New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces 2015 Winners

Top Honors go to RTÉ Ireland - Broadcaster of the Year Award and TBI Media UK - Production Company of the Year

 Grand Awards go to New York Philharmonic, WNYC – Radiolab USA, and TBI Media UK

New York, NY – June 22, 2015: New York Festivals® International Radio Program Awards  honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs℠ announced the 2015 competition’s award-winners on Monday, June 22rd at their annual Gala held at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.

The Grand Jury honored RTÉ Ireland with the title of prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year and TBI Media UK with Production Company of the Year. In addition, three prominent companies earned the coveted Grand Award: New York Philharmonic USA, TBI Media UK, and WNYC- Radiolab USA.

RTÉ Radio Ireland earned Broadcaster of the Year Award; this is the third time that RTÉ received this honor. The network also earned an incredible 6 Gold trophies, 9 Silver (plus a UNDPI Silver trophy), 4 Bronze, and 9 Finalist Certificates.

Jim Jennings, Managing Director of RTÉ Radio, said: “For RTÉ Radio to be named New York Festivals’ Broadcaster of the Year for the third time is truly an honor. The win is testament not only to the collective output of our stations, but also to the global appeal of our programming. In this digital age, that is shaping and changing the way people listen, it is important that our content appeals to our international audience as much as our listeners in Ireland. That our programmes not only have relevance to our global audience, but that they resonate to a point that RTÉ Radio has been named Broadcaster of the Year once again, is extremely important to us as a public service broadcaster. I would like to wholeheartedly thank New York Festivals and extend my congratulations to the producers, editors and staff in RTÉ Radio who have excelled in their dedication, creativity and professionalism once again.” 

The spotlight was on TBI Media UK, the London-based company was honored with the title of Production Company of the Year.  TBI Media earned a total of 7 Gold trophies, 2 Silver trophies and a Finalist Certificate.

All at TBI are delighted to be the 2015 Production Company of the year. I’m enormously lucky to work with such a terrific team at TBI. Their dedication and consistent professionalism is only outstripped by their passion for great ideas and determination to deliver the best results. In short - to be recognised in this way amongst the global radio community is a real honour.”

-Phil Critchlow, Founding Director, TBI Media UK                      

“D-Day: 70 Years On” TBI Media United Kingdom with Snappin’ Turtle Productions received the Grand Award in the Best Special Event category for their program honoring the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. The award-winning program earned 7 Gold trophies. 

Phil Critchlow had this to say about TBI Media earning the Grand Award, “D-Day was undoubtedly one of the most challenging projects we’ve been involved with, with a huge team pushing the envelope in so many ways, and this result is testimony to that team effort.  From the presenters and performers to the BBC Radio 2 team, to the TBI team, to Snappin' Turtle, to the extended technical crews - all played a critical role in delivering this particularly big idea.” 

 “The New York Philharmonic This Week” earned the Grand Award for Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program. A special edition program of The New York Philharmonic This Week honors the memory of the orchestra’s former Music Director, Lorin Maazel, who passed away. The New York Philharmonic in total earned 5 Gold trophies, 1 Silver trophy, and 1 Bronze.  

"To be awarded this Grand Prize by a jury of peers is a tremendous honor in and of itself,” said Mark Travis, managing producer, New York Philharmonic, “but more than this, I think this award is a victory for classical music and it speaks volumes to the notion of music as an international language; all you have to do is listen."

60 Words” WNYC - Radiolab USA was honored with the Grand Award in the National Or International Affairs category. The award-winning program analyzed how a 60-word sentence, (AUMF) the law “ Authorization for Use of Military Force,”  which was created after 9/11, led to drone strikes far from Afghanistan, indefinite detentions, and the longest war in U.S. history. The program traced how these words were interpreted historically and what they mean for the future of war and peace. “60 Words” also earned a Gold trophy for National Or International Affairs.

When asked about what earning the Grand Award meant to the Radiolab team, Kelsey Padgett, Producer, WNYC - Radiolab commented: We are so thrilled to be receiving such a great award. Your recognition of our hard work is greatly appreciated. The whole staff of Radiolab feels honored and deeply grateful. Thank you so much!”

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “Ideas” was center stage taking home 4 Gold trophies, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze and a Finalist Certificate. “A Just Life,” Enemies and Angels,” “Born That Way?,” and “Claiming Space” each earned Gold trophies. “Claiming Space” was also honored with a UNDPI Award. “End of the Dial” and “To Heal a Sick Nation” received Silver trophies and “I'm Sorry: The Art and Artifice of the Apology” and “Secret Lives of Children” were recognized with Bronze trophies. “The Science of Shakespeare” earned a Finalist Certificate.

History entries were front and center with award-winning programming featuring people and events that shaped our world. Gold trophy winners include: “The Kalb Report: Writing History - Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein and Journalism's Finest Hour” National Press Club Journalism Institute USA; “The Irish woman who shot Mussolini” and “Clouds in Harry's Coffee” RTÉ Radio; “The Map That Made Manhattan” Brook Lapping Productions United Kingdom; “All Those Years Ago” Accessible Media Inc. Canada;  and “From Acrobats to Bankers: The History of Japanese Australians” The Australian Broadcasting Corporation/ Masako Fukui.

Breaking News and Ongoing News coverage was in the spotlight with coverage of events unfolding around the globe earning trophies for their excellence. Gold trophy winners include: “Coverage On The United States And Cuba Announcing the Re-establishment of Diplomatic Relations” W Radio Colombia; “Direct Provision?” RTÉ Radio Dublin; “Birmingham Pub Bombings - Forty Years On” BBC UK; and “Human Trafficking: The Merchants Of Innocence” Radio Rivadavia Argentina.  Programs earning Silver trophies include:  “Palm Oil Republic” RTÉ Radio 1 and “El caso del Fiscal Nisman: Muerte, impunidad y mafias en la Argentina” Radio Mitre Argentina. “Back Bay Fire” WGBH  Radio USA  and “Parliament Shooting Special” CBC Radio Canada took home Bronze trophies.

New categories launched this year scored accolades with the jury including Best Audio Book – Fiction: “The Brenda and Effie Mysteries: Bat Out of Hull” Bafflegab Productions earned a Gold trophy; “Straight White Male” Royal National Institute of Blind People UK and “HOOD: The Scribe Of Sherwood” Spiteful Puppet Entertainment UK earned Bronze trophies. Entries earning Finalist Certificates: “Darling Monster: The Letters of Lady Diana Cooper to her Son John Julius Norwich 1939-1952” for Best Audio Book – Nonfiction and “Walt Whitman: Kinder Adams/Children of Adam” Best Audio Book – Fiction.  

Best Innovation saw the following entries earn trophies: “D-Day: 70 Years On” TBI Media United Kingdom with Snappin’ Turtle Productions was recognized with a Gold trophy; “Blowback” Deutschland radio earned a Silver trophy; and “Ek Kahani Aisi Bhi” Digital Radio (Kolkata) Broadcasting Limited India; “IMGR - State of the Art Station Imaging, Production and Delivery” IMGR UK; and “Park Bench” RTÉ Radio 1 earned Bronze trophies.

Sound Art category entries were in the winner’s circle: “In Search of Captain Cat of Llareggub” Frequency Oz Australia earned a Gold trophy and “Cathedral's Fall” Kunstradio ORF & Radio Belgrade Serbia earned a Finalist Certificate.

Both “The Chelsea Pensioners - A Life Served” British Forces Broadcasting Service UK and “Blackmailed” SBS Broadcasting Australia were in the spotlight earning Gold trophies for Best Human Interest Story.

New York Festivals, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information, established the United Nations Awards in 1990 to honor programs highlighting global concerns of interest to the UN. Each year, the United Nations Department of Public Information convenes a panel to honor radio broadcasting that best exemplifies the ideas and goals of the United Nations. Their selections are awarded the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) Award.  2015 UNDPI winners: “I am Malala: A story about the Convention on the Rights of the Child” Radio Television Hong Kong earned the UNDPI Gold Award; “Music Passport: A Journey through Genocide” RTÉ Radio 1 Ireland earned the UNDPI Silver Award; and “Claiming Space” CBC Radio Ideas earned the UNDPI Bronze Award.

The following  prominent radio industry executives took to the stage to honor award-winners and present segments: Danielle Aykroyd, C.C. Rider The Venerator, The BluesMobile/Ben Manilla Productions, USA; Paul Bachmann, SiriusXM, USA; Colin Black, Producer & Composer, Frequency Oz, Australia; Clea Chang, Director of Marketing,  Intelligence Squared, USA; Lourdes Muggenburg & Max LaValle, Tenemos Tarea,  Radio Educacion, Mexico; Brian O’Connell, Reporter, Today with Sean O'Rourke, RTE Radio 1, Ireland; Peter Shevlin, Producer, Blokmedia, United Kingdom; and Cindy Witten, Acting Executive Director Radio & Audio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada.

The 2015 Grand Jury awarded 3 Grand Awards, 53 Gold trophies, 62 Silver, 58 Bronze, and 117 Finalist Certificates submitted from 32 countries. All entries were judged online by the NYF Radio Awards Grand Jury of radio experts from stations and companies around the globe. To view the 2015 Radio Awards winners showcase visit: Here.

Press inquiries should be directed to Gayle Mandel: gmandel@newyorkfestivals.com, Ph: 1 212 643 4800.

Photography from the ceremony will be available from Marc Bryan-Brown Photography. Visit: http://www.bryan-brown.com/ny

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