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Another bumper year for award-winning stations?

article date: Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Every Spring there’s an extra flutter in the hearts of the people behind the radio stations you know and love. They eagerly await news of whether or not their hours of hard toil and loving devotion towards making great sounding radio is going to be recognised at the industry’s annual awards event, the Sony Radio Awards.

In an arena where the BBC goes head-to-head with commercial radio, meaning around 350 stations are competing against one another, there’s always a real sense of pride if a station gets a nomination. This year we’re delighted to see that so many of the national commercial stations have been shortlisted in so many different categories.

Absolute Radio has been nominated no less than 13 times in categories ranging from ‘Best entertainment programme’ to ‘Best use of multiplatform’ and ‘Best competition’. It’s even going up against itself in a couple of categories: Frank Skinner and Ronnie Wood are both shortlisted for ‘Music radio personality of the year’ while Rock ‘N’ Roll Football Live with Sky Sports is up against Absolute’s Wadworth World Pub Quiz Championship in ‘Best use of branded content’. Christian O’Connell, who hosted the awards in 2009, is running for the title of ‘Breakfast Show of the year’. And at the other end of the working day, Geoff Lloyd’s Hometime Show has been tipped for ‘Best music programme’. Plus Geoff’s sidekick Annabel Port has been shortlisted for ‘Best on-air contributor’.

Absolute’s funny man Frank Skinner shows his versatility by being nominated in a total of three categories including ‘Music radio personality of the year’ and ‘Speech radio personality of the year’. Which will the judges decide suits him best? There’s also recognition for Absolute’s latest advertising campaign (Faces for Radio) featuring Christian O’Connell, Frank Skinner and Dave Gorman, as well as the station’s UB40 ‘music special’.

With a highly respectable total of 6 nominations, talkSPORT is also poised for a winning evening at the award’s ceremony. The judges have put the station forward for gongs linked to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (Breakfast show of the year) and for talkSPORT’s promotional campaign relating to the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa (Best promotional/advertising campaign). Behind the scenes, talkSPORT’s management are nervously biting their nails about potentially gaining awards for ‘Station programmer of the year’ (Moz Dee) and ‘Best station imaging’.

Meanwhile Drive with Darren Gough & Adrian Durham is hoping to score against BBC Radio 5 Live and take the trophy for ‘Best sports breakfast’. Last, but by no means least, talkSPORT has been tipped for one of the biggest possible awards: the title of ‘UK station of the year’. Can it fight of the BBC and win the cup for commercial radio?

Looking modest by comparison, but still no mean feat of achievement, Classic FM's Alex Masterley has been nominated for ‘Best use of branded content’. And Planet Rock is shortlisted for ‘Digital station of the year’. Having won the crown last year, it’s a tough call to make it two years in a row, but that doesn’t mean the rockers won’t be keeping their fingers crossed on the night.

All awards will be handed out at a glittering ceremony in Central London on 9th May. It’s the 30th year of the Sony Radio Academy Awards, so that’s another reason to hope for a bumper night and a year to remember.

Article by: Dawn Banks

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