Last Friday, radio presenters and producers left the comfort of the studio and headed to the New Zealand Radio Awards, a celebration of all things radio and a competition between MediaWorks and NZME.
The evening saw Auckland's War Memorial Museum taken over, as it became the epicenter of New Zealand radio, broadcast not over radio waves but through a flurry of tweets, Facebook statuses and no doubt a cheeky Snapchat pic or two.
The big win of the night went to MediaWorks as it walked away away champion of the Hosking vs Henry battle. Hosking had the award he won last year snatched from his grasp, as Henry took top honours, winning the Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year Award. Henry was also named Best Talk Presenter – All Markets.
Christian Boston from the More FM Network was named Best Content Director, followed by the station taking out Best Marketing Campaign for its Dancing with the Stars promotion, and Best Single Market Station Promotion for #SchoolofEd. More FM Canterbury also won Station of the Year – Surveyed Market.
"MediaWorks prides itself on creating world class radio, and this year’s wins, as well as the outstanding number of finalists is great recognition of the hard work, creativity and talent of our people,” said Boston.
However, MediaWorks wasn't lucky enough to also take home Station of the Year – Network, with the accolade instead going to Newstalk ZB. The winner of the previous two years, The Edge, was not among the finalists, which included More FM and The Rock.
The Edge did, however, take home Best Network Station Promotion, Best Radio Website, Best Station Imaging, and Best Effective Commercial for the 'Spookers Halloween – It’s Your Call' joint campaign with Mai FM.
Its DJs Jay Jay, Dom and Randell also won Best Music Breakfast show.
MediaWorks radio CEO Wendy Palmer said she was proud of all the network's winners and finalists.
“We're just so fortunate to have such great talent. It's their work that underpins the record breaking commercial success of the past year, and it's so great to see them recognised by the industry.
“A special mention to Paul Henry and his deserving win of Best Talk Presenter, as well as the coveted Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year Award. It shows the hard work that has gone into making News Zealand’s first truly multi-platform programme has paid off.”
While MediaWorks won the battle for the Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year, NZME and MediaWorks, shared Best Newsreader, as it was awarded to both Hilary Barry (RadioLive Network) and Bernadine Oliver-Kirby (Newstalk ZB Network).
RadioLive also won Best Journalist with Lloyd Burr, and Newstalk ZB saw its host Leighton Smith win Talkback Presenter of the Year.
Winners or not, the attendees followed tradition and partied the night away, though possibly not quite as much as last year.
It's not as sweaty as last year #NZRadioAwards— Jeremy Pickford (@jeremypickford) May 20, 2016
Here is the full list of winners:
Radio New Zealand was not a participant in the radio awards as it's not a commercial station. However, it was still a winner on the night, recognised with three major awards at the Canon Media Awards instead.
RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section.
Rnz.co.nz was also a finalist in the best website, best news or app and best coverage of a major news event sections.
RNZ chief executive Paul Thompson emphasised the importance of the awards and is delighted with the results.
“Competing in the Canon Media Awards allows us to measure our worth against colleagues who represent the very best in New Zealand journalism.
"These awards showcase excellence in New Zealand news and current affairs, the websites and their contributing journalists. Our success tonight marks further progress in RNZ’s transition from a traditional radio broadcaster to a successful multi-platform media organisation.”