Steve Parkinson, Chair, Reelword Radio Academy 30 Under 30 Writes:

So this is the FIFTH year of the Reelworld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 and having watched this initiative grow over the past few years, I can see just how every single place is cherished in this Top 30. It’s not about being number one, it’s about being IN it!

I know the committee is also thrilled to see our alumni flourish across the industry in all sorts of roles and positions. Check out their stories on the website.

The 30 Under 30 has truly become a great way of recognising exemplary young talent and exceptional achievement across UK radio, as well as independent producers, student, hospital, community and other voluntary organisations.

The results of the 30 Under 30 will be announced at the new Radio Festival at the British Library in London which starts on Sunday 27th September. The Radio Academy would also like to thank Reelworld which is once again the proud sponsor and supporter of the project.

You can get involved NOW by enterting online at and remember the closing date this year is soon – on 31st August 2015 at 5pm.

Good luck and see you at the Festival!


Anthony Gay, European Managing Director, ReelWorld Writes:

ReelWorld are proud to be a part of the 2015 30 under 30 initiative. Radio has been in the media spotlight this year and there’s a lot to be positive about. It feels like the medium’s strengths are finally being recognised in the digital world and people are excitedly sharing their listening habits and discoveries – be it entertaining personalities or well-crafted music offerings. What we used to refer to as the ‘water cooler moments’ are back.

Our mission to make great radio extends beyond the jingles and imaging we provide to over 2,000 radio station around the world. We see ourselves as cheerleaders for the medium of radio and creative use of sound. The 30 under 30 perfectly aligns with our values of creativity, optimism and an obsession to be the best. We might not be in the radio stations but we understand the challenges.

It’s been a thrilling year for us so far — we re-imaged the sound of BBC Radio 1Xtra and created new musical identities for Radio 2 Belgium, KRONEHIT Austria, and RTL Berlin. At every opportunity we’re asking ourselves: Could we do this better? Could we do this differently? It’s that slight paranoia that helps keep you moving forward!

As our industry evolves, the enthusiasm of youth in radio is a tremendous force that ReelWorld vehemently supports. The talented individuals who have made this year’s 30 Under 30 short list are responsible for driving radio’s future in new and exciting directions. I hope the recipients continue to have long and successful careers in our fantastic industry. For me radio has never lost the sizzle that first attracted me to the medium over 30 years ago and I hope this year’s stars fly the flag that keeps us relevant in the years to come.


Latest update from Roger and Chris

by on 28th July 2015. (0) Comment .
Category: News

Roger Writes


It’s been a whirlwind of activity over my first couple of weeks and I have no doubt this will continue over the forthcoming weeks & months, especially as we build up to this year’s Radio Festival.

We’ve hosted the Radio Academy re-launch Cocktail Evening at Jaimie Oliver’s Fifteen, I’ve attended the impressive new look Radiocentre Conference at Bounce, Farringdon and also been a guest at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards at the Roundhouse, Camden. At all of these events, when either making new friends or being reacquainted with old ones, the striking and hugely reassuring feeling I’ve come away with, is one of huge affection for and genuine desire to see The Radio Academy flourish. I’ve had many and varied offers of support which has been quite overwhelming and I will be calling upon them, so if yours was meant as a humouring platitude then unlucky! ;-) Thank you all, so very much.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, it is all hands on deck for this year’s fantastic Radio Festival, my hyperbole is justified, as I know what is being lined up. We will be making announcements shortly so, with that in mind, I will keep this blog short and sweet, but hold the dates of the 28th – 29th September in your diary.

As Peter Falk famously said though, “just one more thing”… as the Radio Festival meeting drew to a close on Thursday evening last week, the wonderful Helen Thomas from Radio 2 turned to me and said “Roger, are you from Hull?”, I replied “yes, what makes you ask?”, “it was the way you said something in the meeting” she said. The irony is that when I go back to Hull, my mates think I’ve gone all posh and take great pleasure in taking the proverbial out of me, so this exchange with Helen was quite surprising. “How did you recognise my accent?” I asked Helen, to which she replied, “because, I’m from Hull too!”

Haha, yes get in, we’re taking over! – so here’s a quick language lesson for you “Ray-dee-oh” a relatively easy one, but how about this, Oh-dee-o.

Chris B. Writes

First of all can I say how great it is to have Roger on board. I know he is keen to get around and hear your ideas, so if he is at an event and you are there, please introduce yourself. Don’t forget this is your Radio Academy and we are both keen to ensure it reflects your interests, that’s one of the reasons I enjoy receiving your emails and hearing what’s on your mind.

Roger and I are busy planning our first Trustees meeting on the 6th August. The holiday season means we won’t be able to get everyone there, but we were keen to have at least one meeting before the Radio Festival in September, so we can tap into their skills, knowledge and contacts. Once we have the dates for all the Trustee meetings, we will publish them online so if you have any issues you want to raise you know when you have an opportunity.

I have also been meeting with some of those people who will be running the various sub committees we are setting up. I see these groups as vital to driving the agenda of the Academy and once we have the dates, we will again publish them.

And finally some of you will be aware that I have spent the last fortnight peddling across the country from Lands End to John O’Groats, and if you are like me, you don’t go that quickly on a bike, it gives you a chance to think and look around. One of the things I became acutely aware of as I peddled is the importance of the Radio Academy reflecting the whole of the UK. I haven’t got a magic solution as to how we are going to do that practically, but it is something that Roger and I will be turning our minds to over the coming weeks and months.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please keep your emails coming in.

New Trustees Announced

by on 9th July 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

Thank you to all of you, who voted in our Trustee elections. The results of which have given us lots of food for thought. Clearly all the candidates were offering something that appealed to many of you and so having talked to them and Roger Cutsforth, our new MD, what we have decided to do is in addition to having our Trustee Board we will also have a series of mini Boards.

Decisions will still be signed off at Board meetings, but I want these sub-groups to help us be the sort of Radio Academy that meets your needs and also helps us get things done more quickly.

The Trustee Board will be:

  • Chair – Chris Burns, BBC
  • Alison Gold, BBC Trust
  • Sanjay Nazerali, Carat Global
  • Tony Moorey, Bauer
  • John Dash, John Dash Media
  • Camilla Byk,
  • Jane Ostler, Millward Brown
  • Matt Payton, Radiocentre
  • Sam Bailey, BBC
  • Jonty Usborne, Student Radio Association
  • John Baish, BBC Radio Berkshire

In addition Dom Chambers will Chair a new Board made up of our affiliated members – SRA, CMA, SW, RIG, Prison Radio and Hospital Radio. Chris Lycett will start to work with our Fellows and set up a Fellows Timebank, so we can tap into their knowledge and expertise. Tony Currie will work with the Local Branch Chairs, especially those in nations to ensure that we don’t fall into the trap of being too London centric. There is a lot of talent in this industry across the whole and we should celebrate it all. Iain Betson will work with us to help ensure the Radio Skills Council takes into account the skills our craft areas need and Mal Reding and I are looking at ways to ensure we never forget that our industry is all about audiences.

We will write with further details about these groups as they develop and once the dates of the meetings have been agreed, we will put the details here on the website.

Chris Burns, Chair.

Roger Cutsforth Appointed New Managing Director

by on 29th June 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

Roger Cutsforth talks about his new role as MD of the Radio Academy:


I am delighted and honoured to be the new Managing Director of The Radio Academy and greatly energised by the huge opportunity this presents.

I have many people to thank for their support and encouragement and you all know who you are. I would also like to thank my current employers Global Radio [with whom I’ve happily spent the best part of 9 years] for their support in this process, from my immediate line management through to Ashley, you’ve all been fab.

My career in this industry began with the Metro Radio Group in the early 90’s and I am, as many of you would probably expect, a passionate advocate of Mike Bersin’s blueprint the “Creative Led Sell” and I would describe myself as a Creative Salesperson. Many of you will be familiar with Mike and his teaching, but here is where the ‘creative led sell’ is often misinterpreted – we forget the last word, ‘sell’.

Working with local, regional, national and international businesses and organisations over the years, the countless examples of great products and services that still work on the principle, ‘if we build it, they will come’ is astonishing!

Simply put, ‘no they won’t’, unless or until you get your message out there. Sales is not a dirty word, we can dress it up and call it ‘pitching’ or whatever, but it is the lifeblood of what we all do, whether we’re in the BBC, Commercial Radio, Audio on Demand or Audio Design.

As an industry we are bursting with fantastic new content on numerous platforms, across different sectors and I will be driving the Academy to be its biggest cheerleader, showcasing and celebrating this amazing work. We will be telling these fantastic success stories to one another, to the creative industries as a whole and to commercial and strategic partners and ‘selling’ our industry by championing great audio content.

Not only is this vital for our industry now, it is also hugely important for the future to attract the best new entrants. We’ve been okay with examples of Companies/Organisations and individuals engaging with Universities about the fantastic opportunities as Broadcasters, Producers and Journalists etc in our industry and I also know of sporadic examples with Creative Writing too, but we have done precious little to engage with Business Schools to attract the best future business talent. We will be ‘selling’ the amazing variety of careers in our industry into Higher Education and beyond.

We want to take a leading role in career development across disciplines, for all of those in our industry, to offer everyone the opportunity and access to the very best in training, mentoring, tutorials and best practice.

We have lots to do and lots to shout about and The Radio Academy needs to be a credible voice, stage and showcase for the wider Audio Industry of the 21st Century and as ever to do so, we’ll need the financial resource. That is why we need to look at the content and service provision of the Academy so it is more attractive, relevant and useful resource for members.

I am relishing the opportunity and can’t wait to get started. It reminds me of my first days training at Viking FM in Hull in 1991. The Trainer [Richard Williams] said to us, “you’re selling showbiz” and for a lad from Hull who’d come from selling telephone systems, I was hooked and I am more now than ever before.

I look forward to working with you all.


Roger takes up his new post in mid July.

Radio Academy invites members to apply for Trustee roles

by on 23rd April 2015. Comments Off .
Category: News

At The Radio Academy members meeting in February, Ben Cooper announced that The Radio Academy would be looking for new Trustees to work alongside the incoming Managing Director, to help make decisions on everything from vision, strategy, training and events to overseeing finance.

The Radio Academy is now welcoming candidates to apply for various Trustee roles. Trustees can come from all areas of the radio, audio and media industries with different skills and experience which they will apply to their role as Trustee. Specifically, The Radio Academy is looking for Trustees with skills in the following areas: Governance, compliance, financial management, training, sponsorship and revenue generation and marketing and PR. The Radio Academy also encourages applications from people outside London with experience of the nations and regions.

There are 6 vacant seats. Each Trustee must be available for quarterly meetings with other Trustees and take an active role in the running of The Radio Academy.

Applications can be made until Wednesday 6th May and will be followed by an election where Radio Academy members will be invited to vote.  Winners of the election will be announced in June.

For more information and to apply for one of the positions please go to the Trustees page on The Radio Academy website here or contact