Talkback show from the year 1 BC wins NY Festival Radio Award

A small New Zealand not-for-profit radio production trust has won four prestigious New York Festival Radio awards, including Best Talk/Interview Special, for its innovative Christmas radio special called Newstalk BC.

The Chrisian Broadcasting Association (CBA) was awarded two golds and two silvers this week in Manhattan, New York where the competition included some of the largest radio companies from more than 30 countries.

The winning entry was broadcast last Christmas morning on Newstalk ZB.

Newstalk BC transported listeners back in time to Jerusalem in 1BC. It was an hour of simulated ‘talkback’ from the very first Christmas morning, except nobody was aware of the significance of the day at that time.

The talk was topical including the strange light in the sky, Caesar selling 49% of the publicly owned aqueduct and frustrations arising from the Roman census.

In a tense and oppressive political landscape, amid conjecture of a foretold liberator, talkback host, Mordechai ‘Mordy’ Lehmann, investigates the claim of a new king being
born in Judea.

Managing Trustee of CBA Phil Guyan has told radioinfo: “I‟m incredibly proud that we’re able to use our limited resources and some classic kiwi ingenuity to compete on the world stage. We used a back office in industrial Penrose and built a blanket-fort-sound-booth with a couch and cushions, and here we are winning gold and silver. It’s gratifying to know that the quality of our product can compete with the likes of the BBC and ESPN.”

CBA’s level of success in New York has never been achieved by a New Zealand broadcaster before.

When news broke that Newstalk BC was the most nominated program in the 2014 awards, Newstalk ZB GM Dallas Gurney said: “It appears to be unprecedented and a true tribute to the world-class broadcasting CBA creates every week.”

“We had the chance to work with some incredible people for Newstalk BC,” says Pat Brittenden, who played talkback host Mordechai Lehmann, “we roped in 40 different voices for this production, from high profile amateurs like the Prime Minister and Sir Peter Leitch to some of the most respected actors in New Zealand such as Ian Mune and Mark Hadlow. None of those ‘guests’ were actually paid, but they all leapt at the chance to be part of our little on-air nativity play.”

Over the decades, CBA has drawn on the talents of kiwi media personalities such as John Hawkesby, Rob Harley and Petra Bagust. CBA has been providing top quality content for radio stations across New Zealand since its first broadcast from aboard the “Tiri” in the Hauraki Gulf in 1968.

To listen to the winning entry visit


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