Sony Awards: A Few Worthy Mentions

Tonight sees one of the big events in the radio calendar, and a rare example of an
awards ceremony, where just about every nomination is worthy of winning.

I won’t bore you with an analysis of every single entry, but here’s one or two that
could be strong contenders.

“Ciaran’s Cause” – Real Radio Northwest (Best Community Programming)

In April 2012, seven year old Ciaran Geddes collapsed and died
during a game of football with his friends in Warrington, where he
suffered a cardiac arrest.

This sensitive documentary focused on the aftermath, and spurred a campaign
raising money to buy  equipment and defibrillators to better handle the needs
of children who suffer similar attacks.

From a personal point of view, I would like to see this documentary take the Gold
as a reminder to Global Radio of what could end up disappearing from the
Real/Smooth network should their purchase be approved.

Many of the people involved in the documentary have now moved on to the BBC
since this was aired, and it’s a clear reminder of how commercial radio can still
have an impact on community causes in their broadcast region, if they
have a very dedicated production team.

Cerys On 6, BBC 6 Music (Best Music Broadcaster)

Now this is a tough category. So many worthy entries here, and Cerys’ 6 Music
show blends brilliantly into it’s Sunday morning timeslot providing what, I guess
you could call an educational hangover cure.

And it’s not just a music show as such, as there are recipes for bizarre concoctions
for listeners to try out, and a weekly poetry spot where the Welsh singer reads
out a poem connected with the theme of the week’s show, to a fitting piece of
music as suggested by listeners.

It’s a very personal and fun show, and highlights the unique relationship
6 Music has with it’s listeners who share their even greater knowledge with those
on air.

Jamie Cullum, Folded Wing for BBC Radio 2 (Best Music Broadcaster)

Again, another worthy contender in a tough but great category.

This is a rare example of a specialist music show that has managed to convert
those who wouldn’t normally listen to the tunes played.

And who better to host than Jamie Cullum himself, who has already done
just that with his own music, and is sharing that of the artists who inspired him
and continue to do so.

Personal highlights in 2012 included an interview with Carmen Lundy, a vastly
underrated female jazz vocalist who should be getting all the success that
the likes of Diana Krall are receiving.

Though having said that Diana Krall was also interviewed later in the year,
and rather surprisingly, the album she was promoting wasn’t too bad actually.

And it’s not just jazz performers who share the spotlight, as actors, broadcasters
and musicians from other genres share their jazz influences with Jamie,
with one notable standout being The Brian Ferry Jazz Orchestra who gave
the dixieland treatment to some Roxy Music favourites.

An hour is not long enough for a show of this standard, and should this grab
the Gold, hopefully Bob Shennan will give this a longer timeslot, preferrably
in that of Elaine Paige?…

I can dream.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, BBC Radio 2 (Breakfast  Show Of The Year 10 Million Plus)

Yes it got the gold last year, but even before receiving the award, the show has
seen a lot of changes behind the scenes.

And yet the listener would not notice any drastic changes in quality, which
as is commonly the case in radio, is getting better year on year.

The big selling point of this amongst many other breakfast shows is content,
and Evans and the team manage to deliver every morning, engaging
just about every sub-section of the listening audience.

Through special events such as the mammoth Olympic coverage in August,
to the annual 500 Words competition alongside Blue Peter, it’s a rare
example of a radio show providing something for almost everyone.

Added value content has increased throughout 2012, including the weekly
podcast transforming into a daily podcast and with further progression
in 2013, Evan’s reign on Radio 2’s early mornings sees no sign of diminishing.

Fun Kids (Station of the Year, 1 million plus)

When it comes to the radio station of the future, Folder Media’s Fun Kids,
leads the way in throwing many conventions of radio out of the window
and re-inventing them along the way.

Aimed at under ten year olds and their families, the station provides a bright
and energetic range of shows on the station, and provides additional social
media content via an entertaining set of Youtube videos and podcasts.

The most interesting element of the station is that there is very little
live content broadcast, and yet the enthusiasm still shines through and
the content itself taps in perfectly to the interests of the audience without
being condescending.

Many of an older age will constantly moan and whinge that television
and radio for children isn’t what it used to be.

And you know what, I agree. I think it’s a lot better than it used to be, with
Fun Kids being one of the benchmarks.

BBC Radio 2, Wise Buddah Jingles (Best Station Imaging)

Audio branding is crucial in radio, and having a very strong musical image
is key to getting people talking, or even singing about you.

Certainly in the case of BBC Radio 2, who in 2012 made a big leap to
update their jingle package which had been remained relatively unchanged
since LA based Groove Addicts package was introduced in February 1998.

Turning to British jingle producers Wise Buddah who had done some work
for the station before, notably the recognisable Chris Evans jingles, the new
station-wide jingle package for BBC 2 took all the conventions of the previous
one and made them even better.

And even getting a few well known musicians and singers to help out, including
Beverley Knight, Claire Teal, and Huey Morgan playing instruments and
singing where necessary.

From a production point of view, there was even room for flexibility with Ken Bruce’s
show opener recorded in two different keys to match that of the song to be played
following it.

Genius!

Here’s hoping that more will be produced over time, continuing to allow
the most popular radio station in the UK, have memorable identification to match.

Best of luck to all nominated, and I wish I was there with you sipping on the strong stuff.

Advertisements

About Robin Blamires

I live in Canterbury and really enjoy radio and audio producing. I currently present a show at community station CSR FM called "Blam Jam" where I play a wide selection of soul, jazz and electronica music, and elsewhere in the station I help out with producing the station sound, creating on-air idents and sweepers. I would love to bring my skills into professional radio and continue to learn more.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s