Last night, the country's top radio talent ventured to Auckland’s Shed 10 to celebrate the best in the business at the NZ Radio Awards. And the big winners on the night were Mai FM and Mike Hosking, winning Station of the Year – Network and Best Talk Presenter - Breakfast or Drive.
Hosking, presenter of the Mike Hosking Breakfast on Newstalk ZB, used the opportunity to thank his wife Kate Hawkesby – also a Newstalk ZB presenter, having joined this year to host the Early Edition programme (when you combine their radio work and their online efforts, some believe there are more opinions in this family than in all other New Zealand families combined).
Hosking won the award from a battle between finalists John Campbell (RNZ National) and Larry Williams (Newstalk ZB).
Mai FM’s Station of the Year win comes after a cracker of a year with its cumulative audience growing from 387,000 listeners in the first GFK survey of 2017 to 441,000 in the last survey of the year.
In the first survey of 2018, its audience was down to 438,900 but in Auckland, it holds top spot for its audience and the top breakfast show.
The finalists for the Station of the Year title were RNZ National and More FM. Last year ZM was the winner.
Picking up Station of the Year in the surveyed market was More FM (Canterbury), which outperformed finalists the Breeze (Auckland) and More FM (Northland).
Speaking about the wins, MediaWorks group content director of radio Leon Wratt says its amazing for Mai FM to be acknowledged after doing “incredibly well” for the past few years.
“Sometimes the stations don’t always get recognised and they’ve missed out over a couple of years. The team were overjoyed.”
He adds the win is a result of a combination of hard work and really caring about what they are doing.
Wratt says More FM also had a great performance last night, with its station wins and it was special to see Thane and Dunc from The Rock Drive Win Best Music Non-Breakfast Team as it was their first ever nomination.
He says it was great to feel the passion for the industry is still alive considering the age of radio.
“It was really good, lots of people who have put a lot of time and effort into the industry were acknowledged.”
This year, ZM took to the stage to win Best Music Breakfast Show for Fletch, Vaughan and Megan, Best Marketing Campaign for ‘$50,000 Secret Sound’, Best Digital Content for its website, Best Network Station Promotion for ‘Flochella’, Best Station Trailer for ‘ZM’s Secret Sound’ and Best Video for ‘Lorde: The Babysitter’.
Jason Winstanley and Nadia Tolich from Newstalk ZB won Best Content Director, beating finalists Ryan Rathbone (The Edge) and Christian Boston (More FM and The Breeze) who has won the award the last two years.
Newstalk ZB also saw a win for with Marcus Lush taking Best Talk Presenter - Other, Emily Winstanley picking up Best Show Producer, and Niva Retimanu picking up Best Newsreader. The station also won Best Sports Story – Team Coverage for The America’s Cup.
NZME's group director of entertainment Dean Buchanan says it’s delighted with Newstalk ZB and ZM cleaning up most of the major awards between them, across a wide range of crafts.
“To be recognised by your industry peers after an outstanding year of work is always special and humbling. Mike Hosking showed in his speech why he was recognised for his outstanding contribution to Radio and we’re thrilled ZM’s Fletch, Vaughan and Megan won best Music Breakfast Show. Congrats to all the NZME winners and to Mai FM for winning station of the year.”
Later on in the evening, came the top honours, with One Double X receiving the Sir Paul Holmes Broadcaster of the Year Award after already picking up Station of the Year in the non-surveyed market. The station is broadcast from Whakatane.
Meanwhile, the Outstanding Contribution to Radio Award went to Mike Hosking and Jay-Jay Feeney.
This year has seen Feeney step into a new role hosting More FM’s drive show with Jason Gunn, after she left The Edge at the end of the 2017 after hosting its breakfast show for 13 years.
Wratt says they were well-deserved as both have made an outstanding contribution.
“From an industry perspective the acknowledgement of Jay-Jay and Mike Hosking was a real highlight. They are both really strong on-air personalities and contribute to why people tune into radio every day.”
Despite the new role, Feeney was still able to take to the stage with her former colleagues as Jay-Jay, Dom & Randell's ‘Tom Cruise Prank’ took out The Blackie Award.
The prank saw the Edge hosts trick More FM host Simon Barnett, by having a Tom Cruise impersonator call him. However, it turned sour when Barnett, who considers Cruise a hero, realised it was fake and he and his producer Samantha Baxter were left upset.
In a statement given to Newshub, Barnett said he had been left feeling humiliated and fans took to Twitter to express their shock over the prank.
The full list of winners can be seen below: