Radio’s best FM newsreaders on building bulletins & finding balance
Newsrooms around the country are basking in the afterglow of this year’s ACRAs, where the best of the best were recognised.
Nominees in 2019’s Best News Presenter category working in metro FM radio included winner Ange Anderson, Steve Blanda, Patrina Jones, Sasha Tannock and Michelle Stephenson.
Radio Today spoke with each of the 2019 nominees, and winner Anderson.
This year’s winner of the FM category was Nova 106.9’s Ange Anderson, who is now a two-time winner. Over her almost 10 years with the station, she’s forged a connection with listeners.
“I feel like I’ve grown up with the breakfast team and listeners. I’ve shared not just news stories, which affect our community, but also my personal life,” she said.
“It’s great when you are outside the studios and someone says something like, ‘I’ve looked into freezing my eggs after you spoke about it on-air.’
“You feel like, in a small weird way, that you are making a small difference.”
smoothfm’s Steve Blanda has enjoyed a career spanning more than four decades, covering some of the biggest stories of our times.
Yet he still finds just as much personal and professional satisfaction in presenting news nowadays.
“It’s the constant rush of adrenalin and the thrill of communicating the facts. With big stories, you feel you’re part of them as you delve into the details and present them to your audience.
“And on ‘slow’ days, it’s the challenge of finding stories you know will interest, effect or even amuse your audience.”
Gold 104.3’s Patrina Jones is a three-time nominee in the Best News Presenter (FM) category.
Her profile has grown since the launch of The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show, where she has become an integral member.
“It’s an exciting new chapter in Australian and global radio. It highlights how newsreaders can be integrated into a show, showcasing their personality and versatility.
“I’ve been blessed to have the belief from national content directors like Duncan Campbell and the mentoring of brilliant presenters like Christian.
“As Christian O’Connell is new to Melbourne, it’s [about] being a reliable authority on local information as he settles in the local community.”
Triple M Sydney’s Sasha Tannock joined Southern Cross Austereo in 2003 after stints at 2GB and 2SM. It’s given her an understanding of how the news role has changed.
“My role as a journalist has constantly evolved during my 16 years at SCA, so being resilient, adapting to change and being willing to learn new skills has been an important part of the journey.
“The way people consume news has changed significantly during that time, but when I write and read the news, I’m still speaking directly to that one person – whether they’re listening to the radio in their car, at home via their Smart Speaker or through an app on their mobile phone!”
NOVA Entertainment’s Michelle Stephenson rounded out the news presenter nominations. Not only is she the national newsroom director, but she’s also the National Drive newsreader.
“I really enjoy the challenges every day in news brings. But for me, specifically, it’s making sure every state is served well with their news content considering I cover Nova nationally.
“I pump out up to 15 news bulletins a shift as well as traffic every 20 minutes in Sydney and when things like bushfires happen, I have to be extremely organized. Having said that, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Getting to read news nationally is a gift and I enjoy it.”
All of this year’s nominees were winners in their own right. They each reflect their station’s values and core principles in their delivery and the crafting of their bulletins.