New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces 2016 Winners; BBC Earns Broadcaster of the Year and TBI Media UK is Production Company of the Year

2016’s Grand Award Winners: Athena Media Ireland, BBC UK and TBI Media with Snappin’ Turtle Productions UK

New York, NY | June 20, 2016

New York Festivals® International Radio Program Awards , honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs℠, announced this year’s award-winners at the 2016 Radio Program Awards Gala tonight at New York City’s Manhattan Penthouse.

The title of Broadcaster of the Year was awarded to the British Broadcasting Corporation. London-based TBI Media earned Production Company of the Year. The 2016 Grand Jury honored Athena Media, the BBC, and TBI Media with the Grand Award.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC Radio said: “These awards celebrate the power of radio and how it allows us to tell remarkable stories, share exhilarating performances and connect to audiences with an intimacy and passion unique to our medium. It’s a huge honour to be named Broadcaster of the Year and also humbling to see BBC Radio represented alongside such an impressive range of programmes and broadcasters in many categories. We are truly grateful for this award and I am incredibly proud of the creative ambition of our programme makers who have earned it. It is their flair, skill and commitment which enable us to bring some of best content in the world to our audiences in the UK and around the world.”

The BBC also earned 1 Grand Award, 7 Gold trophies, 7 Silver, 5 Bronze, 5 Finalist Certificates and two UNDPI Awards (1 Silver trophy and 1 Bronze).

The BBC earned the 2016 Grand Award for Information/Documentary for “A New Life in Europe,” an intimate account of one Syrian family’s journey as they crossed the Aegean to seek refuge in Europe.  BBC reporter, Manveen Rana followed the family as they negotiated the trials and difficulty of getting to Europe and the pressures on the family as they try to settle in to their new home.  

“We're just so delighted and incredibly honoured by these awards - it means so much to have our work recognised by a jury of people who really know and care about radio from all over the world, and by the UN too,” said Ms. Rana. “ This was such a small and intimate project; for it to even be noticed amid a backdrop of so much brilliant coverage of the migrant crisis, is really a testament to the enduring power of radio - and to the bravery and remarkable honesty of the Syrian family who we followed as they made their way to Europe. Thank you so, so much!

TBI Media UK received the Production Company of the Year Award.  “The Battle of Britain at 75” TBI with Snappin’ Turtle Productions earned the Grand Award for Special Event. The live program was a complex musical undertaking featuring narration, live drama and archive footage supplemented with newly recorded thoughts of veterans and a soundtrack featuring  over 100 musicians. The cast was led by Simon Callow playing Sir Winston Churchill. TBI also earned 8 Gold trophies, 1 Silver trophy and 2 Finalist Certificates.

“All at TBI Media are really proud to be part of a thriving independent audio production sector, serving a vibrant UK and international radio industry. For our work to be recognised by our peers internationally through the New York Festivals is always a real thrill.  On top of the other awards, to win 6 Golds and the ‘Grand Award’ for ’The Battle Of Britain at 75’ with BBC Radio 2 and event partners Snappin' Turtle is an amazing result, and for TBI to then be awarded ‘Production Company Of The Year’ again is also a wonderful surprise.” —Phil Critchlow, Founding Director, TBI Media

“The Kinder Letters” Athena Media Ltd., Ireland took home the Grand Award in the History category for their documentary that captures a rare glimpse of post-war Europe through the microcosm of a children’s book.  Helen Shaw, Founder & CEO of Athena Media had this to say about Athena Media earning the Grand Award.

“To win the Grand Award for The Kinder Letters is quite incredible for us. We're a small production house and it took us nearly two years to get the documentary made and to reach an audience. It is, at heart, a beautiful, human story - ultimately a love story - which allowed us to tell a much bigger story about post war Europe and the strange relationship between Ireland and Germany.  The documentary is very much a team effort, but all credit has to go to the researcher and recordist Robert Hope who first met Tony O'Herlihy, the presenter and source of The Kinder Letters, in his German class, and unraveled the story of the 'danke' book.”

RTE Ireland programs earned 4 Gold trophies including: “The Lyric Feature: Vocal Chords: The Odyssey of the Voice,” “My Uncle Jack,” “Mick Meaney - Buried Alive,” and “An Open Verdict.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation earned Gold for Ideas “High Culture,” and The Current “Anna Maria Tremonti Montage” also received a Gold trophy for Best Talk Show Host.  Other CBC programs earning Gold trophies:  The Sunday Edition “All The Way Home,” “DNTO Swimming to Freedom: The Incredible Story of Yahya Samatar” and Campus “Going in Circles.”

This year’s entries focused on the critical issues facing our world today, from breaking news to documentaries to investigative journalism. On every platform, there’s a real engagement in what’s happening,” said Rose Anderson, Executive Director of New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.

News coverage was front and center focusing on topics and events unfolding around the globe.  Gold trophy winners for Best Investigative report: include: “ISIS: Young, British and Radicalised” Snappin' Turtle Productions UK; “The Closed Room” Swedish Radio. The Best News Documentary or Special category Gold trophy winners include: “ISIS: Young, British and Radicalised” Snappin’ Turtle Productions UK and “7/7: London Remembers I The LBC Documentary” Global Radio UK. Global Radio also earned a Gold trophy for “Britain Decides I LBC” for Best Coverage of Ongoing News Story.

Entries in Talk Radio categories were in the winner’s circle. “Suno Na Dilli” Radio City India earned the Gold trophy for Best/Talk Interview Special, and “Think Out Loud: At Home with ALS” Radio New Zealand earned a Silver trophy.  In addition, “Up Close & Far Out with Michael Harrison” Goodphone Communications USA was honored with a Bronze trophy.

Three New documentary categories provided a platform for those with a distinctive voice and point of view. Compelling Biography/Profile entries earned Gold trophies including: “Steve, David and Goliath” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “30 Years Man And Boy, A Calmer Chameleon: The Boy George Story” Magnum Opus Broadcasting UK. Silver trophy winners include “Conversations” Bell Media Canada, and “Arthur Miller - Speaking Of New York” Just Radio Ltd., UK and “Encountering Marina Abramović- Artist and Icon, ABC Radio National Australia. In addition, In the Climate Change & Sustainability category, the BBC was honored with a Silver trophy for “In the Balance: The Climate Debates.”

Gold trophy winners in the Music Documentary category include: “Vocal Chords: The Odyssey of the Voice with Iarla Ó’Lionáird” Athena Media Ltd., Ireland and “The Story of the Byrds” Document Media Ltd UK. Entries earning Silver trophies: “Sinatra in the UK 1953” Trevor Dann’s Company, UK; “Bring It On Home: Led Zeppelin in the West Midlands” Birmingham City University, UK; and “Somebody Did It Better, presented by Miss Moneypenny” BBC UK.  “Sounds to Illustrate Dreams: The Lullaby: The Untold Stories of Lullabies” KBS South Korea earned a Bronze trophy.

Multiple programs earning Gold trophies in Best Music Special include: “Song Travels: Home for the Holidays” South Carolina Public Radio, “VE Day at 70” and “The Battle of Britain at 75” both created by UK based TBI Media with Snappin’ Turtle Productions.

“The New York Philharmonic This Week” Best Regularly Scheduled Music Program received a Gold trophy.  New York Philharmonic’s “Remembering Pierre Boulez” earned a Gold trophy for Best Director and a Silver trophy for Best Music Special.  

Audio dramas were recognized for creativity and drew attention to the international nature of drama. Gold trophy winners: “Peace in Our Time - Noël Coward” Digital Drama UK and Issues “John Lennon: Verbatim” Culture & the Arts, Des Shaw UK.  Swedish Radio’s “As If By Magic” received a Bronze trophy.  “As If By Magic “also earned a Gold trophy for Best Children/Young Adult Program.  In addition, “Visitors” - an original new drama by Emma Samms, BBC UK earned a Bronze trophy.

Audio Books categories, new in 2015, received accolades, Silver trophy winners in the Best Audio Book/Fiction category include: “Girl On the Train” Penguin Random House UK Audio, “HOOD: King's Command” Spiteful Puppet Entertainment Ltd., UK and “Spoon River” Soulpepper Theatre Company Canada.   

Entries in the Craft categories received top honors. Best Sound entries scored multiple Golds including: “Wise Buddah Jingles Portfolio 2015/16” Wise Buddah UK and “Making Up; eleven scenes from a Bangkok Hotel” RMIT University Australia, RMIT’s entry also received a second Gold for Best Writing.  Both “The Vinyl Cafe in Chicago” The Vinyl Café Canada, and The ANZAC Centenary Tribute” CBA New Zealand each received Gold trophies for Best Writing.

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. Annually, 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 prestigious United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) Award.  2016 UNDPI winners: “Für ein Stück Glück” Orf Austrian Broadcasting Corporation earned the UNDPI Gold Award, “Ebola: Winning the Battle in Sierra Leone” BBC UK earned the UNDPI Silver Award, and “A New Life in Europe” BBC UK earned the UNDPI Bronze Award.

The following prominent radio industry executives honored award-winners and presented segments:  Ben Malor, Chief of UN Radio USA; Clea Chang, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Intelligence Squared USA; Helen Shaw, Founder/CEO, Athena Media Ltd., Ireland;  Emma Samms, British actress and TV Host, and Jon Culshaw, English impressionist and comedian UK; Jennie Cataldo, Producer, Ben Manilla Productions USA;  Anna Maria Tremonti, Host of  CBC’s The Current, Canada; Sean Brocklehurst, Eric Van, and Albert Leung, Hosts for CBC’s Campus Broadcast; and Mark Travis, Associate Director of Media Production, New York Philharmonic USA.

Grand Jury selected 2016’s award-winners from entries submitted from 29 countries worldwide.  Entries were judged by the 2016 Grand Jury on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium. To view all of the 2016 New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs, please visit: HERE.  

World-wide since 1982, New York Festivals Radio Program Awards honors the World’s Best Radio Programs℠, receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.

Photography from the ceremony will be available from Marc Bryan-Brown Photography. Visit:

Production Hub is the official media sponsor of the 2016 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.

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

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