Written by Radio

Sony Awards (and Ed Reardon)

I work in the radio industry, and Tuesday night was a very important night. Arsenal completely trounced a tired, lacklustre and aging Juventus team in the first leg of the Champions’ League (I prefer The Fiver’s “Big Cup”) quarter final.
But that’s not what this is about. Tuesday night was also nominations night for the Sony Awards. Think of them as the Baftas of the radio industry. Except with more squabbling and in-fighting these days.
The full list of nominations can be seen here. What reports that there’ve been about the nominations have tended to mention the resurrection of Chris Evans with his two nominations prior to his controversial move to Radio 2’s drivetime slot. But I must be honest, and say that I agree with some of the commenters on Media Guardian’s Organ Grinder in finding the list somewhat predictable and bland.
Since I work at Virgin Radio, I won’t comment on any of our three nominations, but I did enjoy the comment about stations that don’t have a team of “20 people to work on a two hour” show as having unfair advantages. And the idea that Jamie Theakston is a radio “personality” is a bizarre idea, however successful his show actually is.
The thing about the Sonys is that there’s this forced inclusion of awards to make sure that the BBC doesn’t walk off with absolutely everything. So while the odd commercial programme is included in, say, the news and current affairs award, you know that the only possibility has to be one of the BBC’s shows. Similarly, the competition award includes a “competition” (actually, more of a poll) from the Today programme, but it’s really there because commercial radio stations run paid-for competitions on most of their big shows (indeed this can be quite a contentious issue since clearly many BBC radio shows give away prizes supplied by commercial companies who get some kind of recognition in return – why do you think Jonathan Ross has such a great selection of CDs and DVDs to give away to callers on his programme?).
Anyway, the best radio comedy programme of the last year, and I think you know the one I mean, wasn’t even nominated, so what do the Sony judges know? (Incidentally, is the first series really going to be released this time next year and this Amazon listing suggests? Why is it so far off..? Maybe not BBC Audio Collection direct, and it seems that Amazon has it right – it’s released in March next year. Quite why it’s so long in coming defeats me. Isn’t it normally a good idea, if you don’t release something pretty instantly following broadcast (e.g. Hitchhikers), then releasing series 1 on CD around the time of series 2 broadcast would seem to be smart. Still what do I know?)