30 from 30. The people who have helped shape the industry and Campaign Brief: Gary Roberts

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GaryRoberts_1988_BLOG.jpgFor Campaign Brief WA's 30th anniversary, over the thirty days of June we're looking back on 30 people who helped shape the industry and us.

Who better to feature the day after the latest radio ratings than Perth's 'Mr Radio', Gary Roberts.

When CB started, Roberts was running 96fm, Perth's first and at that stage only commercial FM station. It was four years old and the #2 station in town just behind AM station 6PM.

Two years later 96fm dominated the market like no other. They decided if you were good enough to advertise on the station. Seriously, I remember JMA had a Scarboro Toyota campaign knocked back when the material was sent. Admittedly it was pretty bad (Mike Edmonds would later write about it as his worst campaign ever) but still! And that wasn't an isolated case. Roberts had final say on all ads that went to air and the listeners always came first, which made it such an exciting station. Great music, great promotions, great concerts. And everyone had a 96fm sweatshirt.
In mid 1992 Roberts shocked the industry by moving over to 94.5FM. Within a couple of years he'd taken that station to a dominant #1 position with a completely different approach to 96fm.

In 1994, Roberts upped the prize in the 94.5 Radio Writers Award to $20,000. It was unbelievable - twenty grand! And here's an example of how Roberts backed the local industry. In its first year it was open to all comers - WA and eastern states based agencies (happily it was won by 303's Mike Edmonds). In 1995 the competition got highjacked and ended up being subsumed into the national Golden Stylus awards. So the following year, Roberts brought it back to WA and made it just for WA agency writers, which it has been ever since.

He stayed with 94.5 (adding 'Mix' to the name) for ten very successful years to mid-2002, when he left to head-up Nova 93.7, Perth's first new commercial FM station for over twenty years.

That's three seismic shifts in Perth's radio landscape that Roberts has been behind.

Over all that time he has been a great friend and supporter of Campaign Brief.

96fm sponsored our Creative Circle for a couple of years in the early 90s; 94.5FM was one of our very first Campaign Brief Award sponsors in 1996; and Nova now sponsors our Supernova award, recognising the industry's rising stars. He's always given us intelligent, though-provoking content for our radio stories. Best of all, he's invited us to some brilliant parties.

Thanks Gary!

1 Comments

Melis said:

All of that talent AND that voice :)

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