NYF Open Mic: Radio on Radio with Colin McGinnis

Radio on Radio features New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury’s insights and observations on the transformation taking place in the industry today, their opinions on the importance of free speech, their thoughts on creating their dream show and much more.

Colin McGinnis, Group Production Manager at UKRD

NYF’s Grand Jury is comprised of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives who are actively involved in creating the innovative radio programs heard on radio today. Who better to share their insider information on the wonderful world of radio than this respected group of prominent industry thought leaders?

This week NYF’s Radio on Radio will explore the evolution taking place in the world of radio with 2017 Grand Jury member, Colin McGinnis, Group Production Manager at UKRD, United Kingdom.

Colin’s creative production skills earned UKRD a Silver Trophy for his award-winning entry, “2015 In Review” and a Bronze trophy for “Armistice Day Tribute 2015” in the 2016  New York Festivals Radio Awards competition.

Colin bring years of experience to the jury, as both a composer and sound designer he has created multiple soundtracks  with BIG IDEA MUSIC & FOCUS MUSIC.  His skills as a voice over artist  led him to work on multiple projects with Wise Buddah, utilizing his well-crafted Aussie accent.

In the interview below, Colin shares his thoughts on how advertising is affecting radio, the importance of freedom of the press  and  his insights on the opportunities in curated content and the elements his dream project would include.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Colin McGinnis: I think it all comes down to advertising…. The almighty dollar, erm, pound. That’s why we are all here working in the industry. It’s a business and for good or ill, radio is much more of a refined business than ever before.

What we lose is aspects of creativity and for the vast majority of stations, an editorial perspective. But there’s something actually quite beneficial about that. If you take the reporting of news as a prime example, we are seeing a strong focus on telling the facts, and not the fiction. TV News has a lot to answer for with its sometimes overt bias. But radio, (for the most part) is neutral and that means we are reporting truth.

I also believe there is a greater need for local stations to de-centralise their services. If local radio wants to survive, it needs to be in the community and focus on what matters.

Station owners also need to see that local revenue is where the money is, and stop chasing national clients, who are far more interested in online advertising these days.

It’s not as glamorous, nor as much money, but think local…. support and help those local businesses.

New York Festivals: Is there a revolution going on today in radio content?

Colin McGinnis: I think the revolution is yet to happen, but its coming. Listenership is more fragmented than it’s ever been and I don’t think we’ve dealt with that fragmentation fully.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

Colin McGinnis: I would love to talk about this, but I am pitching something at this very moment so I’m limited to what I can say about it.

What I can say is that budget plays a big part in my pitch. In fact the budget will be very small.  I see an opportunity for shifting the dynamics of radio and taking a new and interesting path that steps away from regular presenters and shows, and head toward a bite sized approach to content. Our attention spans have diminished over the years, so we need to keep that in mind with content. There is a golden opportunity to do something unique here and ‘curated content’ is a phrase that’s constantly in my head.

New York Festivals: Will you talk about the importance of freedom of press?

Colin McGinnis: Any chance I get I will, but doing so in a way that allows the listener to make their own mind up.  It is difficult to bite your tongue sometimes and accept that you got to focus on the facts and keep your personal opinions out of it.

New York Festivals: Audio landscapes, theater of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Colin McGinnis: It’s everything. I certainly never underestimate the power of music in storytelling. To me it’s a key factor to carving out the emotion you need to evoke.

The deadline to enter the 2017 World’s Best Radio Programs competition is March 17, 2017. To enter go to: Log In and for additional information go to: Rules and Regulations.

Join New York Festivals Monday, June 19, 2017 as we honor the World’s Best Radio Programs at an awards ceremony at in New York City. To view the 2016 World’s Best Radio Program Ceremony Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/media/rp/2016/

 

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYF Open Mic: Radio on Radio with Maddy Fryer

NYF’s Radio on Radio interview series features New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury’s insights and observations on the transformation taking place in the radio industry today. Each week NYF spends a few minutes with our esteemed Grand Jury  members discussing such topics as the myriad of changes taking place within the radio industry, the importance of free speech, their thoughts on creating their dream show and where imagination comes into play.

Maddy Fryer, Executive Producer, PopAsia, SBS Australia

NYF’s  international Grand Jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative radio programs heard on radio today. Who better to share their insider information on the wonderful world of radio than this respected group of prominent industry thought leaders?

This week NYF’s Radio on Radio will explore the evolution taking place in the world of radio with 2017 Grand Jury member, Maddy Fryer, Executive Producer for PopAsia, SBS Australia. Maddy is a 10 year veteran of SBS Australia and SBS Radio is a bridge linking to the 4+ million Australians who speak a language other than English. Since 2010, Maddy has been the Executive Producer of SBS’s PopAsia, a digital radio station for young multicultural Australians.

Prior to working with SBS PopAsia, Maddy led the team from the program Alchemy SBS Radio’s national music, arts and talk program. Alchemy offers a subversive spin on traditional sounds and stories. In 2008, Alchemy earned 2 awards: the prestigious Silver New York Festivals Award and the NYF Silver United Nations Department of Public Information Award for their program the Stolen Generation in Australia.

In the interview below, Maddy shares her views on the effects of podcasts on radio landscape, the importance of freedom of the press, why  imagination is radio’s greatest asset.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Maddy Fryer: The strength and continued growth of podcasts has firmly put talks back on the radio map. Shows available as podcasts or vice versa has loosened the tie of broadcasting and created new ideas around content making. See this trend continuing to transform how we broadcast.

New York Festivals: Is there a revolution going on today in radio content?

Maddy Fryer: Yes – so many people now rely on podcasts to get them thru a commute or as an escape from the world. The advent of ‘my time’ associated with listening to podcasts is definitely revolutionary.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

Maddy Fryer:  If I told you….!

New York Festivals: Will you talk about the importance of freedom of press?

Maddy Fryer:  Our world has changed dramatically with the continued growth of social media  – it feels like almost overnight that truth has somehow become compromised. The concept of a free press and trust in the media needs to be re-established – the connection has been lost. Finding a cut thru in the understanding of a free press is the only way a harmonious world can exist.

New York Festivals: Audio landscapes, theater of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Maddy Fryer: Imagination is radio’s greatest asset. It’s the one thing that keeps such a strong connection with the audience. Imagination thru radio takes you to places you’ve never been before. To me that has always been the game changer and why radio is still growing strong.

The deadline to enter the 2017 World’s Best Radio Programs competition is March 17, 2017. To enter go to: Log In and for additional information go to: Rules and Regulations.

Join New York Festivals Monday, June 19, 2017 as we honor the World’s Best Radio Programs at an awards ceremony at in New York City. To view the 2016 World’s Best Radio Program Ceremony Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/media/rp/2016/

 

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NYF Open Mic: Radio on Radio with Aaron Kearney

NYF’s Radio on Radio features New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury’s insights and observations on the transformation taking place in the industry today.  Each interview focuses on such topics as their opinions on the importance of free speech, their thoughts on creating their dream show and where imagination comes into play.

NYF’s  international Grand Jury of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives are actively involved in creating the innovative radio programs heard on radio today. Who better to share their insider information on the wonderful world of radio than this respected group of prominent industry thought leaders?

Aaron Kearneya multi-award winning broadcaster, journalist and sports commentator with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

This week NYF’s Radio on Radio will explore the evolution taking place in the world of radio with 2017 Grand Jury member, Aaron Kearney Pacific Sports Reporter for ABC International Australia. Aaron is a multi-award winning broadcaster, journalist, and sports commentator with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He is the host of 1233 ABC Newcastle Breakfast Show which features the Story Box – a popular blind interview segment that earned the 2013 New York Festivals Radio Program Awards Silver Trophy.

Aaron has been awarded a shelf full of high profile awards including the Walkley Award and two New York Festivals International Radio Awards, taking home both Gold and Silver trophies. In addition to being a Kennedy Award finalist, he is one of the few Australians to win awards for his work for television, radio and newspapers, magazines and online.

Throughout his career he has covered some of the world major sports events from the Olympics, to the FIFA and Rugby League World Cups and AFC Champions League and is the creator of a Sports Commentary training course used by broadcasters in Papua New Guinea and the Tiwi Islands.

Meinard Oata and Douglas Dimagi of the Niugini Broadcasting Corporation commentating basketball.

In the interview below, Aaron shares his insights and observations on the evolving radio landscape, his thoughts on niche content, the importance of freedom of the press, why  imagination  equals engagement and much more.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Aaron Kearney: Obviously, the prospect of driverless cars becoming ubiquitous looms large for the industry, but we have already seen something similar around the breakfast table in recent years. With no need to watch the road and cheap screens all around us, I think there will be an increasing necessity for visual and/or interactive elements to radio broadcasting.

This doesn’t mean it will become cheap TV. It will need to be something different and far more sophisticated than that. In fact, radio’s gift has always been its intimacy and personal connection. Those that understand that will prosper.

I think the idea that rather than being disembodied voices, you can choose to have your radio friends talking to you from a screen on the back of a car seat or at the end of the breakfast bench remains true to the traditional essence of what radio at its best has always been; personal connection and shared experience.

New York Festivals: Is there a revolution going on today in radio content?

There is a certainly revolution in audio content that may or may not be evident in the radio industry, depending on where in the world you are.

Clearly, more niche, more specific content has been a trend for some time via podcasting, but the revolution I am noticing it how that delivery mechanism is becoming increasingly real time. For example, my wife and I watched the first season of Westworld and by the time we’d turned off the television and headed to bed, there was a podcast discussion of what we’d just witnessed ready for download. Similar things are happening in the realms of sport, finance and politics.

I see some sectors of the radio industry ignoring this at their peril. They are fleeing in the opposite direction toward generic networking in a bid to save costs, whereas the only way to truly compete is the be the best at something someone wants, and the traditional industry’s best bet is, in most cases, to do “local” better than anyone else. In a world where anyone can listen to anything, the one thing that the rest of the world can’t offer is a sense of local connection.

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

I am actively involved in a campaign to empower broadcasters in developing media environments to provide live commentary of local sports events. I have worked in Papua

Dorah Kinivai from NBC PNG.

New Guinea, the Tiwi Islands, and with women from across Asia, collaboratively creating sports commentary teams and I love the idea of a show or even an entire station that showcased hyper-local sports events from the most obscure corners of the world. It would be extraordinary listening, would attract a devoted audience and, I suspect, enthusiastic advertisers. Please contact me if you can help.

New York Festivals: Will you talk about the importance of freedom of press?

I now work across more than a dozen countries and have the opportunity to compare and contrast what press freedom means for societies and citizens. There is a direct correlation between the power of the press and corruptions levels, citizen empowerment, and quality of life. An ethical and powerful media sector gets results for its people. It is, in my experience, highly prized in places where it is restricted and grossly undervalued in places where it is ostensibly guaranteed.

Further, it is critical in this media landscape, not only that we value the freedom of the press but that we value the work of the free press. One of the many positives of social media is that is has demystified and democratised information, but in so doing, it has undermined the value of professional journalists/photographers et al. It has also incentivised cheap opinion and made expensive investigation more unsustainable. But in my seminars, I often like social media to first aid. It would be wonderful if everyone in the world was proficient in first aid. Clearly, the world would be a better place, but that would not mean we no longer need heart surgeons. So it is with social media and professional media.

New York Festivals: Audio landscapes, theater of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Imagination equals engagement. Therefore, there will always be a place for audio-only information and entertainment. The moment someone engages visually an emotional distraction or even disconnection occurs. The halo effect, both positive and negative, clouds perceptions. We are distracted by age, appearance and context in a way that takes away from the immersive, emotional experience of having someone directly enter your head via your ears. There is a purity of experience, a depth of connection, a psychological coupling that can only happen this way. Long live audio that stimulates the imagination.

The deadline to enter the 2017 World’s Best Radio Programs competition is March 17, 2017. To enter go to: Log In and for additional information go to: Rules and Regulations.

Join New York Festivals Monday, June 19, 2017 as we honor the World’s Best Radio Programs at an awards ceremony at in New York City. To view the 2016 World’s Best Radio Program Ceremony Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/media/rp/2016/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NYF Open Mic: Radio on Radio with Anna Foster

Radio on Radio features New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury’s insights and observations on the transformation taking place in the industry today, their opinions on the importance of free speech, their thoughts on creating their dream show and much more.

Anna Foster, Presenter/Reporter, BBC UK

NYF’s Grand Jury is comprised of award-winning directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on-air talent, and programming executives who are actively involved in creating the innovative radio programs heard on radio today. Who better to share their insider information on the wonderful world of radio than this respected group of prominent industry thought leaders?

This week NYF’s Radio on Radio will explore the evolution taking place in the world of radio with 2017 Grand Jury member, Anna Foster. Anna has worked across BBC Radio for the last decade as a presenter and reporter. She has been a regular on 5 live since 2005, working as the station’s regional reporter in the North East of England before moving to present Weekend Breakfast.

Anna has broadcast from Iraq and Afghanistan and covered major stories across the UK – from the Cumbrian shootings and search for Raoul Moat to the London Marathon and Olympic Torch Relay. In the 2016 NYF Radio Awards competition, Anna earned the NYF Silver Trophy, UNDPI Silver Award, and a Finalist Certificate for her program “Ebola: Winning the Battle in Sierra Leone.”

Anna Foster recording audio in a refugee camp in Iraq.

In the interview below, Anna shares her insights and observations on why radio is thriving, the shift she’s noticed in the industry and how imagination comes into play when creating with the listener in mind.

New York Festivals: How will radio transform in the coming years? What is the biggest shift you’ve noticed this past year?

Anna Foster: We’re doing so much more that doesn’t come out of speakers in the time-honored way. Whether it’s photographing assignments to run on our Instagram account, or videoing contributors doing what they do to make grabby videos for Facebook and Twitter, we’ve really started to think differently. For me, it always has to start with making sparkling content for the radio, and the extras are like jewels to decorate that. We should definitely nod to the speed of tech change too, I’d never have imagined I’d be able to listen to my favorite stations by asking a hands-free speaker in my kitchen to find and play them!

New York Festivals: What would be your dream show to create, budget no object?

Broadcasting in a hospital in Sierra Leone.

Anna Foster: An unlimited budget? Great! I think it’d be really fascinating to experiment with broadening people’s horizons. So much of what we do on radio is taking the listener to new places, exposing them to new experiences. I’d love to do that physically, to actually bring people together to experience each others’ lives in different parts of the world. It’d be a really bold experiment to gather a huge panel of people from right around the globe, put them all together in the same space, and hear the conversation they’d have about their hopes and fears.

New York Festivals: Will you talk about the importance of freedom of press?

Anna Foster: Right now, press freedom is more important than ever, but I think we need to tread delicately. The information we get is richer because so many more people can use technology and social media to contribute. But alongside that, if we’re not careful, the truth can become lost in the noise. I’d say the answer lies with us as journalists, we need to fight with passion and energy to keep our freedom, but make sure we treasure that right by being as reasoned and accurate as we’ve always tried to be.

New York Festivals: Audio landscapes, theater of the mind, how does imagination come into play?

Anna Foster: For me, radio stands head and shoulders above TV when it comes to feeling part of something. I love what you can do with sound, how immersive it can be. If I’m working in the field, I’m always thinking about the words I pick, about describing something in a way that paints the most compelling picture. I’m obsessed with the tiniest sounds that bring something to life. I always work on making you feel like you’re standing there beside me, and – while I love pictures for different reasons – nothing creates that raw intimacy quite like radio.

The deadline to enter the 2017 World’s Best Radio Programs competition is March 17, 2017. To enter go to: Log In and for additional information go to: Rules and Regulations.

Join New York Festivals Monday, June 19, 2017 as we honor the World’s Best Radio Programs at an awards ceremony at in New York City. To view the 2016 World’s Best Radio Program Ceremony Gala, please visit: http://www.newyorkfestivals.com/media/rp/2016/

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Confidential:Karena Wynn-Moylan

Each week in 2016, New York Festivals Grand Jury Confidential shared an interview with one of the Radio Program Awards award-winning Grand Jury members. These interviews provided revealing insights about their individual path to success as well as their views on all things radio. All of us at New York Festivals are grateful to these brilliant radio executives who are recruited to select the World’s Best Radio Programs.

For the last interview of the year NYF spent a few minutes with Karena Wynn-Moylan, 2016 Grand Jury member, and public radio presenter for 18 years on Bay FM 99.9.

Karena Wynn-Moylan, public radio presenter for Bay FM 99.9

Her 3-part documentary series “Memories of Sarajevo” has earned numerous accolades including a Bronze award from New York Festivals Radio Awards, a Community Broadcasting  Association award of Australia for best spoken word documentary, and an Honourable Mention from the International Association of Women in Radio and Television. In addition, this award-winning series has also been collected by the National Sound Archive of Australia .

She is currently designing an immersive, audio and video installation for the Immigration Museum of Australia using further material collected for the making of the series. Karena is also a Fine Artist and songwriter/composer.

In the interview below Karena shares her insights and observations from her career in radio including her evolution in the radio industry, the defining moment in her career and the hallmarks of an award-winning radio program.

New York Festivals: Who or what were your early influences in your career?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: My father was an enormous influence on me. He was a ‘self-made’ man who  had many different occupations, – he was a cartoonist, an amateur actor, a salesman and also a radio announcer. He encouraged me by being critical, and I grew up determined to impress him! Other early influences were older women artists who showed me by their own example that it was possible to be successful in the arts.

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: Basically that being on the bottom sucks – it was much more fun running the show! I was determined from an early age to be my own boss and was freelancing from the age of 17.

New York Festivals: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: That powerful creative women with strong personalities were much more interesting and that successful people were well organised which gave others confidence in them.

New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: If we are talking radio here I would say Empathy is top of the list – you have to care about the person you are talking too, even if that is in a negative way! Have Respect -you are not the focus in the interview, the other person is, so you must listen and let the interview develop and flow where it will. This means letting go of your ego but at the same time keeping control and being alert for the little things that are clues to a bigger picture. An absolute willingness to just listen and let the story reveal itself instead of having a preconceived idea of where you want it to go.

New York Festivals: Tell us a bit about your evolution in the radio industry?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: I work in Community (Public) radio. This is where I started and where I have stayed.

The longer I worked in radio, the more I was aware that I place a high value on  freedom – by this I don’t mean being able to play and say what I want. Community Radio is subject to stricter controls than commercial radio in this regard, but the quality of what I do, the choice of what I do is completely mine and that has become more and more important as I witness the lack of autonomy that national presenters and commercial presenters have.

I have had my own show, Arts Canvass, on radio since 1996 and right from the start it was dedicated to different music and across the board arts interviews and news. Presenting a weekly 2 hour radio show, every Thursday for nearly 20 years – and it is voluntary. We are not paid on Bay FM – our only way of earning income from our skills is to apply for funding to produce documentaries and radio specials, or run training workshops for others. I made many documentaries without grants before it was suggested to me by station producer William Martin to apply for funding for ‘Memories of Sarajevo’ – at that stage I had already spent over a $1000 on airfares alone to gather material for the series.

New York Festivals:  What was a defining moment in your career?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: In the space of one year I won four awards for the one series – this brought home to me in a powerful way that Radio could reach many people and that maybe I should devote even more time to pursuing stories that interested me. Also, I would have to say winning the Bronze Award in 2016 for ‘Memories of Sarajevo’- the award opens doors in that people are more prepared to give you the time to pitch your next idea.

New York Festivals: Will you share how the culture of your company encourages creativity?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: BayFM has a dedicated core group and then a large, changing program base. Anyone can apply for a show in the 6 month submission rounds. If it is a good idea for a program and the presenter has done the appropriate training (which the station provides) they are considered by the Management committee for inclusion the next season of programming. The range of shows is subsequently drawn directly from the community and the variety reflects that. The station is funded entirely by sponsorship announcements (advertising is not allowed) and subscriptions , memberships and fundraising drives. Some government funding is available for equipment upgrades. All presenters are required to also volunteer for other duties around the station – be it fundraising, maintenance or front desk duties or committee sitting. This means everyone has an idea of the effort required to keep the station running, and encourages enthusiasm and respect for the station.

New York Festivals: What are the hallmarks of award-winning radio programs?

Karena Wynn-Moylan: They take us on a journey – to somewhere or to someone we have never encountered before – and they do so in a way that leaves us feeling enriched, informed and happy to have committed the time to listen. Good production values matter, but sometimes a fantastic story can transcend a small drop in quality. They go the extra distance- with the type of story, the way it is presented. They should never insult the intelligence of the listener or the interviewee by dumbing down  questions asked, or the responses to the answers. Respect, empathy and a cohesive structure to a program.

For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ Stay Tuned, the 2017 Radio Awards competition opens  January 11th.

 

 

 

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Confidential: Astha Mandiratta

Each week in 2016, New York Festivals Grand Jury Confidential shared an interview with one of the Radio Program Awards award-winning Grand Jury members. These brief interviews provided  insights from their personal path to success and their views on all things radio. The interview series would not be possible without the brilliant global radio executives who are recruited to select the World’s Best Radio Programs.

Astha Mandiratta, National Head - Client Solutions for ETV News Network

2016 Grand Jury member, Astha Mandiratta is National Head – Client Solutions for ETV News Network, the largest regional news network of India with 10 regional channels, covering 15 states, and is part of the country’s biggest network, Network 18.

Ms. Mandiratta has almost 10 years in media, and has served for 6 years anchoring various television celebrity talk shows on ETV & Star news. She worked for 4 years in radio with 94.3 MY FM – Dainik Bhaskar Group, where she was responsible for programming for Rajasthan. Her prime focus had always been working towards gender sensitivity.

Keep reading to find out more about Astha, including early leadership lessons, her favorite program that she created, her evolution in the world of radio and much more.

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Astha Mandiratta: My first job taught me the golden rule “live your job” or “Passion” is what we can say in one word! My very first day of duty went on for some 36 hours, as there were floods and I was in on a news channel working as a new joinee and trying to report every bit! This was the way the media world extended its welcome to me. I learnt in the very initial days of my career that if you don’t live your job you can’t excel. So, I never counted my duty hours. I never regretted missing a few dinners and parties and this was purely because I was into love with what I was doing and I was living it!

New York Festivals: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Astha Mandiratta: All due credits to Ms.Vibha Kaul, my first boss, she taught me to lead from the front, show your team how to execute things rather than simply giving orders.

One other very important lesson was always stand by your team, not just in success, but in failures as well. This keeps the team motivated and gives them support to try new things, as they are assured that you shall manage if things go for a toss and this really works.

Always be open to feedback and suggestions from the team, this makes the team take collective responsibility of whatever assignment you do, as everyone had contributed towards it.

Lastly and very critical, be approachable! Your team should be able to reach you directly without any fear.

New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?

Astha Mandiratta: A positive attitude towards trying new things and the passion to achieve it are the two most important qualities required in every field. I firmly believe that all battles are fought in the mind first, so if your attitude is positive, you will surely make it.

New York Festivals: Tell us a bit about your evolution in the radio industry?

Astha Mandiratta: I joined radio after 5 years of television experience, hoping to get into one of the most colorful medium of songs and I was absolutely right.. There was vibrancy in the medium and moreover radio was in an experimental phase in India. One very important aspect of our industry is customer centricity, so the more you understand your listener, the better your programming and music selection. We worshiped this rule of customer centricity at MY FM. We identified issues that were affecting society and thus planned some very interesting campaigns around gender sensitivity, saving water and a few more society related issues which helped our brand to build empathy with listeners. I ensured that every song which the station played was well researched amongst people of the city and was handpicked, rather than playing all tracks of any new release, thus making the sound of station more and more entertaining.

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Astha Mandiratta: For television, I would say when the cookery show I was anchoring and producing remained in the number one position for 16 consecutive weeks across national news channels, in spite of that fact that I was working with ETV News Network, a regional media house and my show was being aired only in North India. The USP of the show was that all the recipes that were aired had the most readily available ingredients blended to taste out as most exotic delicacies.

For radio, I would say, in April 2015 when I conceived the idea of Radio’s first reality show “Paiso ka Ped” (Money Tree). Along with my team we took a pun on our country’s age saying that yes, money can be grown on trees! So we made a tree shaped structure with 5 lac INR notes in place of leaves. The contest was, at any given time your one hand should be in contact with the branch of tree or the one who sticks to the tree for maximum duration wins the cash prize. The activity went on for a nonstop 69 hours with some 30 participants glued to the tree and at 70th hour we finally got one winner as the rest had lost their patience. Every bit of the 69 hours was taken LIVE on air and it was a huge talking point in itself. The journey was full of emotions and thrill throughout. It is now even in Google search if you one types “Paiso ka Ped’ you can see all the details!

New York Festivals: What’s your favorite radio program that you created?

Astha Mandiratta: My favorite Radio show was an anti teasing campaign “BOL” meaning “Speak Up” where we made more than 1 lac people of Jaipur city to sign pledge, to speak up against increasing crimes towards females. We constructed a modular jail and 2 of our jocks gave voluntary arrest, and said would come out only when people sign pledge! The campaign lasted for 36 hours nonstop on the ground and moved to the entire city for the cause and included interviews of the girls who have faced such situations. In addition, counselors for right parenting and powerful women of city were taken on air, there were special shows which were dedicated on how to handle such situation alone, and self defense tools like pepper sprays were distributes to females. Being a girl, this gave me a great sense of satisfaction as I contributed my bit towards the cause. This also made us win Laadli National award for gender sensitivity.

For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ Stay Tuned, the 2017 Radio Awards competition opens  January 11th.

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Confidential: Andrew Wright

New York Festivals Grand Jury Confidential spends a few minutes each week with one of the Radio Program Awards award-winning Grand Jury members. These brief interviews provides a glimpse into the exciting careers of the global radio executives who are recruited to select the World’s Best Radio Programs.

Andrew Wright, Managing Director of Wright Communicators Ltd, UK

This week, NYF profiles Andrew Wright, Managing Director of Wright Communicators Ltd, UK. Andrew started his career in the radio and television industry working as a news sound recordist in some of the world’s most dangerous locations. He spent 10 years as a broadcaster and programme producer where he developed his production and media management expertise working with programmers, advertisers, official regulators and talented broadcasters.

Keep reading to find out about Andrew’s  early leadership lessons, the defining moment in his career, how his company encourages creativity and much more.

New York Festivals: Who or what were your early influences in your career?

Andrew Wright: I grew up near Liverpool, England and listened to Radio City during the late 70s and 80s. The Late Norman Thomas was my introduction to personality morning

Simon Mayo

radio and he made areal impression on me. Later Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 1 taught me the value of a dryer humour and intelligent co-presenters. My early influences essentially lay in outstanding morning radio and the production values surrounding it.

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Andrew Wright: My first job was in domestic appliance sales, for around 4 months. From that I learned to write more letters and start my media career as quickly as possible. I come from a working class background but grew up around a more middle class environment which I have seen drain the ambition and determination from people. Comfort and ease will do that. Selling washing machines taught me the value of hunger, ambition, drive and self-motivation.

New York Festivals: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Andrew Wright: I started my own business when I was 26 after 8 years in TV, then radio. I went into business because all but one of my bosses were great examples in how not to lead a team. They were at best woolly in their approach, at worst egotistical, self centred and distant from all but their cronies. The best leaders know their team, work hard to support them, and carefully critique, not marginalize and tear down. Life is about the way you treat other people, good bosses lead to serve.

New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?

Andrew Wright: It depends on what you do. In presentation confidence is important but arrogance is dangerous. Self-awareness and humility balance confidence and allow you to self-critique and improve throughout your career. As you move through your career flexibility is crucial as attitudes, language, technology and cultures evolve, don’t be the last dinosaur standing. Finally a sense of ethics, values and your impact on others. I always wanted to be successful but not by burning bridges and leaving a trail of destruction.

New York Festivals: Tell us a bit about your evolution in the radio industry?

Andrew Wright: Like many young ambitious people entering the industry I wanted to be seen or heard as a presenter. Once I achieved that I spent 10 years trying to get better but realized half way through that period that I was more interested in production and leadership in the media. Production allows one much greater influence on a station’s sound, and on the success of the team around you. Now the profile of presentation doesn’t interest me, but supporting the exciting on air talent I often work with through production and more latterly advice, counsel and career support has become incredibly rewarding.

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Andrew Wright: Taking the terrifying leap into self-employment in my mid 20s. As many people know this can be so terrifying that many can’t jump but thanks to a great friend and mentor, Paul Daniels (a well-known VO and media producer) I was offered exciting writing work at Sky, and my then boss at BFBS pulled out the chair for me as a freelance producer. I have watched many others take similar leaps and know now that defining moments can be the result of a leap of faith helped by supportive friends and mentors.

New York Festivals: Will you share how the culture of your company encourages creativity?

Andrew Wright: This is my simplest answer of all. My team are never allowed to criticize ideas. Every idea is useful, either at the moment of conception or later. Saying no to ideas kills the creative confidence of so many people and it’s an appalling approach to innovation.

New York Festivals: What’s your favorite radio program that you created?

Andrew Wright: I’m going to stick to the past 3 years and choose a documentary I produced, just to tell the story of part of my career. “Radio at the Sharp End” followed the role of front line broadcasters over 3 decades and focused on a network that has been an incredibly important part of my life to date, British Forces Broadcasting, BFBS. I’ve spent a little time covering wars and wanted to avoid the glorification or adoration of the dangers of front line broadcasters. Instead I tried to let people who’d done the job talk about their experiences without sensationalizing them. I loved making the programme, and meeting the people who made it come alive.

New York Festivals: What are the hallmarks of award-winning radio programs?

Andrew Wright: If only we could write a 3 point plan, everyone would want to follow it. Here are my 3 tips for what it’s worth. 1. Clive Dickens always said to his teams in UK radio, “Listen to a lot of Radio”. It’s such a simple idea and I would add to it that listening to an eclectic range is crucial, from pure speech to edgy specialist music. 2. Your programme must at its heart be about people, not things. Good radio tells stories and for that you need people. 3. If you need technical help, ask. Don’t muddle through. A great story well told will be ruined by even the smallest technical error.

I can’t wait to hear this year’s global entrants and sincerely wish anyone who enters the New York Radio Festivals the best of luck, your radio often inspires and always interests me.

For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ Stay Tuned, the 2017 Radio Awards competition opens  January 11th.

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Confidential:Ashleigh McIntyre

NYF’s Grand Jury Confidential profiles New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards award-winning Grand Jury members. Each interview provides a glimpse into the brilliant careers of prominent award-winning radio executives from around the globe who are recruited to select the World’s Best Radio Programs℠. These dedicated jury members are committed to their craft and are an inspiration to us all.

Ashleigh McIntyre, Producer for 1233 ABC Newcastle, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

This week, NYF caught up with Grand Jury member Ashleigh McIntyre, Producer for 1233 ABC Newcastle, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ashleigh’s been sharing her producing skills at 1233 ABC Newcastle for almost 5 years. Before her position at ABC, Ashleigh had producing stints at Australian Radio Network and Northside Broadcasting FM99.3.

NYF first met Ashleigh when she jetted to New York City to the 2013 Radio Awards gala when she accepted the  Silver Trophy  for “The Story Box”  with Presenter, Aaron Kearney and Senior Producer, Karen Shrosbery. “The Story Box” awakens 1233 ABC Newcastle’s morning listeners with a magic box that showers adventure, romance, terror and comedy onto the Morning Drive/Breakfast airwaves every day. The award-winning premise is immediately engaging–a listener collects a box which contains a battered cell phone that they must answer when it rings and be prepared to answer any question asked, and then after the call pass the box to someone else who must follow the instructions.

L to R - 2013 NYF Silver Trophy winner "The Red Box" Presenter-Aaron Kearney, Senior Producer-Karen Shrosbery, and Ashleigh McIntyre-Producer.

 

In the interview below Ashleigh shares early career influences, lessons from her first job, how her company encourages creativity and much more!

New York Festivals: Who or what were your early influences in your career?

Ashleigh McIntyre: Looking back, I feel like it’s inevitable that I ended up working for Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC. My parents have always been big fans of local radio, so from a very young age, its importance was deeply ingrained. I would get up in the morning and our kitchen radio would be tuned to ABC, I would get in the car to go to school and my dad would have it on in the car, I would come home from school and he would be working in the garage with ABC blasting. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, it did make me realize what great company the radio can be, and the connection to the community that local radio specifically provides.

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Ashleigh McIntyre: I moved to Sydney to get a start in radio, and my first paid gig was at a commercial station aimed at 35 year-old-women. Starting out as the Assistant Producer on Breakfast, my boss taught me two very important lessons: speed and thoroughness. Getting material to air quickly and making sure it is right the first time – two things that still serve me well in getting a daily Breakfast radio show to air.

New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?

Ashleigh McIntyre: I think in order to be a successful producer, you need to be persistent to the point of being a little annoying. The ability to wear people down into talking to you is a very useful tool to have!

It’s also important to be a good listener. It seems obvious in our industry, but so many people I know don’t listen to their team, their presenter, their radio station or even other radio stations. Listening closely, self-critiquing and taking on feedback from others is crucial to making better radio.

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Ashleigh McIntyre: I still feel as though I’m starting out in my career, but I truly felt like I had found my passion when I received a World Radio Award for our ABC Newcastle Breakfast segment the Story Box with Aaron Kearney and Karen Shrosbery. Standing at that podium and speaking about our work to the best minds in radio was both an honor and a privilege – and it made me want to do it again!

New York Festivals: Will you share how the culture of your company encourages creativity?

Ashleigh McIntyre: One difference between the ABC and other radio stations is the freedom and encouragement you get to work on passion projects. So long as our team works hard to meet our daily deadlines, management give us the freedom and opportunity to develop our ideas, see them through and turn them into world-class radio that can be used not only on our station, but across the network. One of the ABC’s core values as a company is innovation, but it’s so great that this is actually put into practice on a daily basis in local stations across the country.

For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ Stay Tuned, the 2017 Radio Awards competition opens  January 11th.

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Confidential: Dallas Gurney

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards award-winning Grand Jury is made up of over 100 directors, producers, journalists, writers, actors, creative directors, composers, on air talent, and programming executives who are recruited to select the World’s Best Radio Programs℠. These global executives are dedicated to their craft and  are actively involved in what is being created in the radio industry today .

Dallas Gurney, General Manager of Group Content Marketing, NZME New Zealand

This week, NYF spent a few minutes with Dallas Gurney, General Manager of Group Content Marketing for NZME New Zealand, owner of the NZ Herald, Grab One and many regional newspapers and nationwide radio stations. Dallas has over two decades of broadcasting and media experience, both programming and leading radio stations. Until 2015 he was the General Manager of Newstalk ZB, New Zealand’s number one radio station and Radio Sport, a nationwide sports talk network.  Dallas has picked up a trophy shelf of awards throughout his career, he’s a winner of fourteen New Zealand Radio Awards and a gold medal at the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards for Newstalk ZB’s coverage of the devastating 2011 Christchurch Earthquake.

Keep reading to find out more about Dallas including leadership lessons, the defining moment in his career, and his all time favorite radio program

New York Festivals: What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Dallas Gurney: My first job was as a 14 year-old working at a large supermarket in my hometown. It was store policy to do announcements on the PA through the day of various specials throughout the store. For some reason, most people used to hate doing it and, to be honest, they were pretty useless at it too. I loved it so they let me do most of them. I realized if I threw some personality into it and cracked a couple of jokes people would comment to me about them. Then I caught on that they moved stock better too because people were actively listening and taking in the message. That learning set me up well for my first radio job – don’t be vanilla because they won’t hear a word you say. That was a great learning and served me well when I started work at the local radio station the following year.

New York Festivals: What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Dallas Gurney: All you have is your own reputation. Protect it fiercely and be honest with people. If you’re not people won’t respect you. Also to be a great broadcaster you have to be an even better listener.

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Dallas Gurney: In 2011 New Zealand’s second biggest city was devastated by a huge earthquake killing 185 people. I was nine months into a new job running New Zealand’s #1 radio station, a talk radio format. Power was out and radio was all they had. I was in the control room directing the coverage. Never before have I felt a sense of greater purpose, it was literally life-and-death. We did a brilliant job which was recognized both domestically and internationally (we won a New York Festivals gold medal for our coverage), but a byproduct of this was it also helped my confidence. I knew if I could handle this, I could handle anything.

New York Festivals: What’s your favorite radio program that you created?

Dallas Gurney: This isn’t my favorite, but it’s the wackiest. New Zealand is having a referendum at the moment on whether to change our national flag. We recently did a 24-hour “Flagathon” (half live on-air and half on our own iHeartRadio channel) where we talked nothing but flags for 24 hours. We rolled about 60 different guests through. It was mental, but people actually listened and enjoyed it. The longer it went on, the funnier it got – there were some hilarious moments. It was good example of a mad idea, well executed.

For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/ Stay Tuned, the 2017 Radio Awards competition opens  January 11th.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Grand Jury Confidential: Rick Houghton

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards spends a few minutes each week with one of the Radio Awards Grand Jury members from around the globe. These prominent award-winning executives are actively involved in creating the exceptional programming heard in today’s radio industry and are recruited by NYF to serve on the Grand Jury and select the World’s Best Radio Programs℠.

Rick Houghton, Director, Talkabout Media Ltd., and presenter for Radio City's Home Run.

Rick Houghton is a Grand Jury member and Director of Talkabout Media Ltd. a multimedia company based in Liverpool that produces high quality video and audio for content for corporate clients. Talkabout Media also produces radio programs for Liverpool’s City Talk and Radio City 96.7. Rick is also the presenter of Radio City Liverpool’s “Home Run” airing 3-7pm Weekdays and Sunday mornings.

New York Festivals caught up with Rick and asked him to share his insights on all things radio including his early influences, the defining moment in his radio career, the hallmarks of an award-winning radio program, and much more.

New York Festivals: Who or what were your early influences in your career?

Rick Houghton: I realized I wanted to be in radio at the age of 9 – I had discovered my parents record player and used to practice in my bedroom, talking whilst turning the records over to play the B sides – my parents were a massive influence. I also listened to

Kenny Everett

lots of radio, Kenny Everett was a hero of mine growing up.

New York Festivals: What qualities are the most important to have?

Rick Houghton: A station owner once told me ‘never hire anyone to work in radio, unless you would enjoy hanging out and having beers with them’ – I think that is true! Personality is important on the air, but it’s equally important to be grounded and personable OFF the air. Helpful, kind, honest are all qualities I would look for.

New York Festivals: Tell us a bit about your evolution in the radio industry?

Rick Houghton: I started very young, at age 13 I was in my local BBC station at weekends making tea, then answering phones, then editing interviews. This led to access to the spare studio and I would sit and work on my demo reels. At age 16 I got my first full time radio show – evenings at Plymouth Sound in Devon England. Being on air at 16 was a UK record at the time. I then moved home to work at Radio City in Liverpool, this was a dream, working evenings on the station I grew up with, the show was well received – that was the foundation for a long career!

After spells at some of the UK’s biggest stations I packed my bags for my first management role as a PD at a new English CHR in Dubai – the first of its kind there. I was in the Middle East for 8 years before returning once more to host drive at Radio City. Then a bit of a blip, my personal life wasn’t good and I came off radio, I had been offered a management job and turned it down. I considered leaving the industry all together at one point. I then launched a sport/talk station in Leeds for a former football Chairman, and then hosted a drive show on a station in Stoke and less than a year later – my beloved Radio City came knocking again. I am currently drive host on Radio City 2 – a classic hits format that sits alongside Radio City on FM.

New York Festivals: What was a defining moment in your career?

Rick Houghton: There have been a few, youngest UK jock, launching the first CHR in Dubai and most recently being offered the chance to come home to Radio City in Liverpool and realizing that my real strength still lies behind a mic.

New York Festivals: What are the hallmarks of award-winning radio programs?

Rick Houghton: Engage the listener, relate to the listener on their level, entertain, inform and surprise! Create moments that keep people in the car at the office car park for ten more minutes, do something that gets talked about round the water cooler. Use video, it’s a massive part of how users consume media, use social media – DO NOT be afraid to take chances, be dangerous, confront the issue and make no excuses for the body of work you have created.

For more information on the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards please visit: www.newyorkfestivals.com/radio/

 

 

Posted in interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment