The ACRA nominee who has been in radio since he was 9

Most people who submit an ACRA  entry dream of a nomination, for 96.5 WAVE FM‘s Chris Sewell he’s been nominated for six in 2016 for his work at Star FM in Dubbo.

The categories are Best On-Air team ( Chris Sewell & Juelz Jarry ), Best Music Presenter, Best Music Special, Best Comedy Segment along with Best station Promotion and Best Sales Promotion, both of which Chris was an integral part off.

Chris started at community radio station 2HAYFM when he was 9 years-old playing CD’s in his school holidays before starting on air when he was 10, every second Friday afternoon 4-6pm.

By the time I left there at 18, I’d done every job in the station”, he says. 

In 2006 Chris moved to Albury to study teaching but “hated it”.

He got his first commercial gig in radio as a casual writing copy at the Albury hub.

Chris says he “pestered” Phil Bradley to be on air and after presenting him with a third demo, he was finally given some casual network announcing before becoming full time announcing most weekends, filling in on weekdays and national overnights on Truck Radio for a month. 

In 2008 he moved to Wagga where his personal and professional life became a struggle, “I had a break from radio where I ended up managing a pub for a few years“.
Chris returned to radio in 2011 when Nick Lowther gave him a second chance doing copy/mornings at 94.9 PowerFM. He moved to breakfast after a year, 18 months after that Chris moved to Wave to do mornings and was the Image Producer.

“I was only there 5 months when I had a tree change to Dubbo where I was for just over a year and a half on brekky, nominated for 4 ACRA’s in the first year, 6 this year from work in Dubbo, before I got an offer to come back to Wave to do mornings and social media and fill in on brekky.”

So it’s not the first time you’ve been nominated in multiple categories – you were a finalist last year too did you win?

“No I didn’t, I was robbed more than Shannon Noll was in Australian Idol in 2003. Jokes aside, it’s was a bit hard to swallow at first, but then I realised it’s still a huge achieve for myself and the team I was with in Dubbo to have so many nominations and drove me to work harder in the last 12 months to make better radio and this year’s entries even better.”

What’s the secret to a good entry? 
“Depends on the entry to what you include, but you’re best 15 seconds in the start is important, think about it as if you’re applying for a job. If you want the Content Director to listen to your whole aircheck, make the first 15 seconds killer. On air make sure you have a variety of break topics, good callers, short and sharp, 3-4 breaks. For promotion work, great payoffs, part of produced promos.”
Do you think having that life outside of radio has helped with your on-air performance?
“Absolutely. It taught me a lot about story-telling and gave me a grasp on the real world and what matters to people. Not only that, it gave me an appreciation for how much I missed radio and how much I love doing it.”
Have you picked your suit out for Melbourne?
“At the moment, I’m still living in this dream world where I’m going to lose 10kg and look amazing in a flashy new suit… In short, no. I’ll probably buy it the day before.”

You can read the full list of finalists here.


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