In an unusual step, TRB this year announced the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Radio award at the same time as releasing the full list of finalists for this year’s edition of the event.
In a short video posted to the TRB website, More FM presenter Simon Barnett presents the award to TRB’s Christchurch manager Jac Kluts, who has had a long and storied career in the industry.
“This winner has been a true champion of radio for many years and is loved by people on all sides of the industry,” says Barnett on behalf of the TRB in the video.
“He started his broadcast career 44 years ago and worked at the TRB since its inception in 1994. He has driven revenue for the industry and represented our industry with integrity and passion whether talking to advertisers or industry newcomers at the broadcast school.”
Barnett could unfortunately not present the actual trophy to Kluts on the day due to weather conditions making its delivery from Auckland impossible, but this did not appear to worry Kluts, who was visibly moved by having the honour bestowed upon him.
In winning the award, Kluts follows in the footsteps of former NZME Radio GM of area sales and development Grant Lee and Radio Tarana CEO Robert Kahn who last year won this award.
As far as the other finalists go, awards night promises to be a competitive affair for the industry.
On the entertainment side, The Edge, ZM, The Rock, Mai FM and More FM are the leading contenders, with a range of finalists slots across various categories.
The coveted best music breakfast show will this year be contested between Si and Gary on More FM; Fletch, Vaughan and Megan from ZM; and Jay-Jay, Dom and Randell from The Edge.
The Edge will no doubt be hoping to repeat last year’s performance, which saw the station’s breakfast hosts walk away with the accolade.
The team at The Edge will also be keeping a close eye on the Station of the Year gong, where they’ll be pitted against ZM and The Rock. Last year’s winner of this award, Newstalk ZB, is not among the finalists this year.
NZME’s talkback station is, however, in for a big night, with the team nominated across a wide array of categories.
As was the case last year, one of the most interesting battles of the night will be between RadioLive and Newstalk ZB, which are going head to head for many awards.
And none of these awards will attract quite as much attention as the Best Talk Presenter category, which will be contested between Duncan Garner, Mike Hosking and Paul Henry.
With Henry winning last year and Hosking the year before that, Garner is something of a dark horse in this race.
We will, however, have to wait until 8 June to find out who joins Kluts as a 2017 winner.
Here’s the full list of finalists: