ARN’s after party at the bottom of the ocean

Comment from Peter Saxon

It wasn’t ARN’s night. Or SCA’s for that matter. 

Nova Entertainment sucked up most of the major metro FM awards capped by CEO Cathy O’Connor’s induction into the Radio Hall of Fame – deservedly so. Judging by the standing ovation afforded her, a hugely popular choice.

The final score was Nova Entertainment: 14 shiny metal mics to ARN’s 6. SCA got 12, if you count Best Digital Format for Kinderling Kids Radio which isn’t strictly an SCA product even though it is broadcast on one of SCA’s digital platforms. Either way, NovaEnt. walked away with all the big ones like Best On-Air Team, Program Director, Music Director as well as Best News Presenter for both AM and FM – quite a feat when you consider they only own one AM station, FIVEaa.

In the previous week, like many who live in one of Australia’s two most populous cities, I tasted both the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat as the Sydney based Sharks prevailed against the Melbourne Storm while the Swans had gone down to the Bulldogs. I know which feeling I prefer.

I expected the vibe at the ARN after party to be so melancholic I almost slit my wrist band – the purple one given me for entry to the ARN after party and simply not turn up. But this scribe is made of sterner stuff. Besides, I could do with a drink.

So, it was with some trepidation that I descended the steep staircase to the bottom of The Atlantic – the basement of an upmarket fish caff named after the ocean deep in the bowels of Melbourne’s Crown complex.

I needn’t have worried. The mood was positively upbeat at the ARN after party. You would have thought they’d been the big winners.

And indeed they were.

The fact that the network’s biggest names had not won awards meant that those that had were not overshadowed by their better paid colleagues and thus elevated to hero status. This party was for them.

None were more heroic in victory than Mike E and Emma who had won Best On-Air Team, provincial, for their breakfast show on The Edge 96.ONE. No one works harder than this pair along with their multi-hatted CD Charlie Fox. They’ve succeeded with a station whose trandmitter is based in the far west of Sydney while its signal is swamped by its metro rivals. 

It’s a wonder this crew hasn’t been poached by another network. 

Four times Mike E and Emma have been finalists without joy but finally, on Saturday night, they cracked the big one. And they were rapt.

More importantly, everyone in the Atlantic’s basement was rapt for them.

If there was an ACRA for Best at Being Nice or for Most Generous Talent, then surely WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda would win it – every year until people finally got the shits with them for winning it every year. Win lose or draw, they always turn up to support the team. Melbourne GOLD FM’s Jo and Lehmo were there too though they didn’t win anything either but were gracious enough to take a selfie (below) with me – which I’m guessing is unlikely to go in their family albums.

It was unfortunate that Kyle and Jackie O, who in recent years had swept all before them were unable to attend on this occasion, leaving their show’s EP Nic McClure who won the ACRA for Best Show Producer to carry the K&J banner alone and celebrate without them.

Their station, KIIS 1065, did okay too. It won ACRAs for Best Multimedia Execution – Sales, for Kyle & Jackie O’s Haunted House. And Natali Brabant was named Best Promotions Director.

Also winners on the night were ARN’s Adelaide Agency Sales team who won Best Station Sales Achievement.

Jonesy and Amanda did have a win with the Authentic Ent. show they voice, My Generation, which was named Best Syndicated Program.

Jo Stanley, Peter Saxon and Anthony Lehmo in the depths of The Atlantic

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