Revealed: The Top New Talent to Watch in 2020 and beyond
Radio Today’s annual rundown of The Top New Talent to Watch returns for 2020.
As usual, we’ve looked to commercial radio and far beyond, from street teams to regional markets, community radio, and newsrooms, as well as stand-up shows and podcasts.
After months of research and weeks of deliberation, we’ve whittled down a long list of potentials to the Top 10.
Previous editions have featured the likes of Jess Eva, Bree Tomasel, Ben & Liam, Tommy Little, Will & Woody, Brooke Boney, Danny Lakey and many more.
Many of those named last year have cemented roles or been promoted at their current places of employment, several have moved on to bigger and better things.
Last year’s edition also broke historic ground in terms of female representation, and women are also well-represented in the 2020 list, with 6/10 entries including female talent.
Now, in no particular order, here are Radio Today’s Top New Talent to Watch in 2020 and beyond!
Dana Hamilton – Announcer + Operations + Producer, 2DayFM
Dana Hamilton got her start in community radio, following a road well-travelled by radio Australian radio professionals, starting out at Triple R and Joy 94.9 in Melbourne in 2018.
She’s since spent time as an executive producer working at Melbourne’s Student Youth Network (SYN) before landing her first announcer gig at Newcastle’s NEWFM in 2019, completing her Graduate Diploma in Radio at AFTRS that same year.
Since then, Hamilton has landed a gig working in operations and as an announcer for 2DayFM, and she also works as a producer on Hit Network National Nights shows Ash London LIVE and The Danny Lakey Late Show.
Bryce Mills – Weekend Arvos, triple j
Bryce Mills became a full-time triple j presenter in 2020, landing the gig in what was part of a generational shift at the station, with the departure of several popular presenters over the past couple of years. After filling in on Drive over summer, he officially replaced Sally & Erica on Weekend Arvos.
Mills first got his foot in the door at the national broadcaster as a receptionist, after getting his first radio gig at 2SER while studying Macquarie University. He hosted the 2SER Drive show there and juggled doing comedy (and has performed at Sydney Comedy Festival). He was offered a gig as a triple j announcer at the end of 2018.
He hosts a popular podcast God Is Dead and has also appeared on Network Ten’s The Bachelor Unpacked.
Luisa Dal Din – National Nights Producer, Hit Network
Known best ‘Shoey Louey’, New Zealand-hailing Luisa Dal Din works on The Danny Lakey Late Show broadcasting nationally across the Hit Network as a producer & on-air.
The NZ-hailing Loey got her radio start in radio at MediaWorks NZ as a promotions coordinator, before moving onto a gig announcing at More FM. She has since worked as a Breakfast producer at NZME’s The Hits and also hosted Saturday Drive on Hauraki, before heading to Australia at the start of 2019,
Over the 2019/2020 holiday period, she was an announcer for the Summer 30 with Rohan & Lu, which was broadcasted nationally across the Hit Network.
Jack Charles – Early Breakfast Host + Chrissie, Sam & Browny EP, Nova 100
Jack Charles already has five years in radio under his belt, landing in community radio at 18 years of age, and managing to get a job at Nova 100 that same year.
Before his shifts, he’d sit in with Nova’s announcers, learning the panel and recording demos.
After six months as a Casanova, the network offered Charles a job as producer of a then new Breakfast show called Chrissie, Sam & Browny in 2016.
He has since graduated to become EP for Nova 100 Breakfast, and runs Sam Pang through his life problems in a segment called ‘Jack’s Got Issues’. He also has his own show – ‘Just Before CSB’, which airs from 5-6am Weekdays.
Nat Penfold – Announcer, KIIS 106.5
Another AFTRS graduate, Nat Penfold started in radio at 2GB in a sales role, before moving across to SCA and serving n several roles since including sales-coordinator, casual receptionist and prep-air producer.
Penfold then spent time as a producer for The Edge 96.ONE Breakfast, and was on-air as a music presenter in the Arvos.
She was recognised at the 2018 ACRAs as the winner of Best Newcomer Off-Air (Provincial) and is now an announcer at KIIS 106.5.
Matthew O’Gorman (Matty O) – Workdays, Triple M Melbourne
Matty O’Gorman came to fame as the drummer for Australian rock band British India, before joining SCA’s Hubble program in 2018. As a result, he has a unique ability to connect with a rock-driven music strategy and shares insights from his time in the industry while on air.
Through Hubble, he had stints as an announcer on ‘The Smoko’ for Triple M Aussie and ‘The Sunday Experiment’ on the Hit Network.
In 2019 Matty O became a Workdays announcer on Triple M Melbourne, a position he has made his own.
Zara McDonald & Michelle Andrews – ‘Shameless’ Podcast
Melbourne journalists Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews launched the Shameless podcast in 2018 after leaving their roles working at Mamamia, who rejected the idea for the pod.
Shameless has been downloaded millions of times and was listed in Apples best of 2018 podcasts. The pod also won Australia’s Most Popular Podcast at the 2019 Australian Podcast Awards.
McDonald and Andrews have since launched Shameless Media, which has expanded with new podcasts including a branded podcast with dating app Bumble called Love etc.
Zannon & TonyB – Announcers, The Edge 96.1 & iHeart Radio
Zannon & TonyB host The Edge 96.1’s dance show each Sunday Afternoon, and also appear on iHeartRadio Dance on digital radio. The energetic pair can be heard from 5pm-6pm each Sunday, and their content has been reposted by the worlds biggest artists including Joel Corry, Steve Aoki and Meduza.
Zannon Peters has previously worked as a DJ at Lucky Ent, and as a content and media producer at KCB Productions where he delivered content to KIIS FM, 2DayFM, The Fox and B105. He is also the ad operations team lead at ARN in Sydney.
TonyB (aka Anthony Badolato) has also worked as an announcer at community station 2RDJ Burwood and has over five years experience as a sound designer and audio engineer. He is also a voice-over artist repped RMK Management.
Maddy Rowe – Announcer, Hit Regional Workdays
Townsville-based Hit Network announcer Maddy Rowe is a double threat, holding down careers in both the radio and music industries simultaneously.
Rowe relocated from Melbourne to Townsville in late 2019 to take up her gig on Hit Regional Workdays, but got her start in radio volunteering at Student Youth Network (SYN) in her hometown. She went on to host Daytimes and then Thursday Afternoons on JOY 94.9 before picking up her current gig at SCA.
She’s also just released her second single as new pop music project GENES.
Harnsle Joo – EP/On-Air Afternoons, 2GB
After interning on the Ben Fordham show on 2GB five years ago, Harnsle Joo landed her first full-time radio gig as a producer at Macquarie Media.
Her talent was recognised quickly, and she moved into a a role as an associate producer on Afternoons with Chris Smith, before becoming a full-fledged producer on Ray Hadley’s Mornings Show.
She’s now the executive producer for Deb Knight’s new Afternoons show, but occasionally appears back on Hadley’s show.