create and to deliver truly outstanding examples of audio communication. Whatever name we give to our ever changing industry, it is the added value that we as broadcasters deliver for our listeners, that will determine the future level of their support.”

Full list of Gold winners at the 2008 Sony Radio Academy Awards

Rising Star Award – George Lamb/6 Music
Live Event Coverage Award – Gosnold 400/BBC Radio Suffolk
Sports Programme Award – All The Tickets Are In The Wrong Hands/Radio City
Drama Award – Q&A/BBC Radio 4
Comedy Award – Down The Line/BBC Radio 4
Internet Programme Award – Book Slam Podcast/Karen P Productions
Listener Participation Award – World Have Your Say/BBC World Service
Music Programme Award – Dermot O’Leary/BBC Radio 2
Specialist Music Programme Award – Friday Night Floorfillers/Forth One
News Feature Award – Britain’s Missing Girls/BBC Asian Network
Breaking News Award – Omagh Fire Tragedy/BBC Radio Ulster
Community Award – Lights Out London/Capital 95.8
Programmer Of The Year – Mary Kalemkerian/BBC 7
Competition Award – Sell Me The Answer/Key 103
Multiplatform Radio Award – Bangladesh Boat Project/BBC World Service
Music Radio Personality Of The Year – Jonathan Ross/BBC Radio 2
Local and Regional Lifetime Achievement Award – Eamonn Mallie/Downtown Radio
Special Award – Jenny Abramsky/BBC Audio & Music
Station of the Year Award (TSA under 300,000) – Silk FM
Feature Award – Malcolm McLaren’s Life & Times In LA/BBC Radio 2
News & Current Affairs Award – Newshour/BBC World Service
Music Broadcaster of the Year – Andi Durrant/Galaxy
News Journalist of the Year – Owen Bennett-Jones/BBC World Service
Station of the Year (TSA 300,000 – 1million) – GWR Bristol
Speech Programme Award – Saturday Live/BBC Radio 4
Station of the Year (TSA over 1 million) – Key 103
Speech Broadcaster of the Year – Simon Mayp/BBC 5 Live
Promo Award – Green Project/Radio Aire
Station Imaging Award – Magic 105.4
Music Special Award – Feelgood Factor/BBC Radio 2
Entertainment Award – Russell Brand/BBC Radio 2
Breakfast Show Award – Chris Moyles/BBC Radio 1
Digital Station of the Year – Planet Rock
UK Station of the Year – BBC Radio 4
Gold Award – Brian Matthew/BBC Radio 2



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