Clive James to address CRA Conference – Full Line Up Revealed

Famous expat writer, critic and presenter, Clive James will come to Australia next month as a special guest speaker at the commercial radio industry’s annual national conference and awards.

The conference will be opened by Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, with James delivering a keynote address on ‘The Cult of Celebrity’, looking at the media’s role in making and breaking celebrities and the hazards of instant fame.

James, who is finalising the fourth volume of his autobiography, will also present the Hall of Fame award to a radio luminary, in recognition of their lifetime contribution to broadcasting.

The two day event will be held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, with the conference on Friday 15 October, followed by the industry’s glittering awards night on Saturday 16 October.

Bruce Beresford, who directed the Oscar winning ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ and was one of the first Australians to break into Hollywood, will also address the conference. He will share insights about managing egos and star and celebrity foibles, with an eye on the audience and the bottom line.

CRA chief, Joan Warner, says: “We’ve brought together a diverse range of leading speakers from Australia and overseas for radio’s most important annual event – it will be a great opportunity for the industry to come together to focus on current and future issues.

“We’re looking forward to hearing from Clive James and Bruce Beresford, who will provide very different and entertaining views on today’s media and popular culture, and who we hope won’t be afraid to ruffle a
few famous feathers in the process.”

The radio fest takes place as the industry is enjoying one of its best years, and industry leaders are keen to ensure the momentum in advertising revenue growth continues.

Topics to be addressed at the conference include government use of radio, share of ad spend, radio’s role in a crisis in the age of terrorism, the rollout of digital technology, the latest on electronic measuring devices, the impact of new technologies such as i-pod, and new consumer marketing trends.

Other speakers at the conference include:

Douglas McArthur, Chairman of the Radio Advertising Bureau in the UK
Erica Farber, one of the most influential women in US radio and publisher of Radio and Records
Peter Menneer, UK specialist on electronic measurement
Steve Rae, advertising expert from Wizard of Ads (Canada)
Jay Guyther, Arbitron US
Joe Hockey, Federal Minister for Small Business and Tourism
Glenn Wheatley, Talentworks
Siimon Reynolds, Love Advertising
Bob Goodge, Starcom
Roger Camplisson, Initiative Media
Jen Patterson, Minter Ellison

On Saturday 16 October, more than 800 radio executives from around Australia will gather at the Convention Centre for the industry’s night of nights – the 2004 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) – radio’s equivalent of the Logies.

Organised by Commercial Radio Australia, on behalf of the radio industry, the awards feature 28 categories, which cover all areas of broadcasting including news, talk, comedy, sport and music, across metropolitan, provincial and country radio stations in most categories.

Master of ceremonies for the night is Austereo’s drive co-host, Kyle Sandilands.

The third event in the radiofest is the New Music to Radio Showcase (NM2R), where eight of the country’s most talented emerging acts have the opportunity to perform for commercial radio music directors and executives.

In past years, this event has helped kickstart the careers of artists such as Delta Goodrem and the Androids. The Showcase will be held at the Convention Centre’s Quest Nightclub on the Friday night (15 October), starting at 6pm.

The NM2R, organised by Commercial Radio Australia, will feature a punk rock band, all female country group, soul singer and female rock vocalist. The performers are Bella, Eran James, Jade MacCrae, Julie Strickland, Kid Courageous, Sarah Blasko, Vanlustbader and Tammin Sursok, who will all perform for around 300 program and music directors, presenters and station managers from around Australia.

Joan Warner says the subsequent airplay and success achieved by a number of the acts, which have appeared at previous showcases, highlight the enormous value the event provides as an important and innovative way of opening the door for emerging Australian artists to decision makers in commercial radio.

“The concept for the event was developed in 2002 by the Australian Music Development Initiative (AMDI), a joint commercial radio and record industry committee, formed to look at ways in which the two industries could work more closely to promote Australian music. AMDI was chaired in 2002 and 2003 by Vicki Gordon.

“By incorporating the NM2R into the commercial radio industry’s major events each year, the industry aims to ensure a number of emerging or new Australian artists are showcased to the large number of decision makers.

“In the past two years, the event has been jointly organised and funded by CRA and the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA). Unfortunately, the ARIA Board withdrew support for the event this year, citing a clash with the ARIA Awards to be held on Sunday 17 October.

“However, the commercial radio industry believes the NM2R is an important and unique opportunity for new Australian acts and, therefore, has proceeded to incorporate the 2004 NM2R into the two days of major commercial radio events on the Gold Coast.”

Tammin Sursok is best known for her role as Danni Sutherland on ‘Home and Away’. She is 21 and, in 2001, won Best New Actress award at the Logies. Tammin has been recording her debut album over the past 12 months in Sydney, Stockholm and Los Angeles. She has co-written much of the album and also plays guitar. The first single, to be released in November, is called ‘Pointless Relationship’.

All the acts have been chosen, based on their commercial radio potential, by a panel of network program and music directors. To be considered, the acts must not have achieved Top 40 status in Music Network’s Australian National Hot 100. Submissions were received from around 25 performers.

The NM2R will be hosted by Gold Coast radio personality, Craig Collett, better known as the Big Kahuna, who fronts ‘Fat 30’ on SEA FM.

For more information on the conference, ACRAs or the NM2R, click on the link below.