Parliament House opens its doors to radio execs

Staff Writer

On Wednesday night 2GB’s Ben Fordham hosted radio industry CEO’s and politicians at Parliament House for CRA’s third annual cocktail event.

Radio Today understands there was an excellent turnout, with around 150 in attendance, including Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

Joshua Frydenberg, Pauline Hanson, Tony Abbott, Wayne Swan and Anthony Albanese also made an appearance during the event.

The purpose of the gathering is to reinforce the influence of radio among Australia’s politicians with high-profile talent called-in to MC. In previous years Neil Mitchell and Ray Hadley covered hosting duties.

Talking to Radio Today post event, CRA’s CEO Joan Warner said, “It started three years ago, we in the middle of the copyright issue and again, it was to say ‘hey radio, don’t forget about us’. We don’t run around and throw tantrums in public but we are still here, and we still have issues and need political support.”

Warner also said that Alan Jones was scheduled to be this year’s host but was unable to attend.

“He [Alan Jones] had a third operation this week apparently, so he’s not even back at work. But Ben was absolutely fantastic.”

Fordham spoke about the power of radio and how his recent interview with Turnbull, where the PM denied President Trump had hung up on him, was picked up far and wide – including CNN and Fox News.

Fifield described Ben Fordham as a “multimedia talent” and joked that after the arrival of Derryn Hinch to the Senate, he was now treating every broadcaster as a potential colleague.

Kieren Gilbert and David Speers from Sky News, who both began their careers in radio (4CA and K-Rock, respectively) also attended the event, sitting on a Q&A panel moderated by Fordham.

Warner said Gilbert and Speers delivered some great banter between then with the boys reminiscing about their start in radio.

All members of the CRA board, except SCA’s Grant Blackley, were at Parliment House to rub shoulders with Canberra

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